Why you must read blogs ?

If you want to read  about your  interest areas (and not general news), this post is meant for you.

Have been wanting to talk about it for quite some time now. I started reading blogs around 3 months back and I realized in this short time that this way of consuming information, gyan as well experiences is the easiest and fastest. If you are already reading this, I know you don’t probably need this but still here is a quick list on why I read blogs:

Get expert perspectives and opinions.

  • Very few field experts actually get covered by journalists in news papers, magazines. Its not about on-line vs offline, but blogs vs everything else.
  • The frequency at which an expert talks in his own blog is much higher than any other media.

Get to know latest studies, discoveries, inventions, important personalities in the interest area.

  • This one is obvious. At the same time, this may be as good as other online media.

Get an opportunity to directly interact with the blog author especially in context of the blog.

  • This is not always the case, at the same time such opportunities are rare otherwise. Also, in-case of a blog the context is already defined, so it becomes much easier to interact and be precise as well as concise.

Its Free

  • I love this one. You dont have to pay $$ for magazines, articles, journals, reports. In some cases, you may want to spend the money but un-less you are that serious about your interest and you are willing to spend, blogs come in really handy.

Informal and un-adulterated.

  • This makes it much easier for you to relate to and get the exact feelings, opinions the expert may wants to express.

Very easily accessible.

  • Open your google reader or any other css reader and thats it.
  • You may also like to have mail subscription so that you get the content into your mailbox which you can access offline as well.
  • There are wonderful apps for mobile devices as well, which allow zooming-in, text flow-ability and offline access.

Very low time investment.

  • It takes me about 5-15 minutes to scan through a blog post and the return on this investment is very high most of the times.

Very easily manageable

  • You can keep track of “toRead” and “already read” posts through your css reader, mailbox and other online tools as well.  Compare this to offline-media and there is no way to do this except writing down your own notes in a notepad, which sucks big time. I tried maintaining a list of offline print media articles I wanted to read and it just did not work on a regular basis. In a very short time, I lost track and stopped doing the housekeeping just because it was so hard and took so much care and diligence from my side.

Effective brainstorming:Five tips to tune your thought process

Hello Again ! Like all other posts of mine, this is no step to step guide to do anything, but a few tips that might prove useful or might bring a new perspective to look at the same thing. Here I am going to write about how you should tune your thinking in a brainstorming session to make it most productive.  The purpose of your session  may be to review an idea or a design or may be come up with a new idea or a solution.

Here are a few tips that are to do with how an individual thinks. It might take you a month or two  to be able to follow these tips:

1.  Articulate agenda, concepts, entities in one line. This is hard and may not come naturally to most of us, but this is something that pays off big time. Try describing your ideas, concepts, entities within your brainstorming session in 1 single line. Try using it and you ll realize the power this practice in clarifying and simplifying things.

2. Try to solve your problem using few entities (less than 4)  and then expand on top of them. Lets say you have a solution and you want to express it on a white-board. I would say start with very few boxes or entities involved in your solution. Generally whenever an idea strikes one’s mind, it does not have too many boxes involved. If there are too many to start with, try to brainstorm further and put them into categories, essentially trying to box multiple into one.

3. Keep track of the starting point(the initial problem) in a long of chain of thoughts. This one needs no further explanation, but in one line – this would help you cover all you wanted to in your discussion without missing any important points.

4.Choose the timing of the devil’s advocate very carefully. This is a biggie. Most of the innovative ideas get shot down in the initial stages. Give your idea or chain of thought enough time before you bring the devil into the discussion.

5. Try thinking in terms of words rather than abstract concepts. This is kind of related to the first point. But thinking in terms of words is very powerful as it enables you to widen your thinking your horizons, get further clarity and understand what you are talking about.