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How does TED Conversations offer an alternative online social experience to other sites and social networks?

a) How did you find out about TED Conversations to begin with?
b) What made you want to contribute to a discussion thread?
c) Do you participate in the discussion threads for the social aspect or the educational aspect?
d) Do you use general social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter? Why/Why not/How does that differ from TED conversations in comparison to discussing this on your facebook page?

For those who have never used TED and do for the first time under this survey:

a) Had you heard about TED Talks/Conversations prior to this?
b) Do you use social networking sites?
c) Would you be interested in participating in discussion threads on TED?
d) What do you believe is the difference between having these discussions on TED as opposed to other social networking sites?

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    Oct 3 2012: TED, for what it does, and what it stands for, is clearly different from the general social networking sites (facebook and Twitter).
    The TED site focuses on ideas and the advancement of knowledge. And the conversations are along such lines.
    So, like the other social networking sites, I can not post something like: "I miss my chihuahua"
    I'm a filmmaker, so I do have facebook and twitter accounts for marketing and publicity purposes.
  • Oct 10 2012: TED is all about sharing your knowledge, ideas, opening up your mind, removing stereotypes, discovering the world around you, being curious, asking questions learning new and awesome stuff......... I can go on and on.
    And that is where it is different from other social networking sites, you actually participate and not in stupid 'lucky factor' quizzes or games like FarmVille but you play a part in spreading ideas and changing your and others perceptions about the world. You are an active participant, not just a passive watcher.

    Also, TED simply isn't silly like the other sites but actually something for intellectuals.
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    Oct 3 2012: I don't participate in the big social networking sites, because I am interested in substantive discussion rather than socializing.

    I used to participate in a different site that I believe is more typical of social networking. While ostensibly it was to involve serious discussion, it was in fact almost entirely light chat with the twist that there was a single host with a commercial interest in selling his particular package of ideas and signaling strongly that different views were not welcome.

    I like an egalitarian discussion format, except in the case of, say, an academic discussion board moderated by an expert for a collection of those new to a discipline.
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    Gail .

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    Oct 3 2012: Part I
    a) Someone told me about it a while ago, and I saw some amazing videos, but I never saw the conversations link. A year or so later, I again found it while looking up something, and this time I found the link and was hooked.

    b) I love learning. I enjoy sharing with those who love learning.

    c) It's both. Those who enjoy learning and problem solving are a rare breed. TED gives us the opportunity to connect, if only virtually.

    d) Don't use the social networking formats for more than seeing friends' new grandchildren pix. They're too shallow.