Palm Springs, California We Now Resume Our Regular Programming

Apologies to those who could not access my site over the last week. It's stored on a server that crashes every once in a while and evidently there's no one at the controls over at my site host, so the site stays down until someone reads my service requests and restarts the machine. I'm getting ready to migrate over to a more reliable hosting service.

I've been at the TED conference all week. I was invited to give a talk. Well, mostly they wanted me to dance, but they were nice enough to let me talk for a few minutes first.

Once the conference got started, it finally fully dawned on me how big an honor it is to stand in front of that audience. Seeing Bill Gates and Al Gore in the Long Beach audience (I was at the smaller satellite event in Palm Springs) worked me into such a nervous frenzy that I marched back to my room and, for the first time, actually memorized what I wanted to say.

It was not a disaster. A video of the talk should go up in a month or two. I'll post it when it does.

Still clawing my way through the first draft. Writing books is hard!

Got an iPhone and it changed my life.

I've never been an Apple person. I find both Macs and PCs maddening for different reasons, but the PC's quirks are more familiar. I haven't yet made the switch, though I may do so eventually. Anyway, it's definitely not the inherent Apple-ness of the iPhone that appeals to me. What gets me is the infinite possibilities that are created when you combine a touch screen, GPS, an accelerometer, 3G, wi-fi, bluetooth, a camera, a speaker, and a microphone. The App Store is a wonderland of crazy/brilliant utilizations of these features.

I looked at the G1, which has all those bells and whistles plus a real keyboard. Android phones may yet pose a threat to the iPhone, but the first attempt is too clunky.

I just learned the 2008 video has been playing in Times Square since the beginning of the month.

Matt Harding Dance Video Spec HD F (1-30-09)

It plays every hour in its entirety. Some folks who run one of the screens asked if they could put it up and I said sure. I hope I can catch it in person before it stops.

57 Responses to Palm Springs, California We Now Resume Our Regular Programming

  1. Lucky!
    My children and I pour over precious TED videos, and dream of finding our way to a conference some day. I look forward to seeing yours in the line-up. Very cool.

  2. ohmigawd! first i was just jealous of your travels. and now… you got invited to present at the TED conference?! i’m happy for you, and yet.. oh so very envious. *sigh*

    the two conferences i think are the most amazing are the TED conference and the New Yorker Conference.

    can’t wait to see the video. =)

  3. Good to have you back online! Don’t you love the iPhone? Everyone should have one. I’d marry mine if I could but I don’t think my husband would like that.

  4. Rich Rossi

    I too look forward to seeing the video. You’re very critical of yourself, you know that? You’re a fantastic speaker. I don’t know how it will go since you actually memorized your lines. All the talks I’ve seen were ones where you knew your subject and just went off an outline. Anyway, I’m glad you had the opportunity. :)

  5. Lisa R

    Glad your up and running again. Was a bit worried, the bad economy and all. Is is a sin to covet someone’s iPhone?

  6. The funny thing about the iPhone is that it’s lacking a bunch of features that are commonplace on other phones, like the ability to copy and past, and a zoom and flash for the camera, and yet it’s still better than all the other phones out there (in the U.S. The Japanese still have us beat). Now you just need to trade in the old Dell for a 15′ Macbook Pro.

  7. WTHIM back up and a new post? By far the best birthday present I got this year! Congrats on speaking at TED; can’t wait to see the video in a bit.

  8. Kevin L

    What’s an Iphone anyway ? Just kidding but I’m glad you’re back online, I can’t wait to see the video (Yeah, it seems that I enjoy to see you talk in front of people…!)

  9. Erin McDonnell

    Who is the Forest Gump look-a-like in the Paris dance video??

    Thanks for keeping us smiling and inspired!

    Cheers from London!!

  10. Joel N

    I tell all my non iPhone friends that there are only a few inventions seen in our lifetimes that literally can change the way we live our lives everyday once we start using it (I’m only 24).

    The Personal Computer, the Interwebs, and the iPhone.

    No joke. For some reason no one ever listens to me, though. I’m glad you’ve had a similar experience with yours, Matt.

  11. Martin L.

    I am going to be in NYC this weekend. I will have to keep my eyes open for the big screen showing Dancing 2008.

  12. Eva

    I am Your’s big fan ! My dream is see you in real, i hope that You read it, i want to invite You to Poland. My Country.
    Cheers from Poland Matty !

  13. Trina

    Way cool, a spolight on Times Square – woot!
    BTW you could have gone the BlackBerry route, iPhone doesnt own 3G. Off to figure out what TED is since so many were impressed! Keep on doin’ what you do Matt.

