TED Jealousy

Ahh, the TED Jealousy leaked out of the blogosphere yesterday. First there was a Twitter fight between Loic Le Meur, Seesmic’s CEO (who was at TED) and Mike Arrington, TechCrunch’s founder (who was not). Then a journalist from BusinessWeek, Sarah Lacy, beat up TED for not being inclusive.

I’ve been there. I used to get jealous when I got locked out of events. Heck, just go back a few days and read my post about living a FOOCamp life.

But yesterday I had revenge: I went to Bil.

And next week I’ll have revenge again: I’m going to BarCamp.

See, I don’t get why people complain about being locked out of events. TED is giving us all an opportunity: create our own experiences that are more interesting than those on the floor of TED *and* more open!

Yesterday one of the TED attendees started bragging about how great going to TED was.

I answered “sounds great, but yesterday I hung out with Annie Leibovitz instead.” That ended the bragging, although having Robin Williams in front of you does sound pretty damn cool.

Anyway, why are bloggers and journalists jealous? I think Mike Arrington had some deep transparency with this comment on this Twitter: “regarding TED attacks – I defame anything cool that ignores me, until it stops doing so. it’s worked so far.”

Seriously: bloggers and journalists live and die by having access to stories and storymakers. Anytime there’s a gathering of executives we know there are potential stories, so we want to go.

If locked out (TED doesn’t invite many journalists, only letting a handful in and those who go have to agree to a lot of rules) then bloggers and journalists start feeling jealous of those who do get to go. We’re a competitive bunch, because if someone else is getting the stories then those locked out feel beaten.

But that’s based on a false premise: that only rich and powerful people can create stories.

I’ve found that’s not true. Sarah and Mike, you could have come to Bil. Why didn’t you? There were lots of geeks showing off lots of toys. There were even speakers who have spoken at TED. More videos from yesterday here and here.

One thing, though, TED does have the best badges (video shows why).

So, Sarah and Mike, will you be at the Barcamp at SXSW? Or, you gonna keep complaining about events that lock people out?

Hey, maybe the three of us should do an event the way we think it should be done? Imagine if Fast Company, BusinessWeek, and TechCrunch collaborated on an event. Wouldn’t that turn up something interesting?

77 thoughts on “TED Jealousy

  1. I video blogged a quick walk through their “simulcast lounge” and the TED bag, remained quiet with my video camera the rest of the time:

    http://www.loiclemeur.com/english/2008/02/seesmic-du-j-12.html

    ah, I actually also posted us all singing:
    http://www.seesmic.com/Standalone.html?video=ITBiaCFVg6

    the formal request was no video cameras in the main hall and no laptops there except the last 3 rows at the back.

    I do not think video blogging the hallways was in any way banned, you just feel like NOT doing that there.

    other than that, blogging and twittering was perfectly allowed.

    I loved TED, as I said, and will keep saying it, and I realize how lucky I was to be invited. It is worth any $ I have paid.

    Solution for Scoble, Robert, Dave and Sarah: start your own very exclusive conference :)

  2. I video blogged a quick walk through their “simulcast lounge” and the TED bag, remained quiet with my video camera the rest of the time:

    http://www.loiclemeur.com/english/2008/02/seesmic-du-j-12.html

    ah, I actually also posted us all singing:
    http://www.seesmic.com/Standalone.html?video=ITBiaCFVg6

    the formal request was no video cameras in the main hall and no laptops there except the last 3 rows at the back.

    I do not think video blogging the hallways was in any way banned, you just feel like NOT doing that there.

    other than that, blogging and twittering was perfectly allowed.

    I loved TED, as I said, and will keep saying it, and I realize how lucky I was to be invited. It is worth any $ I have paid.

    Solution for Scoble, Robert, Dave and Sarah: start your own very exclusive conference :)

  3. Linkerjpactrick…

    Pop!Tech came about because of a group people in Camden, ME wanted to get together and talk about the intersection of ideas and technology. No reason that couldn’t happen in the SE. You have some pretty places, great weather, good food, etc.

    So, just do it, start small, organize it around a theme, get a college involved, etc. Not impossible, but you have to start somewhere.

