Chris Anderson

Curator, TED

This conversation is closed.

Should anyone be able to upload their TEDTalk to

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 is that it's curated. Every talk is good. Don't turn it into youtube

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    Feb 25 2011: Mayhaps people could mark their YouTube videos as "TED Talk" and TED, if it chooses, could sort them out from there?
  • Feb 11 2011: I think this has potential if you made two adjustments:

    1) Clearly differentiated the publicly submitted section of TEDTalks
    2) Allowed for an up/down voting system, so that talks with lots of positive votes can move up, and those with negative ones can move down. Alternatively, if it's a controversial talk, for example, you could have the talks that solicit the most traffic, views, comments or combination of all three move up the chain for more visibility, so naturally the mediocre talks will move down, and the hidden gems will be bumped up.
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    Feb 25 2011: No, it would lead to further decline of quality of TED talks. Quantity is not better than quality. If you want quantity, you can get it on Youtube already (and there are pockets of quality on Youtube).
  • Feb 25 2011: I like the concept of "TED: Collaboration." I will say "yes" but i think that TED's orchestrated talks should be kept separate from uploaded talks. I appreciate TED's screening of talks.

    In addition, TED should integrate more face-to-face conversation instead of all upload/download, like here on TED conversation. TED should integrate video into this interface instead of just comment-lists. I would love to be able to have real conversations with other people in the TED community. Check out for instance.
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    Feb 24 2011: i say YES to the idea but with some regulations that i crystalized into a potential project that i call "TEDcollaborative " ,heres how i see it:

    -TEDcollaborative is new seperate project (the same concept like the TEDx initiative)
    -TEDcollaborative would have a definite theme ,and the speakers will be collaborators from all over the world .
    -the speakers would record their talk ,obeying the normal TED brilliant format,and upload it to a special page on TED.
    -after a screening process by TED adminstration to make sure that the talk follows the ll be available for the TED community to see it.
    -then all the talks will go through a voting process to choose the best talks that ill be the official talks of that specific TEDcollaborative event and then they become a TEDtalk

    why this project?
    -it ll give the opportiunity to those with great ideas but can never make it to the TED stage to have their voices heard.
    -it wont plunge the site with ocean of mediocrity as only a few selected talks will become a TED talk.
    -and of course you can never truly know if something will work or not until you try i guess experimenting is the keyword heer.i also believe that there was alot of concerns about the TEDx project especially that TED gave their brand for others to use,but the project eventually proved to be a big success.

    some concerns:

    -there are other websites like youtube that ppl can share on what they have:i say that whats special about TED is its brilliant format,not just the exposure.

    -it ll be like video blogging:the solution for this lies in the guide lines and briefing on how to make it as much of a TED talk as possible.guidelines should include how the background should look like,the quality of recording,the posture of the speaker,...etc

    thats all : )
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    Feb 16 2011: There's no need for an "either or" decision. Create a subTed -- or two Teds -- one curated and one organic. Aggregating the "best of" won't be difficult. I love the curated content that reflects recognized brilliance. AND I'd welcome the opportunity to experience the unknown grass-level ideas (with eclipse potential).
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      Feb 16 2011: Exactly, there should be more calls here to avoid either-or thinking. I agree with every point you made so succinctly. It'd also address some criticisms I've heard of TED elitism.
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    Feb 12 2011: No. Curation, quality content, worthiness = good.
    Too much content, overwhelming experience, complexity, mediocre = bad.
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    Feb 21 2011: No (unfortunately)...

    I agree that there is much hidden genius in our world. Problem is there is "much" to sort through to find it and unconventional genius is not easy to detect. The subtle need not be at the mercy of a rating system; one that is idealised on conventions of mass appeal or bias based on the topic/idea (especially politically-charged ones, high media exposure, etc).

    Q: Would Einstein's early ideas on relativity been given appropriate visibility in a user-rated system??? Would a low-rating influence the passions of a hidden genius?
  • Feb 20 2011: Not as "TED Talks".

    Suggest to use separate channel/website link.

    Best of such talks (after due selection/moderation) to be linked available under a separate theme, "Best of Uploaded Talks", on main TED website.
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      Feb 20 2011: My thoughts exactly!
      Avoid the excessive influx of information. NPR has an article on its main page discussing a "Media Black Hole".. A sister site to capture the full-scan of ideas is a necessity. Then filter in the key elements/developments to TED. It builds momentum!
      R. W. Emerson: "The wise through excess of wisdom is made a fool."
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    Feb 15 2011: No.

    I would prefer an advanced TEDx directory that allows for easier browsing of events future and past. The videos should remain on their respective sites, with only the curated ones hosted on the main site.

    As a translator, I would like to see portals that cater to the respective languages, off- or onsite. I think talks in languages other than english may not be accessible to the vast majority of the community but help immensely in spreading awareness of TED on a national basis.
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    Feb 11 2011: Curation requires trust. People come to TED to watch videos they trust are worth 18+ minutes of their full attention. The process may not capture all the substance in the world, but eliminating noise differentiates TED from most other video hub. People upload videos for a variety of reasons: some self-promotionally irrelevant or mediocre, others validly brilliant. Voting these means the TED crowd will have to now do the sifting work to find that hidden gem. I vote no.
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    Feb 18 2011: I agree with the No. If you want to upload some personal discussion without the curating that does now, then that is what YouTube is for. However, I see no reason that a much-discussed talk on YouTube couldn't be promoted to once it achieves significant mindshare.
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    Feb 18 2011: My humble opinion is if you are going to add "regular" peoples ideas, they should not be in the main video threads. A separate area of the site may be nice. If a video is up ranked extremely high, it may be an honour to have it moved to the main feed. This allows the invisible geniuses a chance of being heard, keeps the integrity of TED, and shows those who are selected that their ideas do stand out above the crowd. (every one likes bragging rights )
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      Feb 18 2011: I agree with this option, though I think there should be the main channel as exists currently, a featured channel with the best talks from the open feed.
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    Feb 18 2011: No, I don't think uploading it directly to would be good. I think the power of the video's on is that they are curated, and a certain level of quality is expected and delivered.


    Currently there are a few sources for talks :
    - TED Conferences
    - TED Partner conferences
    - TEDx events
    - Best of the Web

    It would not be bad to create another source for talks, which could be user submitted talks. You would need to have a rating system which would use crowdsourcing to rate video's on some of the TED quality guidelines, like self-promotion / selling, duration, and 'coolness' of the idea etc.

    This could be a really good source for content and ideas. Just like the inclusion of certain TEDx talks, the best of these user-submitted talks, could be reviewed by TED staff and considered to be featured on, or as a good lead for local TEDx events.

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      Feb 18 2011: Richard, I really like your last point. A user-generated channel, with the best picked out by TED staff to be included in TED Talks. I vote for that.

      In that way we get the best of both worlds: access to a planet-full of geniuses and some quality control so that we don't just end up with videos of Justin Bieber.
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      Feb 19 2011: I concur with your suggestion for curating the posted talks. What about having a special section for TEDxTalks? That would also give them a good level of exposure, and even encourage uptake of TEDx events around the world.
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    Feb 16 2011: Originally I thought "of course not" because of the mess it would become, but with an architecture that also says anyone can be a curator on, and that allows filters based on curation cred and other attributes, it might work.

    All user-submitted TEDtalks would go into one big pool. You could browse the big pool, but more likely you would have a reasonable filter set up based on curation: TED's, your own, and user-generated curation. You can choose to follow submitters and be notified when they have posted something new. You can choose to become a curator and add a talk into your collection. You can choose to publish your curated selections for people to follow.

    People can follow curators as well as submitters, and filter searches on things like topics and curation thresholds:
    Show me TEDTalks about energy that have been added to 10 or more collections.
    Show me TEDTalks about energy that have been added to curators I follow.
    Show me TEDTalks about energy that have been added by curators with more than 1000 followers.

    People can set a default view into the pool based on filters and curation selection

    I would suggest a first-user experience that looks like it does today: the TED-curated filter applied.

