Social Media Camp 2017: Idea Lab

Idea Lab handout for Social Media Camp 2017 cover image

Hello and welcome!  If you’ve found your way here, you likely attended my Social Media Camp workshop, Climb Into the Content Clubhouse, a session designed to help you find and craft content ideas. Whether you’re a blogger, a livestreamer or a staffer in charge of the company newsletter, I hope you learned lots to help you with your content planning.

Did you get a copy of the handout?

I went old school for this workshop with a printed handout. As I likely said in the room, I’m an advocate for analog!  If you’d like a digital copy, grab the Idea Lab handout here.

Sample Inspiration Resources

Throughout the workshop, I mentioned various resources that can help you identify potential content ideas. Here are a few visuals to further develop the idea:

Toy Rhapsody mind map for Content Planner

Mind Maps

Blank paper and a pen or sharpie are all you need to capture ideas in relation to one another with a mind map. IF you prefer, you Mind Meister or a similar tool to make digital mind maps.

Thought Cloud Thought Cloud

Thought clouds let you gather a variety of digital words to look for patterns. Wordle helps you speedily create beautiful thought clouds.


Wonder question books

Put “question book” into the search bar of an online bookstore and you’ll find thoughts of books filled with questions! The books I brought to share at Social Media Camp included:

Inspiration decks

The inspiration decks I shared included:

  • Derek Walter’s Mahjong Deck
  • John August’s Writer Emergency Pack
  • Roger von Oech’s Creative Whack Pack
  • Violette Clark’s Artists Deck
  • Tim Porter’s Stormdeck

Happy Idea Hunting

I wish you every success with your content planning journey. Identify the topics and formats you love. Create great content to share your passion. And move those ideas around.  And, please, let me know how you’re doing! I want to see the great content you create.  ~Angela


I Heard You but I Wasn’t Listening

Are you truly listening? The opening monologue of The Grand Budapest Hotel offers a truism writers must take to heart. Here’s the text from the opening of the film:

It is an extremely common mistake.

People think that a writer’s imagination is always at work, that he’s constantly inventing an endless supply of incidents and episodes, that he simply dreams up these stories out of thin air.

In point of fact, the opposite is true.

Once the public knows you’re a writer, they bring the characters and events to you, that is as long as you maintain your ability to look and to carefully listen, these stories will continue to seek you out over your lifetime.

To him who has often told the tales of others, many tales will be told.”

I couldn’t agree more. Inspiration is everywhere. You only have to keep your eyes open to see and take time to listen. Truly listen.

Too much is said that nobody pays any attention to. This era of social media is filled with people shouting just to hear the sound of their own voice.  With all that static, its hard for the writer to tune into a particular voice.

I think its a two-sided problem.  Writers  have to be judicious in what they share. Does it matter? Is it factual? Is it kind? It is helpful? No more purposeless noise, please.  At the same time, listeners have to truly listen. What was said? How is it relevant? Is this truly an inspiration? Am I better informed?

My Mum had a great apology that I’ve adopted as my own. She would say “I’m sorry. I heard  you but I wasn’t listening.” What distracted parent (or writer) can’t relate to that?

Quote tile: I'm sorry. I heard you but I wasn't listening.I love that she owned up to the fact that sometimes she wasn’t really engaged in what I said. As a school teacher, her inner monologue would be filled with all sorts of problems and plans related to her classroom. Now that I, too, am a parent I better understand that tricky transition time when it can be a struggle to shift from work gear to parent gear. And sometimes the gear box is jammed!

I’m committed to listening. And I hope you are, too. With a bit of luck, stories will seek us both out for a lifetime.