  14. Isen


    I love your video so much. Seeing your video is bringging me and my 1.5yrs old baby a joy.

    I would like to give a suggestion to GEO-TAG your video for 2009 and the rest. You visit a lot of interesting place. If you geo-tag your video it would be great for me and others to go to that interesting place.

    Thanks Matt,

    You RULE!!!!!

  15. Holbrook

    I want to thank you for your “Where the hell is Matt?” videos. I am a 6th grade Social Studies teacher and plan to use your videos to peak the interest of my students as we study other countries. I have traveled extensively and have shared my experiences and pictures, but your videos will definitely get the students interested in geography.

    These are a super and valuable teaching tool.

    Thank you again.

  16. Lieve

    Come on, Matt!
    Windows? Mac? Get real!
    What happend to “the best things in life are FREE”?
    Aren’t you THE person to promote LINUX?
    Surely you know how much it costs to get your laptop to run Ubuntu? (For other persons: nada, nothing, zilch! They even will send you a cd for free if you can’t get to burn one or can’t boot from a usb-key.)
    Who can’t see Open Source is the futere?
    The new economy is not about earning and spending, but about SHARING!
    Yes we can!!

  17. E

    The video is great! Saw it in Times Square on February 8th … pulled out my iPhone and googled “where the hell is” to find out more about you. By the way, my brother Matt dances the EXACT same way, we have called it the ‘Matt dance’ for years!

  18. Matt W

    Yay! I saw the Times Square screen multiple times over the weekend of Feb 6th-8th. Your video was great, even waiting in line for over an hour in 10 degree weather to buy musical tickets. I noticed a couple of people who were waiting to cross the street stand on the corner and watch your video and completely miss the signal to cross. I thought that was a pretty neat moment.

  19. How awesome the video is running in Times Square..a huge congrats Matt!!! I watch it every single week at least once. Praan is my ring!

    I bought my iPhone (am a hardcore Mac user) before my trip back to China and am soooooo happy I did!! I needed a photo that could take quick pix for my travel blog and the iphone takes the highest quality I’ve found for a phone cam.

    Happy Travels Matt!! You truly do inspire this blind lady to do much much more than I thought I ever could!! Thank you!

  20. Congratulations on the TED conference, and on your video making it to the Jumbotron in Times Square! My husband and I are off to New York in two weeks and hope it can hang on ’til we get there.

    Nothing quite like crying my eyes out over the sheer beauty of life in a crowd full of strangers.

    In case you haven’t yet figured this out about your iPhone, the photo cache is a great conversation tool. You can instantly show people anything you’ve ever seen and photographed on your travels! Matt + iPhone = added value.

    My nephew and nieces, who live 3000 miles from me, now ask to see my iPhone within minutes for my photos…and of course, Tap Tap Revenge.

  21. Angelia Paulin

    How cool is it that this video is playing in Times Square!! My son, his best friend and I joined in the Seattle group and had a blast. Since then we’ve seen ourselves on the Daily Show and as a downloadable on Xbox Live. Now when the boy gets up in the morning I’ll have to show him this, he’s going to be stoked.

  22. Martin L.

    Matt’s book is available for pre-order at Amazon for delivery in May! I ordered mine today.

  23. lisa

    Hello….you out there? I like seeing a journal entry and keeping up with all things Matt and I’m going thru withdrawal.

  24. Gurpaul Brar

    Saw your video in Times Square last night. I have to say it was the highlight of the evening. It was a very uplifting experience. Keep up the good work!!

  25. Hey Matt,

    Congrats to you & Melissa on taking your movement to the TED stage! That’s awesome!! What an experience that must have been!! You & your feel good approach to life totally deserve it! You guys rock!! Please come to Cape Cod!! After a long winter, we could use some “good” dancing! :)

  26. I saw this in Times Square today.
    I’m usually never up there, but went to a show.
    I couldn’t stop watching it!
    And I came home and looked you up.

    Love the video!
    And the out takes.

    Can’t wait to see more dancing!

  27. Simon

    A month goes by and there is no new posting? Matt must be buried in book drafts and proofs. I mean if the book is due out in May (according to Amazon), then the guy should by now be preparing page proofs to be repeated in the formatting. But I so do miss my periodic dose of zany travelog (Is that travel dialogue or travel blog?).

    I’ll be selfish here and say that I hope you finish your book soon. Either because I want to buy it and reminisce with you, or I want more postings. Either way.

