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Improving TED

Okay, ladies and gentlemen, this is a place to post your thoughts, ideas, opinions on how TED can be improved both as an organization and site; keep them positive, realistic and feasible. Debating them is welcomed. TED's listening.. (I Hope). : )

My thoughts, make TED a real catalyst of change.

"Actions speak louder than words."

Discussing's things is nice, coming up with ideas is nice, but implementing or experimenting with such ideas, is far better, cause then you can find out for sure whether they work or not. (Maybe create an offshoot, a site which helps people connect with others to start local change in their own communities?)

But, I digress, that's my idea, lets see what else you guys can come up with!

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    Jan 16 2014: why do you need TED to undertake specific action projects? If you see a good idea on TED, just take it and start action on it wherever you are. TED wants to simply be a conduit for all sorts of ideas, sometimes ideas that are opposed to each other, if they started to focus on doing specific action on some ideas, people whose ideas are opposed to or different from whatever actions TED is taking might never approach TED to try to publicize their ideas. And also, TED would probably feel uncomfortable with publicizing ideas that weren't in accord with their action foci, whereas this way, where they're not action-oriented, they can give each idea tender loving care.
    • Jan 16 2014: Thank you for the reply.

      First off, I don't 'need' TED to take action... on anything. As you pointed out, TED is a place to share ideas, so it goes to say that my idea (whether good, bad or unimportant) was for them to apply some of the ideas on TED in the real world. Obviously, not all ideas can be applied to the real world. However, some of the small ones, say a young woman has an idea to improve the efficiency of a city transit network, those could be implemented, locally. So my idea is that TED could not only be a place for people to share ideas but also become a place where those people could get help on implementing those ideas in their local areas. As I said in the description, maybe an offshoot website where the main goal is to help refine and improve peoples ideas, whatever they be, and then help those people find others in their area to work with for implementation or experimentation.
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        Jan 16 2014: well, it seems to me that TED really wants to be free to play in a realm of pure ideas. If you start doing practical actions through TED, what if a practical action takes a direction that TED doesn't generally support, are they going to kick them off the offshoot website, or what? But then they have to pay someone to monitor the offshoot website. And is the person really equipped to monitor the website, the actions could become very complex locally and you might only see a surface description on the offshoot website. What if people start claiming that TED endorses their actions, when TED has only neutrally provided the offshoot website? What if people who aren't involved with TED hear that an organization is organizing its activities through the TED offshoot website, are they going to believe that TED is endorsing those actions? But maybe TED doesn't want to endorse activities? I can see some problems. Anyway, most actions are local, true we can talk on TED and learn, but when it really comes to practical action most are probably going to start local and stay pretty local, and that's tough to monitor from New York City?

        What projects do you want to do? Is there someone on TED you'd like to collaborate with? With most people you can send them an email via their profile. If they're of the status to have given a TED talk, you ought to be able to find them and contact them.
        • Jan 16 2014: The way I see it if such a website were to ever exist, TED would not be endorsing any projects or ideas, only giving the people who want to do such projects a starting point (foundation) to move forward with. The site would have guidelines, rules to limit misuse of the site and resources. Honestly, I'm thinking this would be good for people in cities (big or small) who have ideas to help or improve their communities, but don't know where to start.

          You mentioned the problem of TED being able to manage these projects across the US. A possible solution that comes to mind is to have volunteers or employees who live in each of the larger urban areas in the country be designated to that area. So if someone proposes a project/idea for that area on the website, it would be directed to that local volunteer or employee to handle. This has several good benefits, but it also has its downfalls. If you hired individuals, the cost would be expensive. The resource demand, where should your employees be? Just in the big cities or regionally, what about people in small communities?

          I'll think a bit more on this, if there's any other things you want me to think about let me know.

          As to me, while I have a few ideas for my local area, I'm currently too busy to act on them... in the future perhaps.
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        Jan 17 2014: Well, have you proposed this to TED? What do they say? I'm thinking that when you really think about how many people there are in the world, the TED community is pretty small. The chances that any sizable number of people within the TED community are going to share an interest in one issue, and agree on how to approach the issue, and actually be motivated to act and act together seem pretty small to me. Plus there is the issue of localism, where most problems are local, and the people who work on them and solve them are local. In any local place, there's a fairly small number of TEDsters. But why are you so focused on the TED community anyway, AFGM? Let's say, for example, you had a polluted river where you live. You want to gather a group of people to clean it up, and keep it clean. You're not just going to ask people on TED to get involved, you would accept help from anyone in your area who wants to become involved. If you specifically hoped TEDsters would become involved, you could go to the TED community tab, put in the area where you live, see who comes up as living nearby, and send them an invite to get involved.

