Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Whack Attack

Announcement at the end.

If the focus of yesterday's orientation was all about the RAK, then today's is all about the Whack. Newcomers, welcome to our third Highlowaha tradition to be shared this week - Whack On The Side of The Head Wednesdays.

Background. There has been a belief, from the inception of Highlowaha, that if we are to be a blog powered by creativity then we must do our part to actually develop the very resource on which we rely so heavily. To assist me in this weekly commitment of personal development, I invite Roger von Oech to join us at the table. Roger (I feel like we should be on a first name basis by now) developed a deck of 50+ cards called a Creative Whack Pack. Each card outlines a creative principle and then poses a follow up question to assist you in applying the principle.

Each week we use Roger's creative principle by applying the question to a dilemma or to a Highlowaha project. Each reader is invited...encouraged to take a crack at whacking the idea of the day. It's like doing a 20-minute fitness video for you mind. Overachievers, anxious to earn extra fitness points, might also apply the weekly principle to something going on in his/her own personal life.

I dare say, it works!!! Over the course of the past year many a good idea has come out of our weekly Whack on the Side of the Head ritual, including things such as Spirit of #218; Taste of USA; the infamous Altoid table project - more on that later; Birthday Eve; and the Reaching for 5,000 campaign, to name a few. I have high hopes for this year and don't want to waste another minute before jumping right in.

I should keep today simple, since it's orientation for some of you and the very idea of whacking yourself on the side of the head is new enough. But, I can't. I will introduce von Oech's creative principle in a minute, but first some more food for thought (consider it the appetizer).

Seth Godin, another creative marketing guy who I follow, recently made this this statement as part of a daily blog post. "Too often, I hear about businesses that just might be a dream come true for their owners, but hardly for the people they seek to recruit or the customers they hope to snare. What do your prospects dream of? What would get them to wait in line?"

Godin's notion is what I would like to whack today. Katie, Heather, Cheryl, and I aspire to create a blog community you might have only dreamed about - something for which you would,"wait in line." Having said that, let's introduce von Oech's creative principle for today - the creative whack that will assist us in having break through ideas...

Combine Ideas: "The time has come," the walrus said, "to talk of many things: of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax - of cabbages - and kings. Combining unusual ideas is at the heart of creative thinking. The ancients mixed soft copper and even softer tin to create hard bronze. Gutenberg combined the wine press and the coin punch to create moveable type and the printing press. What different ideas can you combine?

The goal? Use von Oech's creative principle of combining ideas to whack Godin's challenge of creating something (in our case a blog) so "dreamy" it would get you to, "stand in line." In other words... What different ideas can Highlowaha combine to develop a blog so dreamy, you might actually, "stand in line" to have access?

Note: Does anyone else think it's funny that I pulled a card titled, "Combine Ideas" on a week that I combined two ideas to develop the whack? Weird.

Announcements:
  • E*X*T*R*A*O*R*D*I*N*A*R*Y: Your incredibly generous response (over $500.00 already) has officially been matched by your willingness to nominate families deserving of our mission - providing experiences that, without our support, might otherwise never happen. Thanks to all of you, we not only have enough money to grant two gifts, but we also have the lead on a deserving family. The principle of Six Degrees of Separation requires us to be a little covert about granting this first gift. Want to know more now? Check out Highlowaha on your Facebook.
  • Patchwork: Tonight at 5:00 EST is the last day to get Katie a photo of you in your Patchwork Denim. Don't miss out on the fun... and the chance to earn another patch!!!

Signing off until tomorrow...

27 comments:

cassie p said...

geez...I really dont know what else you all could do to make HLA so "dreamy" I would stand in line to get to it. I am already hooked- I check it first thing every morning when I get up before going to classes, and usually check it again sometime in the afternoon after classes. AND sometimes a third time before going to bed! In my eyes, HLA is already "dreamy".

Let's see...I really dont know. This is my brain thinking...I would really like to be able to go to Taste of USA this year, but am unsure if that will be able to happen. And I really want to meet Cheryl. OK, so combine those, and I meet her at Taste of USA. But this has nothing to do with standing in line to read the blog. That is, unless you all start talkin about Tase of USA and Ill be coming back 10 times a day to see that it happens close to where I live!

Ill have to think more on this whack; its too early right now!

