All my life, I’ve been inspired by stories of awesome people. I don’t just mean inventors and explorers and politicians and teachers. Some of these folks do great things, it’s true. But I actually like to hear about the awesome stuff done everyday by people like you and me.

Unfortunately, these stories don’t often get told.

The American media has decided that if it bleeds, it leads. They can attract more viewers (and thus sell more ads) by highlighting what’s wrong with our society rather than what’s right. That’s too bad, because I think there’s an awful lot of good in the world.

Note: I know that not every news story is negative. There are many fine examples of positive pieces about amazing people doing incredible things. But these are the exception, not the rule. More than 90% of what we’re fed through movies, magazines, radios, and TV paints a picture of a world gone crazy. I don’t live in that world, and I suspect that neither do you.

What’s the Purpose of Awesome People?

My goal at Awesome People is to profile people who do and achieve amazing things. I don’t care what makes them awesome — I just want to write about the incredible stuff that people are capable of doing. I want to write about:

  • Kids raising money for earthquake victims in Haiti.
  • Athletes breaking world records.
  • Parents sacrificing everything to save their children.
  • Scientists developing a cure for a disease long thought incurable.
  • Daredevils defying the laws of physics.
  • CEOs who sell their homes and move to Zimbabwe to build schools for orphans.
  • Random acts of kindness performed by strangers.
  • Awesome people from history that we’ve long forgot.

Basically, if it’s awesome, I want to write about it.

At first, this site will regurgitate a lot of material collected elsewhere. I’ll post stories and videos I find around the web.

In time, however, my goal is to do original reporting. With your help (send me your tips!), I want to find awesome people, talk to them, and share their stories.

I think we can learn a lot — and be inspired — by reading about the awesome things other people do. I’m tired of the negativity on the nightly news. Fail blog isn’t funny to me. I don’t want to make fun of other people’s mistakes; I want to praise their accomplishments. Won’t you join me?

For more on this site’s mission, read why I think people are awesome.

Who’s Behind This Site?

My name is J.D. Roth. I’ve been blogging since 1997 — before “blog” was even a word. For most of that time, I wrote about cats and computers and comic books at my personal site. But for the past five years, I’ve written a popular personal-finance blog called Get Rich Slowly. (I also wrote a book called Your Money: The Missing Manual, and I contribute the monthly personal-finance column to Entrepreneur magazine.) I live with my wife and three cats in a hundred-year-old house in Portland, Oregon.

I’m hoping to gather contributions from people like you. I’m open to the idea of co-authors and guest posters, for instance. But I’m happy just to field suggestions about the awesome people you know about. Drop me a line via the contact page, or send e-mail to the address listed in the sidebar. Your contributions will help make Awesome People a more vibrant place.

How Does Awesome People Make Money?

It doesn’t. Not yet, anyhow. And it may never do so. I didn’t start this site to make money. I started this site to share stories of awesome people.

If Awesome People ever generates revenue, a portion of that might be used to compensate writers — me or anyone else who chooses to contribute. But my grand scheme is to use any eventual revenue to fund groups that are doing in good in the world, places like Room to Read, Charity: Water, and Edge of 7. It would be amazing if this site could be used as a way to generate funds to help people around the world live better lives.

Why Hasn’t My Comment Appeared on the Site?

There are only three reasons a comment won’t appear on Awesome People:

  • First, it might have been trapped by the spam filter. Don’t worry about it. I’ll fish it out soon.
  • Second, this is your first time commenting. I always have to approve anyone’s first post. And if I’m away — at the gym, on vacation, sleeping — that might take some time. Please be patient.
  • Lastly, you were a jerk. I don’t mind intelligent debate, even when people disagree. But I will not tolerate assholes. If you want to be a jerk, go post at one of the millions of other sites on the web that doesn’t seem to care. If you want your comment published here, you need to be respectful.

To summarize: If you’ve left a reasonable comment and I’m around, it should appear on the site shortly.

Why Did You Use “Marker Felt” for Your Logo? Anything Is Better Than “Marker Felt”.

Yeah yeah. I’m working on it. To be honest, Marker Felt was the only typeface I could find on my computer that captured the mood I wanted for the logo. But then, I don’t own a lot of typefaces. Finding a better font is on my list of things to do. (Along with adding Twitter and Facebook buttons, improving the sidebar, setting up a submission page, and so on.)