Ladan Wise

Product development Manager, TED

This conversation is closed.

What one feature would you love to see added to TED.com?

The TED team is working on planning the future development and enhancement of TED.com, and the product development team would love to hear your ideas! What's one feature would you love to see on TED.com and why?

  • Dec 10 2012: Turn off Autoplay.

    Seriously while many wont care in the 1st world, in the 3rd bandwidth is at a premium, and often one want to read the comments first.
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      Dec 10 2012: I agree with turning off Autoplay, but for a different reason.
      When going back to a talk I have already seen to view the comments, I have to pause/stop the video every time I go back.
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      Dec 17 2012: Yeah, also they should skip the TED player altogether and go with Youtube like they to for TEDx vids
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    Dec 5 2012: Oh and fix the recent commentors squares it has be stuck for a few days.
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      Dec 5 2012: Christ! It's stuck! And I thought the same guys were commenting all that time...
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      Dec 5 2012: The "Recent commenter" rotating feature has been stuck for SIX days. I contacted TED when I noticed it FIVE days ago. Would be nice to have it back:>)
  • Dec 14 2012: @Ladan Wise:
    By "feature on TED.com", I don't know how much of your emphasis was on TED and how much was on the ".com".

    My wish for TED: of late, TED talks seem to be all touchy-feely-ooey-gooey. I want the T back. I used to watch almost every TED talk that was posted here. These days, hardly any. I never cared much for D anyway. There is all of YouTube for E.

    My wish for ".com": I don't know what reasons you have for limiting comments to just 3 levels. If you do not wish to change that, please make a way to email us notifications whenever someone addresses us, the way I addressed you, "@Ladan Wise". When people can't write 4th-level comments, they often start a new thread, having addressed us in that manner.
  • Dec 9 2012: A sign at the entry point which reads..

    "All Opinions Are Vanity"
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    Dec 9 2012: I would like to see the only RPG element on TED developed, which is the Ted Cred system.

    It should be more accurate so that it counts the big and the 'small' points. If I have 7 'big' points right now I want to know what does it take to "level-up", i.e. I want to see where am I with my points between 7 and 8.

    It could motivate people for greater activity, and increase the general flow of ideas.

    This system has enormous potential, trust me. And it is what I came up with waiting for my first badge :)

    PS. Later, much later I would like to see people with +50 level being able to cast spells and upgrade their text - maybe use italics or bold fonts. And of course sell their 'developed' avatars for $$$
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    Dec 8 2012: 1) A field that lists related discussions that are both expired and currently active while your on a discussion page.

    2) Ability to tag specific comments to specific members that are responses or to get a members attention that isn't in the conversation, but would suggest they join the conversation by tagging their name on a comment. This tag feature can be invisible, if desired.

    3) The ability to have the website save unfinished comments when a member accidentally hits the "go back a page" button for comments/responses.

    4) Have a feature to vote for someones conversation as a feature conversation and/or to vote for its removal from a ted featured conversation.

    5) Parental filter for videos on Tedtalks.

    6) Have a notifications bar that inform users that their comments has a response, conversation was approved/disapproved, someone sent someone an email message, and others can expand on this idea.

    7) Revise, condense, clarify, and improve rules and instructions for all the different fields of Ted.com, such as ted events, ted prizes, etc.

    8) Someway better categorize or reposition "popular topics".

    9) Add a link to access tedtalks that are only on youtube and other ted supported sites.

    10) Give members, who have legitimate businesses, a field to post that they are hiring or community collaborative events of the like that is well separated and categorized.

    11) Better Quality Control on Comments for bullies and spammers.

    12) Remove the instant play on ted videos or make it optional, please.

    Thank you for taking our suggestions into consideration.
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      Dec 17 2012: 1)yes.
      2)yes.
      3)I haven't the use (just open a new window), but yes.
      4)yes!
      5)hmm, I have to say no.
      6)YEEES!
      7)As above!
      8)yes
      9)Read #6, I copy, go to Youtube, paste and click... It's very bothersome.
      10) Perhaps a Linkedin link on the profile?
      11) is there a need?
      12)Yes, I'd prefer to have Youtube embedded.
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    Dec 7 2012: Some said hereby that TED should reduce the space allowed for comments. IMO TED should not. If anybody wants to make short comments, nobody prevents him/her doing so. But I think that large space for comments is appropriate in TED forums because the issues discussed at TED are usually complex and deep. So in order to allow fruitful comments/debates/discussions, it is necessary to have large enough space.

    After all, TED's forums are not gossip forums which fill every corner of the web. In gossip forums there's usually no need for large space to comment as the comments there are mostly superficial, unlike usually at TED.
  • Dec 7 2012: The ability to queue talks, so that we can have a continuous playlist.
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    Dec 7 2012: The obvious thing is high quality talks?
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    Dec 6 2012: I'd like to see an easier way to create a playlist where I can store talks I want to see then just play that list. Much the same way the playlists that are already compiled but I want to be able to create my own easier than making a favorites list then having to go there to watch them. That is what I do now is create a playlist by favoriting each talk I want to watch later or over but it seems cumbersome and allowing someone to add talks to a playlist that is then available quickly from their profile would be awesome!
  • Dec 5 2012: I'd like to be able to make my own talk playlists!
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    Dec 5 2012: 1. An audio playlist of the talks which one can listen while browsing the internet.
    2. A Call to action tab or button at the end of each discussion where all those who participated come to a conclusion and pledge for a meaningful action
    3. A discover feature where we can post about local activists and have their voice heard. They could be also be from the current TED community just that their profile could be featured as TED local and others may join get inspired or join in the cause.
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    Gail .

    • +2
    Dec 5 2012: In addition to the thumbs up option, I would like to see a thumbs down option. It gives more information.
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      Lejan .

