Piers Young wrote a post called Listening and Anecdotes. Something he said made me realize that getting great advice is one thing, actively thinking about it and doing something with it is something else! He quotes one of the pieces of advice I reported earlier:
"Your team should not just "listen" to customers, they should SYSTEMATICALLY listen to customers. Otherwise it's just a bunch of anecdotes."
He goes on to list ways that he can listen better to some of the stuff he's reading in blogs. Great advice!
"For customers read blogs and I think it works equally well. You shouldn't just "listen" to blogs, you should systematically listen to blogs. It's one of those things that's been nagging at me recently: I enjoy learning from other bloggers, and I love the serndipity of it all, but I feel I could be getting a lot more out of it. While some of that may come down to better tools, the like of which I can only imagine, my gut feeling is that at least as much comes down to a little more method on my part.
How to be more systematic? Lots of ways probably. Here, in no particular order, are a few that I'm going to try:
1) Note down the topics.
- It's easy to hop around - you find an interesting post, you read it, you click the link, you find another interesting post further down the linked to page and you're off topic in a flash. So from now on, if something's interesting, then I'm going to jot down the topic - however vague - and either follow that topic now or later, but follow it. Furling may be a godsend.
2) Box in time to roam free
That said, the "follow every topic" hopping around gets you places you might never otherwise go. But I'm going to try doing it for e.g. half an hour each morning - no more.
3) Learning includes yesterday's news
I don't think I have ever systematically gone through a prolific or long-term bloggers posts. There are a load of you out there whose feeds I subscribe to, but as a listener, you didn't exist for me before syndication. And if I enjoy or find your posts useful now, why shouldn't I find good things pre-syndication? Not sure how long this one might take, though.
4) Think my own thoughts first
This is really important. I remember a syndrome when I started doing philosophy as an undergraduate: I could quite happily read one view, go "yup, makes good sense", then read another view, diametrically opposed to the first, and agree with that too. There are times when I find myself doing that with blogs too.
5) Periodic "after-blogging reviews"
At the end of this month - pretty much my three month anniversary - I'm going to have a go summing up what I've learnt so far, listing where I'm getting side-tracked, what I've forgotten about etc. And three months may be a good cycle to repeat this on."