Archive for the TEDxOrangeCoast Category

TEDxOrangeCoast – Content Lessons Learned

There is a strong sense of altruism that emanates from TED and TEDx. The TEDxOrangeCoast team joined a global community of volunteers committed to bringing great ideas to the local communities in which we live. Hopefully each team member is a better person and professional because of the experience.

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We each learned new things. In the case of Online Content Producers, TEDxOrangeCoast was a real-time workout in pushing out important content to a new audience. We misjudged the local community in regards to awareness of TEDx. Being longtime aficionados, we assumed more people in Orange County were too. In the end TEDxOrangeCoast was a great success, but we were worried there for awhile. Each member of the team had some teachable moments. Here are mine:

1. Always, always, research your market.

No matter how great you think your product or idea is, there is never a reason big enough NOT to do your audience research. The more Kool Aid you have drunk, the more reason to research your market.

2. The right media mix still includes print.

By misjudging brand awareness we discounted print, and realized too late that much of our audience had to be reached through business journals and print newspapers.

3. There must be a Chief Content Officer directing content.

A Content Strategy Plan and Editorial Calendar is mandatory. A detailed plan spelled out content topics, dates, publication platform, keywords, tags, etc., and allowed the marketing team at Brandtailers to utilize the content to its optimal value. The content was the message, and taking the time to plan a strategy for delivering that message is essential.

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The TEDxOrangeCoast team has scattered for the summer as we each dive back into our businesses. In the meantime, the content lives on. I hope you will take some time to watch the talks and enjoy the “great ideas worth spreading”.

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The Trouble with TEDxOrangeCoast

If you want good content – online content that will bend and grow your mind, mosey over to TED.com. If you haven’t listened to a TED talk before, I think you’ll thank me. If you have, you already know what an incredible resource this non-profit committed to “ideas worth spreading” is. Being able to watch and listen to talks by some of the most amazing people of our time makes TED one of the best tools for lifelong learning.

But, despite all modern technologies connecting us at the click of a button, there is still no replacing the in-person human experience of connecting with other people. TEDx was born from the understanding that by empowering independently organized groups of people in their own communities to organize TED-like events, human connections would be made, great ideas would be shared, and maybe – just maybe – communities would be more innovative as a result. TEDx events are created by volunteers who are passionate about sharing, learning and coming together to make good things happen. So, what’s the trouble?

It’s a new concept, unlike any other conference. You can’t compare it to anything you’ve been to before. You have to submit yourself to being fully present. To listening, learning and interacting. That means taking time away from your usual day. It means turning off the phone. That’s the trouble. It’s so unlike anything you have ever done that you might be inclined to dismiss it and miss an incredible experience. Don’t! Take time-out for TEDx. For me, its TEDxOrangeCoast on May 19th. If you are nearby, hope to see you there. If not, seek out TEDx in your own community. Just like the tip about TED.com, I think you’ll thank me!

Cultivating Good Content


I attended a wonderful conference this week designed to help church leaders communicate in the contemporary communications marketplace. I ended up at The Cultivate Conference a bit by accident (well, obviously not really an accident, but by some heavenly symphonic collaboration I am sure). I am passionate about Skip1.org, and I was there to assist Shelene Bryan, with the visual content of her presentation.. Once I settled in I realized I was right where I was supposed to be that morning — in the presence of very creative, inspired people who were collaborating on how to best convey content. They talked about “how to tell the story” of their brand. In this case, their churches and ministries. Talk about passion. They shared a mission – literally. They know that getting their content online in the right way can make a deep impact on other people’s lives. Rather than competing as “social media gurus”, they were there to share, learn and try on ideas for successfully conveying meaningful content. No one was promising SEO miracles or trying to impress other with their social media prowess. It was refreshing and I am sure the result will be that each attendee’s organization will do a better job reaching people online. Some of the self-appointed social media gurus I encounter could learn a great deal about how these folks collaborate with a humble heart.

–Eileen Paulin