    Now I'll go see what everyone else suggested!
  • Feb 11 2011: I believe that most of the invisible geniuses can be noticed by TEDx teams. If you would open up TED to basicaly everyone (like youtube) thee would be a lot of copycats and self-promotion. You could open up the algoritm of selecting speakers or maybe also use a fan-vote.
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    Feb 11 2011: No. That geniuses in the long run will be found by TEDx organizers. TED talks get their power from curation and mentoring (rehearsals, presentation modifications etc.) And voting mechanism is not reliable.
  • Feb 25 2011: Definitely a big “NO”
    TED has established itself and any & all ideas/intellect if worthy can find its way to this PLATFORM. Once on that, it stands to gain more and has no scope of any loss/decline due to delay/timing whatsoever.
    It’s on its journey to be a CURRICULUM itself as it covers most facets of fundamental learning including attitude for everybody; teachers, students, experts & the community.
    If people at large want to offer their intellect, they can contribute to organizing more local TED’x events and get noticed to be elevated to the main TED PLATFORM. This will enable them to rejuvenate their ideas.
    TED Conversation is already a finely cut avenue for enthusiasts.
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    Feb 24 2011: I have to agree with the "NO" crowd on this topic. While I am a huge supporter of having the 'little guy' become noticed, (I myself am one of those little guys working to become noticed) it is important that TED be different from YouTube. TED fills a niche for video presentations and education very nicely.

  • Feb 23 2011: What about WikiTED? We can have the community do the curating. Start the process by having the putative speakers make a One-minute presentation on video and then they can present a written thesis. The WikiTED volunteers/mob can act as curators and invite the approved speaker to develop their talk. If there is sufficient interest in a particular jurisdiction the speakers can be invited in a local meet up. This is part of the focus of TEDx but WikiTED can simply focus on the collaborative forum of letting "everyone" participate or curate.
  • Feb 22 2011: I don't think anyone should be able to upload their talks, but everyone should be able to submit their talks to possible viewing as directed by the leaders of TED. This way you can pull some new people into the conference with bright new insight that may undervalue their personal wisdom.
    • Feb 23 2011: i agree, though i think it should go further. if rejected talks were given feedback it would allow the rejection to at least be a learning experience, and the submitter will hopefully use some thought and their next talk will be better and hopefully accepted.
  • Feb 22 2011: No. I think we already get 'Best of the web' and by having TED standards and protocols it means the site remains all HIT and no shit. You can honestly watch any video and be entertained, engaged, educated or simply amused without being distracted by poor production or limited presentation skill. TED, in my mind, is a platform that represents a sort of Everest for today's thinkers, dreamers and ideaswomen.
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    Feb 18 2011: Chris, perhaps you could add an "embed video" app on TED Profile pages? People would tag their videos with content metadata. A new "Community Talks" page would be created that drew from these personal TED Profile videos, searchable by topic, name, date, etc.. Talks would be community ranked by vote, and the highest ranking would rise to the top. Perhaps the highest ranked Community Talk each month or quarter could become a home page TEDTalk. Offensive, commercial, or other inappropriate content would be flagged by crowd-sourcing.
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      Feb 18 2011: I like this idea.

      For starters, this can also be applicable to TEDx profile pages. There are so many good TEDx talks (and yet there are also many mediocre ones) with no real way of navigating the ocean of content on TEDxTalks youtube channel. If you can embed best two videos per event to feed into this infrastructure, that would be nice.

      Do you think it's wise to consider some kind of "barrier to post"? Such as minimum TEDCred? This will help filter people who come to the site, make a login, post some random thought - without ever being interested in engaging the TED community.
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    Feb 17 2011: YES, but not directly to

    I think that everyone should be able to share their idea if they think their idea is worth spreading. And it is true that there are thousands of people with brilliant ideas.

    However, personally made TED talks should be allowed to be uploaded to a subsite of, or to a separate site, where some kind of a experimenting system is implemented. And if a personal TED talk gains some popularity and importance within a given trial period, it should be moved to
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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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    Feb 16 2011: A clear NO from my side. There are YouTube-Channels for all the TEDx talks and good stuff will pop up that you can integrate - but the curation model is still valid and needed for quality. Thanks - and keep up the great work!
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      Feb 16 2011: My initial reaction was yes. You have convinced me otherwise.
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    Feb 16 2011: I believe that allowing anyone to upload a video to TED would hurt the brand. I trust the TED brand to stand for quality and that anything that's made it on has passed through a quality filter. I don't want to have to BE that filter. I've got too many other things to filter in my life. It would be like crowdsourcing the TED brand. While it's an interesting idea, are the people who would do the crowdsourcing like the people who are paying for the brand (sponsors, attendees, etc.) IDK.
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    Feb 15 2011: NO!
    * "TED..." means "reliable". "I saw on TED" wouldn't mean much if you would always have to check "Was it a TED Talk or that candidate tv?".
    * The flaws of free voting (lots of videos, many voters, everyone can vote for every video) - even if we assume the crowd can be objective, there is no guarantee each video will initially be seen by the same amount of voters
    - - some good videos are left behind
    - - some videos are getting votes up only because a seemingly worse video is in a higher position

    I already hear my friends saying "oh, TED is publishing more than I can watch", but it's ok - at least we know that all TEDTalks are more or less worth watching and we won't need to skip 30+ to get to an interesting one. I agree, don't turn it into youtube ;)

    Yes, TED might benefit from recommendation and self-recommendation system.
    One way to do it: The candidate video could be sent to let's say 10 people to vote (definitely no - no - I don't know! - yes - definitely yes, and some space for comments, with a tick "I suggest to edit and reapply"). Maybe videos could have tags and they would be sent to the people who are interested in that specific area (e.g. video about innovative way to teach science - voters: 3 scientists, 3 educators, 2 passionate about those things but from other professions, 2 totally unrelated) If it gets high rating, video is forwarded to TED Staff with a summary of voting.
    If video is worth spreading, it can be put under "Best of the Web".

    Hehe, maybe TED could provide social bookmarking service. "I was digging the internet, stumbled upon that video, it was delicious, definitely worth spreading, TED, look!"
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    Feb 15 2011: As pointed out before, curation is key to TED. I trust, that talks deserve to be on and have quality. I don't necessarily have to agree with the opinions expressed, but they should give me inspiration or food for thought.

    Videos are submitted and then curated by a group of trusted volunteers (similar to the translation project). If enough volunteers approve it, it's submitted to the official staff of for curation (like potential TEDx videos), then it is - maybe - posted. People who think they have a potential TED talk could even contact the volunteers to get tips, similar to how TEDx organizers work with their potential speakers. I think such a system would incorporate a lot of the things learned from TEDx and open translation.
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    Feb 14 2011: It is hard to read so many No's and not want to say Yes. The beauty of YouTube has been its scale and the utter diversity of its content. It is easy enough to put in place a voting system and a moderation system that will allow viewers to curate user-contributed content. If we have learned anything over the last decade about social media it is that great content will be surfaced by end users. Which is not to say that you should abandon curation. Curation has clearly been a huge part of the success of You should continue to promote and prioritize official TED talks. But if someone were to submit a talk sufficiently compelling as to get widely circulated by your users, your curation team should consider featuring it. You never know, you may discover the next speaker for an official TED event through one of these user submitted videos. The other advantage of a voting system at is that it will help you to sort through the immense volume of TEDx videos you must now be getting. Wisdom of the crowds is, of times, truly wise. If you were to allow a greater diversity of TEDx and User-Submitted content on, you will be able to crowd source video review. So there are some very good arguments to be made for allowing user-submitted videos on The argument may not ultimately win the day, but it is worth considering.
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    Feb 13 2011: No: because even during TED conferences not all talk happen to be good enough to appear on TED website. So let’s keep TED for the best ones only :)
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    Feb 12 2011: No; The whole point is selected contents is the main attraction, as opposed to and overflow that would be time-consuming to sort out, and would turn in yet another youtube-type of site. Especially considering teh amazing job the TED team does, from curation, organization to webmastering and editing the videos.
  • Feb 24 2011: TED becoming youtube is a little improbable. If you read the comments on the conversations (and everybody is free to join these conversations, easier and quicker than uploading to youtube) you cant' find garbage. TED is already a solid community with loyal members (registered or not) sharing a common vision. So the filter is already functioning.

