Last night I discovered Network(ed) Rhetoric, a blog for a graduate course at Syracuse University. They're looking at how recent trends in network studies and social software connect with issues in rhetoric and composition and vice versa. I found all kinds of thought-provoking goodies that I'll write about when I have a bit more time to percolate on them. This site led me to Theory Canal, which featured a fun little game you can try next time you're lacking inspiration for what to post on your blog.
It's called the Book Meme 123.5 (originally from the chutry experiment). Here's how it works:
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.
I'm part way through John Winsor's Beyond the Brand, so I picked that up and flipped to p. 123. The fifth sentence isn't inspiring by itself, but -- bending the rules a bit -- the fourth is:
"Trust is a product of active listening."
What a great statement. I was thinking yesterday about "customer relationship management" and how CRM couldn't come close to actually building relationships. Relationships are built on trust, and trust is a product of active listening. If you're trying to build relationships with customers without listening mechanisms in place (like forums, blogs, users groups, non-focus-group qualitative research, etc.), then you're just spinning your wheels.
So what does 123.5 inspire you to say today?