COM0015 Blog #2: The Strong vs. The Weak?

If there’s something you want to know, odds are there’s a TED talk about the subject matter. TED talks span a wide range of subjects and feature a variety of expert speakers. No wonder its Twitter account has more than 3.5 million followers.


For something to succeed online, it doesn’t need to just be good, someone has to want to share it, according to June Cohen, Executive Producer of TED Media. Boy do people want to share all things TED! This concept has evoluted from a single conference into a global media platform as a result of social media.

TED encouraged sharing

There are 1900+ TED Talks now online that have been viewed collectively more than 900,000,000 times.

Cohen explained that the increasing widespread use of social media naturally played a part in this process, but more importantly using the tools of the web in the best possible way to increase the sharability of content.

“Online users are exquisitely vulnerable to distraction” said Cohen.

With a rise in mobile, TED embraced the trends of their community and purposely designed their online talks to be optimized for small screen, cut long intros and started the videos strong.

TED also made sure videos are framed close to the speaker’s face. So on a mobile phone, viewers can see the emotion of what is being communicated.


And TED videos can be watched through many devices, embedded, downloaded as free podcast, etc. By embracing open (free) models they aim to reduce the barriers between the ideas and their intended audience.

A “brand” that could use a little mentoring from TED is Bill Cosby. Bill Cosby posted a photo of himself on Twitter earlier in November inviting the Internet to meme him. The entire thing was eventually deleted when fans used the web tool to highlight past accusations against Cosby.

Bill Cosby

#CosbyMeme quickly devolved into a conversation about rape and rape culture, never quite achieving the cute, wholesome captions Cosby’s marketers were likely expecting with that tip-of-the-hat photo. How they didn’t see this possible epic failure is beyond me.

This seemed like an adhoc idea and a proper S.W.O.T. analysis was not carried out. With all the negative attention (please be advised that this is a sensitive topic and offensive language is used in this video) that Mr. Cosby has been getting lately it is hard to believe this campaign was initiated. Everyone knows that it’s not just your fans that follow you on social media.

Good, bad and ugly…it’s all on social media.

Please share your thoughts on this post.

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