Monday, January 07, 2008

BigThink: YouTube for Ideas

Big Think ( went live this morning. It is billed as a YouTube for ideas -- a website featuring video interviews and presentations about topics of interest to people who want to learn, discuss and challenge rather than just entertain themselves. You can read all about it in an article in today's New York Times.

At this point the website is mainly full of interviews with politicians and public intellectuals, but of course the idea is that users will upload their own videos and that the topics and discussions will become more bottom-up than top-down.

It is too soon to tell how this will develop, of course, but I think it is worth a look. Maybe this will turn out to be a useful new forum where people and ideas can interact in creative new ways (there is no reason why the videos need to be just talking heads, for example). Or maybe BigThink's format will further reduce intellectual discourse into superficial soundbites and provide an outlet for lonely, opinionated people who like to hear the sound of their own voices.

I clicked on the "globalization" topic link this morning and found a pretty wide range of viewpoints expressed, some better than others. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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