Of all the benefits of working so closely with the IdeaFestival, meeting and talking with the incredibly talented people who agree to participate in the festival is the most satisfying. Chatting last year on a couple of occasions with the eremitic and elfin Daniel Tammet was for me a particular thrill.
Over the years, many journalists and bloggers have spent the better part of a week attending and writing about the IdeaFestival. Ethan Zuckerman and Evgeny Morozov spring to mind. Last year, the festival welcomed Molly Wood, Brendan Greeley, Ellen McGirt and, of course, Arnold Garson of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
For 2011, we're thrilled that Renee Blodgett of Weblogtheworld.com, Oxford American, Baratunde Thurston, who is the digital editor of The Onion, Radio Green Talk's Diana Dehm, Longform.org's Max Linsky, Brain Pickings' Maria Popova and CC Chapman (and Twitter) have decided to check out the nerdocalypse. Oh, and Philippe Petit's biggest fan, Ellen McGirt, will also return. Watch this IF Conversation featuring her.
If you love sharp social commentary - The Onion gets to the point faster and more perceptively than any cable news anchor - or just go weak in the knees before driven and liquid phrasing - many Longform.org essays go straight to my Kindle - or believe, as we do, that diversity is a strategic asset - Brain Pickings! - please check out their web sites and Twitter time lines. And if you see any of them in Louisville, do say hello and let them know you're happy to make their acquaintance. If you're blogging about the festival and I haven't mentioned you, please look me up so that we can link to you.
Twitter users, please follow @ideafestival - and use the #IF11 hash while writing about the festival this year.
In the picture above snapped by Wondaland last year, two "tightrope" artists, Philippe Petit and Janelle Monae, meet early in IdeaFestival week. He later attended her Wednesday performance, which was just surreal.
Two weeks to IdeaFestival 2011!