      • +5
      Dec 5 2012: Is gives less information as the thumbs up option does.

      A thumb up indicates agreement and its explanation becomes the rated comment itself.

      A thumb down indicates disagreement, yet gives no explanation why or any alternatives instead.

      If we agree on something we usually don't have to talk much about it anymore, because what more than mutual agreement is there to archive?. But disagreement is where a discussion, a dispute just begins to exchange facts and views, experience and beliefs. A thumb down don't encourage that, as it only indicates rejection without stating why.
      • Dec 6 2012: Then bothe the Up and down option aught to be available .....But only on the Debate column.
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          Lejan .

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          Dec 6 2012: Why 'both'? What do you need a thumb down option for? Just to disagree without furter explanation? Why? That would be nothing but anonymously destructive, don't you think?
      • Dec 6 2012: Lejan

        I made a comment / suggestion to have the Up and down ONLY on the Debate column iow not on the "Idea" column or the "Question" column. In what that suggestion provides I am actually agreeing with your "That would be nothing but anonymously destructive" point.

        Yes as far as I am concerned the "Debate" method is destructive and distractive..

        .it is "Us against them. black against white, Left against right...method ......it is the old argument that Debate fosters ideas but in this current age / and enormous electronic access -BUT with no clear and intelligent moderators administering a Debate it is just a big mess of endless opinions

        Sol...If there is going to be a Debate feature ....then it has to remain true to Debate form.......iow both the up and down Voting ( as you would see say on the BBC TV debates at the end the audience chooses a yes / no button) done at the end of a set time period. The TED debate feature is not a true Debate set-up.

        Now that I have said the above ...I suggest ....... remove the Debate column. period.
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          Dec 6 2012: I understand what you are proposing, yet especially ON the debate clumnn a non-existent 'thumbs down' feature eliminates the anonymous destructive parts of the dispute. By this we get to hear at least opinions why someone feels 'thumbs down' for something.

          I do not expect any discussion to 'foster ideas' and moderation is to keep good morals only.

          So on this we may not agree, yet we exchanged thoughts, so I 'see' you clearer now than I was able if you would have just thumbed me down ...
      • Dec 6 2012: Lejan

        re "I do not expect any discussion to 'foster ideas' and moderation is to keep good morals only.

        So on this we may not agree, yet we exchanged thoughts, so I 'see' you clearer now than I was able if you would have just thumbed me down ... "

        Yes ..and the is the "dance" we are doing to close in on an idea-though etc ...it must be recognized that "only like can apprehend like"

        This latter quote contains the root word "appa" from the Greek expression for the "Hand of the Soul. And humanknd is advancing to the Level of Consciousness when that "Appa" is more and more "Self Evident" and (returning back to the Debate subject) and the old method of Debating does not serve humankind. ((Especially when the English language is being used!!! works are easily mis-used in the English language))

        I will leave with this thought ....eventually all discussions between Humans will begin with the recognition that "All opinion is Vanity."

        Be Well Be Present
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      Lejan .

      • +1
      Dec 5 2012: I would not have learned as much as I did by your comments if you would have just used a thumb down option.
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      Dec 5 2012: TED used to have a thumbs down option, and it was misused and abused. Some folks simply thumbed down people they didn't like ALL THE TIME regardless of what the comment said. That's why TED removed it.
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      Dec 6 2012: thumbs down to that idea
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      Dec 6 2012: I say thumbs down to that idea as well!

      TED Lover,
      Example: When we had the thumbs down feature, I got 140 thumbs down within a couple of hours, from a person who had several accounts, and there was no limit on thumbs up or down. He sent me a personal e-mail saying that the reason he did it was because my comments are "too sugary". I believe there are people who would simply have a lot of fun with a thumbs down button, and I don't think it provides any valuable information.
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    Dec 5 2012: Trending New Feature for TED Talks and/or TOP TED TALKS by number of "likes".
  • Dec 5 2012: I would like to see more recipes and celebrity interviews. Maybe a crossword puzzle?
    Just kidding.

    I actually think the conversations could be broken down into more sub categories to find things that interest people. I find myself scrolling through a lot of closed conversations.
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    Dec 5 2012: Being able to link to a specific minute:second of a talk.
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    Dec 4 2012: A Chatroom
    • Dec 5 2012: Yes I agree with Maxine. It would be so useful to be able to share our thoughts and discuss with fellow TED listeners the various videos we listened to. As for myself, I just don't seem to have anyone in my circle of friends who seem to have the same interest in all of these great and insightful talks that are presented here. We need a chat room or a forum or a social media site where we can share with like minded people.
  • Dec 17 2012: The app is really great, but it should have the ability to sign in to your account. Otherwise you don't know what you've watched on your computer and can't engage in the discussions
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    Dec 17 2012: To not censor questions about the effects of banks, mining companies and aeronautical industries on our environment.
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    Dec 16 2012: I think a cool concept would be dynamic threads. Threads that could branch off into separate topics as the discussion warrants it.

    Like if we begin talking about politics...and then the discussion kind of gets away from that...I am sure you could write some php to determine that and create a new thread under that heading.

    "Bowling Balls are Cool"

    You could then, at the very least, archive these little discussions that happen within a discussion. I just think its a cool idea to think about....and definitely something cool to have on the site.


    I also think you guys should have people paying attention to the little variables in usage. What people are talking about...how they are talking about it. I think it would be cool to have the ability to see how often certain topics are coming up...and how many likes these specific opinions are getting.

    Another cool thing would be "debates" where two people could go head to head...or groups could be formed on the site. You could allow people to create groups with names and a little picture to represent their group. They could then create their own topics for discussion based on their groups ideas. Other groups or individuals could then challenge these ideas in open or "challenged" debate.

