Monthly Archives: April 2011

#24: Listen, Eavesdrop: A Wellspring of Ideas

Most of us live in a world of tick-tocks, drunken love-dovey nothings, tired screeches, ding-goes-the-ovens, bad singing from American Idol wannabes, and gems of ideas.

If you listen closely, you’d hear much to fuel any creative projects.

Here are a few tips to get started with listening and eavesdropping well.

  1. Carry a little notebook and a pen. Even better if you have a sound recorder (most mp3 players double up as recorders) to take down whatever you hear and notice. Always export them to your idea bank.
  2. Talk to everyone. Everyone has a story to tell. They’re just waiting for someone to tell it.
  3. Listen. Really listening to what’s out there is a skill that not many have. Listen to what people are really saying. Listen without prejudice. Just listen without saying stuff.
  4. Living Life Fully suggests that we can be creative listeners if we…

    Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, and philosophies.  Seek the truth with an open mind.

    Listen with patience. Do not hurry the other person.  Show them the courtesy of listening to what they have to say, no matter how much you may disagree.  You may learn something.

    Listen with your heart. Practice empathy when you listen.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

    Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener.  Ask questions.  Everyone has something to say which will help you to grow.

    Listen creatively. Listen for ideas or the germs of ideas.  Listen for hints or clues that may spark creative projects.

That’s it. Good ol’ common sense, really.

So open your ears and listen up.

Who knows, you might even learn something useful.


A day, a tip | 100 days, 100 useful content tips

Tip categories: Create, Source, The Truth, Spread & Be Nice.
Got an idea, opinion or critique?
Please share it with me @ContentTicks.


Credits: Featured image from empopempo

#23: How to Get Rid of Trolls (aka Online Idiots who Grief You)

Trolls aren’t green brutes living under a bridge (although they might well be given their behaviour),

Trolls are…

…someone who intentionally steers a thread off-topic or incites arguments in a forum.

Source: Mental Help

You might have read them in action, or even worse, bore the brunt of their childish antics. So you’ll know that they’re disruptive and annoying.

Akin to most bullies, online trolls are like persistent boogers. You just can’t seem to get rid of them and the more you smear, the more you get them on everything.

So how can we get rid of a troll?

Continue reading #23: How to Get Rid of Trolls (aka Online Idiots who Grief You)

#22 Want Readers Write Good Headers

#22: Effective Headers Get Readers

If you know some HTML, then you might have seen bits of words with <h1> or <h2> tags.

For example,

This is a <h1> tagged phrase </h1>

looks like…

This is a

tagged phrase

As you can see, anything between the tags are headers. And they’re important, because for you – the blogger, content creator, social media sharer –, headers get you readers.

Continue reading #22: Effective Headers Get Readers

#21: Make an Idea Bank

Whatever you do, never let even the most insignificant idea slip away.

Put every idea that you can think of – the amazing, off-the-wall, utter crap, and bolts-of-inspiration-in-the-toilet ideas – into your idea bank.

After all, who knows when it might come in handy?

Of course, there are more reasons to keep an idea bank:

  • Don’t lose your intellectual capital. A forgotten idea is gone for good.
  • An idea might seem bad now. But not in the future when technology and attitudes change.
  • Break out of a creative rut by using old ideas or riffing off them.
  • Rejig ideas for different clients or purposes.

So dust off your thinking cap and make your first idea deposit.

Continue reading #21: Make an Idea Bank