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TED2007: pre-conference impressions

Minus one (day). TED2007 starts tomorrow
Wednesday. The whole
team is in Monterey getting things ready. Here a few impressions of today, starting with the
preparation of the main stage:

Ted07day01mainhallprep

Just outside, tech and decoration materials are being delivered:

Ted07day1workers

Speakers’ pictures are ready to be hung on the walls:

Ted07day1speakerpict

The simulcast room is being assembled:

Ted07day1simulcastprep_1

In a separate room, the "gift bags" for the 1200 attendees are filled and stockpiled:

Ted07day1giftbags

So we’re almost ready to go:

Ted07day1_prep

There has been some news coverage of TED lately. One month ago CBS put online a 10-minutes video report on TED, who attends and what’s discussed. This week’s BusinessWeek has a story headlined "Forget Davos. I’m booked up for TED", while yesterday’s New York Times describes "Where artists and investors plot to save the world". While both articles say great things about TED and compare it favorably to the Davos World Economic Forum however, it’s worth pointing out that they almost contradict each other. BusinessWeek quotes a former attendee suggesting that TED has become mainly about connections with celebrities; the NY Times writes that TED is now mainly a do-good gathering discussing "photographs of genocide victims, environmentally
sustainable AIDS clinics and water-purification
systems".

Between glam celebrities and genocide victims, the truth is that the actual content — the speakers and the ideas — at TED this year promises to be more interesting than ever.

I will try to liveblog it starting tomorrow, with highlights on the TEDblog and full content on LunchOverIP. We are also planning to have daily summary podcasts. Other bloggers will be writing/podcasting from TED: check out in particular Ethan Zuckerman and Tom Guarriello. If you’re blogging from the conference, leave a comment with your URL here: I will be composing a list of TED bloggers and publish it.