TED Conversations

Product Development, TED Conferences


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Do you have a suggestion for TED? Something we could do better?

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We would like to use this space to hear and discuss your ideas for TED and TED.com.

Please note: If you wish to suggest a speaker please use the following link: http://www.ted.com/nominate/speaker

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    Jun 11 2011: The act of deleting comments, you do not "like", is undemocratic, manipulative, limiting, etc.

    Many may not agree with certain positions especially about delicate, taboo, controversial subjects presented on TED or expressed in comments by some users. It is very annoying and wrong tendency to delete comments when you in TED do not share or like them.

    The voice of the "minority" or the "unorthodox thinkers" has to be heard also if TED is to be believed to uphold the values it promotes.

    Here is my proposal for TED:
    INSTEAD REPLACE THEM WITH A LINK. You might be surprised how many people would click on those links and would want to read those "condemned" comments or have something to say about them.

    "Idea WORTH spreading"??? It seems you in TED have a tight grip on what to be considered "worthy" of spreading. Why not let the people say what they really think about the ideas you present? Moderate what appears but do not Delete - let the people have the means to read, reply to, rank the "condemned" comments.
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      Jun 12 2011: I totally disagree! There are a lot of F*****-** things that people say that are not worthy of sharing. Now, you might be under the impression that the opinion you have is the correct one and what you are saying is "the truth" but that, George, is very unlikely!

      Go here to speak freely! http://www.ted.com/conversations/3273/nothing_s_off_topic.html

      Edit: have you read http://www.ted.com/pages/conversations_terms ?
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        Jun 13 2011: No more. TED just killed the conversation. So much for transparency and free speech.

        @Jimmy: Two days remaining. If it goes, I go.
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          Jun 14 2011: I'm sorry to hear that Tim!

          Edit: seems to be back.
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          Jun 15 2011: "@Jimmy: Two days remaining. If it goes, I go."

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          Jun 15 2011: Transparency and free speech YES!

          But slanderous statements and personal attacks NO!

          There's got to be a line somewhere.

          I was the recipient of just such attacks here in a TED conversation and it was more than offensive - it was hurtful.
          TED can be faulted for being big brother, but when it comes to personal attacks, what would you propose TED do?
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          Jun 15 2011: I am supporting Jim on this one.

          We need a balance.
          I absolutely value Tim and his contribution and it is strange that he is the one who ends up in this confrontation for I have never seen him treat anyone without consumate respect and all of his comments are on point and often deeply insightful as well. The problem is that does not apply to everyone.
          When my comments have been removed- they deserved to be in most cases.

          I am surprised that TED did not leave Tim's thread alone as it was a happy little cul de sac for people - it was tactically a poor manoever but TED has to have the right to prevent threads from dissolving into chaos.
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          Jun 15 2011: Can we request that there be a review of the terms and agreement policy and that we, the users, have input? I really do think the process would benefit from a more formal review. For our part, if as a group we formulated new guidelines we think would be more fair for removal of a comment?
          It may not satisfy everyone's every wish, but it likely will result in something better than what we are tied to now.
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          Jun 16 2011: this^^
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          Jun 16 2011: EA

          5.TED is seeking to foster a grown-up conversation about ideas that matter. When conversing with other members, engage in a reasoned exchange of ideas -- avoiding flaming, name-calling, obscenities and insults.
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          Jun 16 2011: Well Kathy,
          I have to admit that I have read some things in the last day or so that have shocked me and are causing me to rethink my position.
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          Jun 18 2011: TED is not about free speech. It's about spreading ideas "they" agree on. We should be aware of it, accept it, or refrain from posting. I do enjoy some of TED's contents but I do not share the "pedestal" statues some users seem to have given to the brand name. When you look at the speakers, it is quiet clear the direction TED is moving forward to, and it ain't free-speech. Some speakers are in fact invited for their notoriety rather than for the content of their speech. It's a shame that in many cases, the speakers are people that have more than one platform to express their ideas/interests to the masses. TED should allow more "out of the dark" speakers, and focus more on the life's experience of the speaker rather than on their academical bureaucracy or the amount of books they have published; or even worst, their celebrity statues.
      • Jun 14 2011: They may not be worth sharing, but certainly they're not worth censoring. Mr Spilkov presents a seemingly perfect solution.
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        Jun 14 2011: @Birdia: They apparently decided it wasn't serving their interests.
        • Jun 15 2011: Hi all -- the purpose of TED Conversations is to provide a deeper and wider discussion amongst the TED community, to hear voices and meet people that you otherwise wouldn't have interacted with; there is no 'interests' that are being served. The Admins don't have an agenda they are serving besides doing their best to host engaging and productive conversations.

