TED Conversations

Mihail Musat

Coach. Trainer. Author. Social Entrepreneur., Lume Buna

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Have a way to measure the impact of TED for the audience.

I believe that TED is alreay proved to be a great inspirational platform for people world wide. I was thinking that now it is the time to confirm this by developing a measurement tool for the impact, for the actions that people are taking after taking part to a TED event, or watching TED talks online.

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    Jul 15 2011: Looking at the current answers:
    There are concrete measures.

    - funds raised or change in income of past speakers and their projects, books sale,...
    - the number of talks watched, rated, discussed
    - the number of TEDx organisers, TEDx events, visitors
    - the number of translators, and the number of translated talks and languages
    - the discussions here
    - tweets mentioning TED & specific talks
    - number of contacts between the people who met at TED, and start-ups or support between them

    And for specifics: look at the talks (or use mechanical turk to do it for you), and look at the recommendations the speakers make.
    - list them, categorize them, and find measures for each one of them.
    (I became a week-day vegetarian after the talk about it for example; Al Gore made a film after his talk, which created a huge climate awareness worldwide)

    So... measures aplenty.
    If you then measure this for other platforms, organisations &c, you can start to compare.
  • Jul 13 2011: How about extending the ted profiles of users. So implementing something like a history of the talks you watched, the comments you made etc. and giving the user some space to write down his own ideas. So over time you would have a kind of a journal which helps you track your development.

    A cool thing of course whould be to somehow get a number, but I have no idea what unit (creativity, activity, progress) you could measure over time.
  • Aug 1 2011: I completely understand where you are coming from with this - it might be more of a valid idea to add an option for conversation underneath the talk "how I spread this idea" in fact I think I am going to make a conversation for this idea. I have always thought it would be neat to know that a talk I found inspirational made it's way into a classroom, and then to know what age and how it was tied into a discussion. It would be neat to have this separate from the immediate page the talk is on, rather an ongoing conversation directly for sharing a persons experience in spreading the idea.

    I am pretty certain that the impact of some talks can not be directly linked with the cause the speaker is focused on. My love for TED I have come to realize is a love for transdisciplinary inspiration. Along the same lines, when I am inspired by an idea I hear, sometimes yes I reach out for a book or a blog by the speaker themselves but just as often I will reach out for a person they mentioned in the talk or a concept I want to know more about.

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/4687/an_ongoing_conversation_page_l.html

    Shine Always,
    Autumn Frisco
  • Jul 31 2011: I wonder if perhaps this could be done by tracking speakers' websites; often, when I see a really interesting talk, I go to the speaker's website and click around. Maybe monitoring internet traffic to these websites would be a baseline measure of how much interest they generate. Beyond that, looking at the rate at which people get involved with these speakers' projects before and after their TED talks might also be indicative of change. Obviously these aren't the only ways that TED impacts people, but they're some of the more concrete ones that strike me about how TED changes people.
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    Jul 24 2011: I just watched this TEDx Talk and thought that it was fitting for this conversation! Enjoy!
    http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxSanDiego-James-Fowler-Back;Featured-Talks
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    Jul 21 2011: I think this is a great question and would love to know about the impact of TED. However, I dont think assessing TED's impact is not a straight forward task. It is worth to conduct a complex program evaluation study though. There is a high risk of over- and under-rating.
    Some measures such as number of listeners do not tell much because we do not know whether listeners got anything from TED. On the other hand looking at comments of the listeners may tell us a part of the story but not everything.
    Looking at the "number of contacts between the people who met at TED, and start-ups or support between them" can be useful but we need to look further and see so how these contacts was useful.
    I can see a PhD thesis opportunity here. A qualitative and exploratory inquiry can be a good starting point.
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      Jul 22 2011: Like the idea with the thesis so that one can explore multiple ways to measure - both quantitative and qualitative impact.
  • Jul 14 2011: Well, Mr. Musat, I will start with a question. What makes you believe that TED is a great inspirational platform? If we can get just a vague idea of how TED helped you than, we can start investigating some ways to quantify TED's contribution.
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      Jul 15 2011: Great question. Thanks! I gave an example below, but that is not real...is just a possible scenario (After watching http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html I decided to look for an organisation in my city/country that is working on such project. Let's say I found one and now I am volunteering / working for them to develop this alternative educational system. It would be cool to have a section at each video where people could leave their specific comments on "The impact of this TED video in my life / society.").

      One story: At the end of 2008 on TED I found the first resource that gave me a structure to resonate with for the New Year's resolution (is in Romanian http://www.musat.com.ro/2008/12/29/un-an-trece-altul-vine/) - I was inspired by this video: http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success.html. Starting from the point I made so crucial changes in my life.

      Now, TED's mission (spreading ideas) is detailed as follows: "We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."

      I believe that it would be much easier to say "change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world." if a measurement would be attached to each TED event and TED video. Of course, it might take a while to find the best way to measure this, but once launched I am sure that people would even start to ask themselves this question, question that maybe they were not thinking about before seeing it.
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    Aug 10 2011: It would not be difficult for admin to collect and published statistics showing how many people listened
    to each talk.

    Even more interesting, into how many languages talk was translated into (each time a translator and reviwer
    pick a talk, they are making a value judgement about importance of that idea for their audience).

    And also interesting (graphics) showing how many people in which country did hear the talk,
    and perhaps also rated it as ...

    It would just take few days of programming - so write to them and ask for it.

    You can use
    http://www.ted.com/contact
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    Jul 22 2011: One of my benchmark to see if our hope is really standing on solid ground is if these universal ideas of justice in basic rights and sustainability is continually planted in our daily awareness like what we see in media outlets and on the internet.

    According to quarkbase.com TEd have 1.5 million visitors per month. We now have about 2 billion internet users. Looking at this indicator, how much hits will TED and other transforming sites will approach these 2 billion earth citizens before we can awake critical number of people to really accelerate transforming our world?

    Consider also the latest news today that United Nations Stalemates on Climate Change and Security

    - http://news.google.com/news/story?pz=1&jfkl=true&cf=all&ned=us&hl=en&ncl=d0_SOjQO1tcbriMjDoAlM34pyrm_M&rfilter=2
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    Jul 13 2011: Mihail,

    I don't have any good idea for your question... I think what your purposing requires monitoring what everyone does, all the time...
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      Jul 15 2011: I was rather thinking that each person could have a way to maintain a self monitoring process...on a predefined TED page.
      e.g.: After watching http://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_bring_on_the_revolution.html I decided to look for an organisation in my city/country that is working on such project. Let's say I found one and now I am volunteering / working for them to develop this alternative educational system. It would be cool to have a section at each video where people could leave their specific comments on "The impact of this TED video in my life / society."