Devil Dog said...

Thanks for taking a crack at whacking, Cassie. Again... whacking is aerobic exercise for your mind. It's not easy. We are asking you to think totally outside the box and to brainstorm ideas that possibly don't already exist.

If we aren't qualified for this kind of mental challenge than who is?

Thanks again to Cassie for getting us going.

Peggy said...

Two words stuck out in my mind from the post...
Combine
Dreamy

And I read combine as in harvesting the field (not as in bringing together)

Dreamy (as in Mc Dreamy, although I have never watched a Greys Anatomy ever!!!)

Ooops! Gotta go... that was my first take on a whack... I'll be back!!

Chaotic said...

I think it is neat that not only did you pull a card to combine ideas on the very day you combined ideas but in the same week you (sorta) combined the 2 blogs (year one & year 2) into one kickin' site!

Cruise Director said...

I heart Cassie.

I'll be back.

lindsaymarie said...

I'm trying to think of what to combine with HLA... we've already got two of my favorite things, good people and good food. The third music... so aside from a HLA theme song... I'm stumped for now.
I've got an exam to study for but after I'll try to whackawhacka some more and see what I can think of!

Devil Dog said...

Alright, Lindsay. You're on the right track. Music. Is there a way to combine music with some element of our blog?

Keep the ideas coming.

Cruise Director said...

Okay. Here are some of the things that I think we are currently combining:

Creative ideas, holidays, celebrations, community, events, give aways, contests, decorating tips, problem solving ideas

How can we expand on those? I love music so I love Lindsay's suggestion. One Monday a month could be dedicated to Music Monday's where we share a song we love...

As the Cruise Director, I want everyone to have fun. What's are some things that you consider fun? Board games, cards, concerts, hanging with friends, making people laugh...

Meeting new friends... I love that my friend Margaret has joined us. She is so much fun! I feel like I've met some fun people on this blog even though I've never met them... I want all of you to come to Taste of USA!! Now that would be fun!

I love Art. I love discovering artist of today. That's one of the reasons I love watching CBS Morning show on Sunday mornings... they feature artists.

Okay... I think that's long enough. :)

Bean Counter said...

Fashion Show update: So far, I have photos from: Cheryl, Cassie P, Robin, Peggy and Melanie!!

Get your pictures in by 5 pm tonight to be included in the fashion show and earn another patch!!

As for the whack- Lindsay, I think you're on to something with the music combined with Cheryl comment of bringing in our friends to the community and meeting new friends. I'll think on this some more and get back to you all later. Off to a meeting!

lindsaymarie said...

Okay going off of Cheryl's ideas, sharing music and finding out about artists (two things I love as well) what about sharing things that we find inspiring? I'm always coming across songs, photographs, non-profit organizations, quotations, websites, etc that inspire me but I don't always act on the inspiration. Maybe if we all shared inspiring things that we've found recently,monthly or weekly, we could pass along the inspiration to the whole community of creative minds.

Tera said...

When I think of combine, I think of combining HLA into my life. Well, not MY life, because it's a big part of it, but other people in my life. I've already got Treye and Julie on the site so I can talk about it with them. But other friends who aren't on here yet. I'm not sure how to do that as I've tried before, but there's gotta be something...hmmm...

Cruise Director said...

PS. Am I the overachiever looking for extra fitness points? I think I am. And guess what! Yesterday I got the maximum workout points given in one day- 6!

But sadly, today, the order of Girl Scout cookies that I ordered pre-fitness contest were delivered. Dulce de leches, Thin Mints and my very favorite and 2 boxes...Tagalongs!!! AYH!!!

Cruise Director said...

We've identified a lot of things that we are interested in sharing. We share these items through our posts and comments, events and contests. Is there another way for us to share our ideas? Or to improve our posts? We've started on Facebook. We had our first video. Other ways of communicating are podcasts and mail. Love the mail feature and we use that one a lot as well. Or is it fine the way it is? Trying to see what else is out there. Newletters, products, conventions (that would be Taste of USA, huh?), a group vacation! Is that overboard?

Devil Dog said...

I love you thinking, Cruise Director. It is fun to contemplate additional CONTENT, but I am also hoping that today's whacking leads to new ideas about DELIVERY!

I think we can expand the boundaries of what it means to "blog."

