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Improving TED Conversations system. (Suggestions)

I have been using TED conversations for some time now and I think this wonderful environment can benefit from some changes and also addition of some features.

1- Notification Panel
A new page or an Ajax plugin that can show all the recent contributions that are related to each individual user. for example I want to be able to easily see the comments on my questions, replies and likes all in real time and in a news like format. the already used comment tab is not well informing.

2-Limiting the number of Conversations one can run simultaneously.
I see some people create a dozen (I counted and it was 12) conversations at once. I believe this can harm the quality of those conversations as one may not be able to read and reply comments on all those conversations. I question the reasons of running 12 conversations all together. a normal number to my opinion should be around 3 for a month period. and users should be able to create new conversations as soon as one of their already running conversations expire.

3- built in video player for external video links that users post in their comments.
I think it will be useful since the user stays in the conversation page and remains concentrated on the topic while leaving the page may be totally distracting.

4- A simple white board like screen
sometimes I feel the need to show the relation of some concepts or a hierarchy of elements and such a tool can help one to present an idea.

5-Conversation TEXT OR conversation VOICE OR conversation VIDEO
Although it may not be easily to implement, it may be a good idea to make the conversations multimedia, I would love to join a conversation all posted in Audio format or even Video.

6- Virtual Conference room.
I know that people are online and just have commented on my answer but I do not have the means to start a conversation with them in real time. many people can see the online conversations and may prefer to join it.

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    Mar 28 2012: What would be most convenient for me as a user would be to receive an update either in real time or once daily for each conversation in which I have participated. Alternatively, some discussion platforms have a "follow" button. There may be some threads to which we contribute an idea but do not feel pressed to read everyone else's response, so receiving an alert for those isn't highly important. There are other discussions, though, in which I would be interested in seeing every comment anyone posted. A follow button would allow for designating these.
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      Mar 28 2012: Great Point Fritzie,

      I think TED settings for conversations can be more flexible and offer more options so user's can change them according to their preferences.
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    Mar 31 2012: Robots can do any necessary work no One WANTS to do (or not enough People), what People who contribute positively receive is social currency: appreciation, respect, lauds, gratitude, status, recognition and Self satisfaction. If there is doubt that these "coins" will not motivate People to contribute as Their bliss directs Them, One has only to look at Linux. The whole was developed freely, with the bliss of programming, making better, providing solutions - but no money.

    Remove the "work ethic" (a slave's "ethic" - enrich Others with One's Human energy) and promote a Betterment Ethic.

    Marx's ideas were scarcity paradigm ideas. The Abundance Paradigm is wholly different. Marx presumed one (relatively) meager pie, hacked up evenly. Communism is a scarcity paradigm solution. The Abundance Paradigm is more like a giant warehouse full of pies, from which Each may take as much or as little as One chooses.

    In the Abundance Paradigm, one is "rich" when One is regarded highly, and as such, there are no "poor" People, per se, except Those found to have broken one or more of the three Laws:

    Do not willfully hurt or kill another Being
    Do not willfully take or damage the property of another Being
    Do not willfully defraud another Being

    A Being (cap the "B") is of a sentient, sapient species.

    In the case of breaking one or more of these Laws, status is lost, confinement in solitary luxury may occur, but always One becomes pariah. Pariahhood is an EARNED status based on chosen behavior, not a "birthright" or a monetarily defined status.

    Running out of characters... [sigh] Would be more than happy to define more, such as stigmergic governance via the web (see for a definition of stigmergy), open source, focus on organics, and more. I would add that I offer more in depth presentations on My blog, linked in My profile.
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      Apr 5 2012: Dear Amaterasu,

      I do relate to your mission of raising awareness toward the concepts previously mentioned.

      as a linux user, I can understand non monetary motivations and you are right in my opinion.

      Replacing the nonsense work ethic with betterment ethic. This is a concept worthy of discussion by itself. there are too many chains limiting people from even thinking about this. It is ironic that people resist what is actually for their benefit and that has always been like that for the majority.

      I was not aware that a financial theory is present based on abundance, as My school of thought is scarcity-oriented itself and I feel the need to truly understand the idea of abundance and possibly replace it. although I have little knowledge of its implications now. I am going to investigate. and I can tell already that in scarcity paradigm it is not possible to grow unless breaking one of those rules you mentioned but in abundance it is the default expectation without breaking those rules. is this what's meant ?

      I have checked your weblog and I am interested to know more.

