I can’t help it. David Sifry hooked me. He did it when he let them name that feature at Technorati Explore. Had he only said, “Okay call it Browse.” Browsing is a nice thing. I’ve even been known to do it. I’ve browsed through books and browsed while waiting. Yes, I know how to Browse.
My life would be so much easier, if only David Sifry had chosen Browse instead of choosing Explore.
But no. My friend, Dave probably was a kid a bit like me. He probably knows the exact appeal of exploring. Maybe he even remembers hearing someone saying, “Where you going?” and answering back “We’re going exploring. Wanna come along?”
Slam dunk marketing that name. Explore. Even better, it lives up to its promise.
Since I was a little kid, going exploring has been a passion. Now at Technorati, I have to keep my eyes down not to click that button on the nav bar. Exploring means adventure, and adventures are fine and magical things.
Have you tried it yet? I warn you it’s addictive. It’s like following a secret trail. You know that after every click you’re going to find something unexpected, and rarely will it let you down. Exploring isthe closest thing to being Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, and Hunter S. Thompson all at once.
I go exploring when I want fresh ideas that are rich with lots of details. Here’s all you have to do.
1. Go to the Technorati home page.
2. Hit the word Explore in the large green nav bar at the top.
3. Five random topic lists will appear. If you like one start there. If not, click a topic from the list to your right.
4. Then just read titles and click through to the articles that interest you.
5. Keep going. You’re an explorer now.
Keep a notebook to capture ideas that come while you’re exploring. A thought might not seem much at the moment, but some of mine have grown up to be whole articles in a day or two.
If you have an inkling that something might be worth writing about, bookmark sites that have relevant information. You can always delete the bookmark, if you decide the idea won’t fly. On the other hand, if the idea turns out to be a winner, I can guarantee you won’t remember how to get back to that site.
Need ideas for promotion? Go exploring. Want to discover new gadgets? Explore them too. Feel like listing weird things? Yep, there’s a category with that name there. Explore is a Big, Little Kid’s Dream come true.
If you haven’t gone exploring you’re missing the coolest tool for writers. Go explore how much fun you can have doing what it is you do.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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