Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fora.tv - curating ideas

I've posted before on the value of putting conference videos online. Today, The New York Times picked up the story on the new TED site under the headline "Giving away information, but increasing revenue."

Bruno Guissani at LunchoverIP went even deeper on the topic, looking at several conferences that have made uploaded video a critical part of their membership, learning, and community building strategies. Guissani's post includes links to great resources including TED, Pop!Tech, LIFT and D:AllThingsDigital, which launches today. He ends his post with this observation:

"This burgeoning of conference podcasting worldwide suggests a few thoughts:

  • One: great ideas and knowledge are now shared freely as never before, available for people to use and share: I've heard of teachers using talks as part of their syllabus; corporate managers burning them on CDs and giving them to their staff or using them during team retreats; etc.
  • Two: all of those conferences seem to be doing it for the same reason: TED believes "in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world"; Pop!Tech's Zolli (quote above) talks about "harnessing the power of visionary ideas" to "build a better world"; LIFT's goal is to "connect people (...) and propel their conversations into the broader world to improve life and work".
  • Three: the multiplication of conference videos may open a niche for a meta-curator role, picking the best of the best."

Which is where Fora.tv comes in - it is a curated broadcaster of idea-centric videos.

Organized by channels (politics, art, philanthropy, etc); linked to thoughtful documents and blogs, connected to "Think Tanks," and edited to be searchable by text, immediately embeddable in any site, swappable with other distribution channels (YouTube, etc.), and emailable. Fora has content partnerships with major content and conference producers such as the World Affairs Council, Commonwealth Club and Global Philanthropy Forum. It also partners with think tanks and independent bookstores. Other potential partnerships include NGOs, foundations, foundation affinity groups, nonprofit associations, libraries, speaker networks, and on and on. Check out fora.tv and see for yourself.

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