Chetan Pinto

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Does the current TED Talk tagging system fully reflect the highly inter-disciplinary nature of Ted talks? Does it require social tagging?

I strongly believe that a siloed approach to classifying topics should not have a place at a forum like TED.

I was checking out Atul Gawande’s talk on TED I was surprised to see that it was tagged under health and surgery. If you read Atul Gawnde’s book ‘The Checklist Manifesto’ you would find these tags don’t fully reflect the main idea. Atul Gawande is essentially talking about systems thinking in his book like in his talk and he has drawn insights from sources as unrelated as aviation and construction to streamline surgical procedures in the form of checklists.
I believe the current tagging system will need some changes to reflect not just the themes of the talk but the approaches that make the talks so motivating. In Atul Gawande’s case it seems to be System’s Thinking and it’s benefits.
In fact a social tagging layer can be created where users decide if they found the current tags appropriate and if they have any other suggestions which they write down below the main tags.

They could choose from an extended list of areas or suggest one new social tag.
I agree it may not be able to implement this thing fully. But if TED conversations work as a social platform so can tagging.

I’d venture so far as to propose a new navigation mode to browse through TED talks which we could call ‘Serendipity mode’ or ‘Discovery mode’?

The new way of tagging and navigation could create more scope for idea generation, serendipitous discovery, creative thinking and problem solving.
Isn’t TED all about these values?

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    Feb 4 2013: You're right. TED's truly innovative. I truly feel TED - Ed initiative to flip videos is going to take on Khanacademy. I've mentioned it on my blog too. That's why I've also mentioned the social tagging initiative it could look at. As far as tagging Atul Gawande's talk goes, TED most definitley has missed the point though! Sorry to disagree there. It's clear from his talk, if you aren't convinced.
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    Feb 2 2013: When about a month ago TED staff asked the community for suggestions about how to improve the site, I mentionned that the tags index could be improved.

    Other people raised other things.

    When you ask "isn't TED all about these values?" it is as if you believe TED deliberately chooses not to have a thorough system of tagging talks for all the themes you might find in them. I would propose instead that the staff here are always adding new features to to bring content to users in useful ways and just cannot do every better or great thing all at once. It isn't a matter of not being true to professed values.
  • Feb 2 2013: Any system can be improved I prefer wartching ted to such concerns.