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Shane Lynch

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I think TEDsters are way too generous with rating talks!

I think we are way to generous with our ratings. I rate every talk I watch and I rate them very critically. Not because I think I can do a better job but in my opinion some talks are delivered more effectively, some have a more interesting message, some are more emotional.

I think it is our job to rate them. They are all awesome people and speakers but without being critical we will never have GREAT speakers or know the difference between an video which is interesting and one that is making waves around the world.

The rating system is there for everyone's benefit and I think the speakers can handle the constructive criticism. I think we get scared to rate them critically because we are in a domain of thinkers and afraid to say something that will have push back as I'm sure this comment will.

The only opinions and the only ratings that matter are the ones that face an oppositions and cause people to stand up, think and act.

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    Nov 29 2012: Shane ,
    I find at least one novel idea/thought/opinion in most of the talks. I rate them based on the ideas and thoughts presented. The only exception is talks based on art/music.
    Every TEDster may relate to each talk differently...and the ratings reflect that.
    I try not to pay much importance to the delivery of the talk ..most of them are not professional speakers/their first language is not English.
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    Nov 29 2012: Oh, but I think people are being honnest when they rate "Matt Killingsworth: Want to be happier? Stay in the moment" as a FASCINATING talk.

    These ratings are just a barometer that measures how the majority of tedsters think, or whether they do at all. Other than that, I don't bother with them.
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    Nov 29 2012: Do you think that speakers look more seriously at the ratings their talks get or at the number of views in evaluating whether what they offered was considered "an idea worth spreading?"
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      Nov 30 2012: It's a good question. I think as a blogger there is something that really makes me feel sucessful when I get a pile of hits but I know for a fact that the tribe I want to build consist of the people who leave comments.

      I can't say for certain what the speakers think. I'm sure if you have the most watched video it means something but if it is somewhere in the middle of the pack I wouldn't say quantity of views means as much as the comments and ratings people are compelled to leave.
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    Nov 30 2012: It's crowd-sourcing Mr. Lynch. It's demographics and ratings, It's random, subjective, free-expression of opinion. It ain't rocket science. When something said in a TED Talk makes my jaw drop I think we all know a good, terse characterization for that talk. I support your assertion that the most valuable comments are the candid, constructive ones, whether they be pro or con. I think the fundamental TED rule applies at every level of participation. . . is the content worth sharing? Thank you!
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    Nov 30 2012: Your view is interesting as I actually stopped to rate TED talks pretty soon due to the meaninglessness and blurriness of the rating system itself.

    What does 'jaw dropping' mean? Am I out of words due to the stupidity of what I just heard or am I speachless by my fascination? What is the difference between 'beautiful' and 'ingenious'? What is the context to rate a talk to be 'courageous' in? And what makes it 'obnoxious'? Is it because my favourite personal view just got crushed and I am still in denial of a better argument, or because the talk was just inappropriate in its conclusions and faulty to the core?

    There is no 'hard' measure of quality here and all I can do is nothing but to choose the less blurry of blurry matches of my spontaneously emotial reaction. And what does this my rating tells anybody?

    I choose any talk by its topic only and not by its rating. Every now and then I leave a short comment when I feel for it and that was it. Any talk I don't like or which is plain boring to me I just quit and so far without any negative criticism.

    We will not have any GREAT speaker 'born' by the rating system or any constructive criticism - on the contrary, as to me the sying is true: 'Too many cooks spoil the broth.' You can not please everybody and if you are on such a stage, you most likely know about this anyway...
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    Nov 29 2012: Sorry. The only ones I rate are the ones I critique. Usually not a good thing.