    Of course TED should filter any content, and that means resources, but as I said TED is a huge community.
    So i think, YES, a larger conversation could benefit all of us.
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    Feb 23 2011: Chris, is it possible that there could be a forum similar to TED Conversations where short Ted Talks could be uploaded for a short period of time. That way it could also be a learning opportunity for those inspired to participate and we could learn though feedback.
  • Feb 22 2011: no - TED should be about quality not quantity. Not all ideas are worth spreading.
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    Feb 22 2011: No. Selectivity is what makes TED truly TED. Without that, TED is YouTube.

    Now, that`s not to say "opening" the site up slightly would be a bad idea. Why not accept independent TEDTalks from those invisible geniuses, screen them so as to make sure they fill the TED criteria, and put up the very best ones every X amount of time in a special section? The screening would would be a strenuous task to be sure, but I think the videos would attract considerable attention not just from viewers, but possibly sponsors, thus making the whole scheme profitable.

    I would be more than happy with that compromise, and it`s nice to see the TED staff have obviously not been too dismissive of such liberal ideas.
  • Feb 21 2011: You pose a false dichotomy.

    Tertium quid: do what slashdot does.

    1. Everyone can post a talk if they want, using e.g. the Youtube "submit to partner site" feature. By default, ALL TED and TEDx talks are submitted.
    2. On a separate part of the site, the "firehose" is visible. People can up/down vote everything.
    3. Videos that meet whatever threshold you define get posted to the main site at a rate that you choose.

    The front page stays curated and everything there is good; everything is available to those that want to peruse the firehose; it works.

    Note that rating systems can be made to accept things that are controversial (if you want), or that appeal to different audiences (think e.g. fo the great TEDTalk on making a better pasta sauce). These are all solved algorithmic problems, if you choose to implement them.

    I would point out that you're being a bit hypocritical, though. You regularly espouse openness and letting go - but you seem to be afraid of actually implementing crowdsourced curation à la Slashdot; the TED Cred formula is secret (unlike, say, the great karma systems of Slashdot or StackOverflow); and Silverman's talk, which you personally found distasteful, remains offline - presumably censored. (I have no opinion on the talk either way, since I've not seen it, but I rile at censorshit [sic] in any form.)

    tl;dr: This isn't either/or; it's a solved problem in the web2.0 world and you should adopt the known solution.
  • Feb 20 2011: The great part of TED is that it attracts a certain sort... intelligent, curious, open to new ideas.

    Keep the strength of curated talks, but enhance the community aspects of the site by creating an more open and traditionally structured forum where users are able to post new ideas, topics and discussions.

    On top of that, allow users to submit 'TED talks/discussions' that pass through moderation (volunteer moderation, or paid moderation, or combination of both) before hitting a special part of the site/forum.
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    Feb 19 2011: No.

    I think the value of curated talk is very high and I worry that TED could turn into YouTube. I already have trouble finding the time to keep up with the excellent talks that are posted. Without careful selection of the talks I would find it impossible to sort the great from the mediocre.

    It might be possible to have to sites: one with curated talks and the other open to anyone's submission but combining these would be a disaster.
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    Feb 19 2011: No. We have TEDx for that.

    It can be a possibility but only in a separate section like 'TED People' or something.
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    Feb 19 2011: I think that the predominant worry is that this will turn TED into YouTube; it's a worry I share as well. Additionally, I'm not completely sure that the "Yes" defense of "The TED crowd will quickly vote up the good ones" is always necessarily true. While the majority of TED viewers will likely vote down bad videos, there may be some very charismatic but not-well-reasoned videos that will gain popularity. (Anyone who follows American politics will know about this trend). There's also going to be a sizable group of people who want to use the venue for the advantage of their own reputation or platform. So while I do realize that TED cannot realistically curate every single good idea worth spreading, and that the audience should be able to contribute on a greater level, I think it should start small and be managed carefully by TED staff and community.
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    Feb 17 2011: I would say no.
    there are plenty of other avenues to be heard on. We are talking about superlative thinkers. They are nominated in a fair way and have to earn their chops. If that is not true of the TED selection process than by all means tear down the wall and lets have a system where the best of the best are found. I think the system is working though. If you have something amazing to say you might not be invited to TED, but if your organization finds them I believe you make their attendance possible, correct? In example scholarships for the poorer attendees? If that is true than it is a level playing field and an open system, and a good design. Maybe an external system for parsing out videos could be constructed within another site. How about a TED conversation to nominate unheard of geniuses and link to their videos on other sites.
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    Feb 17 2011: When I read the headline, my first thought was YouTube!

    Please don't turn it into another YouTube. Geniuses out there will be voted up by the crowd somewhere else to come up to TED. It's better for TED to stay relevant than to sink into an ocean of mediocrity.
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    Feb 17 2011: I think a big part of curation is knowing what to leave OUT. Having done a small amount of speaker selection for my TEDx event- I cannot tell you how many pitches I get to sell and to self-promote. Ick. I think a big part of the TED love I feel is rooted in the trust of the curation...
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    Feb 17 2011: No.
    I think TED's power is the power of choosing.
    TED chooses topics, speakers, and contents which are really "ideas worth spreading".
    So every time I click and watch a TED Talk, I can always expect a talk with big vision and positive value.
    And TED never lets me down.
  • Feb 17 2011: I think TED have its extraordinary style, even talks from partners or TEDx events, and TED's style is the best way to explain why people are 'addicted' to TEDTalks.

    so, talks on should be curated by TED staff. But TED staff should find more interesting TED-like talks.
  • Feb 17 2011: No, sure we wanna be an open minded community but TED stands for high-quality presentaions. I don't think that an "overflow" of different presentations will help TED. More quantity leads to less quality (that's the law of nature) and less quality will weaken the influence and success of TED, isn't it? If there is a demand for more presentations than I think there will arise new Websites for hosting them. Remember the Long Tail?
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    Feb 17 2011: NO: it will be unprofessional. This is not Youtube. Ted is unique and has core values that sites like youtube do not. The best thing about is that it's curated. Every talk is good. Don't turn it into youtube.

    However, I suggest, TED accept video clips from viewers soliciting TED with ideas/talks that TED can then pick and choose from to invite at a later date to TED or do what they have to do to work with the contributor to clean up the video and the talk and post it. This I figure would be on a limited basis, the form of which would be decided by TED, 'cause obviously TED moderators would be swamped. Contributors would have to post credentials, background experiences,achievements to give some foundation of credibility. That being said--their are some questionable political talks on TED. I wouldn't want to see a flood of Anti-community political or Biblical Palin-type nonsense, nor do I want to see Koch-corrupted ideas. Like a dissertation video talks should be based in research and able o point at resources.

    But I don't think TED talks should be so frightful of challenging powerful political/commercial interests openly. Sometimes you have to call a kettle black. Why can't we get some of these innovations done? Ant-community, anti-equality entities with more rights than humans have vested interests in seeing community-action crushed to maintain SQ. That's why I think sometimes TED is really just talk. Consider green projects. jobs and green innovation exported to China. How can the USA sustain a functional society if its bled dry by the elite? Localization! We need talks on localization, fair trade, community farms, CSA's, urban farms. Consider, The Garden, a 14-acre urban community garden in a underclass neighborhood of LA is destroyed after 2 years of protest in the name of eminent domain--the King's domain--it claims it has the power to claim private property for the good of the people. The Grd sustained hundreds of disenfranchised
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    Feb 17 2011: Nope, the curation of works great. Having been to a number of TEDx events the quality doesn't always match.
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    Feb 17 2011: Great discussion. Like anything truly unique and interesting, the best solution is never black or white, but rather an elusive shade of grey. Some reckon that the crowd demonstrates wisdom per se, and that the described system would automatically yield optimum results. That wisdom is a statistical wisdom which gives equal weight to all participants, regardless of their individual levels of subjective wisdom. Does the crowd always make the "right" decision … even a smarty pants crowd like the TED Membership? In my experience as a community and brand builder, this is not always the case. The best democracies are strongly led. The ship can be driven by the network, but people at the centre possessed of individual wisdom, exercising balance and judgement, need to take over the steering from time to time. The integration of this "old school" wisdom into any new system would be a requirement in my view.
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    Feb 17 2011: TED is what it is because of the people making these talks have enough credibility to be making talks at TED conferences. In accordance, I would vote not to allow general public uploading of talks.

