No, I’m not talking about Seth McFarlane’s new movie about a foul-mouthed teddy bear. What we’re seeing today is how much influence TED the popular lecture series behind the YouTube channel TEDTalks is having on a corner of the Web. It’s cited as the inspiration for another YouTube channel that launched today: THNKR, from @radical.media — a firm best known for its work in commercials and music videos. the company says that it will tap people including authors Walter Isaacson and Michael Pollan, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, and Talking Heads singer David Byrne to provide “extraordinary access to the people, stories, and ideas that are transforming our world.” The TED lectures “blazed a path by answering the desire of a mass audience to have intelligent conversations online,” says @radical.media CEO Jon Kamen. THNKR “extends that concept” via narrative storytelling. Initial series include Bookd (discussions about non-fiction books), Epiphany (talks with thought leaders), Podium (explorations of public speaking), and Prodigies (looks at gifted thinkers). As fate would have it, the new channel is out the same day that The New Yorker published an in-depth look at TED. Its Web videos have been watched 800M times — and a typical one is viewed 40,000 times within 24 hours of its release, the magazine reports. It calls TED “a recourse for college-educated adults who want to close the gap between academic thought and the lives they live now.”
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