    The groups could be devided into different areas or generalized to cover anything. So you could have political groups...groups that focus on education....things like that.
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    Dec 14 2012: Un suspend Debra Smith's account, it says temporarily yet it has been months? WTF?
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      Dec 14 2012: OMG! What happened to Debra? I thought she was just busy lately...
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    Dec 12 2012: I would find it usuful if everytime I did find a comment or even a full conversation helpful or interesting that this could be saved somewhere in my profile for me to be able to refer to it at other times. In addition, sometimes I find an interesting debate or talk but have no time at that particular moment to read through it or watch it, unless they are being featured at the main pages, it's very difficult to find these later so it would be very helpful if there was a watch later list or read later list available.
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    Dec 12 2012: Live broadcast multi-way video chats with a topic, a panel of experts, and support for audio-only callers. Record the show, edit, and post.
  • Dec 11 2012: How about crowdfunding? Great ideas, backed by the community! Only Global please, no US, UK only as with Kickstarter...
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      Dec 11 2012: You do know you have other alternatives to Kickstarter like Indiegogo that aren't limited to the US and the UK right?!?
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    Gail .

    • +1
    Dec 11 2012: I would very much like to see "Recently Added" restored to the conversations. I can't understand how removing that link improves TED.
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    Dec 9 2012: Another thing would be a preview place to where you could see your text before posting it.
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    Dec 9 2012: What is the purpose of a "recent commenters", if they aren't really recent at all? It should be renamed, like maybe "interesting comments" or "noteworthy comments" or "a bunch of random peoples comments are listed here and maybe you will take a look at it" or...you get the picture.
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      Dec 17 2012: It gets stuck every now and then, it's supposed to be recent... crappy coding I think... I've emailed about this a couple of times...
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    Dec 9 2012: Ladan, I know I am in the minority but out of respect for the few TED members that still believe in God .... could you possiably edit POPULAR TOPICS and spell god with a capital G.

    Thank you. Bob.
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      Dec 9 2012: maybe we really need the thumbs down back
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        Dec 10 2012: :-q
      • Dec 10 2012: You're attitude has been noticed, not by me... but God.

        You wanna play with the big boys, you're gonna need more than 200 points :)
      • Dec 11 2012: I think TED should consider that seriously.

        Thumbs down was a bit more of a contact sport. I do miss some of the dynamics of the old days. Thumbs down had a cleansing affect on comments and perhaps stimulates a little more tension, but that can be inspiring. I do miss some of the drop outs. Perhaps a member should only be able to activate a thumbs down when they have positive points in their score with TED.

        Also if a member has a posting pulled there would be an an automatic no thumbs down option for ten days or something like that. TED does need to keep things civil.
      • Dec 13 2012: Regarding your response to me,

        Oops, didn't mean to spring off a position that wasn't there, but I still think there is value in feedback with thumbs up and thumbs down. Thumbs up only tips the scales to artificially favor a marketer, a patronizer, a talk or comment that is more politically correct, etc., at the expense of those of us less impressed, but unwilling to become petty.
    • Dec 13 2012: @Robert: It looks like you don't know the difference between God and god. They are related, but different words.

      The Abrahamic religions have one god, whose name happens to be "God". Therefore, God is still a god. Other religions have several gods, and none of them is called God. They have names like Vishnu, Thor, etc. I know it is confusing, but whose fault is that? ;-)

      Spelling it with a capital G would give the impression that the conversation is only about Abrahamic gods.
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      Dec 17 2012: Well, if we consider it to be a name it should be in upper case...
      However I'm quite satisfied with the lower case solution.
  • Dec 8 2012: I would still (as in the previous topic on what I'd like to have added to ted) see a much better comment posting system.

    It is rediculous that you can only reply till 4 levels deep, and it is silly that I can't "summarize threads" so that all of it's replies will be under a [+] / 'more' button.
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    Dec 8 2012: Ted already has in "conversations" the category of "idea", "question", and "debate".

    I suggest we add a new category called "action", as in what you believe needs to have a call to action or awareness upon something missed in the world that you feel is some type of injustice.
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    Dec 7 2012: A suggestion about translated talks.
    Presently even the translated talks (with subtitles) appear in their specific lists exactly in the same chronological order as the original English talks. This order is determined by the dates of the talks' original posting with English transcription on TED.com. But IMO, each translated talk should appear in each language's specific list by the order of it's translation date. Because those who need the translations are waiting for the talks to get translated and for them when the talk gets translated is like the talk was posted only then. They need to know, when they open the list of their specific language subtitled talks, which talks had been translated most recently so they can find them easily for watching.
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    Dec 7 2012: i also would like to get rid of this "option" that some people does not have profile page. it makes sense to make the comments private, or the favorite talks private, but the name and the profile pic should always be visible, since it is visible in the comment as well, no reason to hide.
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    Dec 6 2012: I use the bio as a indicator to better form an answer. Lately more and more people are just giving a name and no location. Since joining is a voluntary thing I think that a minimum of information would be desirable.

    I enjoy discussions on education and a comment on how to make education in "my country" better has no meaning if I cannot find out what country you are talking about. In many discussions a more direct answer could be given knowning the area of the world you reference.

    Some below state there are many members with more than one idenity. Can that be identified and if so can it be stopped?

    Since I am in the 5% majority I DO NOT think that bringing the thumbs down back is a good idea. The 95% minority athiests and super liberals would wear this out on us good guys. Yeah I sorta like the discussiions with them and have high hopes of educating them to the real world. So far no conversions. LOL.

