May 24, 2012

PBS Launches New Retirement Web Site - And Has Asked Me to Be A Part of It

After three years of research, planning, and development, PBS has launched a new web site targeted at Baby Boomers and retirees. But, this is unlike any other web site or effort I am aware of in the area of satisfying retirement information.

NextAvenue.org was launched last week to very positive press and with serious financial backing. It is striving to become much more than just a web site with useful information. Here is a portion of the press release that describes what we have to look forward to:

We are designing Next Avenue to be a virtual ‘life coach' for Baby Boomers, informing, inspiring, engaging and connecting the nation's largest segment of the adult population. It will also challenge them to see the opportunities life holds after 45,” said Next Avenue CEO Jim Pagliarini. “We intend for Next Avenue to be a truly interactive venture, designed not merely to entertain and inform but to provoke thought and action. And we plan to provide a rich arena for user-generated content, feedback and interaction.” Pagliarini is also president and CEO of Twin Cities Public Television, which is leading the initiative in collaboration with American Public Television (APT) and PBS (Public Broadcasting Service), among others.


“Next Avenue is designed to be the most comprehensive content initiative ever to target this audience:

  • Online through an enormous web content hub of video, information, targeted e-newsletters, customized tools for better living, original content, user-generated content and a huge, aggregated and vetted database of content contributed by public media and such organizations as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Institutes of Health, the Office of Public Health and Science, and Civic Ventures, a think tank on Boomers, work and social purpose; mobile device apps will also be developed for Next Avenue's content.
  • On air through multiple public television series, specials and interstitials, many of which will capitalize on well-known and well-regarded public television personalities and brands; and
  • On the ground with relevant, regularly scheduled events coordinated through local stations across the country.

Now the exciting disclaimer: PBS has hired me to be a contributor to this project. I am under contract to write original content for the site on a regular basis. The first article deals with my experiences in prison ministry and can be found here: Finding My Retirement Passion Landed Me In Prison.

Yes, I am being paid by PBS to be part of this project. But, that is secondary to my excitement and pride at being associated with something of this magnitude and professionalism. I hope you will take the time to visit Next Avenue and look around. 

I'd also deeply appreciate your taking a look at my first contribution and, if you like it, clicking the various sharing and tweeting buttons at the top of the article.

The resources of Public Broadcasting and all of the top flight experts that are part of this effort should guarantee us an unlimited stream of valuable information and insight as we journey together on our satisfying retirement.

35 comments:

  1. Wow! That's really neat.

    I'm a Generation X'er housewife who is retirement-curious. I love reading blogs about retirement. An endlessly fascinating topic! So I will be sure to check this out.

    I always enjoy your blog. Can't wait to read about your prison experience. 3 Hots and a Cot!

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    1. I just read your article. You are a good writer and a nice person. I'm glad you found a paid outlet at PBS for both talents!

      I wanted to comment there, too, but couldn't because I'm not on the Facebook.

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    2. Thanks, Tessie. Yes, at the moment their site requires being a Facebook member to leave a comment. Hopefully that will change at some point.

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  2. Congratulations, Bob! They have chosen well to have you as a contributor. I have read your blog for quite some time and greatly benefit from it. I have just recently decided to participate in the comments section. Next Avenue will be much richer as you are part of the project. I can't wait to read your contribution and see what this new site is all about. Good Luck! Continue to be the honest, caring, helpful person that you are and it will greatly enrich many, many lifes.

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    1. Thank you, Anonymous. I am excited by the potential of the PBS site to provide all of us a tremendous wealth of information all in one spot.

      By the way, as a regular reader and commenter I'd love to be able to address you by a first name, rather than anonymous. When you leave a comment and hit the "Reply as:" box, choose name/URL. Put in your first name and leave the URL box blank. That way I can respond to you with your first name and will recognize you when you leave a comment!

      Have a great upcoming holiday weekend.

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    2. I will gladly leave my name. Thank you, Bob! Again, good luck!

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  3. Bob,

    You are a great example of the type of story Next Avenue is planning to offer its readers. You are an inspiration to retirees (or those planning to retire someday) who want to do something meaningful with their freer time.

    I'm pretty sure you didn't know where this blog would lead you when you started it! Congratulations!

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    1. When I started I expected the blog to be fun and allow me to write and maybe meet a few new people. The response and reach have been beyond anything I would have expected.

      Thank you for the kind comments. I think Next Avenue is going to be a major player in the lives of many of us.

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  4. Congratulations, Bob! Soon you might not be retired anymore though. Will you continue the blog, too?

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    1. The blog stays. It has been responsible for the various opportunities that have come my way. It is also turning into a friend-machine! I'll have a post soon about our upcoming trip to Oregon, all planned around meeting new blogging friends. Who would have thought?

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  5. This new venture sounds excellent. It will enlarge the community of curious, contributing folks interested in the many aspects of retirement. I'm delighted you've been asked to contribute.