          Every single comment doesn't need to be perfectly on topic, but if you want an example for the reasoning behind comment removal, take a look at this very sub-thread within the suggestions thread. It has grown with many topics that I myself might consider off-topic to a point that suggestions for TED.com are being pushed down 'below the fold' and those users aren't getting their voices heard. In my opinion, off-topic comments and sub-threads provide a barrier to the original poster's discussion and have the potential to derail entire conversations.
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        Good one Jimmy! But you know there are certain causes which justify martyrdom. Free speech is one of them.
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          Jun 15 2011: Yeah, I know Tim.
          Talk to the admins, I really think you guys can come to a solution that works for all!
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        Jun 15 2011: Jim Moonan: RE: "I was the recipient of just such attacks here in a TED conversation and it was more than offensive - it was hurtful."

        Don't take it seriously Jim. Here on TED conversations I've been called an ignorant stalking rapist. Actually, I wish that comment wasn't deleted. It was really pretty comical.
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          Jun 15 2011: Really?! It's re-assuring to hear that coming from you... the attack on me felt more outrageous and sinister than comical. But if it were to happen again I suppose my skin is thicker now. It happened while I was rather new to the TED conversations and I was frozen by it because I think of TED as being a place were that kind of behavior is non-existent. But now I know it's not...
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          Jun 15 2011: tim, birdia, teach me how to get that kind of hate mail. i always get boring attacks only.
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          Jun 15 2011: I'm in good company then…

          But I don't think this is about what we get in terms of hateful, slanderous personal emails. We have protection against that if we want. We can protect our privacy as many do in this forum.

          What I think this is about is what the limits are to free speech in this public forum. Are there any??? I totally agree that TED needs to take a hard look at their rationale for removing comments and take what so many of us are calling for seriously. It is in the spirit of what is best about TED to do so.

          There's a music artist I enjoy that I think is a genuine musical genius and from time to time I find something on youtube by him and his band. The comments left are often supportive, but it's not unusual for ignorant, vicious people to spew their racist, bigoted, hate-filled venomous beliefs as well. My point is that’s apparently ok to a large degree on youtube – although there are times when the entire comment stream has been disabled and I assume that the speech got too far out of hand even that forum.

          But this is TED. I have been following this conversation closely enough to know that I may have to re-adjust my understanding of what TED conversations are and are not, but for now at least I see this forum as something of a safe-haven from that very small element of people that are so common across the internet... Is removing that type of comment so bad? Doesn’t removing that type of comment re-confirm who we are as a group?? A diverse group, but a respectful group as well.

          Btw, I'm always up for a good argument (Kristian, we have one going right now and your not playing fair). It's half the reason why I enjoy TED conversations.
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    • Jun 12 2011: I totaly agree with you sir:)
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      Jun 12 2011: I disagree with George.

      TED Conversations is not just another bulletin board. Here admins must delete comments to maintain the standard and most importantly the mere goal of this online conversation project.
      And in the conversations terms there are few adjectives repeated: mature, constructive, civil, relevant
      So, anything that does not comply with these adjectives should be removed.

      And radical openness in discussions never leads to anything constructive, even in your everyday meetings, you may try, it always leads to chaos and talking in vain for hours.
      • Jun 13 2011: Realy, here are some people who are very sophisticated radical and nobody deletes them. I believe that i have any rights to say when in disagree whit somebody, and not being deleted
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      Jun 12 2011: This would allow people to see who posts these uncouth comments so as to know if they the would like to engage these posters in other conversations.
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      • Jun 13 2011: I'd so red flag you right now, haha.
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        Jun 13 2011: I agree with that suggestion Birdia. The report of abuse can be misused
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          Jun 13 2011: I disagree with Birdia. Personally, I wouldn't use the flag feature if my name was showing up next to the flag. Besides, flagging a post doesn't automatically mean it will be deleted, just that the staff will look into it. A certain degree of anonymity is necessary to protect those who report abuse. I also can't quite imagine a mature community like the TED community would abuse the flag system. Don't tell me I'm wrong! :)
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          Jun 13 2011: How about having the option to put your name next to the flag?
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          Jun 13 2011: I like the system the way it is, it allows me to express what I like without having to explain myself why I like a controversial comment or why in one talk I agree with x and in another talk, I disagree with a similar opinion (I'm not talking about flagging it). I like the fact that I can raise my thumb for a comment which I find inspiring. I don't care much about my credit, but I like being identified as a translator. It motivates me to think twice about what I write.
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        Jun 13 2011: Ok then - you are not right :)

        You can't quite imagine a mature community like the TED community would abuse the flag system but what about imagining a mature community like the TED community would abuse the terms? If you can imagine that then perhaps you could imagine the latter also.
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        Jun 16 2011: I agree the red flags should appear in the conversation..maybe even with a counter so the commenter knows how many have taken issue.

        Since Red flags are invisible at the moment we can't know which are pending PED review. So as far as I know we have no knowlledge on the pattern of use of red flags.

        We only get to see the outcome , a notice "this post was removed by admin".

        In the few conversations I have been involved in I have never once seen a comment removed by admin that was simply an opposing view point. That is simply not a a truthful portrayal, Birdia, of what I have seen.
        In every case it has been about removing inapparopriate comments by members that breech the terms of use agreement. In one conversation sveral members got into a bitter relentless personal harangue with one another right in the middle of a conversation on transforamtive expetreiences, of all things. The moderator repeatedly asked them to stop. They continued really ruining the whole conversation. By the time admin removed all the posts it was too late.the entire conversation was ruined. That was the most dramatic one I have witnessed. Same people involved in all the others i have seen. Same issues..