    Thanks. Bob.
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      Dec 6 2012: I agree Robert that any information about other users is very helpful in formulating your answers or questions. Knowing someone isn't a native english speaker or knowing they have grown up in a very different situation to your own is helpful in interpreting the finer meanings that are lost without facial expressions and intonations.
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    Dec 6 2012: How about a "Add a link"-feature for each talk where you can contribute to a collection of links that help users to research on the topic. I know it might be problematic and imply some legal issues. It needs to be curated.

    But I think it could be great to have a possibility to share links whenever you find something useful and interesting that is connected to a specific talk: newspaper articles, blog posts, online classes, projects ... Also in different languages.
  • Comment deleted

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      Dec 17 2012: Yes, I don't think that any speaker would disapprove of that ;)

      (I'm editing, how about adding basic smileys?)
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    Dec 6 2012: Ted community opinion polls.
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      Dec 6 2012: My "opinion" dear Rafi, is that it is nice to see you again:>)
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        Dec 8 2012: Nice to see you too.

        You are continuously contributing to TED, I appreciate that.
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          Dec 8 2012: Thanks Rafi....haven't seen you for awhile....missed you because I appreciate your contributions as well:>)
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      Dec 17 2012: I would vote "yes" to this.
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    Dec 6 2012: I suggest TED consider organizing monthly theme conferences in a one day events on specific topics ie ending hunger, ending war, ending disease, going green globally, reducing violence, improving education, meeting the Millenium goals. The speakers may come from multidisciplinary fields but all focus on solving one particular type of problem that we all face. I suggest TED allow TEDx organizers to focus on a specific topic as well rather than just broad themes. Ted should consider organizing a TED in each nation. TEDX organizers should be allowed to give at least one tedx talk of their own in their own event, Ted X organizers should be allowed to make at least a reasonable profit for their effort at organizing the event as it will take their time to put it together. More people should be allowed to participate in a tedx as only 100 are allowed now if the organizer did not attend a ted. Speakers should be allowed to mention their specific projects and a link to them could be made so listeners can get more information. TED may want to allow TED Audiences to have an opportunity to each give a TED Talk of their own by arranging for many video booths where the audience members during breaks or before or after the conferences can go and upload their own talk and if it is good it can be aired on a TEDXAudienceSpeaksOut as well. I am sure the TED Audience has alot of great ideas to say. Ted should allow people to order a cassett of TED Talks whereby they can select as many Talks as they like and then the video or audio cassette can be mailed to them. Release talks on Audible.com
  • Dec 6 2012: Connect to and Cross -Reference to the current higher Publications such as Scientific American, Science , Economist so that the presenters have current content
    • Comment deleted

      • Dec 6 2012: Yes Thank You

        for adding these, their standards are what is western science journals to improve their content. And your use of the term "rigour" makes me smile!!
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    Dec 6 2012: An instant messenger, friends list... Go semi-social network.
  • Comment deleted

    • Dec 6 2012: So Very AGREE
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      Dec 7 2012: Mike - agree with all but your comment about "off the cuff opinion"

      Sometimes off the cuff opinion can contain intuitive insights supporting the topic, giving the debate a dynamic feel.

      If everything has to be evidenced with links, the topic is less likely to move forward into pioneering territory.
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    Dec 5 2012: I don't know whether this counts as a new feature, but I think the tags list could be reviewed and updated for improved indexing of talks. For example, people ask all the time in Conversations for recommendations of talks on a subject, or ideas on a subject, and I head over to the tags so as to know whether I can write, "Have you checked the tags list for talks on your topic?" But I find the tag the questioner needs is not there.

    An example from yesterday is that someone opened a conversation on a very frequently asked topic- how to motivate people... I am surprised that Motivation is not a tag, as we have quite a number of talks in that category.

    What I really hope you don't do as a new option is to reinstate the thumbs down. I have little experience on sites with thumbs up and thumbs down, but the one I have used a very little bit with a thumbs down feature suggests to me that it detracts rather than adds value. I have participated here for only about six months, so I don't know what it was like when you had a thumbs down feature here.
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    Lejan .

    • +1
    Dec 4 2012: The 'add next feature' button ... ;o)

    Even though TED talks are videos, I often just 'listen' to them while working at my desk, and it would be a great feature to have some sort of an

    'auto play - auto shuffle'

    mode for continuous random surprises, so I came finally to fall asleep even over TED talks one day and they could sink in deep into my subconsciousness during the night while busting your server capacity ... :o)

    Yet as they are random anyway, they may just send 'loopthrough' stream-data of demanded videos by other worldwide viewers, so that the server capacity stays almost unaffected by this feature. Sudden stops of course inclusive and so a random restart.
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    Dec 18 2012: Watching yesterdays TED Talk, I'd really like to suggest using TopCoder to come up with solutions for our common problems.

    "TopCoder is the world’s largest platform for digital open innovation. We provide the platform and a community of over 425,000 global members to accelerate the development of new digital products and services for our clients – Fortune 1000 enterprises, small and mid-sized businesses and government agencies."

    http://www.topcoder.com/whatiseoi/
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    Dec 17 2012: I suggest categorizing all suggestions! (this suggestion would go under "organisation/structure" or "other")
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    Dec 17 2012: Make a volunteer section for TED.com, we're all kindhearted people here that truly wish to understand and help others, make it location and web based.

    Sorry for exceeding my comment limit... I'll stop now...
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    Dec 17 2012: Since I don't count my previous comment as a suggestion for a feature, I'd like to purpose this:

    Make an Open-Source/Coding section on TED.com
    There are so many great ideas in Conversations and comments that require digital assistance to be realized.
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    Dec 17 2012: It's been suggesTED but I'll do it once more since you may be listening this time.

    I'd like you (read team) to go through all the good ideas that spur from these two conversations!
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/2456/do_you_have_a_suggestion_for_t.html
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/1818/leave_one_idea_for_improving_t.html

    I've emailed about this, started conversations spread it in other places then TED and so on and so on.

