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What do you know about TED?

Do you know what TED is up to, do you explore a lot on the site or just stick with what you first found?

Do you know about projects like TEDactive or TED-ed, do you know about TEDx events and how to find them?

Please share what you know or recently discovered about TED and what you'd like to know.

  • Jun 12 2011: I’ve explored OCWs, foratv, dolectures (many sites of the same nature), while all are food for the brain and inspired, nothing comes close to TED. It’s a celebration of humanity in its finest. It’s a different form of self-expression that extends to every single one of us regardless of creed, field, beliefs, race and all those redundant categories. TED has given the opportunity to engage everyone in conversations that matter. Something that is really poetic about it is for experts to make the audiences understand the complexities of their work and allow everyone to appreciate and be moved by it.

    I’ve been loyal to this site for more than a year now until I got the chance to share it with my schoolmates, to my surprise I’ve found active TEDx communities, and the people in it who have unrelenting passion for ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. This is home for me, both off and online.

    Organizing a TEDx event in a non-English country is utterly challenging. As part of TED’s initiative to draw everyone in, OTP and TED Conversations are ways to generate more ideas that branch out of any TED talk.
    TEDed, TEDWomen, Ads Worth Spreading are just few of the most inspired and thought-provoking projects that I’ve ever seen.

    You never run out of things to explore in this site, but one can always be effective in choosing the best features that would allow for more interaction, involvement and dedication to ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’ in one's niche. I hope to learn more about ways to engage non-English communities to ‘give and take’ in such a global platform.
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    Jun 12 2011: (Part 2 of my comment)

    I will also be doing research on TED in the upcoming second year of my Master's degree course - a sociological and semiotic approach in communication theory and research... so I also want to take my TED experience to another level that might result in a thesis or a paper where I could combine my theoretical knowledge and my passion for TED -- also with the critical distance needed for research. I kind of sound like an addict. But I'm perfectly fine with that. :)

    Besides - if you haven't done so yet - you should definitely watch this video on the Stanford YouTube channel about the story behind TED:
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      Jun 13 2011: I don't have time right now but I will check it asap.
      Thanks for the story and the link Simone!
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    Jun 12 2011: I first got to know TED when I moved to Paris last year in October: I was looking for an event where I could meet some people and stumbled across TEDxParisUniversités (after I had found out TEDxParis for January 2011 was already sold out). I went there, saw my jaw drop several times and decided I wanted to know more about TED. I googled, read several articles, signed up on the TED website and watched talks.

    Shortly after, I applied for being a TED translator. The first reason: I had quit my job to go back to university for a Master's degree - but in France, so I feared my English might get rusty. Translating is a great way to learn new words and to keep the contact with the English language. The second reason: I wanted to do something meaningful. I had been working in the video games industry, and although I was (and still am!) really passionate about video games and the possibilities they offer (Jane McGonigal, serious games, creative movements like machinima...), I wanted to do something which was not (however visible or invisible) driven by statistics and numbers. I also kind of missed working on "real" projects, so it was a great opportunity to have some kind of workflow (at my own speed).

    About all the other projects, like Conversations, TED-ED, Ads Worth Spreading: I know them, I read about them and I participate when I feel I can contribute to the overall progress. I don't want to speak up just for the sake of being heard. The conversation I proposed to the TED community was an inspiring source for the thesis I just finished (how to use science fiction as an educational resource) and I will definitely post more questions and conversation topics as soon as the next term at university starts. I want to confront others with my idea and be confronted with their opinions.
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    Jun 12 2011: I have been a TEDster since 2008 and use it in my classroom all the time. The site seems to be perpetually growing and changing and to be honest, I didn't know about the changes until a few months ago as I usually just download talks that I think I can use when they are sent to me. So when I looked at the home page earlier this year, I was like DANG!!! I love the conversation addition that is for sure.

    As far as the TED-x, they are listed here or on FB, I do believe. There was one in Orlando last Nov., and I really thought I was going to go, but I couldn't. I hope there will be one this year, as I will definitely plan on going. However, I think the bigger the cities, the bigger the events; plus TED is fairly new here in this area....but I am trying to spread the word!!!

    Hope this is what you want!

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      Jun 13 2011: Hi Linda,

      Great that you've found your way to the conversations, welcome!
      As far as TEDx goes there seem to be a lot of them coming up in Florida, if you visit you can use the world map to find one close to you!

