TED is the Bono of conferences. (Except Bono wasn't even on this year's guest list.) The Technology Entertainment Design conference is so bold-name, so visionary that you have to like it, which is why you can so easily hate it. But in 2006, the conference awarded its annual $100,000 prize to a man named Larry Brilliant who's heading up Google's non-profit arm, and how do you top that? This year, B-list tech press have rejected the conference they were never invited to. But they really do have a point:
- It's for starfuckers. "TED seems like a free pass for the Valley to shed [meritocratic] values, to be seduced by celebrity, to gawk at Hollywood types and politicians that its denizens would otherwise never encounter." That's according to BusinessWeek writer Sarah Lacy, who's never been invited to TED as she admits in her story "Why I'm Fed Up With TED." Lacy, who wrote cover stories on dot-com "Valley Boys" treating them like celebrities, also got a six-figure advance to write a book about such dot-commers. But if anything that makes her TED condemnation an expert opinion.
- Even the webtards are over it. Such as TechCrunch publisher Michael Arrington, who's given up on begging for an invite. Demonstrating the writing skills that will help him replace all tech media with his blog network, he explained on Twitter, "TED is such a lame conference."
- It's for Olds. How else did former TIME editor Walter Isaacson (his name is made of old) get away with calling his upcoming book "one of the first books for the electronic age"? (Like several books before it, an editable version will appear online.) Hello Walter, welcome to computers! Have you heard of the "For Dummies" series? You don't even have a home page.