      Thank you very much for being there enlightening our world.
      Cordially yours,
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    Mar 30 2012: Thank you for your contribution. I can not agree more, character limit is very frustrating and too many times it made me break my comment in pieces or disregard a part of it.

    regarding the no2, as IT has already mentioned before opening new conversations is a way to increase TEDCRED and people sometimes open many conversations just to gain credit. I see people who re-state a question that was the main theme of a video to open a new conversation where it was already discussed perfectly under the video itself or some people ask many questions that could well be merged into one. I witnessed somebody opening 14 conversations all at the same time. do you think he can read, manage , reply to comments in all 14 of them ? TED is about quality isn't it ?

    thank you.
  • Mar 28 2012: I get very frustrated with the way the replies come up. A back and forth that has three replies stops. A new reply to an old post bumps to the top and rearranges the thread. I truly get the point, but a multilayerd covnersation between many people shoudl allow pretty much what most forum type places allow, a one after the other with as many replies as the conversation takes. Or perhaps a muti-threaded system that is easily viewed in a graphic format so you can follow one thread all the way down or join another. Right now they just all seem to get jumbled if the conversations go on for a while.
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      Mar 28 2012: You are right. We need to work together to make it a nice place to talk, write, share and even to enjoy...:)
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      Mar 28 2012: I agree Sharon, the way conversation system handles the nested replies can be improved. and I also think more levels can be added as there is no possibility of replying a conversation in third nested level.
      • Mar 28 2012: Exactly! Once I post this you will not be able to comment to it except to go back and comment to my original post and it seems that then the reply can get moved out of order....
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    Mar 28 2012: Thumbs up on # 5 and #6 idea.....this is implemented in some virtual schools....that would be wonderful.

    Also #2 is a very practical idea....Many TEDsters at different times during the last 3 months have brought this point up. Too many conversations going on at the same time....Some with zero or one comment....there must be some way to decrease the number, and also limit on the amount of conversations any one individual can initiate.

    Great ideas Sina!!
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    Mar 28 2012: Dear Niaz,

    I am glad you also find these ideas useful. we love TED and that's why we like to make it the best platform out there for communicating ideas, science and thoughts. I hope we can see these requests implemented in the near future.
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      Mar 28 2012: All right.

      But I want to meet the officials of TED. It will be great to meet Chrish Anderson as I have almost made a plan which I am going to implement in Bangladesh, India, Singapore and some other convenient places. But I need to sit with them I don't know how can can get appointment of them. Any idea?

      It will be great to see our ideas implemented for the betterment of TED Community. Thanks
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        Mar 28 2012: I think If you are planning this, we need to be ready and have a complete proposal ready which is time consuming and needs some technical details. I am not sure if TED is willing to implement some changes now. It would have been perfect if we could have a feedback from their side. we could also help them ourselves.

        you are going to meet them, please bring this subject up and see what their feedback is.

        thank you.
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    Mar 28 2012: I have been communicating in TEDActive Progressive Ideas Project regarding some of the points you have brought. Even I have found some amazing conversation regarding these. But I have not been seeing the implementation. Here USER FRIENDLY INTERACTION is very much important as almost ever member of TED Community has impressive ideas.

    Anyways, Great Job Done! Thanks and I like the idea of Virtual Conference room. Online Chat Room is also important for better communication.
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    Mar 4 2012: To help limit the effects of ethnic or cultural prejudice do not reveal the national origin of the author of the Question, Idea, or Debate. The author's profile, if they choose to make it available, can give that information for anyone who wants/needs it.
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    Mar 3 2012: maybe if someone creates 5+ conversations at one time, we could group them together so that instead of taking up 5+ slots on a page with ideas and possibly crowding out others who might be more likely to respond, it takes up just one slot, and scrolling over the different titles in that slot brings up possibly a small summary of what that talk is about, or at least the full thread name. this would let people post as many times as they want, as they do now, but would allow more room for others to bring in different posts without a lot of overcrowding.

    i would agree that a simple white board would improve the comment system, because i have a lot of trouble getting ideas across sometimes, and being able to draw out a diagram or sketch a quick concept greatly helps me communicate with people when i'm face-to-face with them, and it frustrates me to see it missing online.

    the voice or video option could work as something to take the place of the start of a conversation, possibly with a link to a transcript so that people might be able to translate areas they do not quite grasp due to language barriers to get better general ideas of what is happening in a conversation. people could meet up at a given time to do a voice chat in an open room, and then would continue the conversation in text once maybe an hour was up. but text chat or the current format are the best ideas for being able to hold conversations across time zones globally.
  • Mar 2 2012: Limiting the number of conversations someone can start? Why not also limit the number they can participate in? What is the difference? Some people can keep track of, and fully participate in many conversational streams at any given time. Since the conversations carry on over many days, getting responses also takes many days. Verbal conversations would be hampered if several went on at once, but written conversations can actually be enhanced in this way. If, in this conversation, you say something that provokes thought, that thought may well influence another conversation elsewhere.

    I am sure the virtual conference room would be interesting, but I think that would detract from the written conversations because whatever went on in the room would carry the conversation away from those not present at that time. Those only participating in the written posts would experience gaps.

    For the video player, posting your link to open in a new window, or asking your readers to right click and view it in a new window would keep the conversation open, and allow the viewer to type a response as they view.

    I do think audio/video could be helpful at times. Many of the writers are not native English speakers, and sometimes the questions are hard to follow. Speaking goes faster, so I think those people would be better able to get the gist of their meaning across. I suspect it must be frustrating to have to not only search for the right words, but then to have to try and spell them out when English is your second, third, or tenth language. I am sure that contributes to some of the questions being truncated and therefore less clear.