  4. Linkerjpactrick…

    Pop!Tech came about because of a group people in Camden, ME wanted to get together and talk about the intersection of ideas and technology. No reason that couldn’t happen in the SE. You have some pretty places, great weather, good food, etc.

    So, just do it, start small, organize it around a theme, get a college involved, etc. Not impossible, but you have to start somewhere.

  5. Also do things like TED actually accomplish anything or do they just sound like they accomplish something? Reminds me of when I was in college and we used to stay awake till 3 in the morning talking about the feasabilty of time travel.

  6. Also do things like TED actually accomplish anything or do they just sound like they accomplish something? Reminds me of when I was in college and we used to stay awake till 3 in the morning talking about the feasabilty of time travel.

  7. I admit I love watching the videos from TED I download from iTunes. The topics are generally very fascinating and make for good “water cooler” talk but like so many other conferences I always feel left out for two reasons;

    1.) The price – even $1,000 much less $6000 is way out of the realm of possibility for me or my company most of the time. Even if I had that much disposable income I doubt I would ever spend it on “high thinking” conference.

    2.) Location – I live on the east coast and specifically in Greenville,SC also known as “Charlanta” as it’s between Charlotte and Atlanta and unlike the rest of the area it’s a growing area that attracts a lot of modern manufacturing and tech companies. Despite that you rarely see anything like TED, SXSW, MacWorld like events, CES, etc. coming this way. They are usually in L.A., S.F, Seattle or Vegas. It very hard for me to get away, buy a plane ticket and commit all that downtime to these events however I am hearing more and more from you A-List and tech celebrities that I’m not really missing anything by not going since I can pretty much access all I would really be interested in via the Internet

    All that being said their is a part of me that is very jealous of those who can attend such event and often on a whim because they are either, “somebody”, live or work close by or have employers who can foot the bill. Needless to say I am self-employed and still in the early days of my company. Some month are very good some not so good but regardless of the income I can’t really afford to be away.

    Is their a way we can have something “TED-Like” for the rest of us?

  8. I admit I love watching the videos from TED I download from iTunes. The topics are generally very fascinating and make for good “water cooler” talk but like so many other conferences I always feel left out for two reasons;

    1.) The price – even $1,000 much less $6000 is way out of the realm of possibility for me or my company most of the time. Even if I had that much disposable income I doubt I would ever spend it on “high thinking” conference.

    2.) Location – I live on the east coast and specifically in Greenville,SC also known as “Charlanta” as it’s between Charlotte and Atlanta and unlike the rest of the area it’s a growing area that attracts a lot of modern manufacturing and tech companies. Despite that you rarely see anything like TED, SXSW, MacWorld like events, CES, etc. coming this way. They are usually in L.A., S.F, Seattle or Vegas. It very hard for me to get away, buy a plane ticket and commit all that downtime to these events however I am hearing more and more from you A-List and tech celebrities that I’m not really missing anything by not going since I can pretty much access all I would really be interested in via the Internet

    All that being said their is a part of me that is very jealous of those who can attend such event and often on a whim because they are either, “somebody”, live or work close by or have employers who can foot the bill. Needless to say I am self-employed and still in the early days of my company. Some month are very good some not so good but regardless of the income I can’t really afford to be away.

    Is their a way we can have something “TED-Like” for the rest of us?

  9. Wow, shocking, the “if you can’t code, shut up” attitude.

    Maybe if more people told people like that to shut up and listen, the coders wouldn’t keep getting slapped down by lawyers, regulators, and others who deal with people rather than machines for a living.

    Hey “Wake up,” people like Scoble (and myself, to a smaller degree) make a point of looking at the tech world from a “real world” perspective, from people who get real tans instead of monitor tans and don’t go through live wearing t-shirts with DeCSS on them (although I do own one, but that’s a story for another day).

    To a great extent, Silicon Valley and DC area almost like sister cities, in that they live in a bubble all their own. The point is to break the bubble. We’re helping, you’re not.

    Please read more.

    Love,

    Andrew

  10. Wow, shocking, the “if you can’t code, shut up” attitude.

    Maybe if more people told people like that to shut up and listen, the coders wouldn’t keep getting slapped down by lawyers, regulators, and others who deal with people rather than machines for a living.