        I have not personally ever ever ever seen deletion of a comment that is simply expressing a different opinion. That is simpy not a true statement from my observations.
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          Jun 16 2011: I can vouch for this statement:

          "I have not personally ever ever ever seen deletion of a comment that is simply expressing a different opinion. That is simpy not a true statement from my observations."
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        Jun 16 2011: I think the flags should be visible and that there should be a counter so the commenter has a sense of how a comment is received by the community

        .I am all for transparency. I think TED's guidance to "abusers" should appear publicly right in the context of the conversation. That way we would all learn. And that would certainly curb these tedenciesand self correct our community..

        .Didn't there used to be at thumbs down? Maybe that should be bright back?

        In another conversation I just saw three thumbs up on a comment that suggested that the appropriate response to a statement that "The holocause was a lie" is to present videos and documentation that holocaust did actuially happen if you disagree.

        Is red flagging a statement that " the holocaustis a lie" suppressing opinion? censorhip?

        I think not.

        In some parts of the world that is actually a crime. All over the wolrd in civilized and intelligent compamy that kind of thing just isn't said

        There are myths being spread here about censorship and repression and manipulation that really don't tell the underlying story. These are just the wounded little boys and girls who through rocks through the window and then wailed when they were caught.
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    May 2 2011:  
    Lower the volume of the intros and outros to the talks, they are waaaaay too loud; especially on headphones.
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    Jun 12 2011: What about ideas worth realizing?

    Why not have TED Community vote each month on an idea / talk they like best and offer a crowd-funding for this idea. If 5.000 persons vote to have an idea realized and each person is giving 50 Dollars - a lot can be done.

    TED FUTURE could be more than ideas, it could be a community for change - for action. Then TED has the potential to be an even more influential international avantgarde which is socially interactive. It transforms ideas in some cases to reality - and in many societys you need just a little help for a first mover to start a movement for change.
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      Jun 12 2011: I really like the crowdfunding idea. It already works for projects such as Philantropher where every day, a new non-profit is introduced and people can decide to fund it with $1 (it's just $1 so you can give $1 for the next project on the next day as well - which I think is a great idea). Kickstarter has a similar approach (however without the vote system): every project has its own page, people can decide to "follow" projects and the initiator can post updates on the page to inform about the progress he has made. I think this would be a great experiment, especially for projects like building schools or improving healthcare.
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      Jun 13 2011: This is a really great idea!
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    May 11 2011: I don't know if its already been suggested, but just in case how about a TED follow up. Y'all bring in some amazing speakers that talk about cutting edge stuff or fantastic design, etc. and then Poof. I never hear about it again. I want updates! I want to be able to keep tabs on progress or failure!
    • May 11 2011: Ted follow ups sound like a great idea,I think a lot of people have a continuing interest in the amazing talks that they've seen on TED,
    • May 11 2011: Hi Meher -- I know what you mean! One of the first talks I saw was the demo of Sixth Sense technology, I would love to get updates on the research and progress. What form do you picture this taking?
      • May 11 2011: +1 Updates would be great. Maybe speakers should be allowed to edit the "About this talk" sidebar with useful links and news. A more social approach would be to ask the viewers to find updates and related content and edit the "About this talk" like a wiki.
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        May 12 2011: The sixth sense tech was exactly what i had in mind when i posted this. Pranav Mistry demonstrated the amazing tech, and made some great claims about cost and what not, and alluded to the the simplicity of the design. He suggested making it sort of open source, well, now i want my blueprints and programs!

        what I had in mind was allowing speakers to maybe do follow-up talks, not necessarily on the big stage, but self made sort of things. They could do audio recording, or audio visual or downloadable or broadcast-able presentations or something that could be linked to the speeches they give so we can watch the progress and development and also so they can reach out to the TED community for support if they hit road blocks.

        or you can set up like micro TEDS, little studios where the presenters could just come and present updates to small audiences or no audience at all, the use of TED facilities would just be so that the follow-ups have consistency in audio visual production. but all follow-ups should be directly linked to the original talk, I want to see flow, hear about the hold ups and success, I want the process of development to be more transparent so that the world can see how stuff gets done! (or not done)
      • May 15 2011: The Speaker pages already have an 'On the web' section for links - example http://www.ted.com/speakers/pranav_mistry.html - and I would generally include Wikipedia and Worldcat id links, for speaker and/or topic. The point is, don't replicate something already being done elsewhere. If there's a excellent bibliography on a person or topic, link to that rather than to each link individually.
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        May 15 2011: Couldn't you just search engine said technologies and/or break throughs?
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        May 20 2011: How about an option to be sent notifications via TED or email about a subject? The obvious downside is more work for the speaker/organisation?!
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      May 19 2011: Starting from TED Global 2010, during the conference hosts give updates about past speakers. Also sometimes some posts are published in TED Blog - http://blog.ted.com
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        May 19 2011: I totally agree that there should be a better more organized follow-up feature. I mean, it's not just about listening to talks...it's about creating action, right?

