Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Profiling a subject

When profiling a subject the aim is to create a huge list of facts about a particular subject. I can then choose any of these facts for further creative attention. Quite often the mere act of directing attention to a fact is enough to generate an idea.

Finding/choosing a subject

If I'm starting out from scratch with a blank page I can peruse the directed-association results to see if there are any subjects of interest I'd like to profile. But, as it's Wimbledon fortnight, I'll choose 'Wimbledon tournament' as my subject.

Use of random words/concepts and directive

When profiling a subject I use random words and concepts from directed-association results. Instead of using the random words to suggest new ideas (as in De Bono's random word technique) I use them to trigger associations. As a directive, this would be worded as:

"What association/fact does this random word/concept suggest?"

Example of profiling using 'Wimbledon tournament' example.

So with 'Wimbledon tournament' as my subject I pick a random word/concept from this blog's example of directed-association results.

Word/concept = debate
Which initially suggests times when a player disagrees with the umpire's decision.

I try to get three associations/facts from each word so that I don't fall into the trap of stating only the obvious. There certainly wouldn't be any harm in setting a quota as high as ten though.

Second and third associations for 'debate':

2) Discussions on who will win the tournament
3) The discussions between the TV commentators

Word/concept = fundraising

1) Charity collectors that may be on site
2) 'Sponsorship' - the labels that the players choose to wear
3) The actual raising of funds (for prizemoney etc) by the tournament organisers

Word/concept = teenage years

1) Players that are still teenagers
2) Teenagers in the crowd
3) The 'teenage years' of the actual tournament

Word/concept = "the right tool for the right job"

1) How do the tennis players choose their raquet?
2) How much life is there in an average tennis ball?
3) The technology involved in making the decisions

Word/concept = art gallery

1) Portraits of past winners in the Wimbledon complex
2) The photographs taken by the press at the event
3) The art that the players like to have at home

Word/concept = Sex Pistols

1) The music the players like
2) Famous people in the crowd
3) The 'anarchistic' players (or the players with the most unconventional style)

The word/concept trigger can be used literally or some interpretation can occur. As in the 'Sex Pistols' example above, if I took the word literally I would have to consider perhaps John Lydon's interest in the tournament or if any of the players listen to Sex Pistol's music to motivate themselves etc. If I exercise a degree of interpretation I could perhaps consider which players are considered the biggest rebels or even which players playing in the 70s are still playing in some way today.

Word/concept = wig

1) Players with long hair
2) The effect that hair has on body temperature and thus performance
3) Players that do 'zany' things away from court - play in bands etc

Word/concept = climax

1) The final
2) The winning shot in a match
3) What time the crowd leave

Word/concept = inhaling

1) Exciting games
2) Air quality
3) How the players relax/get motivated in their break

Word/concept = Windows

1) The windows at the tournament venue
2) Viewing distance from court
3) The computers that make decisions

Word/concept = vet

1) Vets in the crowd
2) Veteran players
3) Who are the oldest/youngest players in the tournament?

Word/concept = smoking

1) Players that smoke
2) Where the crowd can smoke if they are smokers
3) Fast serves

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