Ever heard of TED? It’s a yearly conference where bright people get up on stage, tell a story that’s anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes long, and then everyone in the audience dies because they’ve just had their minds blown. Sounds awesome, right? If you want to go to TED, then just forget about it. Tickets run upwards of several thousand dollars, and they sell out fast. Why is it so expensive to go to TED? We could say they’re elitist, but the real answer to that question is to just look at the amount of content that the TED guys make available for free. All those talks that rich people have to pay to hear, they’re recorded. If the talk is good, it’ll show up online a month or two after it was given. If it wasn’t so good, then it might take a year or more. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to sit on your couch for 30 minutes to hear about how someone changed the world and how you should too!
Now the people who give these talks, they obviously need to condense their life’s work into one YouTube video worth of content. That’s hard. Here’s where TED Books comes in. TED will sell you something they call a “book”, but technically it’s just a block of text that’s longer than a magazine article, yet shorter than a paperback. You can buy these TED “books” for $3 a pop, or pay $15 for three months worth of titles with a new title being published every two weeks.
The guys at Ars.Technica have reviewed the application and say that while it’s OK, it could use a lot more polish. That’s quite surprising to hear since the TED organization normally takes their work very seriously, but hey, we understand that designers and developers don’t just grow on trees.