        It would be nice to have on the actual talk video page a follow-up section if there are any video follow-ups. Or even a progress bar or a section for the original speaker to update on the talk. It's definitely nice to know if the idea is still in forward motion. If not, what we can do to help.
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    Jun 8 2011: I think that requiring organizers of TEDx events with more than 100 attendees to attend a TED conference is very limiting. I understand that it is of great importance to ensure the quality of TEDx events but I believe you could think of some alternatives that do not require spending $6000 (which is a great deal of money in most places in the world) and traveling around the globe.
    • Jun 15 2011: Hi Dana -- For a more detailed response to this I would recommend reaching out to the TEDx team (contact info is available in the ted.com/tedx sub-page), but my understanding of that rule is to ensure that the larger events reflect the 'feel' of a TED conference. The TEDx program gives out the TED name at no cost to organizers all over the world, but my understanding is there has to be some limitations along the way to ensure the overall quality of the events.
  • Apr 30 2011: It may exist already, but I can't find it... I would like the option of CHANGING the dates for a conversation / debate. I think it would be neat to extend / reduce the dates depending on how things are going. I have a talk that I feel has run its course and would liek to close early. As I can't, I feel that I need to keep reading it so that I don't appear rude and miss questions being asked.

    Also, a Collapse option. There can be a lot of comments to scroll down and if each comemnt was collapsed, with just the posting name and date/time, it would be much easier to oprn up the recent comments.

  • May 21 2011: Thanks for the opportunity to make suggestions. I discovered TED about a year ago and typically watch TED Talks while eating breakfast and dinner.

    My suggestion is to turn down the volume of the introduction to each talk The sound is so loud that after listening to one talk at a comfortable level I have to adjust the volume down when starting another talk, otherwise the intro blows me out of the room. Could these intros be adjusted to a lower level so they would match the listening level of the pieces they are introducing. I understand the producer of this piece meant it to be very dramatic and it is but it is also inconvenient to be constantly adjusting my volume.

    Al Vitale
    St. Louis MO
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      May 21 2011: I agree, the opening and closing volume needs adjustment.
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      May 21 2011: This should of been addressed ages ago.
    • May 23 2011: Hi Al -- Alway good to see a fellow St. Louisan out there! (born and raised in South St. Louis, moved out to the county for middle school and high school).

      We've heard the feedback on this, and is a more complicated fix than it would seem. We're looking at it though and hope to have it resolved soon.
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        May 23 2011: Can you add the sound track to an audio program like adobe audition and just adjust the volume level of the intros? Then re-import it into the video track. This is how I would go about it, also how I am willing to assist.
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    May 1 2011: Why TED Talks must be in English? I think nothing happens if the English-Speaking Peoples watch the talks with subtitles as it has always been possible for the rest of the world. Further there are a lot of amazing people out there with brilliant ideas who have not been able to spreading only because of non-English speaking.
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      May 1 2011: Hi Ana Maria! I would love to see TED talks in other languages with subtitles but I recognize that most of us who speak English as a first language are not able to speak other language and that probably applies to the TED hierarchy. They are responsible for the content of the talks and they may be wrestling with how to vett such talks when they do not really know what they say. The other problem is that there is no mechanism for the very best nonEnglish speaking thinkers do not have direct access to the TED decision makers one on one.
      I sure hope that something will develop to permit talks from other languages because I think we will all be enriched!
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          May 14 2011: Jaime, You are doing just fine. Your points are understandable and you should remember that most of us cannot even speak a few words of another language. The least we can to is the small work of adjusting the words of a non- native English speaker!
    • May 2 2011: Hey Ana -- The language of the conference itself is English (which is why all of the TED Conference talks are), but many of our TEDx events around the world feature other languages. As you can imagine we view a lot of talks and curating/translating additional languages adds a level of difficulty. That being said, stay tuned :-)
      • May 4 2011: I think it should be much more enriching to have conferences in all other languages with subtitles, at least, in English. This would enable us to reach many more fascinating ideas as well as peen in different cultural narratives that are limited by language constraints.

        I just think it should be possible for those non-English TED conference organizers to find someone for a quick English translations....
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          May 4 2011: Or we could just do it. I don't see any reason why TED translators shouldn't be able to write English subtitles for Talks in their native languages. That said, the subtitles in the native languages would have to be written first, but that can't be so hard either. Will, if you're one day betatesting this feature, count me in :)
        • May 5 2011: Hi Simone, Sanjay -- Stay tuned! This is something we're hoping to see very soon. Simone, I'm sure your (and the rest of the TED Translators) input will continue to prove vital. We'll be in touch if we need testers!
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        May 4 2011: Is it possible that the TED website could acquire the necessary translation software to enable participants who speak languages other than English to comment/read in their own language?
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          May 5 2011: Babel fish where are you?
        • May 10 2011: Hi Jim -- Besides English, TED Conversations are currently supported in French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, Norwegian, German and Russian!