    However I think certain people should have the privilege of doing so. Sort of a meritocracy if you will. For instance, I think any featured talker should have the ability to upload more of his talks. Maybe have a Speaker related videos section or something similar.
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    Feb 17 2011: I'd say no. But it is good to be aware of other models emerging. here in Victoria, BC, allows people to submit their talk ideas, accepts the best 50, gives them each 10 minutes over two days. It serves a different place, by opening up the ideas platform to people who might be overlooked. Perhaps TED could develop another channel, like Robert's
    With the youtube inspiration, I would like to see people be able to create their own playlists of talks. There are so many now, it's become hard to wade through. Allowing people to curate their own section would be valuable. This would be a bit more explicit than simply having favorite talks on your profile.
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    Feb 17 2011: Yes. I would love to see a space that even the worst of the worst self expression are welcomed commodity of learning. Rating systems would naturally take the best of the best into a position of value, appreciation and gratitude. If WE could create a space that ALL students are challenged with the tools of experiencing the art of self expression step closer to 'designing utopia.'
  • Feb 17 2011: At first I would say no. Because TED's strength lies in the selection process .. the staff tries to find the best ideas and presentations and is successful most of the time. But one does wonder how many great talks they have missed.

    That is why I would love to see 'amateur' TED videos. But to have one big pool of videos wouldn't do for obvious reasons.

    I would suggest to split the task so that TEDx websites (youtube channels) collect videos from local speakers and their community singles out the best ones. Those could then be curated by the 'main' TED staff. That way we could still browse through all of them by location/event, but would also be presented with a carefully curated list.
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    Feb 16 2011: While I understand the respect for TED's exclusivity and its need for selectiveness to maintain its prestige I think that a lot of interesting and intelligent people and ideas are being overlooked because of it. How many people do you think have the time and resources needed to organize a TEDx event so to bring there idea to the stage? Such requirements are daunting and most likely drive most people away, not just from the TED platform but also from the overall attempt at implementing and sharing their idea. Now some of you might say that this is a good thing as it repels people who are not motivated or confident enough but I think those requirements to be unnecessary as I believe that anybody who is intelligently passionate about something should be able to share that passion and the ideas they correlate with it.

    I admit that the threat of a mini-youtube is a realistic one, which is why I propose (as some others have) a secondary TED website to host such a plethora of content. This would keep the ideas of the "common folk" separate from the well-earned prestige of However, I do think that there should be some crossover from the secondary TED website to the original TED so to give certain access to that prestige and reputation. Obviously basing this crossover solely on popular vote would be a mistake so I think that there should be people on staff to view those user-videos and determine which would be suited to the original I would think it would be set up like the selection for TED's Best of the Web videos but I don't really know how those are selected so I'll leave it at that.

    Just to conclude, I do believe that TED has a prestige and reputation that ought to be preserved but should also be used to give opportunities to those with ideas who don't have the circumstance or resources to the properly share them. I think this to be the next evolutionary step for TED to fully promote and facilitate "Ideas Worth Spreading".
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    Feb 16 2011: Hi Chris,

    Yes, but restricted only for talks presented under the umbrella of TEDx.
    I think that a social recommendation engine built around existing TED Talks has the potential of bringing similar results of spreading important ideas.

    For other brilliant talks, not on, TED community may curate a #tag like #TEDWorthy, which can be showcased on in community section.

    Best, Umang
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    Min Lee

    • +1
    Feb 16 2011: I don't know. I think if allows to upload talks it can be change like Youtube as you said. But I also think spreading ideas is important.
    So I think make youtube channel or page to recommend talks is better.
    We already have many video sites like Youtube, Dailymotion. So make people to upload their talks in video sites and submit on page. Then users score or vote that video about "Is this video good enough to upload on". Then high scored videos can be uploaded in And also unsuitable videos can be deleted or blinded by scoring system.
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    Feb 15 2011: It's a difficult question with many answers. My gut tells me that the curating is a huge part of why TED has become such a powerful, pervasive and credible resource. On the other hand, spreading the word is key and the wider net we cast the more impact we should/could have.

    I wrestle with this question every day as a TEDx Organizer. We have TEDX's literally falling over themselves here in So. Cal. Every day someone asks "why TED doesn't better manage the licensees", "isn't this going to kill the TED brand", "how do we know which is the 'real" TEDx"? I've come to terms with the challenge by focusing on 2 things: 1) TED has always broken the "rules" of branding yet the brand keeps growing stronger (allowing free and unlimited access to videos, allowing neophytes the right to the TEDx brand in their neighborhoods, etc.). 2) More and more people are exposed to this content every single day. If we really want to change the world, how can that not be a good thing?

    If there was a heavy hand of TED in the TEDx realm, would it be so successful and are we not practicing what we preach by encouraging people to spread the word? I know that TEDxSanDiego produced great content but it is buried deep in the TEDxtalks site and nearly impossible to find without knowing the full name of the talk or speaker. If we are going to allow more and more video to be posted, whether curated or not, we need to find a better way to find the great content AND content delivery that people associate with TED/TEDx.

    There are so many great people and ideas out there but one of the things that makes TED talks stand out is the curation and guidance provided to speakers and viewers. TEDx's challenges are a good way to gain some insight. It ain't perfect but it's sure getting more and more people exposed to great ideas, we're positively impacting lives and beginning to have an impact. How can that be so bad?
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    Feb 15 2011: The intention of this initiative is good. But the question it raises, which already asked here, is : what will be the difference then between YouTube and TED ?? When you say "anyone", do you also mean to "anything" ?? Will be there any degree of monitoring by TED of the topics, standards, etc of the talks ??

    There are, or will be, many questions. As for now, I incline to say NO, for the simple reason that the screening by TED as it is now, that makes TED so unique and qualitative. It keeps the good standard, not just of the talks, but also of the TED community, because there's a direct proportion between the standards of the talks and the standard of the people watching them and participating as TED community. I think compromising on the talk's standard means also compromising on the community members' standard (sorry for the politically incorrectness). But I truly think there are enough forums on the web now who allow exactly this and so compromise on their quality & standards. We don't need one more to be added to the flock.

    The success of TED is a clear evidence for the TED entire community's trust upon the good judgement of those who manage TED. So there's no need to replace that good judgement of TED management with the judgement of TED crowd and its votes.
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    Feb 15 2011: I also stick to NO. There are many other places, where people can post their talks.

    However, adding the best ones via the "Best of the web" section is in my view a good idea. It may be interesting to develop some kind of recommendation system for those talks (i.e. a place to post links cumulating the amount of recommendations in an internal database - and when videos reach high levels, they can be considered to be added)
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    Feb 15 2011: NO: In this age, we have so much information around us, and non-curated/controled places are a mess to find out good sources. TED, at least, its clean and you can find very good sources about almost all topics without breaking your head in the process of searching.

    Also, not all ideas are "worth spreading" i guess. IE: Political/religious agenda, racism, etc. So TED should have a quality control (as it does now)
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    Feb 15 2011: I think designing a particular program for this may be worthwhile, such as a dedicated YouTube channel (TEDyou?), but to allow direct uploads to for inclusion with curated talks would be a significant mis-step.
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    Feb 15 2011: Yes, but with a "vote" system. As a democracy, the people can vote and the talks with more number of votes, should be uploaded into the VIP site. The rest of the talks can be saved in a separate ted site. Curated by the people.
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      Feb 15 2011: Not sure about the VIP thing, but the site should definitely accept recommendations. Uploaded videos could be quickly reviewed by volunteers and further validated before being accepted for viewing for the general public to see. The same way TEDx is differentiated from TED events, these videos could be made available with clear distinction that they are not curated by the site but approved by WebTEDsters.
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    Feb 15 2011: yes, yes and seems to me a lot of people are concerned about the quality of the presentations, and feel comfortable that someone else did the judging before and gives them the guarantee that they'll spend valuable time watching it ....well, real life is not like this....we were fortunate enough with ted's care and attention, but i think that it is the time for viewers to grow up, and judge with their own minds....and there's something more...i dont think that someone would ever publish something on ted without making sure that is valuable - at least from that person's point of view...i think that this is the most valuable thing-the effort people who want to publish put on much learning and discovery could trigger this thing at the very basic level of non-famous people with a spark in their to conclude...yes, yes and again, yes
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    Feb 11 2011: NO, because is a unique platform of quality content and presentation, and shouldn't become an open platform where any TEDTalk can be posted as each viewer is sure to watch a quality talk on because it is carefully curated.
  • Feb 24 2011: Yes and No:

    It should be a balance that would involve some major moderation. If the content is screened by some TED staffers it will keep it from becoming a mess of how to's, unintentionally offensive messages, and empty warm fuzzies.

