Alexis Ohanian "You've Lost Control (And that's OK!)" from TEDxYerevan, September 25, 2010
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Alexis Ohanian "You've Lost Control (And that's OK!)" from TEDxYerevan, September 25, 2010

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Thrilled to have been a part of the first TEDYerevan! Thanks to reddit for giving me so many things to give TED Talks about. Hope I made Mister Splashy Pants proud. It's not too late to keep donating ...

Thrilled to have been a part of the first TEDYerevan! Thanks to reddit for giving me so many things to give TED Talks about. Hope I made Mister Splashy Pants proud. It's not too late to keep donating to reddit's Donors Choose fundraiser!

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  • I got to speak at TED in India about a whale named Mister Splashy Pants
  • I got to speak at TED in India about a whale named Mister Splashy Pants
  • Hey wait, what are social media?
  • People consuming news (what’s new) with help from other (sometimes random) people
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • Reddit of course
  • What does this mean for all of us here? Well, ideas spread further and faster than ever before.
  • Some of these are very important
  • Some of these are very important
  • Some are less thoughtful
  • Some are less thoughtful
  • It could be your company’s marketing
  • It could be your company’s marketing
  • Or it could be a personal declaration
  • Or it could be a personal declaration
  • The point is, all of these ideas are equal online
  • The theme of this TEDx is beyond borders.
  • What I’m talking about starts with getting ideas beyond the borders of your own mind
  • It doesn’t matter where you are, as long as you’re connected to an open internet
  • The internet is your canvas.
  • Ok, so you’ve come to terms with the fact that your idea – whatever it is you want to spread online is just as equal as anyone else’s
  • You’ve got to invite serendipity, you can’t control what ppl will do with your idea, you’ve just got to invite them to play with it – how?
  • Well, let me show you with an example.
  • I’ll demonstrate this w/ an example from just a few weeks ago
  • For months now, Stephen Colbert, host of a popular comedy show has been mentioning reddit on air – apparently he’s a fan of the site, which is cool, but he knows that the reddit community adores him
  • There was recently a rally in DC on the anniversary of the famous I have a dream speech by Dr. MLK.
  • only this time
  • It was hosted by this guy, Glenn Beck, a popular political commentator, and inadvertent comedian
  • Afterward, someone on reddit named “mrsammercer”, suggested that Colbert hold his own counter-rally.
  • Colbert makes a living satirizing men like Glenn Beck, so it seemed like the perfect counter-demonstration
  • Random users created their own section of reddit
  • Well, Stephen got the message, and began teasing the idea of hosting a rally on his show, talking about how the reddit community was egging him on
  • but this only encouraged redditors to go a step further
  • They realized he was on the board of a fantastic NGO in the US called DonorsChoose
  • Most of our public schools in the US are woefully underfunded, and many teachers – esp in poor districts – have to buy their own supplies.
  • For the richest country in the history of the world, this is pretty sad.
  • So donorschoose let’s individuals donate to fund the projects these teachers need money for
  • So reddit started a fundraiser and decided they’d beat the previous record holder,
  • Hillary clinton, who’d fundraised $29,945
  • We gave them a week, and breadpig offered to add $1000 if they hit that goal
  • They crushed that number. In less than 24 hrs.
  • And broke the donors choose counter
  • Colbert was floored. He event wrote a special thank you letter to reddit.
  • With photo
  • The rally has since been announced, in keeping with the theme of mockery, it’s the keep fear alive rally
  • DonorsChoose realized what was happening only when their servers started choking on all the traffic
  • You’ve got to invite serendipity, you can’t control what ppl will do with your idea, you’ve just got to invite them to play with it – how?
  • Remember the famous captain picard
  • Be open and engage the ppl talking about you
  • But here’s what they did right – they jumped into the discussion!
  • Their executives even did a real-time reddit interview with the community, answering any and all questions
  • At this moment, they’ve raised $$$
  • At this moment, they’ve raised $$$
  • At this moment, they’ve raised $$$
  • At this moment, they’ve raised $$$
  • At this moment, they’ve raised $$$
  • At this moment, they’ve raised $$$
  • At this moment, they’ve raised $$$
  • But I’m betting reddit breaks half a million by 10/30, the date of the rally
  • That’s not just votes for a whale with a cute name.
  • That’s not just votes for a whale with a cute name. That’s people’s hard-earned money.
  • Granted, these sorts of events don’t happen many other places online, but the model that makes it work on reddit can be applied elsewhere. And there’s no telling what will catch fire and what won’t.
  • Many more ideas have gone here -- nowhere.
  • But in this case, the idea not only spread, but an action followed – people opened their minds to an idea,
  • And then they opened their wallets
  • The walls are down, the only border keeping your idea from the world
  • is right here. Here’s an idea that started the exact same way as all the others that never leave the borders of our minds
  • The big ideas of tomorrow won’t come from above
  • Sure, they’ll come from the below
  • But they’ll come from everywhere
  • Will yours be the one that wins? I can’t promise that, but I can offer this guidance
  • Chances are each of you in the audience right now has an idea worth spreading, that’s why you’re here. Well, if you’re willing to share it, and the timing is right, who knows what’ll come of it.
  • if you want to write code, get it online
  • If you want to tell a story, start with a blog
  • If you want to produce a film, start on youtube
  • the first step is sharing it with the world.

Alexis Ohanian "You've Lost Control (And that's OK!)" from TEDxYerevan, September 25, 2010 Alexis Ohanian "You've Lost Control (And that's OK!)" from TEDxYerevan, September 25, 2010 Presentation Transcript

  • You’ve lost control And that’s OK!
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  • Social Media
  • Social Media?
  • Social Media
  • Social Media
  • Social Media
  • Social Media
  • Ideas worth spreading.
  • “ There was an Armenian Genocide”
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  • “ I just ate an entire bag of Doritos. I’m so high right now. lol.”
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  • “ Brand X makes the best hummus in the world.”
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  • “ I love you!”
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  • Where all ideas are created equal.
  • Beyond Borders.
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  • Step 1 Acceptance
  • Step 2 Invite serendipity
  • Free drinks?
  • e.g., The Colbert Report
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  • $29,945
  • $29,945
  • $29,945 $46,983
  • Dear Redditors, Ever since the visit of one of your Dear Leaders, Alexis "kn0thing" Ohanian, my inbox has been orangered with pleas to "Restore Truthiness." The track record of your hivemind speaks for itself. Mr. Splashypants got a name. You rescued Soapier. You frightened the sweet-and-sour Jesus out of a 90-year-old man on his birthday. Despite how silly and nonsexual reddit can be, your true colors show when someone is in need. I almost had a pregnant when I saw what you had done at DonorsChoose.org for classrooms around the country. I am humbled and honored (a rare combination for me), and find myself wishing there was a Look of Approval. You have inspired me by helping untold thousands of students; with the momentum you've created, we could stage a hundred rallies. I might just call on you, Redditors - for nothing is more terrifying than tens of thousands of Heroes taking to the streets with the faint odor of bacon wafting behind them. Except for bears, obviously. One huge upvote for you. Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, DFA
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  • Step 3 Engage
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  • Be honest. Be open. Golden Shield Project
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  • 10 days later…
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  • 10 days and lots of press later…
  • $280,000!
  • $500,000? $280,000!
  • Mister Splashy Pants
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  • Big Ideas
  • Big Ideas
  • Big Ideas Big Ideas Big Ideas Big Ideas Big Ideas Big Ideas
  • Big Ideas Big Ideas Big Ideas Big Ideas Big Ideas Big Ideas
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  • Hello, world.