    Hey “Wake up,” people like Scoble (and myself, to a smaller degree) make a point of looking at the tech world from a “real world” perspective, from people who get real tans instead of monitor tans and don’t go through live wearing t-shirts with DeCSS on them (although I do own one, but that’s a story for another day).

    To a great extent, Silicon Valley and DC area almost like sister cities, in that they live in a bubble all their own. The point is to break the bubble. We’re helping, you’re not.

    Please read more.

    Love,

    Andrew

  11. I just wanna Shoot Photos at one of Arrington’s Famous Parties! or does he even bother with those anymore??

    I’m envious of Peeps like Tara Hunt who says she’s blown away being in Aspen for TED* + I also wanna go to SXSW this week + then Holiday on Paul Allen’s Yacht off Ibiza with Bikini clad Heidi Klum + Giselle Bundchen + Monica Belucci!!

    It’s a Shame Boring Rich People can Afford going to these things* I’ll have to startup a conference called Bil.ly*

    ;))

  12. I just wanna Shoot Photos at one of Arrington’s Famous Parties! or does he even bother with those anymore??

    I’m envious of Peeps like Tara Hunt who says she’s blown away being in Aspen for TED* + I also wanna go to SXSW this week + then Holiday on Paul Allen’s Yacht off Ibiza with Bikini clad Heidi Klum + Giselle Bundchen + Monica Belucci!!

    It’s a Shame Boring Rich People can Afford going to these things* I’ll have to startup a conference called Bil.ly*

    ;))

  13. God can you and Arrington stop dropping names. As I said to Bono and Sergey on the Google plane coming back from Davos ….

    You love it when people big you up (Davos) but when they ignore you (TED)you bitch. Both events are great and you are lucky to attend one of them. I attended both and paid my own way.

  14. God can you and Arrington stop dropping names. As I said to Bono and Sergey on the Google plane coming back from Davos ….

    You love it when people big you up (Davos) but when they ignore you (TED)you bitch. Both events are great and you are lucky to attend one of them. I attended both and paid my own way.

  15. Buzz: I meet interesting people in coach, too. Especially flying back from Davos! I remember being in the last row of the plane coming back from my interviews at Microsoft. Who was sitting next to me? Larry Tesler (famous Apple/Xerox PARC geek).

    Bill Gates, in fact, used to fly coach for a long time.

  16. Buzz: I meet interesting people in coach, too. Especially flying back from Davos! I remember being in the last row of the plane coming back from my interviews at Microsoft. Who was sitting next to me? Larry Tesler (famous Apple/Xerox PARC geek).

    Bill Gates, in fact, used to fly coach for a long time.

  17. OMG its finally happened. Arrington and the A-list finally realize they are not the center of the universe worse still the mainstream influencers that really matter don’t even know they exist let alone think they are interesting.

    The daily techmeme noise of Arrington who bigs up his buddy Calacanis who disagrees with Winer which is video’d (qik) by Scoble and is reported as big news by Gabe (Techmeme) via Seesmic and then broadcast on to twitter. Here’s the newflash no one cares.

    To every entrepreneur grow your business, grow your business and sell because in a decade from now the pointless A-list bloggers will still be twittering (aka bitching) about something.

    The reality is Robert both you and Arrington couldn’t code your way out of a paper bag so what makes you think you should talk about tech.

    Most of your posts are technically lightweight at best. All you both want is nano-traffic to fool dumb advertisers into thinking your opinion matters in exchange for ad dollars.

  18. OMG its finally happened. Arrington and the A-list finally realize they are not the center of the universe worse still the mainstream influencers that really matter don’t even know they exist let alone think they are interesting.

    The daily techmeme noise of Arrington who bigs up his buddy Calacanis who disagrees with Winer which is video’d (qik) by Scoble and is reported as big news by Gabe (Techmeme) via Seesmic and then broadcast on to twitter. Here’s the newflash no one cares.

    To every entrepreneur grow your business, grow your business and sell because in a decade from now the pointless A-list bloggers will still be twittering (aka bitching) about something.

    The reality is Robert both you and Arrington couldn’t code your way out of a paper bag so what makes you think you should talk about tech.

    Most of your posts are technically lightweight at best. All you both want is nano-traffic to fool dumb advertisers into thinking your opinion matters in exchange for ad dollars.

