A Request

I want to ask you for something, and I promise that I won’t ask for this but once per year.

If you ever find yourself riding shotgun with me in the car, there’s a strong chance I’ll be listening to a podcast. It’s one of my favorite forms of media, and I use it for entertainment, news, sports, and general mind-expansion. The Podcasts app on my iPhone might be the most commonly opened app.

Take a glance at my subscribed podcasts and you will probably notice a theme: I like NPR. Half of what I listen to are NPR programs, with my favorites being the TED Radio Hour, Serial, and This American Life. I’ll also tune into Marketplace, Morning Edition, Ask Me Another, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, Car Talk, and Invisibilia if the mood strikes. The breadth of their programs is remarkable.

If any of y’all have listened to NPR, whether on the radio or a podcast, you’ll likely be familiar with their funding model. A significant portion of annual funding comes from the general public, and NPR is not shy in asking for it. I don’t blame them, considering that providing free media content isn’t cost-free.

I think their fundraising strategy is brilliant, in particular on the radio. You see, rather than asking non-stop throughout the year, they take a week or two each spring and fall and relentlessly fundraise. Those weeks are not as much fun to listen to, but it makes the rest of the year so much more enjoyable. I’m guessing no one would like it if NPR ran fundraising campaigns every single week.

Because I think it is so effective, I’ve decided to adopt their model. No, I’m not going to ask you for money, but I will ask you for something else – your network. Moreover, I promise that I won’t ask for this but once per year. After this, I’ll leave you be.

So here is the ask: I would be honored and extremely grateful if you would invite your network to subscribe to this blog. All we need are email addresses in the handy box on the side of this page. I hope you would be willing to email a link to this page to anyone who might enjoy my posts, or forward the weekly email blast that goes out, and ask people to sign up.

For the record, this isn’t about my ego or public recognition. It’s about connecting with people. I hope that this blog is entertaining, informative and a resource to you all. I want it to be those things for as many people as possible.

I don’t want to end on that note though. Rather, I’ll leave you with a link to the most recent episode of the TED Radio Hour, in particular the last segment. Click on this link to hear our Advisory Board member and my friend Janine Benyus talk about biomimicry as a method of design.

Cheers, and many thanks for your readership!