‘Where good ideas come from’ and Comments4Kids

I watched this powerful promotional video for Steven Johnson’s upcoming book – Where good ideas come from.  (thanks to @cbetcher and twitter for this link).  Aside from the interesting presentation, the ideas were clear and it made me want to read the book when it comes out.  One point Johnson raised is that great ideas take time to evolve – developing from a ‘slow hunch’ and they come from collaboration with others.

It got me thinking – over the past few months I have become aware of the value of certain hashtags in Twitter.   I have written about these before, but more recently I have discovered the  use for very specific purposes, such as promoting student blogs and encouraging comments such as #comments4kids.

I have seen first hand the power of a tweet with this tag – enormous responses (48 comments to one class post) are achievable via the advertising that Twitter can supply.

From my understanding, the concept of this hashtag came from @wmchamberlain through a series of tweets and a Wiki developed that has now been extended in the new Comments4Kids Blog.  It was an extension on the #FF idea, created to fill a need.  From my reading of the history of this hashtag, it seems to me to be a good example (in a small way) of Steven Johnson’s theory.  Okay, it didn’t take years to create but it was a ‘collision of hunches’.

‘Chance favours the Connected Mind’
S Johnson

I am grateful to these ‘connected minds’ and I believe that some of the ‘spaces of creativity’ that Johnson refers to are blogs and Twitter.  There are certainly many connected minds here – the coffee house of today’s thinkers ?

4 thoughts on “‘Where good ideas come from’ and Comments4Kids

  1. This video is brilliant Celia, I’m glad that Archimedes and his Eureka moment featured in it!
    Just think of how many “slow hunches” are developing in the minds of our students while they are in our care. If we allow them to connect in ways like Comments4kids, who knows how many great ideas will be had in the future.
    Thanks so much for sharing this.


  2. Very interesting premise for the book. The idea for Comments4Kids happened pretty quickly although it didn’t really catch on as quickly as I had hoped. If it had not been for the support the concept found in Australia and New Zealand, it would have died off a long time ago. 🙂

    Unfortunately, there is still too small a community using Comments4Kids to see results like yours regularly. I am also not sure how scalable the concept is, there are over 30 blogs asking for comments on the site now. I guess it is a good problem to have 🙂

    Thanks for a really thought-provoking post.

  3. I’ve watched this video several times now but hadn’t extended my thinking in the way you comment in your blog post here. Twitter is indeed a very powerful tool as is blogging. The sharing and convergence of thoughts that occurs in both Twitter, Blogs and Wikis is indeed inspiring.

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