    As you may notice I'm quite angry that all the ideas that sprung from these conversations never were implemented or got any feedback. I can take the lack of implementation but the the total lack of feedback is... not very TEDish, and that deeply disappoints me.

    I even tried getting in touch with Chris Anderson (because of the complete lack of feedback) but I haven't his phone number (in his "email charter" he said to call if the email was too long) and you can't contact him through Facebook since the message function is disabled... And as I'm writing this I realize that I haven't emailed him through TED.com... but I'm quite sure that that option wasn't available back when I last tried to encourage TED to be all that it could be...

    Anyhow, while my adrenalin is slowly depleting I'd like to give this advice: Give feedback to everyone that has taken their time and put so much effort into help building TED...

    And please don't delete this comment because it's uncomfortable.

    P.S Great conversation!
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      Dec 17 2012: Hi Jimmy

      Sorry you're so frustrated! I assure you that the TED team (despite its small size) works really hard and tries to be as responsive as possible.

      As you can imagine, its pretty hard to respond to every single suggestion people share - even when we solicit ideas.

      Some of the ideas here will go into future design changes; some of them won't for a lot of reasons. But they are all read and considered alongside all the various priorities and demands and ideas.

      I hope you continue to share any ideas, if you have them.

      Thanks
      Ladan
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        Dec 17 2012: I get that you're a small team ( that's also something I would like to know more about, what goes on behind the scenes?)

        But

        Can't we just put together a vast voluntary team to help build TED, wouldn't that be that be the best solution?
  • Dec 10 2012: Please design in a keyboard shortcut for going to full-screen display of talks.
    Very useful for multi-screen set-up when the mouse is a ways away.
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    Dec 10 2012: What if instead of adding a thumbs down feature, we add a "?"(question mark) feature that would show the commenter that readers are confused and don't understand. Maybe it could be the comment didn't make sense or the comment was too complex for general understanding.
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      Dec 17 2012: They had that like two year ago I think... I believe the problem with down-votes is the potential of negativity spreading... I prefer it this way...
  • Dec 9 2012: Make the entire video screen clickable, so it would be easier to pause the videos. Also, make the videos constant bitrate, because its uber annoying when the player auto switches to a lower stream whenever I switch to another tab.
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    Dec 7 2012: Invention criticism board, or just a picture insertion for the ideas and what not. Because sometimes it is hard to put an idea into words
  • Dec 7 2012: Fritzie, a good question, wheres is the tangible value. But it's from an economic perspective. It assumes that everything we do in life, has, or has to have, a fiscal basis.

    Think about that, what's the value in love? or having children? From a purely economic basis a child is a cost, so basing one life on purely tangible value, the man should walk as soon as the lady is pregnant. As in purely economic terms you're externalizing the cost of life. And ask any CEO, isn't that what they do externalize costs, so why doesn't everyone?

    But we don't all think that way, someone I've met has given free education, regardless of color, creed or country to over 300,000 people, whom he probably will never meet. He makes no money (a tangible value) from it. So why would he do it. Where's the tangible value, in making other peoples lives better?

    What is tangible value? The Wahhabi where not drilling for oil in the 1930's? Because in the desert is has no value, only to others did it have tangible value.

    An example that again connects economics and value to a persons life and to democracy. India was governed by Britain, but many didn't want that, they wanted to govern themselves, but realistically what's the difference? Someone else is just going to be in that job, the job itself still exists, the function of the job is the same. So why bother?

    Yet Gandhi, faced prison, starvation, hate, to achieve that goal, but what was the value, he owned nothing, no house, no car, no property of any kind, and yet millions from around the globe came to his funeral. Value?

    People do not always do things for value I think that one lesson economics fails to teach us.

    In summary the reason for people making comments that only gain points is really a question about the psychological makeup, not only of the individual, but of the species as a whole. To paraphrase Hamlet, "There are more reasons in heaven and earth, Horatio. Than are dreamt of in one philosophy." ...I know, I know not them all.
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      Dec 7 2012: I don't think of value in a monetary sense. Even in economics, the construct is 'utility," which is not monetary value.That each of us has values is not controversial.
      That most of us place the greatest value on things with no financial dimension is not controversial either and needs no explanation.
      What I don't understand is the assumption that little pluses or points on a website have enough value to anyone to cause them to express ideas that they don't really hold to. I understand that human psychology would be involved, but it is hard for me to believe that little pluses would weigh so heavily to more than a trivial number of people that they would sacrifice their integrity to gain them.
      • Dec 15 2012: The Antonym of Integrity is Vanity.

        See the church with all their pretty colors, see all the stars and stripes that is the military.

        Vanity thy name is man.
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      Dec 7 2012: Lilja,
      I tried to access your profile to see how long you have been active with TED, and it is not available. I've been involved for about 3 years, and my perception, is that TED is very responsive to change when/if the TED community expresses a need or desire for change. There have been quite a few changes that I am aware of BECAUSE of feedback from participants. I also feel that TED has been very clear about what their plan and goals are.....creating a forum for ideas worth sharing. If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. It does not help to simply criticize without offering helpful feedback.
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          Dec 7 2012: Thanks Lilja!
          I totally agree...what goes around comes around....well said. Also totally agree that thinking outside the box is not rocket science....that's exactly why I like thinking outside the box...thanks for noticing:>)

          I don't agree with the "for us" or "against us" idea....especially here on TED...we're all in it together....or not....it's a choice:>)
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          Dec 7 2012: why do i have the feeling that we have the same troll back again
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        Dec 17 2012: I don't find TED very responsive Colleen, please read my comment http://www.ted.com/conversations/15307/what_one_feature_would_you_lov.html?c=575653
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          Dec 17 2012: Hi Jimmy,
          I read your comment, and agree with some of what you write. In my experience with TED, they are not as prompt as I would like to see, and they DO respond.......eventually.

