After a one-off event in 1984, annual TED conferences begin in 1990 in Monterey, California. In 2012 the events were held in Long Beach and Palm Springs in the U.S. and in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming video of the talks on the Internet. The TED organization is based in New York City and Vancouver.
TED speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their material in the most exciting and engaging way that they can, often through storytelling.
"Since June 2006 the talks have been offered for free viewing online, under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Creative Commons license, through TED.com. As of November 2011, over 1,050 talks are available free online. By January 2009 they had been viewed 50 million times. In June 2011, the viewing figure stood at more than 500 million, and on Tuesday November 13, 2012, TED Talks had been watched one billion times worldwide, reflecting a still growing global audience."
"TED was conceived by architect and graphic designer Richard Saul Wurman, who observed a convergence of the fields of technology, entertainment and design. The first conference, organized by Wurman and Harry Marks in 1984, featured demos of the Sony compact disc, and one of the first demonstrations of the Apple Macintosh computer. Presentations were given by famous mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot and influential members of the digerati community, like Nicholas Negroponte and Stewart Brand. The event was financially unsuccessful, however, and it took 6 years before the second conference was organized. From 1990 onward, a growing community of "TEDsters" has been gathering annually at the invitation-only event in Monterey, California, until 2009, when it was relocated to Long Beach, California due to a substantial increase of attendees" (Wikipedia article on Ted (conference), accessed 12-26-2012).