          And for reading, switching on the subtitle for a talk will translate some of the surrounding text and using Chrome as a browser will give you the capability to translate entire pages (albiet not perfectly).
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        May 11 2011: I love to see TED talk in different languages with English/ German/ French/ chinese/ etc. subtitles.
        I know it won't be easy. But how about having "native language" session when TED is held abroad; For example, have several talks in Spanish/ Catalan when TED is held in Spain.

        And if it's not too much, you can ask the speakers to prepare the scripts before hand. So, you can have translation script running on screen at the presentation. There may be better idea. I'm sure TED people will come up with something really cool!
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      May 3 2011: Hi Ana,

      I'm a TEDx organiser in Taiwan, and many of our speakers prefer to speak in Chinese. We encourage this, for the reasons you give.

      All the same, some of our speakers prefer to try in English - even though the people in the room mostly speak Chinese and we provide a translation service. Why? Because they want their talk to be accessible to the maximum number of people possible.

      The TED translation project makes it easier for people all around the world to enjoy TED talks in different languages. And one reason for that is that English is so widely spoken, so there are many people able to translate into their own language. Talks in English are more easily translatable into other languages. Very few people speak Chinese well enough to translate a talk into their own language, and even fewer could read the transcript.

      Providing TED talks in more languages is a worthy goal, and the TEDx community is working hard to do that. So is the translation community. I'm sure that as these projects continue to grow, we will eventually have enough quality material to start offering TED talks in different languages. Do you have any suggestions for how these talks can be curated so that the best ones get selected to be featured on TED.com?
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        May 3 2011: I see no reason why I can't read English subs.

        I would do so gladly for benefit/entertainment, TED, hire interns to do translating work part/full time. Teacher and linguistic (examples) majors would do it for a letter of recommendation to stuff into portfolios. TED is highly credible, it would take a conspiracy theory to discredit it. So my added suggestion to more languages is as follows.

        Hire interns for letters and networking abilities. In return comes more publicity from teachers and linguistics, more networking. Ultimately a large community will build and sister and/or brother sites can be created for more specific topics.

        This is all possible by allow more speakers of all languages to also only better a great site.

        I see no reason why most people on here wouldn't pay a dollar membership fee to expand neither. Perhaps.


        More is better when involving ideas, do not let any boundary stop ideas being shared.
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          May 5 2011: I totally agree with Nicholas. At the same time, research interns with a certain language proficiency could do the same job and conduct research in sociology, communication theory, semiotics all around TED. Oh wait, there's a broad hint hidden there ;)

          But back to the topic. Will -- who would I have to contact for research-related questions?
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      May 12 2011: I so agree with you , It would be really amazing for whole TED community , if we can see in future a feature like "TED translation " TED DUB" ..so non English peaking people or even people who cant read and language but can understand by listing will also be able to understand and share these amazing ideas .
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    Apr 30 2011: Have speakers do a follow-up posting to TED. Not necessarily a new video, but a posted document where they take two or three (or four) key objections or questions that came up in discussion of their talk, or in conversations linked from it, and give a brief respose to those.

    This would help to foster the sense that the participants here are actually engaged in dialogue with the big players.
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      Jun 14 2011: Post the conversations Wongmo.
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      Jun 14 2011: Hi Wongmo,

      Thank you for drawing our attention to certain comments by flagging them. We've looked into all the flagged comments and took appropriate action when necessary, But we have not gotten any flags from you about the 2 conversations you've mentioned.
      Let's discuss this via email, to avoid hijacking this conversation. :)
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        Jun 15 2011: Wongmo: Don't tell me you're a red-flagger. Thought you were more enlightened then that. The only comments I red-flag are the ADMIN's.

        Do you really thing that censorship is the best way to confront racism? Why not confront it directly through debate? The best antidote to racism is the light of day.
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          Jun 15 2011: Tim, I know she wasn't red flagging and that she confronted them directly only to receive ridicule.
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        Jun 15 2011: Debra: So who exactly was offended?
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        Jun 15 2011: wongmo: I'm baffled by what you consider the cost of open-ended conversations that no one comments on? Is the price of a few extra bits of information bothering you?
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        Jun 15 2011: And what is your point with::

        "That NO open-ended conversations seems to be pointed at one person in particular to me, but it backfired on your great Nothings Off Topic"
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        Jun 15 2011: So what is the detriment to leaving open-ended discussions around?

        At least just eliminate those with no activity for a few months. Why have ADMINs running around making value judgments on what stays end what goes?
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    Jun 13 2011: This website is really impressive already, but there is always opportunity for improvement. Regarding my taste, I would like to see optimization of the discussion threads. At the present, even standard functionalities in exemplary forums are missing here:
    - Thread pages you can jump to instead of only loading the next comments
    - Viewing the comment pages alone without streaming the video
    - Detailed search options, like searching within a thread.

    I already have ideas that go beyond them, but I would highly appreciate if these standard functionalities were introduced first. Afterwards, one can think about improving them further. Generally said, I would like to see an enhancement of the conversation options, since I consider the comments and discussions to be vital additions to the inspiring videos.