  19. Making the plans would be easy, and I suppose if you allocated 1/3 of the price to each of the three compoonents, e.g. rock concert/leaning/networking it might be justificable, particularly if you had either a company that could justify it, or a higher net worth than I have.

    I learned a while back that you meet some pretty interesting people when you are flying first class.

  20. I really don’t get most of those “events”. I don’t see them helping in my creativity nor my productivity, to the contrary, I could do and learn so much more than waste my time in pseudo-social “event”.

  21. I really don’t get most of those “events”. I don’t see them helping in my creativity nor my productivity, to the contrary, I could do and learn so much more than waste my time in pseudo-social “event”.

  22. Making the plans would be easy, and I suppose if you allocated 1/3 of the price to each of the three compoonents, e.g. rock concert/leaning/networking it might be justificable, particularly if you had either a company that could justify it, or a higher net worth than I have.

    I learned a while back that you meet some pretty interesting people when you are flying first class.

  23. Buzz: agreed. Even if I had the $6,000, though, it’s hard to make plans for more than a few months in advance. That requires me focusing my entire life around one conference. That’s really tough. Heck, if you asked me a year ago I wouldn’t have predicted I’d have a different job than I had a year ago. Or that I’d have a new kid on the way.

  24. Buzz: agreed. Even if I had the $6,000, though, it’s hard to make plans for more than a few months in advance. That requires me focusing my entire life around one conference. That’s really tough. Heck, if you asked me a year ago I wouldn’t have predicted I’d have a different job than I had a year ago. Or that I’d have a new kid on the way.

  25. I would love to go to TED, but it is twice the price of Pop!Tech. Pop!Tech allows you to kick back and just listen to smart people who can help you answer the question that Dave poses, e.g. what do you want to do with the rest of your life.

    It seems to me that a significant part of business/economic success is the result of a lot of discipline and focus. With events like Pop!Tech or TED, you can sit back, and just listen, and think, and truly enjoy the brilliance of the people who have been asked to speak.

    I frankly wish there were more events like them and that they were more accessible.

  26. I would love to go to TED, but it is twice the price of Pop!Tech. Pop!Tech allows you to kick back and just listen to smart people who can help you answer the question that Dave poses, e.g. what do you want to do with the rest of your life.

    It seems to me that a significant part of business/economic success is the result of a lot of discipline and focus. With events like Pop!Tech or TED, you can sit back, and just listen, and think, and truly enjoy the brilliance of the people who have been asked to speak.

    I frankly wish there were more events like them and that they were more accessible.

  27. Dave: yup, I get pitched all the time, but that’s the life I chose for myself so I don’t mind it. It’s why I’m there. It’s what I do for my community (try to find the next big idea and find ways to make my audience smarter).

    There’s a lot of what you say in TED’s philosophy. They don’t want press or company people there. They want to create an entertainment event for CEOs, famous people, rich people. That’s why they don’t want bloggers there (someone shot some video in the hallways and they asked that person to take it down, I learned yesterday from one attendee).

    They also, really, don’t want average everyday people there (who are who showed up to Bil, which is why I liked Bil a lot).

    I’ve been to Davos. I don’t need to go to another entertainment event. I also don’t have anything to pitch these people.

    Oh, and I saw multi-million-dollar deals getting done at Davos. Because Davos is a filtering mechanism, executives lower their guard (which is exactly why it’s such a great place for journalists).

    One other thing. Because these events are so expensive CEOs and other “unreachables” don’t bring their PR staffs along, so it’s very easy to talk with them.

    Or, did you forget the three hours I spent with Mark Zuckerberg at Davos?

    THAT is the real value for journalists and bloggers.

  28. Dave: yup, I get pitched all the time, but that’s the life I chose for myself so I don’t mind it. It’s why I’m there. It’s what I do for my community (try to find the next big idea and find ways to make my audience smarter).

    There’s a lot of what you say in TED’s philosophy. They don’t want press or company people there. They want to create an entertainment event for CEOs, famous people, rich people. That’s why they don’t want bloggers there (someone shot some video in the hallways and they asked that person to take it down, I learned yesterday from one attendee).

    They also, really, don’t want average everyday people there (who are who showed up to Bil, which is why I liked Bil a lot).