    I think it would be great, but it may not be practical.
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    Feb 24 2011: YES : we could find someone who have worthy ideas. but some guideline or regulation seem to be positively necessary. also we could think about the category of fields like TED conversations. The TED crowd will be find the talks with great ideas.
  • Feb 24 2011: NO. We already have many other places to post videos if you like. But I also like the ideas from Kevin Nakajima to make it possible to submit to a committee or reviewers for possible inclusion in TED.
  • Feb 24 2011: My vote would be "No". As others have mentioned, the TED format is what distinguishes it from Youtube. Reading Erik Harpstead's comments, I like that "it takes the community to get it there" - that the passion and the drive of a "story" or "talk" inspires people to bring it forward for other people to see. This really shows in the content which is what inspires me to return and to maybe see the world with a different viewpoint.
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    Feb 24 2011: It seems that the biggest problem is vetting the deluge of videos. If TED staff sort through the videos then TED incurs a large expense. If you institute a popular voting system then you lose some of the esteem of the TED brand. No one doubts that there are 'hidden geniuses' out there, it's all a matter of finding them.

    What about a separate site, where users could upload their videos? (fitting some loose criteria about vulgarity, format etc) A voting system would cut back a large portion of the crap, making it easier for TED staffers to pick and choose from the best videos. The voting system would be like beta testing, and so long as the videos that make it to the TED site are curated and selected by TED staff members, these videos would uphold the tradition of excellence that TED provides. But what about the videos that for one reason or another stay hidden? If there was an option to submit or nominate a video we might be able to catch some of the ideas that would otherwise have slipped through the cracks.

    A skillfully crafted video submission, viewing, discussion and voting system on a separate site could bring to light many hidden geniuses. Having TED select which videos will make it onto would ensure that only the best videos make it.

    So I say yes, as long as the manner by which the videos are chosen will uphold the dignity and authority of the TED name.
  • Feb 22 2011: No and Yes.
    TED isn't ready for it in its current form.
    I think you are anticipating a new form of collaborative system based on hyper-participation.

    It would be better to use a new form like social network and game (role playing game) to motivate and organise this new era of TED.

    It has to be accessible from everywhere (smartphones).
    Autoregulated with a very strong rating system.
    Based on knowledge, wisdom and action.

    Well, a huge and complicated thing but I hope it would exist one day :)
  • Feb 22 2011: There are a lot more talks than we see. However we also have to consider the profit of ted, which will decrease significantly in such a eventuality. Also, some speakers may dislike having their talk anline. So, underthese guidlines it can be possible to put more talks up, but not all.
  • Feb 22 2011: TED is a vetted event with an audience that exhibits certain cultivated traits. TED talks that are posted on the main site should at least be vetted by regular TED attendees. Otherwise quality will suffer and will no longer be about TED. Perhaps you can satisfy your egalitarian yearnings by providing a mechanism in TED Conversations to embed YouTube videos.
  • Feb 21 2011: Absolutely not. There must at least be a screening process.
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    Feb 21 2011: There needs to be freedom of speech. But maybe there is PRACTICE SPEECH and maybe there is MASTERY SPEECH .Perhaps we need to know INTUITIVELY and INSTINCTIVELY when speech is PRACTICING to BE speech, ie when speech is just ego and drama vs when There is MASTERY SPEECH, ie speech that stimulates mirror neurons?
  • Feb 21 2011: yes but with conditions. voters will no doubt vote up the most agreeable but not necessarily the best presented, researched, argued, and sourced. i suggest submitted talks go through guidelines and a curator system in order that the cream (or at least everything but the chaff) is passed on to be voted on, similar to the way paper publications work - everything acceptable is accepted.
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    Feb 21 2011: YES! but in a different space, and the talk could be curated by the TED crowd and/or the TED curators (you).
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    Feb 21 2011: Ideas worth spreading should be a free app as the knock on effect of awareness and commercial value come from why we do what we do and that is natural
  • Feb 21 2011: I am more in the "No" camp. The Internet exists to capture these invisible geniuses and they can show their talents on Youtube or any number of video sites. TED provides a fantastic filter and almost always I learn something new and interesting from a TED talk. If I had to wade through 10 videos to find 1 interesting one, then I would stop coming. So please keep the curation but maybe we can have a process to nominate talks to the TED committee which can then evaluate these talks.
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    Feb 21 2011: Ideally we would all want to avoid TED becoming YouTube, but I agree that there are many hidden geniuses out there. So I think that yes we ought to have a means of allowing anyone to submit something to TED, but perhaps it ought to remain as a curated system. So if I have a great idea about how we need to change houses and their consumption of resources, and I submit either a preview of 1-2 min to the TED crowd to review, or to the curator of TED allowing them to decide whether or not it would be a good TEDTalk. The reality in my eyes is that though there are many geniuses out there, unless they have had some sort of success with their goal or idea, or at least have done something worth mentioning about it, it seems to me that its just another idea, that could very well sound good to them but not the rest of the world. Many of the TEDTalks that I watch feature people who have spent the time researching or pushing their idea or topic as far as they can, and the act of giving a TEDTalk is just another way to pushing the idea or invention forward. So I think we need to maintain curatorship over TED but could have a system that allows the TED community to vote on a collection of independent submissions to the TED curator.
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    Feb 20 2011: I would say yes, but I would make the feature available for a limited time as a "test period", as Mihail recently posted, leaving free reign for viewers to post anything they wish can lead to some, dangerous/controversial (not the good kind), content being uploaded.
    I'd reccomend, much like the feature where users can "thumbs up" other users comments, introducing a feature where users can "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" a user uploaded talk, it's not a guranteed solution, but at least you could see from the number of "thumbs down" a talk gets, as to whether it complies with your website guidelines or goals of TED.
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    Feb 20 2011: There is the TEDu that we had on the last TED conference. Yet, it is curated and from what I heard people spend a lot of time preparing for it. Not that a webtalk could not be spend a lot of time on, but wont have the same effect. I think the idea is a double edged sword. As of myself I think I'd be more on the "no" side. It is so amazing and awesome that TED is expanding and adding more features which help spread ideas, but this may be dangerous. We all know what user content one may find on youtube and I certainly dont want to see TED as becoming a sort of youtube.
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    Feb 19 2011: Definitely YES !!!

    Why: This world will become a better place.

    TED has the potential to become for ideas/concepts what Wikipedia is for facts.
    The more good ideas are available to better it is.

    Of course there are weaknesses and threats to this approach of opening up but where there is a will there is a way to find a solution to weeding out the wrong videos.
    Wether this be through staff, volunteers (similar to translators), crowd-scoring etc. Lets be creative!

    Don´t let any argument get in the way of making this planet a better place and advancing humanity!!
  • Feb 19 2011: Yes, but you need to measure expertise. There is a role for user generated content, but that should be disseminated, initially, just to a user's social network. Then, if the TED editors feel it worthy, it can be pushed to a topic page or,if it's really good, front-paged.
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    Feb 19 2011: If direct upload will add content to a specific page on I vote yes. ( same as the TEDxTalk YouTube Channel)
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    Feb 19 2011: To the idea of directly uploading to - no, I wouldn't support that.

    But there could be a separate site that would be crowd-moderated and what could help such videos as TEDx talks or other conference videos to be recognized (and taged and rated) by a wider audience and the best of those to eventually be added to
  • Feb 19 2011: Yes. Ideas worth spreading can be said by "normal" people who see problems in different angle and perspective.
    Sometimes people who are in a certain situation can have great answers and ideas that people won't be able to hear or don't want to hear, but if they will be on Ted, no one can avoid or ignore them.
    But it has to be organized in a certain way. and there have to be a separation between the experts talk and all the other user talk.
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    Feb 19 2011: Yes !
    I agree with Truong : create a new website which will feed into a special section on the website. I'd call it : (I just looked, unfortunately someone has "cybersquatted" this domain).

    I think that the biggest challenge will be to make sure that the films and comments stay relevant with minimal spam so that the site isn't inundated with garbage films and "spammy" commentary ...

