Hi, I'm Anil Dash

I'm an entrepreneur, writer and geek living in New York City, obsessed with the way technology shapes and transforms society, media, government and culture. My work is focused on directing the massive impact of new technologies on helping those who most need opportunities, and my writing tells the story of how this happens. And some silliness happens along the way.

Here's a bio of me:

Anil Dash is cofounder and CEO of ThinkUp, a new app that helps make sure all the time we spend online or social networks isn't wasted. Dash is also cofounder of Activate, the consultancy which helps define strategy for the most important companies in technology and media.

He is recognized as one of the earliest and most influential technologists in social media. Described as a "blogging pioneer" by the New Yorker, he has been publishing his site Dashes.com continuously since 1999, earning recognition as a Webby honoree and acting as a platform for his activism as well as his thoughts on technology, policy, pop culture and media. In 2013, Time named @anildash one of the best accounts on Twitter, and some of its nearly half million followers agree.

Dash serves on the board of Stack Exchange, the Data & Society Research Institute, and the New York Tech Meetup, where he was the first person elected by its members to serve on the board of the largest organized technology community in the United States. Dash has been a contributing editor and monthly columnist for Wired magazine and also advises a number of startups and non-profits, including respected new publisher Vox Media, noted education non-profit DonorsChoose and the Aspen Institute's Task Force on Learning and the Internet

Prior to his current roles, Dash founded Expert Labs with backing from the MacArthur Foundation to encourage the public to collaborate with lawmakers in the White House and federal agencies, created digital works that were exhibited in the New Museum of Contemporary Art, had his personal blog posts cited in hundreds of academic papers, worked in new media development for the Village Voice, and helped start Six Apart, the company that transformed blogging from a core group of geeks to the main method of publishing online. Dash has never played a round of golf, drank a cup of coffee, or graduated from college.

Dash is based in New York City, where he lives with his wife Alaina Browne and their son Malcolm, along a dog a cat and eight million really great neighbors.

Feel free to use this 650 x 650 headshot image of me if you, for some reason, need a photo of me.

The highest use of new technologies is to empower and connect people who aren't born with the privilege of access to the institutions that define our culture, so I am trying to make that my life's work. Best of all, I get to have a lot of fun doing things I love.

What I Do:

Entrepreneurship

Media & the Arts

Community

Social Equity

Founder

ThinkUp

ThinkUp: I'm the co-founder (with Gina Trapani) and CEO of ThinkUp, which shows you how to get more meaning from your social networks. Our mission is to make sure all the time we spend online and on our phones isn't wasted, and we're building a company, a community and a culture to support that mission.

Activate

Activate: I am Co-Founder and Managing Director at Activate, a new kind of strategy consultancy that advises companies about the opportunities at the intersection of technology and media.

We help many of the biggest media companies and consumer brands in the world evolve and grow their businesses and I lead the areas of our practice that focus on applying emerging technologies and startup-style techniques to help reinvent their businesses.

Dashes.com: I'm the publisher, editor and owner of Dashes.com, my personal blog where I've been publishing continuously since 1999. This site was a Webby honoree in 2010 in the Personal Blog category, and in combination with my presence on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook gives me a way to share my unfiltered (and, often, completely ridiculous) thoughts directly with hundreds of thousands of people, including my friends and family.

Board Member

Stack Exchange

Stack Exchange: I'm a member of the board of directors of Stack Exchange, a profoundly useful and deeply engaging collection of question-and-answer communities that provide insights on topics ranging from computer programming to gardening.

NYTM

NY Tech Meetup: In 2011 I became the first member of the board of the NY Tech Meetup to be elected by its members. NYTM is the largest trade group advocating on behalf of the Internet startup industry, helping make New York City the most vibrant and innovative technology community in the world.

DSRI

Data & Society Research Institute: I serve on the board of this newly-launched think tank focused on addressing the social and ethical issues that arise from all of the data generated and collected by new technologies.

Advisor

Vox Media

Vox Media: I'm a technical advisor to Vox Media (formerly SB Nation), assisting in their development of a media company where passionate writers are given a platform to reach communities in an innovative new way through sites like SB Nation and The Verge.

DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose: I'm a member of the National Advisory Council of respected educational nonprofit DonorsChoose, which is pioneering a fundamentally new way of engaging people in supporting classroom education to directly help students in need.

Readability

Readability: I advise Readability in their mission to offer a fundamental improvement to the experience of reading, across all modern platforms from the web to mobile devices, while rewarding readers, writers and publishers.

Aspen Task Force

Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet: I'm a member of this Task Force focused on the future of education and how new technologies will have an impact on the way we learn.

Greedhead

Greedhead Music: I advise Greedhead's work in creating a new kind of record label, including their launch of the career of their flagship act, Das Racist.

MLKSHK

MLKSHK: I advised MLKSHK as its brilliant mom-and-pop team worked to build a warm, thoughtful community of creative people sharing images and media in a fun and delightful way.

UN Malaria

United Nations: I've been a United Nations Social Media Envoy, helping get the word out in the battle against malaria.

Previously

Branch

Acquired by Facebook, 2014

Branch: As an advisor to Branch, I help guide their platform towards encouraging civil, productive, personal conversations on the web, through their platforms Branch and Potluck.

Expert Labs

Project Completed, 2012

In 2009, I founded Expert Labs under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and with the backing of the MacArthur Foundation.During the 3 years of our experiment, we worked closely with lawmakers from the municipal and state level all the way to the White House and members of Congress to drive direct public feedback on laws through social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Six Apart

Merged with Say Media, 2010

Six Apart: I was the first employee of Six Apart, helping launch the company and its Movable Type and TypePad platforms, which were used to build sites from Gawker to the Huffington Post. I led business development and helped the company as it defined blogging and grew to over 200 employees worldwide. In 2010, Six Apart became Say Media, which now reaches over 400 million people worldwide.

Mixel

Acquired by Etsy, 2013

Mixel: I advised Lascaux, the company behind the collage app Mixel, from its inception through a pivot that moved it from the iPad to the iPhone and to its team eventually joining Etsy. The Mixel app continues to be maintained by Etsy, and the team is now involved in leading Etsy's embrace of mobile platforms.

Votizen

Acquired by Causes, 2013

Votizen: I advised Votizen as they worked to help passionate people campaign together to fight for the issues and candidates they care about. Votizen was acquired by Causes.com and the team continues its work on public engagement with governance as part of that company.

Oink

Acquired by Google, 2012

Oink: I advised Milk, Inc. on their effort to create Oink, an app for recording and sharing all the experiences and products you enjoy in a day. The Milk team was acquired by Google in 2012.

Disclaimer

None of the organizations mentioned here are responsible for anything you see on this site. You might get a better understanding of what I do by looking at these videos and press articles about me and my work. Or you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or subscribe to this site to keep up with me online.

Selected Press/Media

Some representative videos of my work, ranging from discussions of public policy to encouraging support for clean water in rural India to entirely improvised comedic slideshows:

You can see a list of recent press mentions and quotes on Google News, see published mentions of me on this Amazon.com Search, and see academic citations of my work via Google Scholar. Some highlights: