Welcome to TED Conversations and the online TED community! The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to our community, and to help explain our approach to TED community participation.
How to Comment on a TEDTalk
You’ve just finished watching a TEDTalk, and want to share your reaction with the world. Here are some thoughts to consider as you write your comment:
- TED Speakers almost always read the comments posted on their TEDTalks, and occasionally post responses. Will your comment invite the Speaker to participate in the discussion?
- Your fellow TEDizens are also reading through the comments, and they’re looking for thought-provoking, inspiring, and entertaining discussion and debate around the TEDTalk. Will you add value to their comment-reading experience?
- If you are interested in a different or tangential topic, please consider starting a separate TED Conversation to discuss it. This allows the comments to remain focused on the TEDTalk, and allows others to join you in a more in-depth discussion elsewhere.
- Have you uploaded a member profile photo? We regularly feature great comments in the weekly TED.com newsletter, and generally only select comments that have profile photos.
How to Start a TED Conversation
Now you’re really involved in the online TED community, and you want to dive deeper into thought-provoking discussions with your fellow TEDizens. You’ve been posting comments on Conversations started by others, but you have a great idea for a new TED Conversation. What should you keep in mind?
- Know your audience. Some topics are better left to a web search, or to a different online community. Think of your Conversation as your moment on the TED stage... would this subject be appropriate for the TED audience?
- Be clear and concise! Conversation starters are limited to 2,000 characters, and our most successful Conversations are much shorter. Include enough information for your audience to build on, but leave room for the discussion to grow.
- Is your topic related to a TEDTalk? Please consider adding a few links to the “Talks related to this Conversation” field!
- Please remember that this is not a chat room; thoughtful and refined writing will be appreciated by the community.
- Profile photos: We regularly select Conversations to feature, and Conversations with avatars will receive higher priority in feature selections. Please upload a member profile photo!
Using the Flag Button
Have you come across a comment you find inappropriate? TED has a small team of staff and volunteers keeping an eye out for inappropriate comments, but troublesome content is occasionally missed. If you see a comment that concerns you:
- Please click the Flag button on the comment to send us an alert. No comments will be removed or hidden automatically, but TED staff will be alerted to review it as soon as possible. Other members will not be able to see that you’ve Flagged a comment.
- Please don’t over-use the Flag button, or Flag a comment simply because you disagree with the author.
How to Avoid Comment or Conversation Removal
No one likes having their contributions removed from the site. TED staff don’t like removing content, either, but occasionally find it necessary for the overall health of the community. Here are some reasons your comment or Conversation may be removed:
- Not appropriate for this audience - TED.com is not the right platform for pseudo-science, zealotry, personal requests, proselytizing, or self-promotion.
- Inappropriate language - This is a not the right place for chat-room banter, text-speak, or combative posturing.
- Response to an inappropriate comment - Please use the Flag button instead.
- Repeat topic - Please use the Search tool to check for existing Conversations on your topic before submitting a new Conversation.
If your comment or Conversation is removed by the TED Conversations Team, please consider working with us to revise your content until it is appropriate for the community. Please don't harass or threaten the staff; doing so will risk removal of your account.
Welcome to TED!
Thank you for taking the time to read through this guide; we look forward to seeing your contributions to the online TED community!