NEW YORK, Feb. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, announces today the launch of TED Conversations, a new social media platform on TED.com that connects people for conversation, collaboration and debate. The platform gives people access to engage notable TED speakers, and the broader TED community, in conversations that – for the first time on a social network – have a time limit.
TED Conversations was designed and built from the ground up to foster meaningful conversation among the global community – more than 15M monthly users – who visit TED.com and watch TEDTalks online.
The highlight features of TED Conversations include:
- Conversation categories – Questions, Debates and Ideas. By asking a question, you can tap into the expertise of the TED community. By proposing an idea, you can elicit constructive feedback. And by initiating a debate, you can lay out a key issue for spirited discussion.
- Conversations with TED notables – At launch, TED Conversations includes discussions with TED speakers such as behavioral economist Dan Ariely (Author, "Predictably Irrational"), entrepreneur and marketer Seth Godin (Author, "Permission Marketing", "Tribes"), game designer Jane McGonigal (author "Reality Is Broken"), Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda (author, "The Laws of Simplicity") and many more.
- Time limits on conversations – Whether it's one day or one month, TED Conversations are assigned an expiration date to keep the discussion sharp and on-topic. Designed to promote participation among time-pressed users, including TED speakers and conference attendees, the conversations will end on a pre-set date, at which time the user who initiated it can summarize the discussion with a closing statement.
- Link conversations to one of the 800+ TED Talks on TED.com – Users can ask a question, debate an issue or propose an idea that was sparked by watching one or more TED Talks. This allows a thoughtful exchange among a global community with a shared experience and knowledge base.
- Tagging by subject – To ease navigation, users can search for specific topics such as "architecture," "alternative medicine" or "clean energy."
The launch of TED Conversations marks a major step in TED.com's evolution as a social platform. Through the popularity of TEDTalk videos – which have surpassed 400 million views – TED.com has amassed a vast global audience of engaged, intellectually curious members who are eager to participate in meaningful conversation and action. TED Conversations aims to capture the passion of these visitors and get the entire community – speakers, fellows, translators and global audience members – talking, brainstorming and collaborating in real time.
"What's missing from social media today is a forum for in-depth conversation, particularly among a diverse, international audience," said June Cohen, Executive Producer of TED Media. "We've built technology from scratch that fosters collaboration, sparks spirited discussion and allows the global TED community to more easily share ideas. A TED Conversation is like a dinner party – with a great group of diverse participants, provocative topics, and – importantly – a limited amount of time."
TED Conversations was made possible by support from TED partner GE, who provided underwriting as well as product inspiration. One new feature of TED Conversations is that it allows a partner to engage in a conversation directly with the TED community. At launch, GE will hold a conversation soliciting the TED community for insight on sustainable energy solutions, which will inform GE's Ecomagination Challenge.
"GE has been increasingly engaged in open platforms that drive conversations around big issues such as clean energy and affordable health. TED Conversations represents a place for authentic dialogue that engages multiple voices around innovation and the future," said Beth Comstock, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of GE. "As a company committed to innovation and technology, our mission aligns closely with TED's. Together, we're creating the kind of technologies that help further spread great ideas."
Later this spring, TED Conversations users will have the ability to start or participate in conversations in any language, track them over time with email notifications, and see what conversations their friends are participating in.
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.
TED's media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.
TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
TED2011, "The Rediscovery of Wonder," will be held February 28-March 4, 2011, in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs, California. TEDGlobal 2011, "The Stuff of Life," will be held July 11-15, 2011, in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Contact: Taryn Langer, Group SJR, firstname.lastname@example.org, (646) 495-9721