TED Conversations

Robert Mayer

Program / Project Manager (PMP), Choice Hotels International


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What are the demographics of the TED community?

I was wondering is the TED community really diverse or is it heavily skewed in some way? I was not easily able to find the answer and I was wondering what the community itself thought it was. Are we an even slice of humanity or are we missing the voice of some portion of humanity? If so what is the least represented sub-grouping with in reason.


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    Sep 23 2012: I was about to ask a question and then realized I had no idea what the group of people I was about to ask consisted of. I would ask a different question if the audience was all men then if they where all women. I would also trust the answer I would get to a question more based upon the group that was giving the answer. Then I tried to do some research on the TED community. This gave me an interesting set of articles indicating that all TED members are rich elitists. So having failed at my Google searching I figured I would just ask the community instead.
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      Sep 23 2012: That makes a lot of sense. But why would you edit a question based on gender? If it's a good question no body will edit. Trust me, I am neither rich or an elitist. As far as I can tell, many here can't afford to go to the conferences. Even if they were held next door.

      I think Mr. O'brian's statistics are a pretty good representation but I do not know his methodology or where the numbers came from. I think there might be fewer women than he reports. Either that, or they like different discussions than I do.
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        Sep 23 2012: why we are here .i think there are three kinds of person

        the first people who want to learn .
        the second people who want to change the world
        the third people who want to chat make frinds and just make time .

        the first kind of people they just adopt to the theam.they learn .design .they think they can get much knowledge here.but i dont think so

        the second i think is the best they want to change they just take action to do some thing to dussicus something to let people know something .we are all better .we do not to learn we just make others learn

        and the third is the worst they are just wasting time .it is a pity
        • Sep 23 2012: May I ask which one do you belong to ?
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        Sep 23 2012: How much is a conference?,we have only one coming up in my city next month and i don't think i'm going to even try,unless it was run totally by kids then i might be interested.


        I hope you see this Chen

        That price range though the cheapest is too far out of my budget,is there one near you in China?
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          Sep 23 2012: you can cheak out on the ted .it is about 25oo$.will you go !
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        Sep 23 2012: Here is an example where I would edit a question based upon the gender of the person I was asking the question. I may ask a group of women if menopause is something that should have more research dedicated to it. I would not ask a group of men that same question as I would find the information they gave me to be inherently questionable. I believe that asking the right question requires a good deal of information about the person or persons you are asking the question of.
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          Sep 25 2012: That would depend on what type of information you are seeking. If you only want a woman's perspective I could understand. But here you have scientist and economists who are male who could contribute to a question like that. They could help with the biology or the economic impact.

          Also, one way to learn about the information on the persons you are asking the question of is to ask it and see what happens. You'll probably learn a lot more than demographics would tell you:)
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      Sep 23 2012: Robert and Linda,

      I think when you look at the stats or write-ups about TED demographics, part of the inconsistency may come from which TED community the source is talking about.

      My guess is that Gerald's data describes those who are signed up as members, which would be people who like to listen to the talks and get email alerts from TED about the talks posted online. This group may be 150,000 people (I haven't checked- just estimating) and obviously only a very small proportion post comments on the talks or in Conversations. Only a very small proportion also can likely afford the two yearly TED conferences, but many likely can afford the TEDX conferences around the globe, which may cost little or nothing to attend. I went to a local one within the last year that didn't charge anything.

      An article that refers to TED members as rich would likely not be talking about those listening to talks at home, participating in Conversations, or going to their local TedX orTEDxYouth. Such an article very likely means to describe those who can afford $2500 for the big conferences.

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