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How to Generate Ideas and Creativity | South by Southwest Interactive

There’s plenty to do when the creative juices just aren’t flowing. Take it from Matthew Diffee, cartoonist for the New Yorker & Texas Monthly and The New Yorker a cartoonist for The New Yorker, who creates 10 ideas a week, just to have 9 of them rejected by management. What can you do to meet your deadlines? And how do you stay creative when your atmosphere is stale?


The following are highlights from Matthew’s talk, “How to Be an Idea Factory” at the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive Festival.

Creativity very possibly requires you to ‘unplug’

  • You must get away periodically to be more creative.
  • Acknowledge what affects your creativity:
    • YOU – Mindset …What you think
    • What you feel
    • What you do

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt

  • Creatives need to be better at controlling our emotions
  • It’s hard to be creative when you are angry
  • Don’t inhibit your train of thought when being creative
  • Just keep going. It takes a lot of bad ideas to get a good one

Big Creative Principles

  • Get in the zone (sometimes it takes a while)
    • Stephen King works every morning til noon or until he reaches his quota of 10 pages
  • Do not believe in writer’s block. You are never blocked-just go backward
  • Flip the funnel (try not to go to outside sources)

Collaboration is king

  • Tips for when you are stumped on idea
    • Change location and attitude
    • Doodle
    • Add constraints on idea
    • Bring other people in

Special thanks to @socmetrics, @RandyElrod, and @FCSdotcom for the insight!

Plan Your Blogger Outreach Program | Blog World

Every aspiring blogger wants other bloggers to write about them, and there’s nothing worse than having your pitch emails sent to the spam folder. During the Building a Blogger Outreach Program, session at BlogWorld & New Media Expo session in New York City, multiple case studies revealed best practices for finding bloggers, pitching successfully, building online relationships, and effectively tracking and reporting. Here are the highlights:

Blog Worls Expo NYC 2012


Successful community management is all about planning

  • Don’t underestimate the power of an editorial calendar.
  • Schedule time for reaching out to those with whom you want to have a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Build the community first, then schedule fundraising efforts. Blogging and asking for money won’t work unless the value comes first.

There are 4 pillars of community

  • Brand: know what you do, and what represents you. Eat and breathe and own your online brand, and others will follow suit.
  • Industry: stick to what you know. Followers are going to you for industry-specific content that binds their community.
  • Content: the best kind of outreach is generating content that makes followers want to come back for more and see you as a thought leader for the content you create.
  • Internal engagement: ask your followers, what are you getting from this blog?

Pay attention to your audience

  • Reaching an international audience takes inviting people to share what’s going on in their part of the world
  • The blog, social, and mobile messaging content mix includes: curated, expert and funny content. Your audience determines % of each.

How will you reach out to your followers?

Thanks for tweeting your insights @Mogreet, @fatherroderick, @LeAuraLuciano, @anne_hogan, @griner, @BrightGirl, and @vargasl