    In my opinion, a curator would be obligatory.
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    Feb 18 2011: I think it's a good idea. But the "official" talks should not be mixed up with user-created content, in order to keep the good quality of the talks. And some kind of filtering would definetely be needed.
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    Feb 18 2011: Yes - if you can put systems in place to 1. keep it organized 2. help talk creators keep their thoughts clear.

    Here's one component on how to do that
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    Feb 18 2011: I'd love to see the doors thrown open a bit wider. Who, if not TED, can offer such an opportunity, and such an audience? A big caveat / suggestion: I think that "open mic" talks should be funneled into a separate stream of videos. As they achieve a predefined level of engagement, they could be promoted into the TED Talks flow. If they never achieve that velocity, so be it.
  • Feb 18 2011: Definitely not! ‘TED is ideas worth spreading.’ People with no sense will post junk and TED is not garbage!
  • Feb 18 2011: May be worth an attempt! As you say, "The TED crowd will quickly vote up the good ones."
  • Feb 18 2011: I had an idea: "TEDy Talks": a webpage like but where regular people can upload their own videos with heir own "ideas worth spreading".

    TedTalks from regular, everyday people. If you are just nobody important, not a worldwide known scientist, or philosopher or you are not a CEO or famous artist, but you think you have something important to share, a cool idea or an interesting talk, this could be the place. Imagine a site for persuasive, courageous, ingenious, fascinating, inspiring, funny, informative video-talks from people just like you and me. It could have a filter or moderators (for "not so worth spreading" ideas) or people could vote up and down the videos and ideas.
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    Feb 18 2011: Both; anyone should be able to upload, and TED should curate for a level of quality relating to the expression of ideas worth spreading. sadly, exponentially more work for TEDsters with that model!
  • Feb 18 2011: You have provided your audition with a key question and the key issues. Do we vote? Does majority matter?

    Adding to Julianne Wurm's remark about self promotion pitches, I'd start by turning the question around: What is it that makes TED talks so successful and unique that they actually manage to spread ideas worth spreading? Can you define criteria for that? What does TED want to achieve?

    OK, my personal opinion? I can get plenty of random unfiltered talks from YouTube or other sites. It's the quality that had coming back to TED for more than 3 years, as well as a certain underlying thread of unbiased moral values.(Darn risk being exclude from the consultant fellowship by volunteering a personal opinion)

    Addenda: By unbiased, I mean that I am not interested in what US (or Canadian, or European, or African) party the presenter is affiliated with: I want someone who seeks to share an idea which can lead to a breakthrough for mankind!
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    Feb 18 2011: I think anyone should be able to upload their talk for consideration. However TED should apply the same level of curation that is its unique approach.
  • Feb 17 2011: YES if you find a way to keep feeding us TED talks, not JUST talks.

    If it was my call I'd elaborate on creating a "the best of the web" channel that aggregates external content, sourced and filtered by TED viewers, speakers and editors. This way we'd open the doors also to geniuses that don't know or care - or agree - with TED, but whose ideas are worth spreading. It could be an idea amplifier, and I'd call it TEDworld.
  • Feb 17 2011: YES if you find a way to keep feeding us TED talks, not JUST talks.

    If it was my call I'd elaborate on creating a "the best of the web" channel that aggregates external content sourced and filtered by TED viewers, speakers and editors. This way we'd open the doors also to geniuses that don't know or care - or agree - with TED, but whose ideas are worth spreading. It could be an idea amplifier, and I'd call it TEDworld.
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    Feb 17 2011: I would say yes, but the TED team need to have a strict filtration criteria on choosing non-TEDTalk videos, which to be uploaded in the portal soon.
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    Feb 17 2011: well,
    its good topic of discussion

    according to me, in this fast growing world,
    one usually does not have enough time to go through all talks.

    So in the time available, one must be motivated the maximum, which means only selected talk to be uploaded to
  • Feb 17 2011: Democratizing information and innovation requires access to information,
    ideas and wisdom. I vote yes.
  • Feb 17 2011: Not alongside the talks from the conferences. Maybe in a very separate category, and allow registered users to upvote/downvote ala reddit.
  • Feb 17 2011: TED on one hand, YouTube on the other. Is there room in the middle? I want to plug into a group of people who recommend stuff to me, and I'll return the favour. This isn't just "most popular". This is "most popular amongst a specific group I respect". And then I want to dip into a different viewpoint and see whether, despite perhaps containing stuff I disagree with, it's still nevertheless high quality and challenging. This isn't just for TED. The whole web needs some form of automated curation that lets people align their consumption to whatever their notion of "quality" is.
  • Feb 17 2011: I agree with many who have suggested a tiered approach. New videos should not have the same clout as those that have been thoroughly vetted.

    To that end, I strongly suggest there be some way to comment on new videos in order to question the claims made therein. Should a video contain factual errors, the video should be flagged as "factually inaccurate" or simply removed from the site.

    Likewise there must be a way to stop abusive spamming of the system. If cannot spot the same video posted multiple times (or video that is otherwise inappropriate) there will be a great deal of annoyance. Perhaps enough to render the entire venture more trouble than it is worth.
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    Feb 17 2011: Yes.

    Create a new website as a feeding site to provide the best talk (vote from user and TED staff) to,
  • Feb 17 2011: Yes ..There can be a lot of innovators (i would love to call myself that) however it would be great if they screen all the uploads to finalize few on a monthly basis..."Best Video/Talk of the month/Week"
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    Feb 17 2011: Better link the different TED branches and keep only the TED lectures here. For example, I found there is TEDxBG, but as many of the talks are just in Bulgarian, they better be linked to here, not uploaded.
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    Feb 17 2011: A system where people can post talks and select the genre would be great. Then allow people to select the genre they are interested in and get a snippet of each new talk in that genre, click to see full video and rate it. As talks get rated highly enough they get publicised on TED main site and added to the collective :-)

    Social talk rating and allow the world to find the new folk, the not yet famous or not wanting to be famous people that have a deep and interesting insight into fascinating areas. I vote +1
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    Feb 17 2011: Many of the comments that have already been made suggest that the there should another place where you put the talks so that you can differentiate between talks that have been chosen and ones that have been put up by users. However, I believe this is the exact job of YouTube and that you should simply make a new channel on youtube with all the other talks that have ever been given to be put up on youtube and whenever an "unchosen" reaches a certain number of veiws it would become "chosen" and put up on the TED website. Lastly I believe that you should publicize your YouTube channel much more on your websites since some users might prefer to watch talks on the YouTube viewer rather than the TED website veiwer.
  • Feb 17 2011: I would love to submit my own talk :D
    But still I have to honestly argue no (but not a "strong" no). Because of the reason you already summarized. Don't turn this into youtube. If the TED crowd vote up the good ones the good ones will all be the same. I think that system would result in a TED without controversial talks. Which would be a shame, some of the talks I like the most is talks from religious people that I don't remotely agree with. Because it's interesting to come across a completely different perspective.
    And on the opposite side. If the talk is about something that the TED crowd isn't in unity about whether it's good or bad there might be a lot of annoying "internet drama", like you sometimes see on youtube. Vloggers arguing with ab hominem attacks with crowds of drones behind them, downrating and harassing. I'm talking about nightmare scenarios here, maybe I'm just being negative. Maybe you're just about to unleash the greatest thing ever, maybe the collective power of the internet will change the world trough a Yes initiative.

    Actually... I think you should try it for a while. Let everyone know you're doing a beta thing and if it doesn't work out, just remove it. :)
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    Feb 17 2011: If they were throughly vetted for quality then it could work, though it would have to be separated from 'real' tedtalks. i would not have an issue with vetting the talks, validating, then putting to a second area where they could be seen by the public, with understanding that its not a 'tedtalk'

    from there, certain talks could be promoted to a 'real' tedtalk.

    but... i do not want to wade through the mundane to find something poignant. unless i were in the mood for it and it were in a separate area of the site.

    keep the main site to the professionals. but have an avenue to promote some amateurs to professional level.
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    Feb 17 2011: I agree that they should be curated. As a TEDster and TEDx Executive Producer I can say that some of the talks on stage either in Long Beach or at a TEDx should be allowed to evaporate. I would like to see a formalized way to submit TEDx talks for consideration to be posted on I do think that everyone on the planet has a TED Talk in them - but actually delivering that in a compelling 18 min (or less) talk in front of a live audience is the real test - it is a fine art that doesn't really have anything to do with experience in public speaker, but more about the passion of the person.
  • Feb 17 2011: Yes - let the ranking of these videos be done by members.
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    Feb 17 2011: Yes, absolutely. Yet, I would like to be able to search or have some way to differentiate between the ones that are self uploaded and the ones that are officially uploaded.
  • Feb 17 2011: I believe that allowing others to upload their own Ted Talks would broaden the subject matter that is presented. I'd expect that there are many ideas and topics that are currently not presented because if nothing else, they haven't reached the attention of those people who currently chose the presenters.