    I’ve been to Davos. I don’t need to go to another entertainment event. I also don’t have anything to pitch these people.

    Oh, and I saw multi-million-dollar deals getting done at Davos. Because Davos is a filtering mechanism, executives lower their guard (which is exactly why it’s such a great place for journalists).

    One other thing. Because these events are so expensive CEOs and other “unreachables” don’t bring their PR staffs along, so it’s very easy to talk with them.

    Or, did you forget the three hours I spent with Mark Zuckerberg at Davos?

    THAT is the real value for journalists and bloggers.

  29. Thanks for transcribing my podcast (not!) — I did it by voice because I thought it would be hard to explain in writing.

    Try this out.

    I bet when you go to a conference, you spend a lot of time listening to people who want to get five minutes of your time to hear their idea. Do you ever get tired of this? Do you wonder why you have to *pay* to have other people make demands on your time? Doesn’t that sound like work??

    Now imagine what it must be like to be Al Gore at one of these events. That’s what I can’t stop thinking about, and it’s why I won’t barge into their space with my pitch because I know he won’t really be listening and there’s zero chance that anything will come of it. In other words, that opportunity that you think you have is not actually an opportunity.

    I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe not defining your life in those terms. Or put yourself in places where there’s a good balance, where you’re as much sought after and well-known as everyone else. I don’t think cornering celebrities, unless you’re very beautiful and have something they want (which means they still aren’t listening!), will get you anywhere.

    Take your son for a walk today and tell him a story about your childhood? A funny one! What do I know. :-)

  30. Thanks for transcribing my podcast (not!) — I did it by voice because I thought it would be hard to explain in writing.

    Try this out.

    I bet when you go to a conference, you spend a lot of time listening to people who want to get five minutes of your time to hear their idea. Do you ever get tired of this? Do you wonder why you have to *pay* to have other people make demands on your time? Doesn’t that sound like work??

    Now imagine what it must be like to be Al Gore at one of these events. That’s what I can’t stop thinking about, and it’s why I won’t barge into their space with my pitch because I know he won’t really be listening and there’s zero chance that anything will come of it. In other words, that opportunity that you think you have is not actually an opportunity.

    I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe not defining your life in those terms. Or put yourself in places where there’s a good balance, where you’re as much sought after and well-known as everyone else. I don’t think cornering celebrities, unless you’re very beautiful and have something they want (which means they still aren’t listening!), will get you anywhere.

    Take your son for a walk today and tell him a story about your childhood? A funny one! What do I know. :-)

  31. Robert: and what do you think that i will stay up all night to 4am to watch it ;)

    plus it is not the same. you can talk to actual people, share your ideas etc. i cant have that. yes i know i can send messages live to you, but you know that it is not the same.

  32. Robert: and what do you think that i will stay up all night to 4am to watch it ;)

    plus it is not the same. you can talk to actual people, share your ideas etc. i cant have that. yes i know i can send messages live to you, but you know that it is not the same.

  33. That’s the first time I can remember getting an audio answer in a comment!

    In an answer to Dave Winer:

    He says these conferences are boring. From what the attendees tell me, TED isn’t boring. The speeches sounded really interesting. Glad to see Brian Cox thrilled (he thrilled me at LIFT two years ago). Seeing Robin Williams jump up on stage must have been pretty fun.

    But I agree with Dave that the value is NOT in what is on stage. After all, they give that away!!!

    There is SOME value in going to these kinds of conferences for what’s on stage, to be sure. But that might be $400, maybe $1,000. So, why pay the other $5,000?

    Easy: the networking.

    If you have a reason to get in front of, say, Al Gore, then all of a sudden those conferences become hugely valuable.

    After all, if you can convince some business person to do a million dollar deal because you were at TED, then the $6,000 becomes worth it instantly.

    For me, that’s why going to Davos was valuable. I now have a book of every attendee with their phone numbers. 3,000 people who run almost every kind of business. So, for a journalist, this becomes a rolodex-building experience.

  34. That’s the first time I can remember getting an audio answer in a comment!

    In an answer to Dave Winer:

    He says these conferences are boring. From what the attendees tell me, TED isn’t boring. The speeches sounded really interesting. Glad to see Brian Cox thrilled (he thrilled me at LIFT two years ago). Seeing Robin Williams jump up on stage must have been pretty fun.

