TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Leave one idea for improving TED!


Leave just one idea for posting and discussing improvements for TED, on TED!

If TED does not wish to have a member as creator of such a conversation they are free to copy and re-post this message.

If there is one idea worth spreading it should be an open discussion about how to improve the foundation on which they stand!

We don't always take the time to send you that message, and you are missing a lot of ideas by not letting us have one discussion about TED improvements!

Please try to keep this conversation as easily readable as possible!
I suggest that you leave a core statement of your idea free from other text so that it's easily browsed and understood.

I ask that you refrain from unnecessary/nonconstructive comments on other peoples comments.
However, offer as much constructive critique as possible. If the creator does not agree, you will have to accept this and perhaps repost something similar your self.
I will be commenting on many of your posts suggesting that you perhaps change a word or sentence to make it better. Check back here every once in a while to see if your idea has been commented upon.

PLEASE do not be offended by my comments, if you disagree with what I suggest I will delete them.

If you find commentary about improving TED on other conversations please share a link to this conversation so that they can make their contribution here.

Edit, edit and edit your idea to perfection!

Remember that these are all meant to be improvements for TED, suggest things that are doable!
And if you believe in an idea, don't forget to tell TED about it, copy it (and rewrite it if you wish) and send it to the correct channel!

To reach conversations admin email: conversations@ted.com

Please try to keep this conversation as well structured as possible!

All suggestions on how to improve the description of this conversation are welcome by mail.


Closing Statement from Jimmy Strobl

If you just put it the right way anything is possible!!!

A form of this discussion has been moved to:
It is much more open for discussion and any suggestions you have for TED should be left there.

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      Apr 15 2011: Hi Birdia, all:

      I totally agree.

      Do we need an active moderator at TED?
      I Agree on not having spam, nor irrelevant insults or race/group comments.
      but a moderator that defines if a comment is on or off topic?
      one that can delete an entire conversation?

      aren't those things for the community to regulate?

      For example: if a conversation is not interesting to the community, people would just not participate. It will only be taking some irrelevant server space, and go to the bottom of the list.
      Also if a comment is off topic, and people are not interested, no one will comment and it will also go to the bottom (as happens with many comments).
      (the default mode is “recently updated” so if someone wants to read all comments they can, and if not, they just read the most commented ones that are at the top)

      On the other hand the current policy breaks the natural flow of the conversation. What happens if the community finds an off topic comment interesting and a new idea or debate arises because of that? And what if the vague statement of a conversation turns into a philosophical discussion and the community takes away the vague of it and builds a great conversation?
      Is it in the best interest of TED community to have the current type of moderation?
      (I think this comes from a format difference, in face to face interaction, time is scarce and you need more rigid rules to select the topic and stay on topic, in a web comment format, I don’t think that is needed)

      So my idea for improving TED is the following: let’s have the admin only deleting Spam, insults, threats, etc, but staying off the content discussion, the admin should not have to approve the comments nor the topics, that’s for the community to do.



      PS hopefully this comment will not be removed as my previous one was.
      PS 2 I saw a new Conversation by Michael Vlastone: “Censorship of criticism of controversial ideas posted on TED… violates the spirit of TED”, looks like that conversation was removed…
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        Apr 15 2011: believe me, we do want at least some moderation. the internet is like a magical jungle, trolls, denialists and all sorts of xenophobes quickly swarm in, and make honest communication impossible. just imagine if you open up a forum the first time, and you see ad hominems, spam, antisemitic rant, and name calling, would you bother to look more thoroughly for possible insightful comments? or you would just use the little X button on the top right?
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      Apr 15 2011: Dear Community Members,
      We never remove comments based upon opinion, and constructive criticism of TED is always welcome (but please submit it properly!). We remove comments if they are off-topic (for instance this thread is concerning Biological Evolution), offensive, or violate the TED terms of use (http://www.ted.com/pages/conversations_terms).

      If you have questions about this, or would like to voice concerns, I would ask that you email conversations@ted.com, as that is the correct venue for it. We like to keep the conversations here on-topic and organized for the sake of the greater TED Community.

      Additionally, if you have suggestions, the conversations@ted.com, or contact@ted.com emails are the best ways for them to be voiced, as our back-end team is not closely monitoring these discussions. We would hate for valuable input to be missed.

      Thank you,
      TED Admin
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        Apr 15 2011: Dear TED Admin:

        don't you consider this situation to be far more disruptive to the conversation?

        I read the "conversation terms" and there is no reference to off-topic comments (if there is one please let me know)

        Also Michael Vlastone added a new conversation, I suppose to talk about this situations, and the conversation was banned (was it?), how is that topic against the conversation terms?

