Ah TED, how I adore thee. Especially your home page, which takes the tag cloud idea and presents it visually.

The annual Monterey, Calif., gathering of big thinkers in technology, entertainment and design is invitation only. This year the list of those wanting to attend grew so big organizers announced a TED simulcast in Aspen.

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the heart-stopping conference fees.

Instead, there’s GEL, Good Experience Live, in New York. Though GEL isn’t cheap either, some attendees have described it as a mini-TED — one that draws some of brightest and most interesting in the creative arts, UI, design and customer experience.

GEL organizer Mark Hurst has published names of the first few speakers confirmed for the upcoming conference April 24-25. Early bird registration ends Dec. 12.

He’s also posted his annual “Uncle Mark’s Gift Guide & Almanac” — a fun “catalog” of recommendations and practical how-tos.