TED Conversations

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What gets a conversation going?

Why do you choose to participate in the discussions that you do and why do you think others do?

Is it the title, explanation, creator or something else that usually catches your eye?

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    Jun 7 2011: The title attracts me if the topic appeals to me. A long winded explanation does not attract me. I do not want to have to read the equivalent of a book to participate.

    As it goes along, perhaps it is geniunely interested participants and good questions from the people involved to one another.I think it is a lot like face to face discussion. You take an interest in someone and their viewpoint while being open enough to share your own and soon you are talking for hours! Diverse opinons are what bring me back again and again.
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    Jun 16 2011: Conversations are an auspicious collision of topic and minds.

    Some topics may not have a great following given a set of participants at any given time, but may thrive in other cases.
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    Jun 8 2011: If it interests me, I participate.
    If I get bored or don't feel the interest, I don't..

    And I need to have to want to devote my time to it too ;-)

    You can do an analysis of the people active on this forum and count the number of responses per topic. As such you can derive the interests of the person.
    You can also find other tendencies, like clusters of people having the same profile, or find differences between country and culture or gender...
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      Jul 6 2011: I'd really like to see some Gapminder graphs on TED conversations....I don't know how but I'm guessing that you've got some more interesting ideas...
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        Jul 6 2011: Well, If you gather the data (numerical by preference), and put it in a google spreadsheet, it is really easy to construct.
        Variables:
        - date posted
        - date closed
        - person posted (name, age, sex, country)
        - tedcred
        - type (question, discussion, idea)
        - topic
        - tags
        - number of thumbs up (I know this can increase afterwards, but it tends to flat out after a week)

        maybe also:
        - word count,
        - number of reactions to the post
        - other persons variables.

        Would be nice if somebody could do this (or make a data-crawler that can pluck it from the site)
        I could do the analysis... (on gapminder, maybe finding some compound variables, cluster analysis,...)
        The data is open, so no prob's with privacy I guess...
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    Jul 5 2011: Guess it depends on your "user state" (I can't think of another way to say this). Meaning, when I first discovered this gem of Conversations on TED a week ago, I played close attention to the topic title and began the journey with the discussion about social vs private personas as it's something that currently intrigues me. In this thread, I "met" others and I guess I made mental notes of the ones that stretched or inspired my thinking. Now, after a few days of conversations, I still look at the titles while using the profile pix as an additional indicator. Maybe in a couple weeks it'll be different.

    Why do you choose to participate or start a conversation?
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      Jul 5 2011: My preferences seem to change every now and then.
      Recently I've been trying to get an early comment on conversations cause I don't want to have to read trough 100+ comments to start participating in a conversation...
      I also look for people asking for help or when someone seem lost at TED i try to direct them so that they can do as much good as possible.

      I start conversations mostly cause I feel that there is a "need" for a conversation with the title and explanation that I give. And cause I'm curious!
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    Jun 30 2011: Nuts!
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    Jun 29 2011: An engaging title helps, although sometimes I just check conversations out of curiosity. A short explanation is good. What kills the mood is when the creator has already set out an answer in his explanation (or implies it in the title). I particularly dislike threads where the creator uses the explanation section to try and convince everyone he's right from the start (Although I can't help commenting on these). Certain people here on TED have got my attention enough that when I see they've posted a new conversation, I have a look.
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    Jun 12 2011: May it also be the devotion of the conversation creator that triggers a lot of response? I'm Starting out by showing little devotion to this one and the last week or so I will "go nuts" here...

    What do you think?
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      Jun 13 2011: Interesting activity is a big factor. The creator may be the one who keeps up the activity. But anyone group of people can keep it up.
  • Jun 8 2011: I click on the things that don't sound boring. Occasionally I start to comment but realize I don't have any idea how to say what I think in a coherent manner, as Christopher said.
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    Jun 8 2011: I only chime in if I have something I to say that I feel needs to be addressed, and only if I can put it in simply with relative eloquence.

    (with the exception of this comment)
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    Jun 7 2011: Apparently this is NOT what gets it going...