+ Audience

I started blogging three years ago.  This past Saturday, I was humbled (and thrilled!) to discover that my speech at NextGen:Charity was posted on the TED.com homepage – part of their “best of the web” series.  (93,000 views and counting…!)

This got me thinking about the series of events that led to this outcome.  There are certainly a lot of pieces, but since so much of the thinking and action behind that talk grew out of this blog, I boiled it down to the simple elements that keep me (or anyone) blogging for an extended period of time, namely:  Inspiration + Ideas + Motivation + Audience = A blog

More specifically:

Inspiration = the model of other people, whose actions and impact you’d like to emulate, doing great things with their blogs

Ideas = a flow of topics to write about that are interesting both to you and to your readers

Motivation = the drive to keep at it, day in and day out, even when the going gets tough

Audience = the knowledge that people are out there reading, and that you are being of service to them

I’m sure that there are more things at play, but in my experience these are the minimum necessary elements.  Which is to say, in a roundabout way, that this never would have happened without you.

Thank you for reading, for commenting, for cross-posting, for emailing me with great feedback and ideas and suggestions.  Thank you for pushing me every day, especially on the days when it’s hard.  Thank you for making this blog part of your day.

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

I can’t believe it took me until now to watch Chimamanda Adichie’s profound TED talk about the danger of a single story.  A friend shared it with me the day before I discovered that it’s one of the twenty most-viewed TED talks of all time.

This weekend (especially if you’re celebrating Independence Day), give yourself a gift and put aside 18 minutes to watch this.  The talk defines the power of story to subjugate, the heart of stereotypes held by everyone – even well-meaning, kind people – and how they limit all of us.  It is at times profound, wise, humorous, and hopeful. 

And if you’re as moved as I was, you’ll quickly get a sample of Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun on your Kindle, start reading, and not be able to put it down.  Enjoy.

This just in: TEDPrize wishes to be streamed live on the web

Two days ago I shared two TED firsts – the TEDPrize wish being shared live in theaters and the launch of the TED Fellows program.

I just learned that the TEDPrize wishes will be broadcast live TODAYat 8pm Eastern Time, 5pm Pacific time.  Tune in here up to 30 minutes before the broadcast starts.


First time ever: TED Prize live

The 2009 TED conference starts today.  Like Davos, I’m sure the conversations this week will be very different than they were a year ago.

There are two TED-related firsts this week worth announcing.

First, this Thursday, February 5th, the TED prize session will be broadcast live in select theaters across the United States.  These are wishes from the TED community to change the world: deep-ocean explorer Sylvia Earle, astronomer Jill Tarter, and maestro Jose Antonio Abreu each have a 2009 TED Prize wish that they will share in a two hour presentation featuring Quincy Jones, Al Gore and Sir Richard Branson and a “surprise guest.”  So be the first to see the results.  Tickets are $20 and can be bought here for theaters in various venues in California, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.  Click on the video below for a preview.

Second, the TED Fellows program was officially announced this morning.  50 applicants from around the world who are leaders in their fields will be chosen to join the TED community.  Cool.

(For those who don’t know TED, it’s the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference that brings together leading thinkers from all imaginable sectors and has them give captivating, 18 minute talks filled with “ideas worth sharing.” If you ever wanted to know where to get inspired – both by content and in what world-class presentations look like – this is the place to go.   Here’s a recent article by Virginia Heffernon titled “Confessions of a TED Addict” with a nice list of TED talk favorites).

And here’s the TED Prize preview.