As Executive Producer of TED Media, I'm focused on extending TED in new directions — particularly those that help spread ideas. I launched TEDTalks in 2006, TED.com in 2007, and the Open Translation Project in 2009. I also co-produce and co-host the annual conference in Long Beach, manage our talented media team, and continue to look for new ways to spread ideas.
As of mid-2011, TEDTalks have been watched more than 500 million times worldwide. And TED's Open Translation Project, which allows volunteers worldwide to translate TEDTalks into their own languages, has been buoyed up by 6000+ translators, who have produced 20,000+ translations in 80+ languages. I'm continually amazed by their dedication.
My career has been focused on the intersection of media and technology. In the 90s, while a student, I led the Stanford team that developed the world’s first networked multimedia magazine. It was built in HyperCard, using just-released QuickTime, and distributed over the campus network. It got a fair bit of attention in the press.
After that, I was lucky enough to join the team launching HotWired.com, the pioneering website from Wired Magazine. HotWired was one of the earliest web companies, and we introduced many of the conventions now commonplace on the web (from ad banners to discussion threads around news stories to the concept of "membership"). I wrote "Net Surf," one of the web’s proto-blogs, and I also founded Webmonkey.com, the much-loved developers’ site, which is still used by millions. I ultimately helped lead HotWired to profitability as VP of Content, overseeing all creative development on sites, from Animation Express to the HotBot search engine. The people I worked with and projects I worked on there have influenced everything in my life since then.
After leaving Wired, I wrote "The Unusually Useful Web Book," which collected just about everything I'd learned about how to make a successful website.
Eventually, I'll make time to write my second book, exploring trends in media, technology and culture. The main idea: That modern technologies are actually returning us to very ancient forms of media, communication and community. And that we're all the better for it.
Aside from the direct professional bio, I'm also passionate about the visual and performing arts. I spent a good chunk of my younger life on stage. There have been several periods when I've seen literally every show on Broadway. I'm also a tremendous science geek, a voracious reader, a passionate traveler, an on-again, off-again photographer and a devoted life-long learner.
Final CV details: I have a BA in political science from Stanford (minors in Human Biology, Anthropology, African studies). And I was Editor in Chief of The Stanford Daily -- another formative experience that has influenced everything I've done since.
Media, technology, culture and their impact on each other. Creativity and collaboration. Responsible stewardship of the planet. Travel. Theater. Books. Inspired design marrying form and function.
Your media habits. Your latest theory. Things you find beautiful. What you've learned. Your next project. My next book. Theater. Coffee. TED.com
Cooking ambitious meals. Belting Broadway tunes (consider yourself warned). Waterskiing. Also, I know a surprising amount about the role indigenous media played in Africa's independence movements.
I had followed TED from afar since 1990, and first attended in 1998, while I was at HotWired. I've missed only one year since.
So 2011 marks my 19th TED, my 13th year attending and my 6th year on staff. TED has always mapped really oddly and beautifully on to my own set of interests, which focus at the center of technology, entertainment and design (specifically the emergence of new, technology-driven media forms), but branch off wildly into biology, art, global development, world cultures, design, architecture, urban studies, storytelling, and the performing arts. That ONLY seems coherent in the context of TED.