Consider me the trainer who keeps pushing you to do "one more rep."

By the way... where are some of our regulars? Kristen, Julie, AZLori, Brian, Maureen? Helloooooo out there!

Bean Counter said...

I am currently sitting in my office at MBC along with the other grad student in the office, Stephanie. I just showed her the site and introduced her to HLA!

Welcome, Stephanie!

Anonymous said...

Okay, someone has to do a crazy 'you tube' video, so that it gets a million hits, and people pass it along via their email, and then it gets shown on Letterman and other talk shows...
so, whose willing to do something really crazy for publicity sake?

There is no such thing as bad publicity!!!

Peggy anonymous at work @@

Devil said...

Sounds like you are volunteering, Peggy. Does anyone have a fun idea for what Peggy could do?

Devil Dog! said...

That's Devil Dog... not just Devil...

Though one might argue that volunteering Peggy for a You Tube video puts me in devil category.

Devil Dog! said...

That's Devil Dog... not just Devil...

Though one might argue that volunteering Peggy for a You Tube video puts me in devil category.

Cruise Director said...

Maybe Julie and AZLori can video when they Surprise Surprise! Is that asking too much?

Okay and one other thought I had while walking on the treadmill... we're not only about suggesting creative ideas and celebrations and buidling a community. We also help each other improve our lives and well being. Does that make sense?

eknoxuk said...

I'll continue off earlier thoughts...
I really liked the Mardi Gras post with ideas, I like the fun theme with specific ideas
inexpensive decorating/organizing tips sound great too!

Speaking of the themes, today for Ash Wednesday we made a Crown of Thorns out of salt dough and we're sticking toothpicks in it-the kids get to take one out each time they do something nice/sacrifice etc

Kat said...

Ok, I have been thinking about this all day. My idea, like Tera's, was combining HLA with my life in general. I loved the Mardi Gras post with practical and fun ideas, and waaaaaay back in the beginning of HLA I loved the idea of decorating one central part of your house for the upcoming holiday. Those type of things are what I love about this community! I also would like to connect with even more of the people on here. Facebook is good, but what after that? Maybe we could showcase a HLA'er every once in a while? Is anyone good at interviewing? We could see how creativity works in their life and get to know them as a person.

Peggy said...

Devil? mmmm.... a little Fruedian slip, huh? And you hit it twice...

As you'll notice I clearly state someONE, not ME specifically... and I'm way too square to do something for "You tube"... Sissy can't believe that I'm even on Facebook ... it would have to be some 'crazy' college student, some awesome student affairs advisor, or a silly dorm resident... IMHO

robinweiss said...

How about combine and outreach. Bring others into the fold. I'd love to see us combine others easily with share it type features that automagically plugs a post into the spot we'd like it - be that fb, typepad, myspace, etc.

cassie p said...

i heart you too cheryl.

im a crazy college student...im just sayin. ;-)

b.k.root said...

Well, just got in from taking some of my students snowtubing tonight... and I'm whooped!

My favorite thing about HLA is that it combines creativity with RAKs and helping those in need - two things I am very passionate about. I honestly think this is why I've stuck around HLA for so long. (Plus, you all are just awesome!)

I would love to see HLA produce a book... I'm not sure what this book would include, but the idea of it is very appealing to me.

Oh, wait... what about a CRAFT project of the week (or month). Differnt HLA members can volunteer to show us a differnt project each month, and we at home can reproduce this project and take photos to share with one another.

Ok, this is getting long... and it's already late!

Stacie said...

One minute before midnight EST, and I'm just now posting. I'd like to see guest bloggers every now and then--from among the readers. I really dig having four different voices contributing, so it might be even cooler to have a regular reader occasionally throw a post into the mix (like our guest blogger from oh-so-long-ago). I also like the idea of occasionally getting back to the basics of just sharing ideas for fun projects or problem-solving, like we did back in the beginning, and then letting the readers build upon them and suggest different variations. I think sometimes the sharing of creative ideas that people could easily reproduce themselves can get lost among all the various competitions and large-scale projects we have here on HLA, and a new reader might feel overwhelmed and be less likely to participate because the breakneck pace at which we often move feels stressful for them. It seems like we're always trying to "kick it up a notch," but it might be good to make a conscious effort to "dial it down," if you know what I mean?