    I agree with others that they should definitely be clearly categorized or put in their own site.
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    Feb 16 2011: No, It would lose it edge.
    Like the Unconferences that take place that are less than professional.
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    Feb 16 2011: No, TED can venture outside its own confines (with a contest or competition) to look for excellence and academically rigorous work, if it ultimately comes up lacking, but it would seem that more often than not, jaw-dropping, rock solid talent is finding its way to TED all by itself. TED already functions as an innovation engine quite well. No tweaking required.
  • Feb 16 2011: No - There is credibility & proven track record that gives the TED platform the edge. Agree let youtube be that platform.
  • Feb 16 2011: Yes, as long as it is clear what has been curated and what has not. I want someone to help me identify what is worth my time. The value of the internet is the open exchange of ideas, the value of an editor is to direct my attention to what may be valuable to me.
  • Feb 16 2011: No, but you could organize "Free Week, Free Ideas, Free Uploads", once a year, put it on special site, or link
  • Feb 16 2011: NO. While there's always a diamond in the rough, TED is not the place to find that person, Youtube is. If TED were to do something along these lines, it should be an orchestrated search for the next TED genius.
  • Feb 16 2011: No. I think that curation is a big part of the value of TED. That said, I think that a feeder system of sorts—some sort of nomination process maybe by site members—could be incredibly valuable to help surface those hidden geniuses.
  • Feb 16 2011: I am not sure about how to avoid the mediocrity of content that might arise from any user uploading content. How would it be filtered? Yes, curation is the key on but it may be just a little too limited in culture and class - one of the reasons to figure out a way to get a bit more diversity of ideas. But there are many ways to filter, and the community can do that. I built a site once that had curators for each genre (music, film, video) and that worked. They were uses, like the superusers on Huffington Post, but they also did tagging to make the content more relevant. However, the first level of filtering was done by virtue of the fact that we only offered professional content. Just allowing anyone to add their talks would create a mini youtube, so there would need to be some way to filter before the genre gurus added yet another level of filtering. I believe that there is way too much unfiltered content in the world today, and that is not all good. One thing that would help is a taxonomy or hierarchy, tagging that is universal, which could be applied to video (a very big tagging challenge) - that would make it easier to sort, which makes it easier to filter. The question is a good one!
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    Feb 16 2011: There is e real value in the curated talks. However, I would support the idea of having additional "TED Tube" talks, where ideas worth spreading could be uploaded. The risk is of course that the eminent quality of TED talks disappears, and that would be a shame. Maybe one solution would be having a sort of web-based peer check (peers from the TED community) to ensure a certain quality? This would allow a broader inclusion of TED talks, but ensure a certain quality.
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    Feb 16 2011: I would say that for the near future, a definite no. It would be intriguing to see, in the future, a way to submit a talk proposal and if accepted deliver the talk in front of an informed and interested audience.
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    Feb 16 2011: There is a compromise position - allow for the intermittent "election" of contributions by TED members. Obviously the quality of TED on the whole is a thing carefully curated, but equally obvious is that there are many wise voices in the world that remain unheard for lack of a mindful effort to seek them rather than wait for them to become noticeable. Another means of managing this result is more frequent events that request submissions from the world (then allow for public ranking); I believe this has worked quite well for TED in the past.
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    Feb 16 2011: No. TEDTalks require interfacing with the community. The speaker should be required to deliver the talk in person before an audience and take personal ownership of the ideas. The Internet is full of posts by people who don't take ownership of their ideas. As a viewer, I want the speaker to be identified visually by others who are in the room with them. Authenticity is a requirement.
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    Feb 16 2011: There is a danger of diluting the quality we have come to expect and accept of TED. Unmoderated uploading to YouTube ls not desireable and open to abuse. Add to this the need for moderation and the concept begins to take on a complexity not really warrented. A solution could be to use a sub-domain with double opt-in for submiters as an absolute requirement.
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    Feb 16 2011: While I enjoy and appreciate many of the TED talks, the impression I often get is that only PhD's and other lettered individuals can think and speak coherently, and therefore only they will be included. There are many "ordinary" individuals that have observed life and can present ideas for us to ponder. Whatever method is used to find it, there is life beyond academia and elite intelligentsia. And I, for one, would like to hear from the rest.
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    Feb 16 2011: No. The rigor of acceptance is important to the quality of thought.
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    Feb 16 2011: My vote would be no. The reason I LOVE Ted is for it's... LEVEL. I honestly believe that the success behind TED has a lot to do with knowing what I can expect. I KNOW that I will be challenged, I will be forced to think and I will learn. If TED becomes an open forum, yes there would be new cool thoughts and ideas, but, in my opinion, it could lead to a de-evolution of the experience we all get from TED. Why not have a section for an " open platform" separate from the main culled wonderment.
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    Feb 16 2011: Yes, but perhaps include a voting/rating system which would provide an element of quality control.
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    Feb 16 2011: YES, but with an editorial/curated component and an encouragement on more visually engaging talks.

    In my opinion, TED Talks need to step beyond the current lecture model to ascend to the ubiquity it has the potential for.

    This Conversations component is a great move in that regard.
  • Feb 16 2011: No, please dont turn to youtube,
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    Feb 16 2011: no. There are other tools and sites to do that. Protect the brand...and the brand does not open broadcast of anyone's video's or presentations...It should neither upload anyone's topics of conversation.
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    Feb 16 2011: Where's the voting button here? Hehe...

    For the answer of the question as it is posed.... NO. Absolutely NO!

    However, I think having a separate "idea incubator" where people could post videos or links to videos as candidates for inclusion on might be a good idea.

    As mentioned multiple times already, part of TED's appeal is in its quality, which in turn means doing and promoting things that may not be "popular", but in the end are "good". With that in mind, if an "idea incubator" is to be implemented, the privilage of actually selecting what goes to and what not should still rest with the TED staff... that section would simply serve as a public repository of suggestions for the "best of the web" thing that TED already does.
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    Feb 16 2011: Both.

    This is because in the generation of information overflow, nobody would want to spend 18 minutes watching a talk that has no meaning at all. I believe that there might be more alternatives to select from, and also the chance to generate content.

    I believe that the talks should be moderated by the editors within TED, and before or after that moderation, they should be open to the users of TED on a weekly basis to determine which of them should take a permanent place in the website.
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    Feb 16 2011: Both.

    You should be able to curate & stand for quality.
    Quality is NOT democratic.

    We have the TEDxChannel on youtube...

    But you can have a "topping-list" of suggestions by the TED community
    => a sort of 1) suggestions of talks we want to see on
    2) then let the rest of us vote
    3) then you guys take a final decision
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    Feb 16 2011: Yes. Too many good/excellent ideas are available around the world. These ideas need to be nurtured, developed into products or actions and then must be shared with everyone who would benefit from them. I suggest a system of peer review to filter the good from the not so good ideas and even a system to helo implement certain ideas that need more resources (either financial or human) to become a reality.
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    Feb 15 2011: NO,

    There are indeed millions of great ideas in the world, but the ultimate goal of the is to spread the ideas, it can be only done by selecting and promoting the best of them.

    When I was 3 years old and couldn't read, I dreamed about reading all the books in the world. I started my mission at 4, I was really passionate about books till I started to work at a library. There I realized clearly like never before, how many books are in the world. Since then I almost never read a book, or watch a movie if it isn't recommended to me by the group of like-mindeds (I use Russian recommendation service I can't even read or watch something which is just popular, because my interests are not so popular among the most of the population.

