Saturday, March 21, 2009

The growth of Twitter, and a few words on Creative Commons

In the above video, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams explains to a TED audience about how the service works, its phenomenal growth and how some of the truly inventive uses of the service have required the company to be led very much by its users. The film is also pretty useful as an explanation for non-users what the fuss is all about.

I've been using Twitter for a few months now and have found that once the potential and usage is understood, it is quite an astonishing communications tool. Already, I've made several very useful or interesting connections with people that I'd never have otherwise met through other forms of social media (such as MySpace, Facebook, etc).

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design is a conference that began in 1984 to bring people from those different worlds together. Since then, TED's scope has become considerably broader and serves as a platform for some of the world's most fascinating thinkers and speakers who are challenged to give the speech of their lives within 18 minutes. Somewhat like Twitter, where users are encouraged to post what's on their minds in just 140 characters.

I came across TED through using Twitter and was both surprised I'd not come across it before and delighted to have done so. In their mission statement, TED state how they 'believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.' The website thus serves as 'a clearing house that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.'

Admirably, the organisation further defines itself thus:
TED thought of as a global community. It's a community welcoming people from every discipline and culture who have just two things in common: they seek a deeper understanding of the world, and they hope to turn that understanding into a better future for us all.
The video, here embedded from my YouTube channel, is offered under a Creative Commons licence, allowing it to be freely shared and reposted. For the unfamiliar, Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright.

They provide free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof. The below video, also available on Globalism Films, explains a little more about CC licencing.

Although competing demands currently take up more of my time at the moment, therefore not giving me a great deal of time to write much at length here, every now and then I stumble upon some great content that just has to be shared - as with the case of these two films.

I can be followed on Twitter here.

No comments: