Before its 2,000-plus videos had been viewed 8 billion times, TED was an annual conference for wealthy eggheads. Starting in February 1984, 1,000 people who could afford to pay $4,000 (and up) would gather in Monterey, California, to hear 18-minute lectures on technology, entertainment, and design. (TED, get it?) Then, in 2006, TED started posting the presentations on its website, transforming a once-exclusive conference into a viral think-piece factory. As TED kicks off its 33rd conference this spring, here’s how the talks went global. Read full story with links to most popular TED Talks here.