TED starts Conversations on 'wonder' in the lead up to TED2011

TED, an organization that brings together scientific pioneers, visionaries, musicians and provocateurs from around the world for its famous talks, has unveiled a new social platform called TED Conversations in the lead-up to its TED2011 conference.

The social network was built to connect TED's global community with the TEDTalks they watch; to spark discussion, facilitate collaboration and launch debates based around specific topics of conversation.

TED's social network draws elements from question-and-answer site Quora but adds its own twists: time-restricted conversations, conversation "tagging" for easy navigation, "TEDCRED" for measuring how credible registered users are, and - perhaps the most enticing reason for people to join in the conversations - discussions with TED speakers and community "rock stars."

TED Conversations is divided into three distinct categories: ideas, questions and debates.

"By asking a question, you can tap into the expertise of the TED community," says TED in a February 16 blog post. "By proposing an idea, you can elicit constructive feedback. And by initiating a debate, you can lay out a key issue for spirited discussion."

A conversation about "Wonder," a variation on this year's TED2011 theme "The Rediscovery of Wonder," has already been started by Dave Lim, the founding curator of TEDxSingapore.

Lim asks other members, "What has given you WONDER in your life?" His conversation has yet to garner any comments but TED curator Chris Anderson's debate about "Should anyone be able to upload their TEDTalk to TED.com?" has received an overwhelming 176 comments.

TED2011 will take place from February 28 to March 4 in Long Beach, California, USA.

Anyone can sign up for a "virtual front-row seat" at TED2011 by becoming a TED Associate member or alternatively, if you don't mind waiting, the talks will be available to watch for free at
http://www.TED.com.

To keep abreast of the new talks appearing daily on the TED website follow @tedtalks on Twitter.

TED Conversations: http://www.ted.com/conversations

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