Browsing for Ideas

 Utilizing the Internet to the Fullest

The internet is jam-packed with information that can give you new angles on any subject you are interested in and you’ve likely used it several times. Photos, music, artwork and reams of articles are all free to look at and you’ve found more than you know what to do with during all the time you’ve spent browsing.

You’re going to keep doing the same thing only now you’ll browse with the intent of gathering ideas. Certainly you should never steal someone else’s work but you can get an idea of what others are doing and any facts you find are public domain and reusable.

Solid information, facts on whatever subject interests you, can take you in a completely different direction if some new detail is uncovered, even if it’s a detail that only you didn’t know about.

The science and health fields are examples of subjects to keep an eye on as they are forever changing and not everyone keeps up with them mostly because of the high- brow, scientific nature of the language usually used. A lot of people won’t bother trying to slog through something that is too difficult to understand.

Technology is another field that never stops or even slows down. Again the interest isn’t big, except for the benefits and that’s what you’re keeping an eye out for.

Any subject that exists is on the internet and breakthroughs are usually listed fairly quickly. Most people keep up with the news, but if you keep up to date on other subjects it could mean that you may be one of a few people who have heard of the changes first and any ideas you get from them are going to be unique and give you a definite edge.

So how is this information useful if you’re not a doctor, for example? Don’t take a new breakthrough in brain surgery at purely fact value, unless that is useful to you, expand on what you find. How does it affect the world, and ultimately the people within it? What if it has negative aspects that no one knows about yet? You can let it work itself into a theme and from there ideas can start to form.

Most things we create are based on humanity and are certainly for humans. Any insight into the human condition can and will be reflected in your creativity.

Sometimes you have to see the twist in ideas

There is also enough misinformation that you can use to your advantage as well; sometimes it’s just a bit trickier to recognize its usefulness. The internet has its share of true experts and a greater share of people who believe they are experts. Some are misinformed because they’ve misunderstood some piece of information they read somewhere. Even being wrong these opinions can give you a new insight on something, a side of something you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.

Other people are simply opinionated, absolutely stoic in their conviction that they are right. Again it gives you a new perspective, another angle to have a look from and it gives you insight into the human psyche.

I like to dig a bit deeper into the internet than just the information that is easily recognizable. Subtleties and undercurrents are thick on the internet and if your mind is open you’ll pick up on them, and the stream of ideas they can spark are endless. Chats and forums abound and no matter the content what each has in common is – people.

People’s personalities are wide open on the net. There is a certain amount of anonymity that people take for granted while they are online, they don’t feel as restricted because they believe they are hidden and therefore safe. It causes them to be more open than they would be anywhere else. They say things they wouldn’t dream of saying in a face to face encounter. These can range from direly sad to hilariously funny. A great many things that are said can give you enough ideas to keep you busy the rest of your life no matter what medium you work in.

Look for hidden ideas

And then there are things that just happen on the internet as they do in everyday life and if your mind is in a receptive mode you can turn them into ideas you can use.

I was on a message board, one of a few I haunt, and my avatar disappeared for whatever reason. One of those generic silhouettes showed up. Certainly no big deal, more of a nuisance if this sort of thing bothers you.

A friend said “You’re looking particularly out of sorts today.”

Another quipped “No, she cut her hair, it looks great.”

The conversation continued for a bit deteriorating into the ridiculous until I came up with a way to defend myself.

“This is my new undercover look. It’s very mysterious and suave. I’m going into detective work.”

And then it hit me. What if I could only see a vague shadow of a new neighbour who had just moved in next door? Worse, what if it wasn’t my neighbour I was seeing but a stranger who murdered my new neighbour ?

And I was off and running with a new idea for a story I was working on.

You can distort what is plain and fashion it into something that will be useful in giving you ideas that you need.

Don’t just see what is, see what could be.

Everything on the internet can be taken at face value and turned into ideas. Digging deeper for the more covert things can bring you a great deal more. Don’t take what you find and leave it at that. Stay open and tuned in to the underlying layers that many others are going to miss and you will have the edge in finding new ideas and leave the competition in your wake, and all while you’re having fun browsing.