TED Conversations

Chris Anderson

Curator, TED


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Should anyone be able to upload their TEDTalk to TED.com?

YES: because there are thousands of invisible geniuses out there. Let's bring their wisdom to the world! The TED crowd will quickly vote up the good ones.

NO: it will plunge the site into an ocean of mediocrity. The best thing about TED.com is that it's curated. Every talk is good. Don't turn it into youtube

Topics: ideas innovation

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    Feb 17 2011: I am inclined to say no, though with th caveat that it may happen anyway. One thing I have noticed after taking up the job of being a TEDx Organizer and seeing the larger community behind the scenes it occurs to me that there will come a time when the amount of TEDx content will begin to eclipse the original TED content, if it hasn't already. The way that TEDx content bleeds into the system is similar to people adding their own videos but the major difference, and what I love about the format, is that it takes a community to get it there. The fact that it is still a TED style talk is what ties them together and should always be a part of the requirements. It would not bother me much if a video had terrible audio and video quality and was shot on a shaky hand held camera but I would demand that it was 18 minutes and in front of an audience of an audience. Beyond that I really would not care who was giving the talk or what it was about. I think everyone should have the ability to give a TED talk but it would have to be a TED talk.

    I am also wary of online communities that are based on mass voting systems to determine what is good or bad. In my experience, which is admittedly anecdotal, they tend to form hive mind opinions that begin to reflect the preconceived notions that the community already had. TED's following may be large and diverse enough to avoid this but it is a possibility.
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      Feb 17 2011: What is this requirement that the talk should have an audience? I realize the "E' in TED stands for entertainment, but a thoughtful presentation does not require an audience or an entertainment aspect. There are surely brilliant but solitary and shy individuals that would not have the means to gather mandatory warm bodies for a presentation.

      Musician's often require energy from the audience in order to perform at their best. But the presentation of ideas should not be constrained by such structures, and an audience need not be present in order to appreciate an idea.
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        Feb 22 2011: I guess it is my way of distinguishing it from youtube. I feel a lot of the passion and impact that TED Talks have would be lost if it was just one person talking into a webcam. Maybe it doesn't specifically require an audience but I feel it should at least be designed as if it did.

        I understand a lot of the arguments made here are advocating that the current TED format may leave out some great minds and ideas but that will happen anyway, with nigh 7 billion people in the world. What distinguishes TED to me is not so much the curation and success of its speakers, though that certainly is a part of it, but the format in which the ideas are presented.

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