good ideasListening can be a useful tool for many reasons. Listening can spark ideas that would have otherwise been left in the back of your mind. Listening can create connections and complete ideas into working theories. I recently read a book titled, “Where Good Ideas Come From.” The book basically described “listening” as a great way to cultivate ideas. Steven Johnson said, “A network needs to be large enough to make random connections and flexible (plastic) enough to adopt new configurations” (Johnson, 2010, p.46). This perfectly describes the platform of Netvibes. Netvibes brings together ideas that are loosely connected and creates a space for them to become whole. I have enjoyed using Netvibes and appreciate its ability to find interrelated ideas in seemingly disparate articles. This is an interesting video of the author, Steven Johnson explaining “Liquid Networks” and the different ways they foster innovation.

Listening allows organizations to stay up to date on trends and social issues that may be of importance to their mission. It allows them to anticipate needs and or crises that other agencies may not be fulfilling. This is only one of the ways that organizations can use a platform like Netvibes to give the best service to their clients. Another interesting way to use listening would be to create a resource list of agencies that offer services that clients are likely to need. An agency might not be able to fulfill all the needs of the client, but an agency who is listening to other agencies can send individuals in the right direction. Listening can lead to new collaborations, expanded services, or identification of areas in need of improvement.

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