“TED Conversations” will be a question and answer forum similar to Stack Overflow or Quora, but with a few important differences. Conversations will take three forums: questions, ideas and debates. They’ll also be assigned an expiration date between one day and two weeks from their start.
Which brings us to the third thing that TED hopes will set its platform apart — participation by TED thought leaders. Sometimes these leaders will be scheduled to host conversations. At launch, for instance, Seth Godin, game designer Jane McGonigal and Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda will hold discussions.
Whether a discussion is launched by one of these thought leaders or a mere mortal, there is an option to link it to one of the TEDTalk videos that already draw about 15 million visits to the site each month. It’s a way for website visitors to extend their interaction with the conference without attending.