I’m sure some of you caught the ABC Special last night featuring an interview between Diane Sawyer and Professor Randy Pausch. As most know, Randy was a 46-year-old father of three who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Randy passed away on July 25th, but touched millions through a speech at Carnegie Mellon entitled “The Last Lecture – Achieving Your Childhood Dreams.” 

It’s an incredibly inspiring lecture and the Special last night provided America with an in-depth look into Randy’s life and his optimistic approach to every aspect of living. How does it all tie in with the focus of this blog?

A quick search around online will let you see the crucial role social media played in building community and conversation around such an inspiring human being. Over 5 million people have viewed the Lecture on YouTube at the link above and left over 5,700 comments. In addition, over 4,100 members joined this “Randy Pausch is my Hero” facebook group, leaving over 500 wall posts. A quick search through the blogoshpere unveils thousands of posts about Randy and his impact upon others.

The point being that these tools helped slingshot a monumental speech from the confines of a lecture hall to millions upon millions, reminding us all of what’s most important in life. The speed at which online communities formed and discussions followed is mindblowing and we have social media tools to thank for making us all feel a touch closer to Randy. 

If you haven’t taken the time to watch Randy’s lecture, please do.



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