Top 10 Inspirational Sites (Sites I Follow for Insight and Inspiration)



“Life is a big canvas, throw all the paint on it you can.” — Danny Kaye

The Web is a fountain of knowledge, especially if you know where to drink from.  This post is a quick tour of some of the main sites I use that make me think.

Top 10 Inspirational Sites

Here are 10 sites that make me think and inspire new ideas:

  1. ChangeThis – ChangeThis is focused on spreading important ideas and changing minds. (  ChangeThis | RSS)
  2. Charlie Rose – Charlie Rose engages America’s best thinkers, writers, politicians, athletes, entertainers, business leaders, scientists and other newsmakers in one-on-one interviews and roundtable discussions.  (Charlie Rose
  3. Cincom’s Expert Access – Expert Access partners with some truly brilliant and forward-thinking business leaders to participate in its “Ask the Expert” program, including Al Ries, Bo Burlingham, Steven Pressfield, Sam Horn, Skip Press, and Stephanie Palmer. (Cincom Expert Access | RSS)
  4. Freakonomics – Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt, authors of Freakonomics, keep the conversation going from their best-selling book that explore the hidden side of everything. Freakomoics applies economic theory to diverse subjects not usually covered by “traditional” economists. (Freaknomoics | RSS)
  5. Gates Notes – Gates Notes is where Bill Gates shares his thoughts, his learning and his travels. (Gates Notes | RSS )
  6. MIT Open Courseware – Free lecture notes, exams, and videos from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). (MIT Open Courseware | RSS )
  7. NPR (Tell Me More) – The NPR talk show Tell Me More brings fresh voices and perspectives to public radio from the opinions of global newsmakers to listeners’ personal experiences of life-changing travel…the wisdom of renowned thinkers, activists and spiritual leaders…and intimate dispatches of daily life around the world from NPR News correspondents on the ground. ( NPR (Tell Me More) | RSS )
  8. PBS (Idea Lab) – Idea Lab is a group weblog by innovators who are reinventing community news for the Digital Age. Each author won a grant in the Knight News Challenge to help fund a startup idea or to blog on a topic related to reshaping community news. The authors will use Idea Lab to explain their projects, share intelligence and interact with the new-media community online. ( PBS (Idea Lab) | RSS )
  9. Psychology Today – Commentary, Research and News that cover all aspects of Human Behavior, from the workings of the brain, to relationships and the larger cultural forces that influence our decisions( Psychology Today | RSS
  10. Ted Talks – TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.  Their mission is spreading ideas.  They believe in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world, so they built a clearinghouse for free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. (Ted Talks | RSS )

Sample Inspirational Ted Talks

Here is a quick sampling of some of the interesting talks and life changing ideas:

  • Bill Gates on Mosquitoes, Malaria, and Education (Video) –  Bill Gates hopes to solve some of the world’s biggest problems using a new kind of philanthropy.
  • Charlie Rose Brain Series Episode 1 (Video) – The Great Mysteries of the Human Brain: consciousness, free will, perception, cognition, emotion and memory with a roundtable of brain researchers.
  • Dan Buettner: How to live to be 100+ (Video)  –  To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. At TEDxTC, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100.

What are your favorite sources of insight and inspiration on the Web?

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  1. Hi J.D. This is brilliant. I just realized how incredible it is the different resources that people get to influence their thoughts and writings. The resources that I usually get are not close to these types of material that you put up here. I am lucky to explore the internet and find out what others have to share. I will check some of this out; thank you for this.

  2. @ Hulbert

    Thank you. I think you are in for the ride of your life. These sites are your free pass to some of the best thinking and ideas on the planet.

    @ Jannie

    There are so many valuable voices and inspiring minds.

    @ Bo

    Thank you!

  3. This blog here is one idea that I really like, but I’ll give a few more that may be useful:

    “Upgrade Reality” has some useful tidbits every so often that I find inspiring and useful.
    “The Happiness Project” which is committed to an idea I really like, the idea of being happy.
    “Gift of Re:Life” is a social movement that while still in its infancy is something that I am actively

    working on trying to elevate and work through in some ways.
    “Blue Sky Resumes” and “Ask the Headhunter” are

    useful for keeping my resume and job hunting skills sharp.
    “Rands in Repose” is another blog I follow that has the odd nugget here and there.
    “Positively Present” is another like the Happiness Project that I follow for fun.

    “” can be useful in finding local groups for things that can also be a resource for some to use.

    I’m a member of 17 different groups but they range from a “Do Something New” group to a group mostly for Geeks and Nerds called “Computer


    That almost felt like a mini-brain dump, but there’s more! I also use Google News and Yahoo! News at times for gathering specific things and

    there are blogs like “Shark Tank” and “The

    Daily WTF” that are humorous to my life.

    For developer stuff there is Stack Overflow along with sister sites like Career Advice and Dear Vesta that are also ways I pass the

    time. Then there are Twitter and Facebook where on the latter Guy Kawaski is often posting links to cool things.

    Ok, I think that is enough for one post here. Thanks J.D. for having this awesome site.

  4. @ Rob

    Thank you and that’s quite the roundup!

    I forgot about Meetup and I think it’s a great way to stay on top of local interest groups and activities.

    @ Karl

    No doubt — TED is where I first saw the power of brilliance unleashed.

  5. Hi JD – great list – and thanks for posting them together with the interesting topics at the end. TED – I’ve loved for a while, and freakanomics, but the others and great to have the RSS links too – thank you!

    As you say – here – as you give us great ideas and I’ve used a couple of others, but I’m relatively undeveloped still. I love the blogging community we have – many of them .. Tess, Jannie, Lance, Marelisa at Abundance Blog, Barbara Swafford of BloggingWithoutABlog – always has helpful ideas, Wilma, Liara .. et al .. love them – all so informative and ground settling –

  6. Great list to explore, thank you for the new leads and I am seeing a pattern here to get folks out of winter mode and some fresh ideas springing forth.

    I have been watching a documentary every week on line, and just finished the National Parks Series from PBS…such fascinating work out there just for the taking!

  7. @ Hilary

    Thank you. I think you’ll really enjoy Charlie Rose.

    Informative and ground settling is a nice wrapper.

    @ Patricia

    Thank you. “Fresh ideas” is the name of the game.

  8. – do use the Sequences to read systematically. – don’t miss the World Question Center.

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