    Either way, thanks for asking for suggestions and striving for improvement :)
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      Jun 13 2011: Yeah, what Ray said!
    • Jun 13 2011: Great suggestions Ray!
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        Jun 13 2011: Wow, many thanks for the cheerful endorsement, friends! I am glad that my wishes meet your appreciation :) This is the most inspiring website on the internet known to me, so any suggestions are just cherry on the cake. Nevertheless, I'd like to have this cherry ;)
  • Jun 7 2011: TED talks should be available on Netflix. Big ideas deserve a big screen
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      Jun 7 2011: It's a shame that you need a U.S. mailing address though...
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      Jun 7 2011: That's why we should embrace my idea of a TED film house on the TED site! I want to be able to see films from around the world and I would be willing to pay a fee if it went to support film makers on the front lines bringing us truth from around the world.
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        Jun 8 2011: Great idea! Good art in every form educates , enlightens, and entertains.
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        Jun 8 2011: Truth tends to be filtered through the eyes of the beholder.
        But I agree about film making, filmmakers should have a voice outside of the industry for projects that do not fit the entertainment guidelines. Even thou the main concerns for filmmakers to take on a serious project come from founding the picture. Perhaps a TED sponsored program to help not only to diffuse, but also to finance projects selected by TED (or a committee on behalf of TED) for non-profit, out of the industry, educational purposes. TEDFILMS presents...
        Perhaps the program could focus on projects involving several writers, filmmakers and crews, around the world to collaborate together on 'Universal' films, sort of "All the Invisible Children", without the big names ;)
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    Jun 3 2011: I think TED could really use an introduction video that explains the "basics" of TED.com
    There is just so much info to go through, so many buttons to push and explore, seeing a tutorial video of TED could really help TEDsters find what their looking for on TED, generating more ideas, reaching a bigger mass.
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    May 29 2011: How about NOT closing this conversation!?

    I've been afk for some time and an hour isn't quite enough time for me to check this conversation out, will there be a new conversation when this one closes?
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    May 27 2011: Two of my ideas, very briefly:

    - email notification on local TEDx events
    (get notified when there is going to be TEDx event nearby)

    - "watch later" feature in TEDtalks video archive
    (just like youtube has)
  • May 26 2011: Please, give us a "Random TED talk" button!

    (Edit: You click on that button and are presented a random TED talk. Or a random TED talk channel that presents you with random TED talks one after another.)

    (Edit2: If there is such a feature, please let me know in a comment...)
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      May 27 2011: I like the idea Pascal, but I want to add a suggestion.

      Allow TEDsters to pick their "interest" like stumbleupon.com does.

      Now this can be good for a few reasons.. Your preset interest could allow the random TED talk button to bring you to a talk you are definitely going to enjoy. Also TED website will be able to suggest other videos based on your interest. This can be done by modifying the "interest" section in the profiles, it will have two duties now, one to dictate interest and two to let the website know what to offer!

      Just a quick suggestion.
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        May 27 2011: I like this one. And the base for it should already be there with the recommendations you get when you watch talks. I would definitely be more motivated to favorite and to rate TED talks if there was this feature. And the Random button could be fun!
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        May 27 2011: You can define your interests now... using one of the profile boxes. I understnand what is your idea, but and don't think, that this would be something, what TED needs. Here is why: the idea of TED is that you get talks from all topics. You collect ideas you wouldn't encounter normally. This Stumbleupon like feature could keep the viewer closed in his area of interest, which is killing the basing concept of TED - inspiration from distant areas of specialization.

        Random button makes sense, it is not so hard to implement and it could be interesting.
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          May 29 2011: "This Stumbleupon like feature could keep the viewer closed in his area of interest, which is killing the basing concept of TED"

          I disagree completely. I have 0 interest in economics and business as it is developing in the world... Not because the topics are not important but because it is unrelated to my current interest.. People can only handle SO much information at once. So by allowing you to pick your interest, you can study in depth what you want, when you want more (which I hope you do) you add to the interest..

          The point of TED is in the name itself, after that it is up to the individual to use TED as a tool like any other technology or website on the internet.
        • May 29 2011: Hi Michal,

          that was my thought, exactly. Just because I don't want to allow myself to skip talks that appear to be boring, I'd like to have the random TED talk button (or channel). Almost always the TED talks are stunning, wonderful, interesting - no matter which topic they cover. This way you increase the serendipity factor: to stumble upon new fascinating topics that did not appear to be interesting at first glance. Or to rediscover TED talks you've watched a while ago but cannot remember that well enough anymore.
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    May 18 2011: How about adding length as one of the sort/ resize options? There are times when I might have 10 or 15 minutes to hear a talk, but not 30. It would be great to be able to see the selection of talks that fit into the time I have available.
    • May 18 2011: Hi Daryl -- that's something we have available on the TED iPad app, but a great idea for the site. There may be something similar available for extra short talks, let me poke around and get back to you.
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        May 20 2011: If from the homepage you click on the "Talks" link then on the left of the screen will be the scroll down menu dubbed "Show by minutes". This allows you to select talks from 3, 6, 9, 12, or 18 minutes.
  • May 16 2011: To new visitors, the site may feel baffling or unwelcoming, because pages and phrases tend to lack introductory explanation. But it's easy to fix.