    But I agree with Dave that the value is NOT in what is on stage. After all, they give that away!!!

    There is SOME value in going to these kinds of conferences for what’s on stage, to be sure. But that might be $400, maybe $1,000. So, why pay the other $5,000?

    Easy: the networking.

    If you have a reason to get in front of, say, Al Gore, then all of a sudden those conferences become hugely valuable.

    After all, if you can convince some business person to do a million dollar deal because you were at TED, then the $6,000 becomes worth it instantly.

    For me, that’s why going to Davos was valuable. I now have a book of every attendee with their phone numbers. 3,000 people who run almost every kind of business. So, for a journalist, this becomes a rolodex-building experience.

  35. hehe you think that if you can’t get to TED is bad? what about people like me form Europe that will never be invited to all that grate events that are in the US. the ticket flight alone is a huge expense.

    you should feel lucky that you can go to other conference and meetings.

  36. hehe you think that if you can’t get to TED is bad? what about people like me form Europe that will never be invited to all that grate events that are in the US. the ticket flight alone is a huge expense.

    you should feel lucky that you can go to other conference and meetings.

  37. David: you might have mistaken me for a rich guy. I can’t afford such an expensive conference unless my employer pays and since TED bans doing videos (even in the hallways) I doubt I’ll be able to justify such an expense.

  38. David: you might have mistaken me for a rich guy. I can’t afford such an expensive conference unless my employer pays and since TED bans doing videos (even in the hallways) I doubt I’ll be able to justify such an expense.

  39. There was very little “tech” at TED 2008. So, it sounds like “BIL” would have been a treat. I’m sorry I had to leave Monterey early.

    At TED we were treated to an abundance of physics, energy and life sciences topics.

    Re: Sarah Lacy – I think she’s being silly and doesn’t understand the model. TED isn’t an invitation event. Not sure why people think it is. Chris Anderson explained that it wasn’t. Why aren’t “press” invited? Simple according to TED creator Richard Saul Wurman, who attended this year (several years after selling the event to Chris Anderson) – why give out a press seat when you can get someone to pay for it?

    TED is a pay-to-attend event. If Sarah wants to attend all she needs to do is pony up $6K and apply early (2009 sold out several weeks ago). Or, have BusinessWeek pay her way. Several years ago I asked to get an “invitation” be applying to attend. That’s it. Got the invite. Paid the bucks, and have been attending for several years.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think anyone gets a pass to attend TED except the invited speakers. That means Meg Ryan, Tony Robins, Larry Page, Matt Groening, Paul Allen, etc., etc. are all paying $6,000.

    Robert – you and Sarah should attend TED 2010! I suspect announcements and open invitations will be available next January. Apply early. Have your credit card ready. It sells out very quickly, though it grows by 10% each year (next year being the first year to be held in Long Beach, CA).

  40. There was very little “tech” at TED 2008. So, it sounds like “BIL” would have been a treat. I’m sorry I had to leave Monterey early.

    At TED we were treated to an abundance of physics, energy and life sciences topics.

    Re: Sarah Lacy – I think she’s being silly and doesn’t understand the model. TED isn’t an invitation event. Not sure why people think it is. Chris Anderson explained that it wasn’t. Why aren’t “press” invited? Simple according to TED creator Richard Saul Wurman, who attended this year (several years after selling the event to Chris Anderson) – why give out a press seat when you can get someone to pay for it?

    TED is a pay-to-attend event. If Sarah wants to attend all she needs to do is pony up $6K and apply early (2009 sold out several weeks ago). Or, have BusinessWeek pay her way. Several years ago I asked to get an “invitation” be applying to attend. That’s it. Got the invite. Paid the bucks, and have been attending for several years.

    I could be wrong, but I don’t think anyone gets a pass to attend TED except the invited speakers. That means Meg Ryan, Tony Robins, Larry Page, Matt Groening, Paul Allen, etc., etc. are all paying $6,000.

    Robert – you and Sarah should attend TED 2010! I suspect announcements and open invitations will be available next January. Apply early. Have your credit card ready. It sells out very quickly, though it grows by 10% each year (next year being the first year to be held in Long Beach, CA).

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