    Hope all is well. I cannot even remember how I came across your site roughly three years ago, but I’m a Matt Harding junkie. By now you have handlers and bookers and agents and Melissa, such that you would never find yourself wanting for any amenities. But should you ever find yourself in the Pittsburgh area, please do let me know. I’d be honored to have a few beers with you.


  28. Matt

    The lack of posting and the book coming out. I was thinking the same thing when I saw there hadn’t been an update in a good while.

  29. Amy

    Hey just watch your videos on youtube and I love them you rock come to Dumfries in scotland and Dance there it be mint hope the book is a success bye bye Xxx :)


  30. Rui

    matt….you rock, you’re the greatest, keep going!!

    If you visit lisbon again, just mail me, i’ll dance too.

    from lisbon

  31. cheri

    hi, matt.
    this is my first time to visit your blog.
    i was greatly touched by what you did. simple, persist, touching.

    what makes you to pick the cities/countries for visiting? any plan for hong kong? (hee…hee..i’m from hong kong).

    wish you all succeed and look forward to seeing you soon.

    take care.

  32. Asma

    I was in times square a week ago and I was so surprised to see your video played in a giant screen… Me and my friends couldn’t help ourselves and danced right in front of it! you see what you make people do ^^ ? Anyway, wonderful idea, wonderful celebration of life, hope that your next idea would bring as much happiness and joy as this one did 😉 !

    thanks for the smile and the wonderful feeling that comes by watching your goofy dance 😉

    Asma (Paris, France)

  33. Jennifer

    Amazing stuff. Am thinking of making it a lesson for my students. Haven’t figured out what yet, but it seems like a cool idea. It’s amazing how inspiring goofy dancing can be, eh? Good on ya!

  34. doreen

    matt did a ‘this i believe’ segment on NPR’s weekend edition sunday today. text and stream of the piece are here: link to

    thank you so much for the video. it still moves me to tears; there is something between the visuals and the wonderful music that touches me deep within my 50+ y/o, cynical heart. and it was SO awesome to see ‘dancing 2008’ used as part of the post-election coverage on the ‘daily show’ 😀

  35. Simon

    I’d like to thank Doreen for posting the npr link. It was an adequate substitute for a real-live Where the HEll is MAtt posting. It has the same ring of “genuine globetrotter extraordinaire” about it. I enjoyed it immensely.

  36. Gaudia

    Hey you, quit being so darned anxious.

    You did a kewl thing. There are legs to it, like the VISA advert which is a really wonderful way to feel good about a credit card, because it’s YOU there, a trusted soul.

    Faggedabout the critics. You’re doin’ great.
    I’ve read much of your journal entries, I know a slog, and it’s decent of you to share. Thx.

    If you’re anxious, take a klonopin, get a great night’s sleep and reutn to yourself, more relaxed.

    Lookin’ for your next postings.

    BTW, what I would find fascinating is the roll the two gals in your recent life have and continue to play. They’re very important to you; what makes them tick?

  37. Rory Shannon

    2 months since your last journal mate, the question must be posed “Where the Hell is Matt?”

  38. Chris

    2 months since your last post and your sad??? I really liked the videos and the music for this and then i saw Matt talk about how this was all a hoax. Of course it was just a hoax that it was a hoax. Wow that was awesome that he did that. It was so much fun to pretend it was fake. Man it was like I was at TGI Fridays with guys having wings it was so much fun. Wow maybe even outback steakhouse. I’m go-ing out-back to-night!

  39. Thomas

    Matt joined a Monastery and took a vow of silence which includes no talking, no blogging, no traveling and no dancing.

    On a related note to the Stride Gum people. Send me Matt’s travel money, i will take over for him.

    Thank you, that is all!

    P.S. This entire post is made up, so don’t freak out people.

  40. PiKA

    Matt, you’re like a Disappearing Boy from a song of GreenDay
    Everybody is asking: “Where The Hell Is Matt?”

  41. Jeff

    WOW, congratuations on all your travels and accomplishments, one day I would love to fill your shoes and travel the world. Life is to short to be stuck in one spot forever. You have lived the dream of dreams.

  42. Funny how perspective changes over time. I know I read this when it first came out, but I think I forgot it all. Since that time I have also gotten an iPhone that changed my life, and, more relevantly, I was in Times Square waiting to buy half price show tickets and saw the video. Told random strangers, “Hey, there was a tiny me up there!” I spent four non-consecutive weeks in NY in about a month and a half for work. I tried to make it more interesting than that while I was stuck there. It worked. It was a pleasant bonus surprise to see the video while I was there.

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