    Why not start a TEDconferenceroom on google plus? You can have all the video chats there you want, and other google+ members who aren't aware of this site will discover it. There is at least one TED related google+ site. A TED hangout ought to be very interesting.
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    Mar 31 2012: What I also want to add that The conversation creator should have the power to delete comments or ban a user from posting comments on the topic. as in my experience some people are trying to force their ideas upon the conversation and that harms the efficiency and effectiveness of the conversation. this is logical because every official conversation has a secreter and manager and that is not something a TED employee may do well. the creator of the conversation must have the mentioned power over his topic. I really find this vital and I feel it will give people more peace of mind when creating conversations. all the forums out there give this power to the creator of a topic.
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    Mar 30 2012: Enable "at least" text emotes, we don't have to take the feeling out of intelligent conferences. Makes me feel like I'm in a big room of people who think they know everything. I mean I already feel like that when I go to lectures. COLON AND A CAPITAL D LINKED TOGETHER.
    Thank you for your time.
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    Mar 30 2012: My biggest frustration is the character limit. I note that few use that limit, but when I am explaining something in detail, to run up on that limit and have to link outside to complete the information is not as effective as being able to complete My explanation cohesively.

    I like most of Your ideas greatly. Not sure about #2... What if I had 25 different ideas, or had one central one that, because of the character limit, I needed to parcel out the component pieces into other segments?

    Anyway, yeah. It would be nice to have a "chat room," or something along those lines.
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      Mar 31 2012: Thank you for your contribution. I can not agree more, character limit is very frustrating and too many times it made me break my comment in pieces or disregard a part of it.

      regarding the no2, as IT has already mentioned before opening new conversations is a way to increase TEDCRED and people sometimes open many conversations just to gain credit. I see people who re-state a question that was the main theme of a video to open a new conversation where it was already discussed perfectly under the video itself or some people ask many questions that could well be merged into one. I witnessed somebody opening 14 conversations all at the same time. do you think he can read, manage , reply to comments in all 14 of them ? TED is about quality isn't it ?
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        Mar 31 2012: Ah. I am new here and was not aware that conversations added to this "TEDCRED." I can see how that could be a problem from that standpoint. My main thrust here has been to spread awareness that money is not needed in a society with abundant energy (and robots) and that We have had technology at least since the 1950's that can provide access to the "dark" energy - also called zero point, radiant (Tesla), vacuum, plenum, and other name energy - which is vastly abundant. So all conversations I have begun have been on bringing that awareness, as well as discussing how a society without money might function. (Money is merely the representation of meaningful energy expended in an energy-scarce society.)

        Maybe TEDCRED should be based not on merely starting a conversation but on how many Others give it a "thumbs up" or other means of approval. This would not eliminate the issues - One could have Others come in and bump One's conversations - but it would severely reduce issues, and give much more credit where it is due.

        Just a thought.
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          Mar 31 2012: Dear Amaterasu

          I was reading this in previous conversations and people by experience had thought that opening new conversations is more effective in adding to your credits although commenting and joining discussions also counts.

          I am interested in your idea of money less society. how do you solve the value problem ? tasks are of different values. and where do you stand regarding the Marx theory of finance that one does not get rich unless many others get poor ?

          thank you for raising awareness on the energy issue.
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    Mar 28 2012: Mary, I am glad you also approve some of these points ...
    I think we can convince our beloved TED to make some changes if a large number of us suggest the same.

    Be well,
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    Mar 28 2012: the idea are really nice.

    specially the plugin for video running here on this panel rather than working as external link.

    also , one button for uploading any document in comment which other members can download. though its bit tough to do but certainly can be useful
  • Mar 12 2012: dear Sina,
    I think the white board is an excellent idea!
    I am not sure we should limit the number of conversation people open. But it is true that too many conversations opened by the same person can be an issue. William's idea of grouping them is maybe the answer.
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    Mar 4 2012: I double that. It's a wonderful idea. thank you for your contribution.
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    Mar 2 2012: Dear Rikki, Thank you very much for your well crafted response.

    Regarding the limit on starting conversations, you have argued well and I have myself concluded that it may not be a good move since freedom is is a higher concept in my mind rather than the mere quality of conversation, and besides even if the conversation starter may not be able to effectively manage all, others would benefit from the running conversations.

    regarding the virtual conference room I forgot to mention that the session is surely saved in the format of a conversation so that the knowledge in there can be captured for future visitors

    regarding starting a TED conference in google plus, the thought have crossed my mind (in Facebook and I know google has the advantage of creating a hang out and it that sense it is a better choice) but I doubt that it is a good idea to use third party mediums for that. It is more professional and more beautiful if TED implements it.
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    Mar 2 2012: Agreed, it could be tweaked for the better.Though if you're referring to sahid upping all his ideas at once,i think he was just really enthusiastic and didn't want to lose that tidal run once he started,i know i've been there myself.
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    Mar 2 2012: really i want to change TED conversation system