        I still think TED wants to be a pure conduit for ideas. You say TED would not be endorsing any projects or ideas, but by allowing them on the TED offshoot, some people will perceive it as an endorsement whether it really is one or not. And I think for some people it would make TED appear less neutral, more political. For example, if TED put actions on there to clean up the environment, well, some people think environmentalists skew left politically, so in their minds TED then becomes a leftist organization. I don't think TED wants to be so political, as I say, they just want to look for the good ideas, then let other people use them practically and take on all the implications that may arise.

        I'm sorry if I'm shooting down your idea. I tend to be pessimistic when it comes to new ideas, well, other people's.......
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        Jan 17 2014: new ideas, when it comes to my own new ideas, I'm pretty up on them?
  • Jan 20 2014: 1) Pair conversation topic working groups with corporate sponsors, academic leaders and government leaders interested in executing changes suggested.

    2) Solicit topics that a sponsor would like to have discussed and debated in some sort of TED-Brainstorming group area

    3) Get the photograph icon tool feature fixed.

    4) Create an area where kids interview TED adults to get answers to questions they have about particular subjects for school, reports, experiences, etc. for an interview on a job, subject or historic event. Use the TED format to improve access but protect kids against poor responses.

    5) Some of the topics of interest probably should be web pages where prior conversations, ideas, or debates could be collected and used as a reference later.

    6) Have another more reachable tier for TED fellow or maybe a badge, based on conversation credits or content. Inspiring and creative positive forward thinking can occur with written words as well as great speeches.

    7) Have a section for TED videos, without talks, that provide audio and visual messages.

    8) Have all TED talks transcribed so they can be read.

    9) Have some of your TED events in beautiful place in National Parks so the masses can hear the message live. The costs are restrictive for many and National Parks could use some help.

    10) Have opportunities to do public service be part of your TED events. Having volunteers go and spend a few hours building a house for Habitat for humanity, helping serve food at a shelter, or visiting sick children at a hospital would keep minds grounded in reality while hearing lofty messages. It would also be a great place to meet new people and work together to do something nice for other people and leave the host city with a positive experience.

    11) Lot of smart people with time to kill in airports. Perhaps think of a way to make your message heard, advertise, or put up video links to TED talks in airports.
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    Jan 17 2014: Oh and hey, if you'd like to see some of the suggestions made here on TED conversations that are on the same topic as this one, just click http://www.ted.com/conversations/search?type=keyword&cat=convos&term=improving+TED&submit=Go
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    Jan 17 2014: Yeah alright, since my previous post didn't get any response I guess it's best if I just added some suggestions so that you understand that I've been on this for years and very few things have changed.

    For the site:

    Make a TED-Improvements section, where all these suggestions may be categorized and discussed fully.

    Make it more social, implement icons for notifications, email and friends. Also allow the creation of groups and such.

    Increase the character limit, 2000 isn't enough. Also, add some formatting options for text, such as the bold and italic. I'd also like embedded links and media options. Like being able to share pictures and video thumbnails.

    Re-introduce the Open-ended option, so that conversations don't close.

    Limit posting by restricting the number of posts and comments you can make.

    Make a TED chat for the site, a place where it would all run a lot faster.

    Allow comments on Hello.ted.com!

    Introduce TED-hangouts.

    For TED's organisation.

    Be transparent, show your data and your books. Don't put the lid on stuff that is uncomfortable.

    Hire more staff! The one reason we're given for this and that not working is "The small staff count". Oh and seriously Chris, get an HR for your staff!

    RESPOND to your beta-testers for TED 2.0 when they take the time to give you feedback about the site. Also give beta-testers a place to hang and discuss things, you're keeping us all isolated, or rather your not helping in any way with letting us collaborate.

    STOP focusing solely on the conferences, the Web needs you to focus on us as well! To a much greater extent.


    Yeah, this is just off the top of my head, and it's filled with thousands of suggestions that I've gathered through the years...
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    Jan 13 2014: Oh, that's so sweet of you to do this!

    I've had these conversations for years, to no avail... I have most of the conversations that bring up any aspect of improving TED stored in "The Great TED Conversation" http://www.ted.com/conversations/18816/the_great_ted_conversation.html

    If you really want to do this, TED Conversations is not the right place to do this in...

    I could go on forever about different improvements that are needed and how TED isn't doing any of them and haven't done any of them for years...

    For three YEARS we've been requesting so many changes and what do they make TED Playlists, that's the only big thing that they've done for the website in three years!

    If you're interested I have created a separate outside channel for talking solely about TED, it's http://www.reddit.com/r/TEDconversations