        I will send this post to you via e-mail, but as we are a community I prefer that the discussion about the rules is done publicly, the people in the back end team would benefit from a topic like Michael’s and most comments regarding this would go there instead of derailing other conversations, but that conversation was banned (?).

        would love to have your feedback.

        Adding to this unfortunate situation, now you have several valuable and active community members completely off topic and annoyed with TED (from my perspective that is worst than a few off topic comments)



        PS I liked it better when Admins had names.
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          Apr 16 2011: Hi guys!
          Perhaps we could make a "things I think TED has done wrong" conversation and have discussions like this one there.
          These kinds of comments are exactly the ones (even though good and insightful) that make this conversation harder to browse and is hindering the clear purpose it has.

          Please repost any and all ideas for improving TED one by one and delete any "unnecessary/nonconstructive comments on other peoples comments."
  • Apr 6 2011: The character limit should be increased. If I have a lot to say on a topic, I do not like having to worry about the limit. I could post multiple posts. That could make the argument choppy and get lost in replys and rebuttles.
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    Apr 19 2011: This is not an idea, it is a statement. (it should be the only one and will be deleted in due time)

    I will not be able to show as much devotion to TED conversations in the coming 2-3 weeks as I have before. I've just recently moved to a new country and started a new job. I'm currently going through training and can not find any real quality time for TED at the moment as there are other things that I need to focus on.
    This means that my response may not be up to the standard that it should be on this conversation, but I will try to spend most of my weekends trying to moderate it as I feel it is important.

    Please try to keep this conversation as explained meanwhile.
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      Apr 19 2011: Good luck with your new job and in your new country!
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    Apr 17 2011: Suggestion: Stop showing deleted posts. What's the point of deleting something if it remains visible in a different form? Look at how bad this thread looks now.
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    Apr 15 2011: In case we get shut down, I started the following Facebook page:

    TED conversations conversation


    please pass it on to anyone who might be interested.
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      Apr 16 2011: Why thanks Tim, It's always good to have a backup, but I don't believe that Admin is going to shut this conversation down, we just need to keep it clean and on topic...
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    Apr 6 2011: What about on-line chatting with speakers? I think TED should try to promote, once in a while, chats between TED speakers and TEDsters. However, there should be a limited number of participants and a moderator responsible for conducting the chat apropriatly. I think great ideas would be spread through this system!

    Edit: Even though there's a limited number of participants, those who didn't apply should be able to read the chat.

    Edit: take a look at this http://www.ted.com/conversations/1913/i_m_online_and_will_be_here_fo.html
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    Apr 6 2011: Sorry to say the same thing in one more posting but I believe that the word OBNOXIOUS should be removed from the rating system.
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      Apr 6 2011: I'm sorry Debra but what are you talking about? What rating system? And what other post?
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        Apr 8 2011: She's talking about the rating system TED created to rate Talks. I have to agree with you Debra. Instead of putting OBNOXIOUS out there, why don't we make sure that an obnoxious Talk never takes place? Putting the option there seems to hint indirectly that TED hosts obnoxious talks which is why it needs the option. Instant bad publicity!
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          Apr 16 2011: mark: what about putting fascist there for the same reason? or retarded? or evil?
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          Apr 16 2011: NONONONONONO (I'm drunk)!!! You can not say that! take your comments somewhere else!
          Debra, would you please care to elaborate your statement so that it becomes understandable for all?
          Sargis, thank you for clarifying!
          Mark and Krisztián, please read the explanation and do as I ask.
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        Apr 17 2011: HI Jimmy, there is a button for rating each talk. There are a variety of words for rating the talk and each person gets three votes per talk. They are then aggregated to become the rating words that you see attached to each talk. I really hate the word OBNOXIOUS. I think it is disrespectful to the speakers. Talks may be a number of things that are not positive but none deserves to be rated OBNOXIOUS in my opinion because the speakers should be treated with more dignity and with more respect for their opinion than that adjective transmits.
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          Apr 17 2011: plus, if there is any chance that a talk is obnoxious, don't publish it.
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          Apr 18 2011: Hi all (I'm sober now)!
          So I realize that this conversation has become to hard to moderate by the rules that I've set up... My goal was to keep this conversation as an easily browsed "copy and send to TED" conversation... I do however feel that discussion is needed in some form... but the most important thing as I see it is the importance of elaborating ideas, rewriting them over and over again, taking all aspects into account and still keeping it a "single post" discussion...

