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Read Lots of Blogs

April 26, 2011

This is one of the ways that I find new, good quality reading matter very easily.

A little blog browsing a few times a week broadens my mind and encourages me to think along new lines.  It can waste vast oceans of time if you let it, but that is no reason to deny yourself such fantastically easy access to the thoughts and musings of interesting people.  You just need self discipline.

My browsing has led me to people I respect, to new customers, to old contacts and above all to ideas that ignite others in my head and give energy to my working day.

I recommend spending extremely little time on blogs that bore you (sometimes it is worth stating the obvious).  On the other hand, follow links from the blogs that engage your attention – there is a high chance that they will be interesting too.  Do it little and often and build a list that you can revisit.

Here is my blog-flow from this morning:

In their words, 26 is here to inspire a greater love of words in business and in life.  I visit quite frequently and usually find something to interest or amuse me.  This time I followed a link to:

This is the blog of Tim Rich, one of the founders of 26.  The post that caught my imagination was called you’ve got mail.  It leads initially to a blog called ‘letters of note’, described as ‘a sort of cultural Mount Pleasant Sorting Office for “fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.”’ But I didn’t go there – I preferred to read a letter from Einstein (or to be more honest, a translation of it).

Einstein is writing to the philosopher Eric Gutkind to tell him that he found much of interest in Gutkind’s book in spite of their fundamental differences on the subjects of God and being Jewish.  He finishes with these words:

I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.

Anyone who has been on one of my writing skills courses will laugh out loud at that.  I bang on remorselessly about the danger of abstract language and how we need to use concrete terms to help our readers to understand us.

I usually quote examples such as networking, connectivity, infrastructure and resources rather than God or religion, but the quote is perfect in either case.  Thank you Tim Rich for bringing to my attention such an illustrious new authority for my humble training messages.

You may not care about Einstein and concrete things.  The point is that there is masses of well-written stuff out there.  Go and find what interests you and read it.  Pay attention to how it is written and, if you admire it, learn from it.

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