What is TED.com?

To paraphrase the great Albert Einstein, nobody changed anything by doing things exactly the same way over and over again.  That's why the Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference series (commonly known as T.E.D.) brings together some of the best and brightest thinkers from every corner of the globe to spread the latest innovations in the academic and professional worlds, all in a way that the general public can understand.  TED is most well-known for its video lectures, almost all of which are recorded at TED conferences in front of a live audience.  Some lectures are also recorded at smaller, privately-run events and conferences known as "TEDx" conferences.

TED.com is the online branch of this series of conferences.  It contains over 1500 articles and recorded lectures featuring cutting-edge ideas on a large variety of topics, including education, social interactions, leadership, medicine, math, art, language, computers, and more.  What's more, they're written and structured in a way that doesn't require a degree in quantum physics to appreciate.  And best of all, they're absolutely free!

What can I do on TED.com?

Select a video lecture to watch, and then just sit back and keep your eyes, ears, and mind wide open.  TED.com is great whether you're looking for inspiration or a new way of seeing things, or just something to get the conversation going at your next get-together.  Or you can leave a comment on a video to let the TED community know what you think, and start the conversation right away!

Or, if you feel like reading something instead of watching it, you can read thought-provoking essays from contributors to TED.com.  The website can even direct you to places where you can buy books from TED.com contributors, including ones inspired by their videos!

You can even use TED.com to purchase recordings of TED conferences going on right now, or find information on independently-run "TEDx" conferences that deal with topics that you're interested in.  One or more of them might be coming to a city near you!


That's TED.com in a nutshell!  Our next tutorial will dive into the pros and cons of the website.