Chris Anderson, curator of TED conferences which brings together people specializing in Technology, Entertainment, and Design, sees a fascinating phenomenon emerging from the use of online video. More than just a platform for cute kittens and pranks, Anderson views YouTube and other online video sites as vehicles by which scientists, entrepreneurs, intellectuals and artists can share ideas and talents, thereby potentially inspiring those viewing to further advance those ideas or take them in new directions. Anderson describes this phenomenon as “Crowd Accelerated Innovation”.
“Throughout history, innovation has surged when groups of scientists, entrepreneurs, or intellectuals connect regularly,” he writes. And online video allows more people to share more ideas to even more people, and to communicate mediums that don’t translate through writing or pictures alone. If a dancer in Japan posts a video of some creative dance steps she has and five people in different parts of the world watch it, adding their own twists and style, suddenly one dancer has inspired five new dances. Just reading about or seeing pictures of that first dancer’s moves would not express her art as well as seeing actual video of the dance. It’s a simplified example, but demonstrates the point.
Anderson describes Crowd Accelerated Innovation as requiring 3 components: a crowd, light/visibility, and desire/motivation. The stronger any one component becomes, the more Crowd Accelerated Innovation generated. Anderson claims that online video strengthens all three. To find out why, read his article in Wired, or watch the video below from TED Talks, How Web Video Powers Global Innovation.