Hey, Is That a TEDx Video in Your Pocket Or…

YouTubepocketBack in September, I gave the talk of a lifetime at TEDxBoulder 2012.

In December, a totally befuddled group of speakers from recent TEDx events found their videos suddenly removed from YouTube.

TEDx didn’t know why. None of the speakers or organizers knew why. The only reason given was some sort of “terms of service” violation. Turns out that Google thinks that 60-some-odd TEDx speakers from all over the world hired dubious marketing agencies to create false views on their videos.

We know that’s bullshit. TEDx thinks it’s bullshit, too. But it’s Google — whaddaya do? The national TEDx organization went to serious bat for all the affected speakers and independent TEDx organizations.

They deserve a massive thanks, an open happy hour tab, and…well…much more than that. I can’t imagine that the arbitration process that they’ve gone through about these videos with YouTube has been easy, so on behalf of the TEDxBoulder organization, our volunteer organizers, and the other 3 affected speakers from our recent event: thank you.

But finally, I’m happy to announce that the video for my talk is live again on the official TEDx YouTube channel —

and here’s where I need your help.

Likes and Comments

By the time my video was deleted, it had over 300 likes (and 3 very cherished thumbs down — wahoo!) and 180 comments. I know every damn one of these was legit.

Why? Because 90 of those comments were from me, thanking people for leaving a comment and for watching and sharing the talk.

So — if you watched the video when it originally came out, would you please:

And Watch the Video Again

It’s been awhile since you’ve seen it — will you give it another watch and log a video view?  I lost 32,000 views when YouTube said that the views YOU brought to my TEDx talk weren’t legit. That when you shared it with your audiences, those views weren’t kosher. Today, I’m officially not a fan of YouTube’s mysterious reasoning methods.

But what I can do is ask you to do what you’ve already done — watch the video, log another legitimate view, and thank you for it in advance.

Then, Share the Video

There hasn’t been a single moment in my life more terrifying than the moment I was asked to speak at TEDxBoulder. It’s the world’s largest TED-branded event (even bigger than the annual TED conference itself). To be told that someone thinks you have an “idea worth spreading” is an incredible compliment.

So, in the spirit of Ideas Worth Spreading, will you share the video with your world once again? While Google says I have to start from zero, I’m not going quietly into this goodnight. You shared this damn talk everywhere when it came out — and I’d be grateful to share it again.

The bottom line is that none of the speakers whose talks were taken down by Google/YouTube really have any recourse except to start back at square one.

I need Google for my business — and many of you do as well.

And honestly, I’m a marketer for a living. I don’t need to hire an outside agency to create fraudulent views on a talk I wasn’t paid to give and make no money promoting. I have an audience filled with thousands of people like you who allow me to wake up every day and do what I love.

For that, I thank you. Because I don’t honestly know what I’d do without you.

If you’re viewing this via email, click here to view the video of Rethinking Unpopular.

And if you love the slides, most are available under a Creative Commons license in my Flickr stream. People seem to dig the pie chart. I’d kinda like to send that pie chart to YouTube, now that I think of it. But at least the current video still captures my frustration with this entire senseless process 🙂


First time reader, first time watcher. I'm just starting to figure out my market and was struggling with how to handle the assholes that will inevitably show up. I'll bookmark this talk to remind myself that even though I may be starving I don't have to climb into the trough with the pigs.  Thanks.  And I will also be sharing with my daughter who is suffering through junior high surrounded by assholes.  Keep up the goodness! 

Kim Doyal
Kim Doyal

First, LOVE your new site!!!!
I was about to say sorry if it's been up a while but caught myself after watching your video (it's the recovering Catholic in me).

But Oh. My. God.

This is brilliant (and something else I will be sharing with my 15 year old daughter)!!!!

Without getting too woowoo, this was exactly what I needed today! It hit me like a ton of bricks this week that the people (market) I've been engaging with isn't really my audience and I need to OWN THAT SHIT! I do WordPress sites, videos, etc. but so much more as well (LOVE digital publishing... all platforms!)  I've been playing the "I'm not a coder, I'm not a programmer", blah, blah, blah. But the reality is I don't WANT to do any of that (yawn). They're not my audience (which was made vitally clear when I created a kick ass guide (free) and one fizzy douche called me out on forgetting to include the twitter hashtag!? WTF?). 

Just the wake up call I needed. 

I'm not exactly sure what this transition in my business is going to look like but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders simply by stating I'm done (focusing on that audience/market).

I feel a blog post coming on with your video embedded! 

You are such a friggin inspiration! LOVE your work. ;-)

FGH huntress
FGH huntress

hi Erika, fantastic talk, really bloody good.  I've actually used it as a crutch in my blog, since I've not had the time to say what I want to this week about honesty and not being polite for the sake of just being liked by people who don't necessarily have your best interests at heart! We don't need to be rude, but we need to put our time into our pride... they're the ones who'll have our backs :) Anyway, just my long winded way of saying I AGREE!! And that I hope you don't mind me using your talk on my blog... love your work.  


One of my favorite TEDx videos!  You truly are an inspiration Erika!


Great TED talk Erika! Working on being unpopular isn't easy but it's validating.


Really glad to see this is back up on YouTube. I had tried to find it a few days ago and noticed it was taken down. Great message, keep up the unpopular work you do!