    1. Make the "About TED" link the very first one seen on the home page -- put it in bold, upsized type right beneath the logo, so first-time visitors can't miss it and can quickly get up to speed on what this is all about. Presently, "About TED" is hidden in tiny gray type several columns over.

    2. Similarly, explain each section with a sentence or two at the top of its page (e.g. purpose, ground rules, distinctions among subsections). For example, if someone clicks into the TED Conversations section, it's reasonable for them to expect that section to begin with a brief explanation of the section.

    3. Similarly, you may find occasions to explain phrases that may be unfamiliar, perhaps with a simple (What's This?) rollover.

    As my old boss would say: Make it intuitive, and explain yourself. Test it on grandma. If she gets it, you did well.
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    May 16 2011: Idea: What to sell in the TED online store.
    Conversation: There needs to be a TED store and I hope it is coming soon. I am bursting at the seams to get my own TED merchandise. A T-shIrt is a great way to get someone interested in TED. I would wear it all the time. I have even been considering going and having my own TED shirts custom made. Next should TED sell philanthropic packages like solar panels, and goats, trees, and other cool stuff for developing nations? There are many ways to give and recieve - and TED certainly can do so in a dignified manner that maintains its high degree of integrity and not look like they are just selling items for profit. Any type of TED products should clearly explain the win - win of the gift and it's relationship to ideas worth spreading. PBS does a great job of marketing merchandise for their supporters and so can TED. PS I am not a vendor nor intend to seek any profit making opportunities related to TED - I am just a HUGE TED FAN.
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      May 16 2011: I would buy a fitted-hat with the TED logo on it!

      I would so use a bumper sticker of "TED = ideas worth spreading".

      Great idea Brandt
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        May 16 2011: going once, twice, SOLD to the man in the back that needs a hat! Thanks for your support of this idea, Nicholas. I am sure there is some reason they don't already have this and it would be interesting to know the reason but I will be first in line when it happens. Please ask your friends to sign on and support this idea.
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          May 17 2011: It is reasonable really! I mean I do not mind donating time, but if I am donating money and getting something in return wouldn't be a bad thing. I already suggest ask TEDsters for a dollar to expand more!
  • May 16 2011: Maybe it already exists and I have not seen where it is, or maybe someone else has already suggested it, but I would like to be able to look at a list of videos that I have not watched yet. I simply enjoy TED.com so much that I want to watch it all, eventually. It probably wouldn't be a tall order to have an option to filter out videos I've watched while logged into my profile.
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        • May 12 2011: Hi Richard (and Pabitra) -- Of course not, I'm answering as many as possible as I can (I do have other responsibilities here at HQ!).

          As far as moderating the Conversations, we're always looking for ways to get better and the Conversations Admins do appreciate feedback.

          It's a surprisingly challenging job, and much like a referee in sports it seems like someone is always unhappy with you. It's also an incredibly challenging balance to find, on one side of the spectrum you have 'hand's off' forums, which quickly devolve into a free-for-all conversation with little or no productive discussion (see YouTube or many news webpage comment sections if you want examples), and the other is a heavy-handed approach which stifles debate and the exchange of ideas (which obviously goes against the very grain of TED).

          At TED we always try to pick the route of openness, and moderate Conversations with that in mind. We email when a comment or conversation is removed and if you disagree with an Admin's decision, feel free to ask for clarification. They are more than open to reposting comments or conversations if there was a miscommunication, and will always explain their reasoning.

          As far as off-topic comments go, again, it's a tricky balance. But, what we've found is that other and new commenters are far less likely to jump into a conversation when they see the thread derailed by disparaging remarks or random chatter, than when the conversation is concerning the topic at hand. If you wish to pursue a side conversation or another topic you can always email the other user, or begin a new conversation of your own.

          If you have feedback or wish to receive clarification please do email the conversation admins (conversations[at]ted.com).
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    Apr 30 2011: http://www.ted.com/conversations/1818/leave_one_idea_for_improving_t.html

    - Instead of just 3 replies then done, make it 4 or 5 (maybe with the option of making the comment boxes spread left to make text less condense?).
    - Like many will agree on; alert system. For replies within conversation under the user's comment and conversations. Perhaps in a personal profile viewer of: conversation(s) made, commented on, and replies.
    - Another suggesting is when clicking "my conversation" there is a system which dictates how many comments there been since you seen that conversation; this way you will know which to look at first or at all.
    - When posting a link of another conversation within a conversation; the information in regards to the posted conversation should be able to be opened without traveling to the other conversation's page but be able to comment and read it from the page in which the link was posted on. Example: I posted that link to another conversation now when I post it in this system, instead of the link appearing, a mini-text of the conversation's title/explanation should be seen with the ability to extend all the conversation below in and to minimize it again... This way ideas can be connected faster, easier, and controllable to the users convenience.
    - Oh, and fix the mailing system; I been sending blanks to people and then I can't explain myself because when I reply off of e-mail to their message (telling me it was blank) the message I respond to through TED and e-mail are blank too...