          Were you in the group of people who got together a couple years ago, made a list of possible improvements and submitted it to TED? Perhaps that was before you came on TED? Those suggestions were implemented, and my sense, is that because TED is a community, they want to have ideas supported by a group of people, and perhaps it needs to be more organized for them to take notice?

          When we did that before, one person organized a page where some of the "regulars" at the time, could write their suggestions. The list was refined several times until we felt that it was a good reasonable request, supported by a number of people, and we submitted it to TED....those suggestions were implemented. It took time and patience:>)

          Jimmy, I can feel your frustration at times, and I relate to it. I have gotten frustrated with TED at times as well, left, came back, etc. You probably know one of my favorite philosophies by now...if I'm not part of the solution, I'm part of the probelm:>) I think I understand what TED is trying to do (respectfully sharing ideas with people around our world) and I want to be a part of it. I also know that sometimes, what we want to achieve, takes patience. If we really want it, we will continue to create what we want.....make any sense?
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        Dec 17 2012: Yes, I understand fully Colleen ;-)
        Still, my understanding of the issues and processes that are and aren't taking place doesn't fully suppress (or soothe) my frustration at times.
        Some of the things I'd like to know are: How big is the team, what is their workload and are they doing an adequate job in that sense (right now we take it on good faith, I'd like more transparency)?

        There are THOUSANDS of bright good people with all kinds of skills who would divulge themselves into working freely for TED if they got that option. At the moment TED doesn't really view this as a potential resources or if they do TED has a very bad way of managing those resources.

        I have, for example offered to do much more for TED at numerous times, if they just told me what needs to be done (and if I knew that it had effect) I would be on it most of my spare time...
        I don't think that I'm alone in this... This is TEDs greatest weakness - not using the potential it has.
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          Dec 17 2012: You are not alone in offering help Jimmy...I have done so as well. I agree that TED might be able to use some of us to support the effort:>)
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          Dec 17 2012: Here is what I found just by clicking on the link to TED Staff.

          http://www.ted.com/pages/staff

          You can count them up by function!
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          Dec 17 2012: Nice job Fritzie....thanks:>)
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          Dec 17 2012: Colleen and Jimmy,
          I think everyone IS helping who interacts constructively and respectfully here. Thoughtful participation makes other thoughtful people interested and comfortable to air their ideas here and to continue to develop this as a community of interacting thinkers.And that is a meaningful contribution!

          I understand from volunteering with a number of organizations that they need to think carefully about how they use volunteers and how many they use. On the volunteer end or potential volunteer end, it can be hard sometimes to appreciate the organizational effort and resources that can go into coordinating a volunteer force of any size.

          When TED staff opens a discussion like this one, they are seeking help from the community and those who respond are by that fact volunteering their input.
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          Dec 18 2012: Good points Fritzie,
          I agree that everyone who interacts constructively and respectfully are indeed contributing. I also understand from volunteering with several organizations, that it is sometimes difficult to determine how some volunteers can help. Sometimes, I had to be involved with the organization for awhile before they evaluated what I was capable of doing....or not:>) I found that with time spent in an organization, my tasks "grew"....LOL!

          I also served as a volunteer coordinator for United Way for a couple years, and it is challenging sometimes to match people and their skills with volunteer jobs that are needed. Generally, once a person understands the goal of the organization, has shown him/herself to be responsible, dependable, and genuinely interested in a good outcome, s/he can usually fit into many different slots to help fill the needs of the organization:>)
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          Dec 18 2012: Hi, Jimmy. Of course I can agree or disagree with you or anyone. I express myself here just as I speak in any context of discourse within a diverse community.
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        Dec 18 2012: Fritzie, Colleen,

        Yes, naturally I agree that all (constructive) contributions are helping in building TED!
        Still I'm not satisfied ^^

        Because the way I view it, there is ALWAYS a gain if you organize the volunteers in a good way. Now if you've spent more time organizing the volunteers then the time the volunteers actually contribute, well, that's just really bad planning.

        "When TED staff opens a discussion like this one, they are seeking help from the community and those who respond are by that fact volunteering their input." - How about picking a crowd to assess this information for you?

        "Generally, once a person understands the goal of the organization, has shown him/herself to be responsible, dependable, and genuinely interested in a good outcome, s/he can usually fit into many different slots to help fill the needs of the organization:>)" - You Colleen are such a person for TED! But you're not placed in any other slot then the majority of people, even though you've asked to. That's bad resource management.

        Fritzie, can I ask you this. As a TED host, do you feel free to (constructively and openly) criticize TED, do you feel that you can agree with me, without negative consequences, if you did? Or do you have a policy that prevents you from this?

        Anyhow, watching yesterdays TED Talk I got really inspired by "TopCoder", you guys should check them out!
        http://www.topcoder.com/whatiseoi/
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      Dec 8 2012: Hi Lilja

      I understand your concerns. However, in product development, it is not useful to ask users what new features they would wish to see on the website while simultaneously limiting them them to the plans we already been thinking about.

      While we won't implement every single suggestion, but asking people what their ONE priority change/idea is, allows us to see the direction this community's appetites lie.

      Many of the greatest additions to TED.com have come from ideas gleaned from the community and we are committed to allowing our users to have a voice. However, ultimately many factors go into deciding what we develop next - whether it be a new feature, like playlists, or enhanced features like the new video player.

      thanks for your input.
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        Dec 17 2012: Hi Ladan,

        Much of it is about fixing the small stuff, making TED generally better... Many of the new "features" requested are basically requests to make TED (and I'm really sorry for this) less stupid...
  • Dec 6 2012: I'd like to see TED become more of a democracy, because as of now is isn't. To get there you don't need to add you need to subtract.

