Social Networks Sparking Ideas

The problem with people actually reading your blog is that you then have expectations to live up to. For instance, my friend Chris Brogan has kindly highlighted by blog courtesy of Happy Blog Day. He goes so far as to say that my “pieces come off like good essays, and they make me stop and think.” I appreciate the compliment. His words also triggered this thought: can content and ideas ever be generated without influence from some outside source?

I know it’s a little deep for a Friday morning, but I’m intrigued by the notion that pieces I write, and the books I read or really anything else I find appealing, started from some catalyst I may not even realize or understand. I’m beginning to think this underlying factor of discovery is the engine that drives both traditional and emerging social networks. In essence, it’s the possibility of what we might accomplish or produce based on our interactions with others. These social networks allow us to satisfy both our selfish and altruistic selves.

As a writer, I’m always observing what’s going on around me. While I enjoy doing things for the people I care about, I also enjoy the insight these relationships give me into human behavior. I take that information, sift through it for patterns, and write about my experiences. My ability to write would be severely hampered if I didn’t have these relationships. The catalyst for my thoughts doesn’t come out of thin air. They started somewhere, and through my writing, I try to figure out the source.

I willingly admit that a good 75-80% of what I write about is sparked by something I read or something someone else said. I may follow the idea down another tangent, but I can’t take credit for the original concept. Like today’s post, for example. Based on Chris’s remarks about my blog, I wondered what it takes to prod people to think and why we’re interested in being prodded. This train of thought eventually led to my earlier question about the source of content and ideas. It’s all connected, and I find it absolutely amazing. In this instance, I can trace, from beginning to end, where this post came from, not an option in all instances.

And at that, simply publishing this post doesn’t put it at an end. I don’t know what I may spark with today’s musings. When I stop and think about what is possible now versus what we thought possible even ten years ago, I can’t wait to see what the future holds ten years from now. Now there’s a idea to run with.



3 Responses to “Social Networks Sparking Ideas”

  1. August 31, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Aren’t all things derivative? It’s what we do with it, however, that makes it matter. Some people are commentators. Others are people who innovate based on the seeds of what came before. I like B more than A, but I see both and can see the value.

    Best to you, BFF. Call me. : 0

  2. August 31, 2007 at 11:21 pm

    I agree with what you said about inspiration. I need someone outside of my box.

    About your last question, well, I don’t want to hang around another 10 years, honestly. I don’t think things will get better here. They will get worse. We don’t have any solution for the big changes that are definitely coming.

    But to me it is that I am not at home here, and that I am hallucinating this nightmare of separation and death, pain and sickness. I want to wake up.

  3. 3 Britt
    September 3, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Chris, few people see the distinction between being commentators versus innovators. They often end up lumped together. Like you, I prefer B more than A. For more me, I struggle with A because it so rarely goes beyond the surface issues.

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August 2007
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