      Keep on spreading the word!
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        Jun 14 2011: Thanks, and I am glad it is growing in Florida. There was one close to me and I hope it will reprise this year, but if not, I will go another in my state as TED is slowly growing in popularity here. It is funny as one person online whom I was trying to convince to look into this group, asked me if TED was a cult. I laughed of course and responded; Yes it is. And come to the dark side as 'we have cookies'! (which is hopefully an allusion you have seen before).
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    Jun 14 2011: Best wishes for the TED Team
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    Jun 13 2011: I know that I am a real beneficiary of TED's generousity.

    I love what I learn here, I love what I can share here.
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    Jun 14 2011: "Please share what you know or recently discovered about TED"

    I recently found the "Behind the TEDTalk" page and like to share it with you:
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    Jun 14 2011: I already put in my 2 cents here, but one thing I hadn't mentioned that I had noticed too, is this Tedcred line on our profiles. What the heck is it exactly? I hope not a popularity contest!!!
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      Jun 14 2011: Just look down on the left side menu bar or go here:
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        Jun 14 2011: Thanks, I just never looked on that side of the screen once I moved the page down. I just hope readers will still think I am credible, though, as well as others, even if we do not have a score!!!
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          Jun 15 2011: Linda, I really have no idea how TED cred accumulates but if you are just yourself and share your honest opinons you will be well respected, listened to and argued with! TED people are friendly and happy to engage in batting around ideas.
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    Jun 14 2011: I love this website because it allows me to hear and read from people I will never meet in my life. I've shared so many things that I was introduced to because of this bookmark on my browser. However, I'm sad to say that I really don't know anything about how TED started, what is currently going on, projects, etc. Honestly, TED is just an awesome site that I visit from time to time. Now that you've pointed that out Mr. Strobl, I think I'll take a gander :) Thanks!
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      Jun 14 2011: Hi Rosemeri,
      I think/hope that you can re-visit this conversation to learn more about the site and whats going on.
      Also, don't be afraid to ask fellow TEDsters about info or help.
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    Jun 13 2011: Has anyone been to a TEDx event? There is this one advertised near me:

    But the write-up contains no details or information about how to register. Any ideas on how to find out more?
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    Jun 13 2011: I wish I still remembered how I stumbled upon TED. Maybe it was exactly via the Firefox-Addon "StumbleUpon"? Anyway, my first video was "What adults can learn from kids" by Adora Svitak , and it simply blew me away. I let TED rest for quite a while after that, but it didn't let me go since I have never encountered anything comparable, and a few months ago I finally registered as an online member.

    I have yet hundreds of talks to watch, and I have hardly explored the website so far. I hadn't heard of TEDactive or TED-ed until you mentioned it, but I find it fascinating how vibrant and energetic the project and the community are. Regarding TEDx events, I just searched again whether any would be near me, and while there are some in Germany over the year, most are invite only, and none of them offer a webcast. As I see it, there isn't even a single German TED talk available from the past at all. I also wonder why the page of TEDx Youth@Berlin does not contain any information or at least link to . Which in turn fails to mention 2011 with a single word; the application form is still referring to the 2010 event. By the way, you cannot search for specific US States in either. It won't recognize "Vermont" or even "USA", only "United States". Just saying :)

    I wonder, is there a short video (< 5 minutes) presenting TED in a nutshell? Hardly anyone in Germany has ever heard from TED, and I'd like to show them an exciting introduction which stimulates their curiosity and expectations.
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      Jun 13 2011: Hi Ray!
      I love and share the enthusiasm you have for TED, perhaps this is a good story for "My TED story" on your profile as well? ;)

      I don't know of any such video, but to be honest I haven't looked either, although I have proposed the same thing for an introduction video on

      About TEDx, could you please post those on the link above?

      P.S. Your comment is appreciated here as well!
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        Jun 15 2011: That are two great advices! So I updated my profile and posted in the thread for suggestions. Many thanks, Jimmy :)
    • Jul 1 2011: Hello Ray,

      That was very interesting story indeed and I agree with Jim, you should put in 'My TED Story' for your profile.

      This might be the short clip you're looking for. As per guideline in organizing TEDx events, this short clip should be shown to the audience in order to ensure everyone is aware of what TED and TEDx is all about.

      We, in South Korea are grateful for TEDxSeoul, for providing the subtitle for our Korean audience

      There must be someone who can also translate it in German. I believe volunteer translators for TED's 'Open Translation Project' use this site

      I hope this helps. ^^
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    Jun 13 2011: Smiling Jimmy, TED in many ways enable many people to expound the power of ideas changing attitudes and ultimately our world.

    It's great to be a Tedster and a Tedsterian. Let's Tedsterize our world. Let's transform our world.
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      Jun 13 2011: Haha, yes lets Tedsterize our world!
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        Jun 13 2011: In fact, I have been thinking about trying to rebuild the world with TED talks - e.g. having a Wiki where things would be explained, combined with the videos and interconnected. A little like this one, but of course a lot less practice oriented: - I think it could work for certain things (like collaborative consumption or sustainable urban design), but I don't think one could actually integrate all talks.
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          Jun 13 2011: Lovely Simone, I was thinking the same thing! Maybe you can spearhead an information system that re-channel the dynamics of TED as a resource to transform our world into an equitable and earth-sustainable world. We can work on the basic principles of truth mirrored in the digital world, and the principle of justice - an information system that drives transparency and accountability. I would love to help you in this project.
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        Jun 13 2011: Joe, I'll see what I can do this summer before my next term at university starts. As I already said in this thread, I'll be doing research on TED, so maybe I can combine an approach for this project -- for the groundwork -- with my regular project. I'll let you know as soon as I have the time to make up my mind about this!
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          Jun 15 2011: Hi Simone, thank you for considering! I have now updated the framework of solution strategies ( and maybe you can look into it and see how it can play a part in your research. I would appreciate your feedback, as your time allows. Aloha!
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      Jun 13 2011: I'm not really sure where your going with this Richard...
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        Jun 13 2011: I think this is the most common prejudice about TED, so unfortunately, some people would reply what Richard said if they were asked what they knew about TED. But I think there's a shift happening right now with all the new projects, the TEDx events and the media coverage about TED: TED talks are being quoted, books of TED speakers are being reviewed and people see that it's not an elitist circle of people who happen to have a lot of money.
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          Jun 13 2011: I read about it on Wikipedia:

          "Sarah Lacy of BusinessWeek and TechCrunch has criticized TED for claims of elitism. Lacy cites TED's $6,000 ticket price, poor treatment of less important attendees, and such events as a friend being "de-invited to TED after quitting an ostensibly prestigious San Francisco job" as evidence of her claims."

          TED has dedicated a whole page to the question whether it is elitist or not: . Also, I have to agree with a reader's comment regarding this post: . He wrote "this analysis truly sounds like a few people I know in very very posh LA neighborhoods talk when they aren't invited to "the" party of the year."

          But that's just my first impression. Without first-hand experience I can't say anything about that, except for that it doesn't matter to me. I get mind-blowing speeches delivered into my living-room for free, with the option to download them in high-quality and share them under a fair Creative Commons licence. If that is elitism, it rocks! :D
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          Jun 13 2011: I agree with Ray's perspective here. If people can pay $5000 for a ticket to a rock concert, I'm not too upset about people paying $6000 for TED especially when a lot of good gets spun offf without cost for so many.

          At least it's scientists and ethicists getting the adoration on stage! What a great societal change!
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          Jun 13 2011: Yes, that is a valid worry that Dana brought up. Perhaps that needs to be negotiated or appealed but we can see the logic of wanting to keep the TED brand intact and everyone on the same page. I agree that for small TEDx events that $6000 might be better directed to the event but perhaps they did a cost/benefit analysis and realize that the proceeds will be there to cover that cost once the 100 participant number is reached?
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      Jun 13 2011: yes, it is an elitist club, and you can only participate if you cough up usd6000. but wait, you can watch the talks on the internet for free. plus you can rate. plus you can comment. plus you can translate.
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      Jun 13 2011: Hi Richard -- no rumors, you can find all the cost and registration information here:

      Do keep in mind that TED Conferences is a non-profit organization and those registration fees build, staff, and maintain, and gives you the free content and conversations on it.

      For more information on the background of TED:

      a snippit (links will be present within text if you click through the above link):

      What happens to TED's profits?
      They are used to advance TED's philanthropic goals. TED is owned by the Sapling Foundation, a 501(c)3 private foundation set up by TED's Curator Chris Anderson in 1996. The main annual conference is financially successful and each year makes a profit of at least $2m. The money is used in several ways:

      -To fund the growth of this website and distribute TEDTalks free to the world
      -To support the TED Prize and the projects that come out of it
      -To invest in other TED initiatives, such as the growing TEDx program, the TED Fellows program, and the Open Translation Project
      -To support philanthropic organizations that leverage technology, media or entrepreneurship to make lasting social change. More on Sapling here.

      Chris Anderson, who retired early after achieving financial security through the media companies he founded, does not draw a salary from TED and is not paid any portion of the profits.