    I love, because it's a place, where almost all of the videos are of the high quality and ideas shared are interesting to me, I value its selectivity a lot. However, I think it's not a problem to create a distinct section where anybody can upload there video. Then we will see what will be the quality of the videos, how popular they are among TEDsters and so on.
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    Feb 15 2011: No.
    But it's not an all or nothing kinda thing.
    TED shouldn't be a Youtube.
    And as Catalin Cighi pointed out, Youtube no matter how wonderful and needed is too unstructured to serve TED's vision. So I'm with Carlos Miranda Levy on this.
    Why don't we create a TED kinda Youtube as the raw material for TED ?
    If you think of it geographically, it could be some sort of Ideas Olympic. Which itself could be a fascinating TED talk topic.
    Hell am all psych just talking about it !
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    Feb 15 2011: The most common reason underlying the "No's" is the belief that the crowd couldn't curate itself. Why couldn't it?
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      Feb 15 2011: Maybe because in the reality they (crowds in real life situations) can't: . Of course, the examples in the article are far too different than voting on videos but, basically, it's enough for me to start questioning.

      Also, with free voting systems many 'internet gems' get to the top only because they seemed hilarious to a critical mass of people while they aren't that good.
      "Oh, it isn't idea worth spreading, but it is too cute to not get a vote up".
      "I've watched it all but I haven't noticed anything good here. Did I waste my time? I don't waste my time, there must be something! Oh, yes, it was, I remember, that idea. Yup, it's definitely worth a vote up. I'm so glad I watched it."

      I think crowd could curate itself. But I doubt it would do as well as TED now does. That's that.

      I've just recalled some ideas from J. Surowiecki "The Wisdom of Crowds". I wonder whether voting systems could be more effective if the current votes were invisible before voting or couldn't be seen at all. (On a side note, it's really worth reading, you can get some ideas from Wikipedia article.)
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    Feb 15 2011: In looking at this issue, I think you need to recognise that this could not in fact be anyone. The TEDx program for example limits sponsorship from organisations who deal in:
    *Adult-oriented products/services.
    It would be a step backward to allow uploads by individual or groups sponsored by these groups or putting messages that advocate their products or messages. In a situation where anyone can upload, there would need to be a base level of curation - there would be some rules and someone applying the rules.
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    Feb 15 2011: Chris, only TEDxTalks that are endorsed by a sufficient number of TED members should be featured on, to preserve a quality that would be lost if the platform is open.

    YouTube already functions, to some degree, as a first stage filtering device, but who has the time to go digging in for hidden gems?

    Why not select someone on your team to extract from YouTube, each week, the most popular 10-15 videos, include them in a candidates list, make them available to TED members, for voting, via a dedicated section of that is only open to registered users. Allow us to vote up and down, and feature the highest placed video. Each week, drop the lowest ranked half of the candidates list and replace it with fresh blood from the YouTube channel.
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    Feb 15 2011: I like the fact that TED has a tight quality control and curators that decide if something is worth spreading.
    We already have YouTube and other open forums to express ourselves. Keep TED selective.
    That said, it would be great if you could accept submissions from whoever and whatever, but then evaluate if it fits with the TED framework. Sort of an expansion of your "best-of-the-web".
    TED has a great signal-to-noise ratio, please keep it that way.
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    Feb 15 2011: No. We already have websites where anyone can upload their talks.

    Some kind of system enabling people to recommend the talks they've seen elsewhere, that might work.
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    Feb 15 2011: NO. Selectivity is one of great merits of TED.
    I recall sense of loss, when I logged into dotSUB and saw heaps and heaps of video, many a complete trash.
    I was relieved to learn these are not, all, TED videos.
    There is enough first rate videos on TED to watch. Do not dilute it.
    It is possible to open a separate site, sort of Google knol in video, but Utube is already fullfiling that function.
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    Feb 15 2011: I am also going with No, but only if we compare the upload functionality to youtube. I think if a separate channel is setup with a sort of crowd sourced curation, it could lead to some interesting discussions and new material bubbling up.
    Still I cannot imagine these reaching the level that the curated and published TED talks currently have.
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    Feb 15 2011: How about a separate channel or channels for "uncurated" or community curated Talks and Videos?
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    Feb 15 2011: TED's community + voting = "YouTube worth watching" ---- the way I envision it is that there is a separate section on the site where these talks would go... then the TED community would vote and discuss. This democratic method of curating the best TEDTalks would open a whole new world of ideas, not accessible to the TED and TEDx curators.

    That said, I think it is absolutely essential that TEDTalks from TED Conferences and few TEDx talks be the focus on the website. This is what attracts people: the depth of the content and diversity of the speakers. Truly a gift.
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    Feb 15 2011: No. The curator's work is needed to ensure greatness.
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    Feb 15 2011: Yes, if:
    1) Clearly differentiated section of TED (Adrian Hong)
    2) "Filterable" - I would like to see people from my city or even zip code give their TED Talks, beyond what TEDx already offers. And I'd like to see talks given on subspecialized topics (eg allocation methods for organ transplants, how to prevent American teens from having so many unwanted pregnancies, etc.).

    I also think the creation process would be beneficial to many, even if the talks are of low quality or go unwatched. I'd want to live in a neighborhood full of people who have given Talks. Everybody has a TED Talk in them - get it out!
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    Feb 15 2011: No, not on It would be too much. But since there is TEDYou at TEDActive conference, maybe there could be something like a TEDYou platform where people could post talks which would be voted for and approved by the community or volunteers.
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    Feb 15 2011: Tension: Democratic Voting vs Curation

    The Wisdom of Crowds? Bias and Blindness of the Majority?
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    Feb 15 2011: TEDTalks could be voted by the community and organized in a ranking list, accessible to everyone. That would even help the curating process of and also allow the finding of interesting new trends of topics.
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    Feb 15 2011: YES: I think it's a wonderful idea. There are many innovative people with great ideas, they should have a chance to share them.

    NO: The YouTube argument is valid up to a point. I'm quite certain no one will ever mistake TED for YouTube, but it's true that quality standards shouldn't be abandoned altogether. However, I think there might be a way in which you can make sure only appropriate material is uploaded and shared.

    You could post a number of minimum request regarding video and material quality. Afterwards, the anyone-can-upload TEDTalks can be reviewed by other members of the community; and if the score they obtain is low, a curator can see the talk and decide if it should remain on or not. And if not, they can always post it on YouTube :).
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    Feb 14 2011: No, it will be very confusing. Best solution would be a sub-domain for this purpose.
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    Feb 14 2011: No. Even in parliament's - a 'speaker' is essential to moderate discussions. If the epitome of a democratic institution requires moderation, surely there must be limits to freedom of expression in a site hosted by an independent not-for-profit institution! As the number of people accessing not merely in English but in other languages increases, the need to ensure that a platform created for spreading ideas does not get used to harm the sentiments of others will grow.
    If at all, TED would like to create the space for external review or arbitration they could create an independent panel - to whom requests that have been turned down can be submitted again. A forum for redressal at best!
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        Feb 14 2011: I agree with you and that is why I think given the diversity - even in the way we use the same language - a site like TED must be moderated to ensure that it does not cause collateral damage. We live in a time of growing intolerance to other opinions and while this must be fought and is in itself a good example of freedom of expression, caution would be prudent.
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    Feb 11 2011: No. Delegating in TED the responsibility for curating content on our behalf maximizes our UX at the site. However, as Adrian Hong said, by clearly differentiating the publicly submitted section of TEDTalks -a sort of "Best of the web" but restricted to a TEDsters YouTube channel- with an up/down mechanism for pushing talks into would be a great feature.
  • Feb 11 2011: No. The whole point of TED talks is that you know you are getting something good just because they're on TED. That guarantee of quality lets you browse around just for fun and be exposed to ideas you might not have bothered to learn about.

    Although...Adrian Hong's suggestion is really good. You could put them in a special section and allow public voting on their rank.
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    Feb 11 2011: No, however, everybody should be able to submit a talk to TED where it should be looked at. If deemed of general interest, then it should be uploaded to TED.
    Obviously, this will be a somewhat subjective "filter", but without a pre-selection TED will become similar to YouTube.
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    Feb 11 2011: I agree with Ahmet, the answer is no.

    With such quantity of curated talks published, there is already a possibility that quantity trump over quality.