Friday, May 14, 2010

What do you do when you run out of ideas?

I sometimes look at Tim ’Gonzo’ Gordon and Roger Pike’s Communications Steroids web site. On May 5th Tim posted about What to Do If You’re Stumped for Ideas. My title for this post replaced his “if’ with a “when”.

If you are completely stumped for a topic, you could begin your brainstorming by looking at a list of titles in this Topic Selection Helper for college students.

Tim suggested that you go to the Web and, for instance, search under your topic in an article repository such as Ezine Articles. Then, after you have listed some titles that tickle your fancy, you can list some sub topics for each of them, and outline an article of your own.

He suggested that you just look at the article titles. I wholeheartedly agree. There are lots of other e-article repositories, like: Amazines, Article Alley, Article Base, and Article Dashboard. Many of their articles have both shallow content and mediocre style. They are the literary equivalent of unripe green bananas. I ranted about them back on January 1, in my post to Resolve to Read Less and Learn More This Year. Some even are sources of ignorance rather than knowledge, like one about homeopathic Argentum Nitricum for anxiety.

Where can you find a better source for titles? Go to WorldCat, and click the tab for Articles. Now you can look at titles from articles published in actual print magazines.

Tim somehow omitted referencing his own article on 18 Ways to Come Up with Speech Topics.

He also suggested that you can post your own articles on repositories like ezine articles. Beware! What you have written and published may be horribly mutilated, but then reposted as if it still came from you.

For example, the first paragraph of this above-average ezine article on How to Choose a Presentation Training Course originally sensibly read:

“There are hundreds of different presentation training courses available, all of which promise to banish your nervousness and make you an accomplished public speaker. How do you choose the right course for you?”

A reposted version, which clearly had been viciously attacked by that wily dinosaur known as a Thesaurus, instead said the following gibberish:

“There are hundreds of altered presentation training courses available, all of which affiance to banish your agitation and accomplish you an able accessible speaker. How do you accept the appropriate advance for you?”

The first sentence of the fourth paragraph was even more mutilated. It originally said:

“Does the course give you the opportunity to give at least two presentations?”

The ludicrous repost said:

“Does the advance accord you the befalling to accord at atomic two presentations?”

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