    You need to subtract these 'points', ask yourself, is anyone's opinion worth more, just because they have a more popularist viewpoint, which is shown for all to see. Is this not a world that 'we the people' need to be seen on an equal footing with every other individual, or are TED just going to follow in the footsteps of "some people are more equal than others."

    And from what I've seen on here, which is sad, I freely admit, people verbalize not what they think, but just what will, they believe, get them more points. I don't believe that was ever TED's intentions, but this mechanism has put that option in place.

    I'd also remove the thumbs up and count, again its a mechanism for people, just because it's 'easier', to opt out of adding their true voice, to opt out of thinking deeper, to opt out of being part of this community.

    I know this wont be popular, trust me i know, if there was a thumbs down this would get it, people don't want to give up perceived value, to those I ask, is that what really defines you. From my perspective, I can tell you that I look at the comments, points or no, I value that opinion just as much as mine or anyone else's, is you do the same you'll understand that there is no need.

    We all have our own perspectives, we all have our own experiences, we can all contribute, no one voice should be deemed of more value than others, and maybe it would be a better world if we all practiced that, and what better place than TED.

    If there is anything I seen here on TED, its that, the voice of presenters speaking for those oppressed in society who have no voice.

    I think TED should lead the way in understanding that, and act accordingly, by making all TED citizens equal.

    I feel that's a ideal worth sharing.
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      Dec 7 2012: I don't think you would get a thumbs down. Others in the comments below made the same suggestion of getting rid of points, though not connecting that recommendation to democracy.

      I have to say, I don't care about points, not in evaluating the likely merit of a speaker's comments or in making my own. When I think about people here who participate a lot, I believe that what they offer here are their authentic views.

      Why would you think that thoughtful adults would decide what to say on a discussion board by considering the points they might earn, points that don't translate into anything of tangible value?
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    Dec 6 2012: All TED functionality on the desktop site added to the iPad app. Or is it there already and I just haven't found it?
    • Dec 7 2012: Bill

      there is a free TED app for iPhone...I noticed it when I prep'd my the iphone5 ...I didn't load it.... nor am I ever going too!! but it is there
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        Dec 7 2012: There's one for iPad, my device, as well, but as near as I can tell it only provides access to talks.
        • Dec 8 2012: and you are probably right....
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          Dec 17 2012: Yes, I haven't been able to find any other app for anything except Talks (with bonus features)... And I've been looking! Am learning how to code at the moment, It'll probably go faster for me to do it myself then wait for someone else to do it...
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    Dec 6 2012: I laughed my head off when i saw a review of a soon to be released smart phone but a commenter did say once that they should have one out soon and sure enough there it was. A facebook phone to be released next year sometime.

    A Tedphone?

    I endorse Kriztians comments, they're better.
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      Dec 17 2012: Basically all TED merchandise would be welcome I think. I'd but the pin and the hoodie and the EVERYTHING!
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    Dec 6 2012: okay more

    to the topic list, add "last comment time", "last commenter" info.

    put back the "recently commented" option
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      Dec 6 2012: Krisztián,
      I agree with fixing the "recent commenters" feature!

      What do you mean by..."to the topic list, add "last comment time", "last commenter" info".
      I don't understand that, and I'm curious:>)
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        Dec 6 2012: you see the list of the conversations. how do you know if somebody wrote something since the last time you checked? the only indicator now is the number of comments, but who remembers that? but if i see my own name as last commenter, no reason to open it up. also if i see the last comment time is like 5 hours ago, no need to check.

        there are better solutions, but honestly, i don't think TED programmers can implement them. they are not too good.
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    Dec 6 2012: i don't know how, but you folks need to get rid of this max-3-level-of-replies limitation.
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      Dec 6 2012: Do you really think adding more opportunity to create longer comments is helpful? Some folks will fill as much space as they can....we already have people who do continuations of comments several times! I like the limitations:>) One thing I LOVE about you Krisztián, is your short, to the point comments:>)
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        Dec 6 2012: at the same time, character limit can be shrunk to 300 :)
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          Dec 6 2012: Oh....I see! It's ok with me....character limitations cause us to be more creative and to the point with comments:>)
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    Dec 6 2012: Give the option to have little square buttons at the bottom of a reply post, button gadgets that will be included in the post to alert people that the post is either a "Opinion" or "Description of subject" or " Please Elaborate more".

    I've tried to get you guys to kill my TedCred badge for ages.

    How about a comment link dropbox from a talks own pages comments when a submitter adds in a talks link in their Q/idea/debate?

    Don't bring back the thumbs down, too many agendists on the planet already.
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      Dec 6 2012: Hi Ken,
      Awhile ago, when TED was redesigning the TEDcred system, I strongly requested that the TEDcred be dropped, because the thumbs up was just as manipulated and abused as the thumbs down. Many MORE people wanted the TEDcred than those who did not want it, so TED redesigned it to keep thumbs up, which more people wanted, did away with thumbs down, and apparently redesigned the system so it could not be manipulated.

      I wholeheartedly agree...too many agendists on the planet....well said!
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        Dec 7 2012: Is that why i see some commenters state they are out of thumbs up? How many do we get?

        Nice to see you Colleen, i have'nt been on much lately, bizzy busy with the mad end of year rush that seems to infect people everywhere, strange how we humans see the year as a closing door when we should just see the seasons changing, then we wouldn't rush so much.
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          Dec 7 2012: Nice to "see" you too Ken. I often read your comments, and we haven't been in a conversation together for quite some time. I choose NOT to be "infected" with any mad rush anytime. I love the change of seasons throughout the year, and I just do my thing....whatever that may be:>) We were skiing last week, then it warmed up, and we lost a lot of snow, now it's colder again and the ski areas are "mad rushing" to make snow for the holiday season.