    Suggestion for last one: Get a few computer major-students willing to do it for a letter of recommendation from TED, personally I would want that with how big TED is getting for all communities of study.
    • Apr 30 2011: Love it Nic!
      The reply limit of 3 is more of a formatting issue I believe, as we have to operate within the existing framework of the site -- but, it is certainly something that can certainly be looked at. And we're totally on-board with the notification system. As I asked Minh, what are your thoughts on notifications of posts to a thread you've opened? Would you be interested in that, or would it be too overwhelming? It would be an optional feature of course.

      I love the idea of embedded copy from the links, kind of like posting a news article onto Facebook (or a TEDTalk!).

      Do you think you could describe your issues with the mailing system in greater detail? If it is a long description, feel free to send it to contact[at]ted.com. I can pass on the bug report to our engineering team and see if it isn't part of a bigger issue.
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        Apr 30 2011: Mail problem: I send a message from their profile and they tell me it comes up blank, and i cannot reply off of that e-mail I received at all ever. So e-mailing is a shoot or miss with this system.

        Notification: I would say in one's personal profile would be another section just for conversations: one's created by user and replied by comment. See the profile main, full bio, pictures...? Start another section there just for the conversation in which you are a part of, then maybe the number of new comments since the last time you viewed them.

        Embedded: DO it!!!
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    Jun 17 2011: Please make a public statement to say that TED Admin is in charge and depose the tin pot dictators of the site!Tell people you can handle the job and that they are not and have never been appointed to police the threads.In the absense of a strong direction dictators are taking over and making life miserable for all of us Liliputians!
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    • Jun 17 2011: Hi Kathy -- As stated in email, I'm looking into this. Editing comments is not something that the Admins use as a practice, and they always notify users of comment deletion. They occasionally request that users edit offensive statements out of comments, but again, let the users do it themselves. I will be in touch with you as I learn more.
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        Jun 18 2011: Thanks Will. I think Kathy K's idea is an excellent one.

        I also think that the forced closure of Tim Colgan's conversation was grossly unfair. He was not even given the option of extending his conversation that others are given, including yours here. Could you look into that also?

        And although I got an email stating that flagged conversations are not automatically removed, I am sure that a far larger percentage of those get removed than ones not flagged. Normally posters are quite tolerant of each other, but there are one or two, (one in particular I positively know of), who keeps ticking other posters off about what we should or should not post.

        Is there any way of you knowing if flags are coming from a particular person? I think that person should be told to ease off.

        And we should be given an opportunity ourselves to remove and edit in any case, and we be given reasons why this should be done, not just a cryptic "this is in violations of our rules, please see the link". Our posts should not treated as citizens in a police state being led off in the dead of the night on the tip-offs of informants.
  • Jun 13 2011: A discussion on new economic models wound is very useful. As far as I understand the existing economic model followed by most of the countries in the world it does not work. It has created great inequalities and it seems always at the edge, ready to self-distract. Accumulation of capital by very few (part of an ego trip) has pushed the have- not to the end of the rope and hardworking people need food stamps to survive.
    Let’s start a discussion about a new economic world order. It is about time for it.
  • Jun 11 2011: Hi yes i indeed have an idea how to help and spread the Ted ideas to a wider audience:
    Try to get involved in the entertainment systems of airlines and have your own video channel!
    As a matter of fact, i already suggested this to SIA recently.

    Best regards
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      Jun 12 2011: That - I think could be a money maker for TED for people on planes would love to have alternative viewing and the length of the segments is ideal and the potential for 'addicting' a lot of new people in such an environment is huge!
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    Jun 9 2011: Hello Will,

    Yes, I have a very clear suggestion for TED: why don't we we make TED a truly multi-cultural media by promoting talks worldwide in their original language dubded in English as well as in other languages ?

    As a TEDx organizer and promoter while living in eastern France in parts that changed nationalities several times, I still see in our cities the remains of the war that raged here and yet little is done to promote our cross cultural inheritage. I dream to organize a TEDx involving three or for countries (France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium) and several languages including English all involved in a local TED program. Unfortunately, at the moment only English speaking talks would get visibility.

    I am ready to discuss this in Edinburgh or on TEDc.

    Best regards

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    Jun 8 2011: https login ?
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    Jun 4 2011: 1. TED generally tries to avoid political talks and most speakers try to play safe whenever a local or international political issue pops up. However, we like to accept it or not politics is a part of every activities. TED may think of allowing/welcoming more political discourse and talks on stage (specially international issues).

    2. (As far I can remember) Although there is a point in the TED Speaker prep's guide "keep your talk targeted to a global audience". Many speakers naturally forget that. They use first person plural number (We) to understand people of the USA while they easily could address the people of the world. I think TED should be more careful to remind this issue to the speakers. Same thing goes to TEDx, TEDx organizers may remind their speakers that at the end the target audience is global.