Tomorrow I head down to Palm Springs to attend the 25th annual TED conference. I’m mulling over ways to cover the conference, so I thought I would post here as I sort things out.
So first of all, TED is a pretty neat event, but it’s radically different from others I’ve covered. The premise is that of bringing together innovative people from all different fields (loosely, technology, entertainment and design — hence the acronym) to talk to each other about what they’re doing. The talks are often inspiring, but they’re rarely newsworthy. Speakers this year include well-known names in the tech world like Bill Gates and Tim Berners-Lee, but also an anthropologist named Nina Jablonski who wrote a book about skin, an ecologist named Nalini Nadkarni who studies tree canopies, singer Regina Spektor and architect Daniel Libeskind.
Second, I am attending a simulcast of the event, which will held two hours away from the main site in Long Beach, Calif. (see the explanatory video embedded above). That makes reporting somewhat awkward — how am I supposed to ask follow-up questions of the speakers? — but also interesting from an online video perspective. In attendance at the simulcast will be the Ask a Ninja guys and the Where the Hell Is Matt? guy, so I’ll be sure to talk to them.
But third, there aren’t really any NewTeeVee-related speakers, per se, at TED. The conference does have an interesting online video story, in that it’s stripped away some of the exclusivity of the event in the last couple years by posting individual videos of its talks online and winning a huge audience for them — 80 million views last time we checked. It’s also experimenting with a $1,000 live streaming membership. As for the this year’s talks, I’m sure something NewTeeVee-related will come up, but I’ll also be contributing posts to other sites across the GigaOM network like Earth2Tech.
So I guess we’ll all see how this goes. I’m sure my brain will be enriched by the end of the week, and I’ll do my best to share here. If there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear about, please let me know.