          I don't know how many thumbs up we get...I only know that if I give a certain person a number of thumbs up within a certain time frame, a screen pops up and says I've maxed out for that person for awhile....a week maybe? That was part of the redesign of the thumbs up feature....now there is a limit, whereas there used to be no limit, and that is how it was abused. I think TED is very responsive to the challenges that pop up on this forum, and the desires of the "community" when expressed.
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    Dec 6 2012: TED should allow people to upload a talk on a topic from their own home either with a tedxhometalk sign that can be gotten if a license to film their own talk is granted. I would appreciate if Ted would allow viewers to preselect more than 1 talk at a time to be placed on a list so when 1 finishes automatically the next one starts rather than having to wait for a talk to complete before the next talk is selected. I suggest Ted Organize a TED GLOBAL Peace Conference every year on 9/21 on the International Day of Peace and invite world leaders and people from all disciplines to come together from all around the world to plan how humanity can build consensus for world peace. I would like to speak at a TED Conference building upon Jeremy Gilleys Ted Talk Called One Day Of Peace. I would like to speak at a TED Conference inviting all world leaders and all non state combatant leaders to come together and sign a National and International Treaty for a global Truce and a global cease fire. At A TED Conference I would like to invite all world leaders and non state combatant force commanders to simultaneously command their forces to cease fire for one year in an annually renewable cease fire. TED can be instrumental at spreading a message of how to attain and strengthen the peace by reaching out to people in the peace building field and inviting them to speak at TED and TED Global events. TED MED can also invite people to speak on how mental illness contributes to war and conflict in society and how we can treat this better. I request TED Post all the previous TED conferences on the WEB so we can see them just as they were not just a few talks from each year. TED should reach out to be aired on more national TV, Radio and Movies to attain a larger audience. If The TED, TED Global and TED MED are televised live on a major network or even just a few talks if they do not have such a large block of time to devote only to TED it will still help spread the word faster.
  • Dec 6 2012: Thanks for asking.

    I have a lot of favourite talks and I would love to be able to sort them into files.

    Keep up the good work!
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      Dec 6 2012: Cara,
      Are you aware that you can "favorite" a talk (the option is right under the video) and it goes into your profile file? Or are you looking for a more refined file?
      • Dec 6 2012: Thanks, Colleen, I have used this option and now, within my favorites, I would like to be able to keep them organized, likely by topic.
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    Dec 6 2012: Is the staggered comment thing new? If so I like it if not never mind
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    Dec 5 2012: Loving the suggestions so far -- just a reminder that we are looking for ideas for ALL of TED.com, not just the conversations section!
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    Dec 5 2012: A Massive-scale online collaboration section, for starters a transcription section.
    Using “Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration” talk as inspiration, start with a way for TED posters to suggest and add scans of historical documents.
    Example documents form Tomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, etc and I say any pre-1700 document.
    Then have it so we could transcribe them, I for one would enjoy the mental exercise of doing the transcribing and feel good for add to the common good.

    I unlike recaptcha I would hope we could see the whole document and select an area of interest. (Like 1630’s ship manifest or 1920s newspapers)
  • Dec 5 2012: Make the TED Books available on computer.If that is already came ture,make people notice it.
  • Dec 5 2012: How about a feature that focuss more on individual problems,
    one can post problems in his/her life ,and others can try to give advice

    For example ,one has a need for some products that haven't come to existance yet, he can post this problem here,
    and perhaps come good ideas
    • Dec 6 2012: I second this. There is also a need for people who have solved problems to explain the process, so that those facing the same in maybe a slightly different environment can benefit from it. Some speakers have done so in the past, but not from this angle, rather as an independent achievement and not as a solution process which can be utilized in similar scenarios.

      Some problems are common to different communities in different parts of the world. Each can learn from theo others success and failures.
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    Dec 4 2012: A thumbs down feature

    be able to upload pictures to posts

    comments in reference to your comments made on the talks does not tell you that they have been posted like the conversations

    a way for posts to go beyond the 3rd level so that it is easier to follow what the post is in reference to

    a way to turn off post made by someone who is tiresome

    zombie emoticons

    animated zombie avatars
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      Dec 5 2012: Let me assist you in boiling your list down into a 'ONE loved' feature which was actually asked for:


      A like-minded filter setting option.


      Pictures are linkable and 4th level comments unlikely to happen on this setting anyway... ;o)
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        Dec 5 2012: If I used that filter it would have to take me to another site...
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          Dec 5 2012: ... so?

          Don't you think that those 'icons of mass-degradation' are likely to have the same effect on other TEDsters too?

          Your craving for zombies is what Blizzard Entertainment is breast-feeding for a buck and if you are interested, I will send you a link to their webpage.
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        Dec 5 2012: The Zombies I'm referring to are right here on TED
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          Dec 5 2012: I konw that you feel this way, Pat, but are you spraypainting all your horror 'findings' in real life too? Your metonymy is capable enough to make your mindset clear to others about your personal perception here on TED. And if you think it isn't you can always use emoticons instead:

          http://www.chatslang.com/emoticon/zombie
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          Dec 5 2012: I did not find any 'attack poodle' emoticon, so I guess I have to get in touch in 'words only' conversation on my personal findings... :o)
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        Dec 5 2012: Says the individual who used a cat as his picture...
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          Dec 5 2012: What is wrong with cats and what is your connection to what I was referring to?
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      Dec 5 2012: "a way to turn off post made by someone who is tiresome" C'mon Pat that would just make it boring. I see your tan wore off.