    Isn't it interesting how this second career of yours is coming along?

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    1. I expect to have a virtually unlimited supply of ideas for blog posts based on what is popular on Next Avenue. It should be good for all of us.

      I guess when you get paid to write it is considered work!

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  6. Congrats. -- obviously, they're picking from the best. But, I agree, I hope it doesn't take anything away from Satisfying Retirement! Now, I'm gonna go over to look at NextAvenue.

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    1. The blog is safe. I'm getting paid to write, but not enough to spring for that RV quite yet! Of course, if they decide I need my own TV series.....?

      Thanks, Sightings.

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  7. Congratulations Bob, what an accomplishment! I read your article and left a comment. I also posted it to my Facebook page to share with my little hand full of friends. It makes me happy when good things happen to good people.

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    1. Thank you for the very gracious comments on the PBS site, and your on-going participation here.

      Now, you and Malcolm go out and have a great, Florida-type Memorial Day weekend.

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  8. First, congratulations on being selected. A very nice honor indeed. Second, isn't it interesting the twists and turns involved in our lives? Would you have thought 10 years ago that you would be involved in prison ministry, blogging, and have your insights shared in a book with a former president and now on PBS? Better yet, 15 years ago could you have imagined that this is what a satisfying retirement would involve? Wonderful and mysterious stuff.

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    1. The answer to all your questions is, an emphatic No. 10 years ago I had just retired from living on airplanes and was too self-absorbed to think about more than relaxing and kicking back.

      Prison ministry, blogging (had it even been invented yet?), writing a book, being next to Jimmy Carter in another...and being with the same group that created Sesame Street and A Prairie Home Companion wouldn't have crossed my mind.

      Actually, 6 years ago none of that was on my radar. The lesson? Be open to every opportunity, maximize your skills and talents, and break out of whatever box life has stuck you in.

      Oh, and thank God.

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  9. That's great Bob, congratulations! I'll go check it out now!

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  10. Had to come back and tell you that was a great piece at NextAvenue.org. My very favorite of yours so far--worth the trip over there!

    Syd

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    1. Thanks, Syd. You've been there for me since the beginning of this blog. I appreciate your steadfastness.

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  11. Ah PBS ..... smart people. Wonderful.

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    1. No argument here! Just kidding...thanks, Steve. I'll try to hold up my end of the bargain.

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  12. Congrats Bob. If you are a contributor then I look for great things from the website. I checked it out because of another email just before viewing your blog post here. It has a very fresh and vibrant look. I am looking forward to it being part of my regular viewing activity.

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    1. Thanks, RJ. After 3 years of planning and reserch it should look good! I hold out great hope that it will be a daily go-to. I have signed up for the newsletter, so I'll be alerted to anything critical.

      Have a great holiday weekend, my friend.

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  13. Congratulations, Bob; you deserve this opportunity. Glad it turned into a paying gig for you. I bookmarked the other website and will check it out later, and will always continue on your existing blog and emails. Good luck with both going forward.

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  14. How exciting Bob! They won't regret having you on board I am sure. I will check out the site and your article when this weekend slows down.

    I hope you and Betty are popping some bubbly!!
    b

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    1. Chuck and Barbara,

      Thanks for your support. I hope you find the PBS site enjoyable and helpful. By hovering over the section headlines all sorts of sub categories are there for you to explore.

      Barb...they aren't paying enough for bubbly...but certainly some nice white wine!

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  15. Congratulations Bob - they picked the right guy for this project! I look forward to your continuing inspirational articles. :)

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  16. Thanks Dave. And remember, retirement is only the beginning!

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  17. Woo Hoo - congratulations on yet another adventure in your retirement career. And they are paying you for it, how neat is that? I've enjoyed reading and participating in your blog and have learned quite a bit already. I look forward to seeing how PBS handles the whole subject matter. I hope it doesn't turn into a bunch of advertisements or links for products.

    I'll check out the website and your article this weekend.

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    1. Because it is PBS I assume there will not be a lot of advertising. My understanding that major corporate sponsors are underwriting the entire on-line/TV/live event process so they should not need lots of additional sponsors.

      Yes, getting paid to do what you love is the best of all possible worlds!

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    2. The site is wonderful. Congrats on being asked to write for it. Another road on the way through retirement!

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  18. Great site! Your article was super reading. I'm still working 2 days a week but have managed to find a community garden I voluteer with one day a week. I'm still enjoying "no scheduled activities" as it has only been 3 years and I'm still cleaning, downsizing and getting my own yardwork done. I tell all my teacher friends who are worried about retirement that "Retirement isn't as good as you thought, it's BETTER!"

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    1. Thanks, Susan.

      You are blending work and retirement into what sounds like a nice mix. Good for you. Retirement looks like you want it to, not necessarily how the word used to be defined. Have fun!

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