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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!

Build your blog, brick by brick | Blog World Expo

Did you know that 33% of Americans follow brands on Facebook and Twitter?

Blog World Expo 2012That number has doubled in the past 2 years. It’s clear that a company’s online presence is more important than ever. Brands that transcend social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter see a strong following on blogs. This happens because blogs offer more thoughtful and carefully curated content. Building a successful blog isn’t an easy task, and followers will only join if there’s a benefit for them. There are, however, ways for bloggers to improve their sites. The key is is look from inside out. At the Blog World & New Media Expo, a talked called “Building an Authority Brand” touched upon the must-do’s for serious bloggers.  We’ve recapped some of the hot topics at this exclusive event:

It pays to understand the blogger culture

  • Bloggers feel they aren’t treated as professionally as media. Be aware of this, and be respectful.
  • Not all women bloggers are mommy bloggers. It’s almost a derogatory term these days.
  • Don’t think campaign. Focus on relationships when reaching out to fellow bloggers. Having mutual respect for bloggers will enhance your community. So, give a little, and you will benefit in return.
  • Bloggers deserve respect, especially when pitching. There’s no lack of ideas about what to write so keep that in mind when pitching.

Interactivity is key

  • When you find a great blog, comment on the posts you like. Comments are “blogger crack.” If they comment back on one of your posts, thank them, and keep the commenting going.
  • When you get a “no” to the right idea, it’s a no to your approach. You don’t yet get what they need. Switch up the approach to enhance activity on your page.
  • Keep a spreadsheet of bloggers with details about their blogs and any follow-up activity. Note things like: Where did they come from? Why are they on your list? This might help you reach out to and understand prospective followers.

There are plenty of budding blogs and blogger tools to learn from

Thanks for the insight, @CENTURY21, @tamadear, and @rzazueta!