          I must say that I'm at a loss and desperately need your help to develop the idea of the discussion... please send me an email or comment here...
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    Apr 6 2011: Jimmy! I hope you are writing all your thread results down!

    I can't expand my ideas right now, in class, however:
    1. character limit shouldn't be unlimited, just more characters. Maybe even the option to get some alternative fonts on here so everyone's writings don't blend together after reading a lot, not crazy fonts just alternatives.
    2. An alert system for conversations for A. when the thread you posted on has been posted on again and B. when someone replies to your post.
    3. On youtube, when enough thumbs down happen the comment becomes unseen, it can become re-seen if a user so chooses to show the comment. Something like that would be good.
    4. Make conversations have the ability to embed videos so we can watch them on comments and not have to follow links to another site all the time. (Not that serious but I personally like to multitask and I could watch/read on the same page, maybe others can?)
    5. Add the rule of "Read thread first before posting or post a comment immediately before reading the thread" That way with option one you will see if people already said what you were saying and could expand their idea, and option two the result would be seeing who is thinking like you are and probably should reply to their post anyways.

    Just a few thoughts.
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        Apr 6 2011: I learned more on TED in a few weeks than I have in my two years of education in college, I'll survive Jimmy lol.

        Well these aren't just my ideas they are collective ideas of what I have seen on the internet that make websites fun and easy to use. However tell me which is "best" and I'll gladly elaborate more, because at least two or three of these ideas have been said or made a conversation about. (I know, I made 2 a conversation, not too many responses)

        That is why I wanted to fragment them for your conversation! So, which is the least talked about and I'll expand it for you or anyone who ask.
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          Apr 6 2011: Even if they are not your ideas (I told you that ideas can not be owned, they belong to all!) if you are the first to suggest it on this conversation then it is your responsibility to elaborate all of them (or at least the ones that you feel you can)... It doesn't have to be perfect but give it a go and I and others will give our opinions!

          Edit: i think you can skip the "thumbs down" part... they tried that and for some reason it didn't work very well... if you read the conversation rules you will find that there is still a statement about using voting systems (up and down)...
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          Apr 7 2011: Nick, we need to clean up this thread, show me that you've read this by doing so and I will as well!
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    Apr 30 2011: A special Conversation topic on suggesting ideas to improve TED and TED Conversations has been started by our Staff member here:
    I am closing this one and hope you can make your further valuable suggestions as a comment to above provided conversation link. We really value your contribution and would like to have all the brilliant ideas and suggestions in one thread where it can be in the spotlights of our attention.

    Thank You,

    TED Conversations Admin
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    Apr 27 2011: There seems to be a serious time-lag when questions are sent to TED via e-mail. Has anyone gotten a reply when they checked the "I would like a response" box, and if so, how long did it take, approximately?
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    Apr 17 2011: More talks in the debate format. The exchange between Mark Jacobson and Stewart Brandt was absolutely great! For each of these debates, a TEDconversations debate can be automatically generated.
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      Apr 7 2011: Kathy, Please do email us at conversations@ted.com if you have questions regarding TED Conversations.
      We are happy to respond to emails in the order they've been received. Thank You!
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  • Apr 6 2011: There should be some button that can "open" and "close" whole side sonversations. So, that outsiders do not have to scroll through side conversations to get to comments about the topic.
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    Apr 6 2011: I've missed entire words in my closing statements and phrased things in a way that I did not agree with the next day.

    *Make it possible to edit your closing statement!*

    Perhaps this should be done with care but what about creating an alternative field under the creator's closing statement with a copy of the statement that can be altered.
    And by clicking the "request edit" button you send a request to TED that they will review and decide if the change is appropriate.
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    Apr 6 2011: What about a way to correct someones post, in language and spelling, making it easier and more pleasant to read? This should only be viewable as advice to the person who has made the comment, and should be up to that person to decide if a change is necessary.

    *Creating a "correct this comment" button!*
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    Apr 6 2011: it would be cool if there was a FIX-A-PROBLEM section in conversations. Someone would propose a problem, and give a plan layout to how to fix this problem and what they need to do it. Then those who think they can help will join in and get to fixing the issue, and when you went to the FIX-A-PROBLEM page, you would see a list of problems presented with a gauge next to them, showing the progress of those fixes and how close the are to being completed. with so many TEDsters thinking similary on so many issues, and all of us with skills, connections, ideas, this would be a great way to be productive within the TED community.
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      Apr 6 2011: Tim, your Idea is GREAT but could you perhaps make it a bit less like a wall of text? Try finding a way to highlight your core statement and make it separate from the rest of the text.

      All the best and thank you for the contribution, hope to see many more!