Ideas and the Revival of The Ben Franklin Follies

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After a long hiatus from publishing new content on The Ben Franklin Follies, the site is suddenly active again.

As I explained a while back, I’ve been trying to figure out how best to focus The Ben Franklin Follies around a theme that makes it easier to explain what the site is about. At the same time, in an effort to better organize my writing and interests, over the past 18 months or so I’ve been writing on several websites I created over the years.

I’ve always loved my concept for The Ben Franklin Follies, but the reality has been for some time that it evolved into less of a variety show about ideas, science and history than a place where I published whatever was on my mind at the time.

Over the past couple of months, I began to rethink the role of The Ben Franklin Follies in the overall plan for building out my Shinecast media network.

One day, while listening to Claudia Altucher’s conversation with Chris Brogan on his podcast, I realized that it’s time to return to my original vision for The Ben Franklin Follies.

Which leads me to the point of this blog post: It’s an explanation of the Idea Machine Project and the return to the original purpose for The Ben Franklin Follies: The exploration of ideas.

The Genesis of The Ben Franklin Follies

When I bought the domain in 2006 and set up a simple Blogger site, my original plan for The Ben Franklin Follies was to make it a blog about the power of ideas.

Through my blogging on The Ben Franklin Follies, I slowly came to realize that not everyone connects all the dots in the same way that I tend to do. People kept asking “what’s it about”?

At first I would say it’s like a Broadways Follies variety show inspired by Ben Franklin. I blog about topics consistent with to Ben Franklin’s many interests and accomplishments, from journalism to science to history to self-improvement and health. Later, I shifted the message a bit and reassigned the categories around the theme: “your path to health, wealth and wisdom.”

Typically, after I tried to explain The Ben Franklin Follies, I would get a few nods of approval. But mainly I heard murmurs of “not niche enough.”

So anyway, I let The Ben Franklin Follies languish while I worked out figuring out how to execute on my multifaceted vision that’s all about happiness through living a whole, integrated life, which is the underlying premise of Shinecast.

As I’ve refined the Shinecast vision and prepared for the launch of the Shinecast network, I’ve contemplated how to incorporate The Ben Franklin Follies concept into the network. I’ve gone back-and-forth and all around about what to do with The Ben Franklin Follies.

 A Blog About the Power of Ideas

Well, as it happens, an idea came to me as I was thinking about James and Claudia’s “idea machine” concept.

Why not blog about the ideas I generate as I follow along with Claudia’s themes and return to my concept to make The Ben Franklin Follies the place where I talk about the power of ideas.

It seems like a great time to blog about ideas, especially since James Altucher made his provocative (to some) statement that “Ideas are the currency of the 21st century.”

As I toyed with that idea, more ideas started to flow, including the many ways the power of ideas relates to my life philosophy that inspired my vision for the Shinecast. So more on that very soon.

I have bigger plans for the role The Ben Franklin Follies will play in the Shinecast digital platform I’m creating. For now, my focus is on launching the first phase of the Shinecast, which has been in the works  for several years. In fact, I’m about 7 months past my original August 2014 target for the expanded Shinecast, which I first launched as a simple podcast that focused on sustainable food systems and agriculture (the Shine Springs Farm Shinecast).

In the meantime, if you’re interested in ideas, especially ideas as currency and ideas related to entrepreneurship and 21st century business, I hope you’ll follow along with the Ben Franklin Follies, where I’ll be posting daily updates about my 10 or more ideas prompted by the topics in Claudia Altucher’s book, Become an Idea Machine.

I think Ben Franklin would have approved of the daily practice to come up with and write down (at least) 10 ideas. What do you think?

If you’re also doing the 180-day Become an Idea Machine plan that Claudia writes about, I’d love it if you would leave a comment and we can compare our ideas each week.

About Sheree

Change Catalyst, Idea Explorer, Dot-Connector, Square Peg


  1. […] I explain why I’m publishing these ideas at The Ben Franklin Follies in this post—if you’re curious. Nutshell version: The Ben Franklin Follies is one of the #Shinecast multimedia projects and I’ll be rolling out the various pieces over the next six weeks. […]

  2. […] you’re curious, I’m blogging my way through Become an Idea Machine in conjunction with the roll-out of my Shinecast media project over the coming weeks. The Ben […]

  3. […] Backstory: I’m journaling-then-blogging my way through Claudia Altucher’s new book, Become an Idea Machine, [affiliate link]which is based on James Altucher’s supposition that “ideas are the currency of the 21st century.” James is Claudia’s husband (in case you didn’t know that). […]

  4. […] Recipe ideas are the focus of Day 24 of the Idea Machine Project, which I explain in this post. […]

  5. […] Day 26 of the Idea Machine Project. For today, Claudia Altucher has us combining and mashing ideas from two previous […]

  6. […] Here’s where I explain the Idea Machine Project. […]

  7. […] Day 31 of the Idea Machine Project and today’s focus is 10 things that made me laugh out […]

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