The mental mash up as a social object

I’ve found that my concept of the mental mash up — smashing random thoughts (potatoes) together to see if the spur new ideas (tater tots) — has the most interesting results when the potatoes are quite different from each other.

Recently, seeing the concept of the “social object” (the thing which causes a social dialog — bowling, a news article, a friend’s new car) come up on various fronts, I began to wonder what would happen if I published my pile of potatoes to some friends to see what tater tots THEY might come up with. It seemed to me that if dissimilar input gave better output, then dissimilar processing (different people mashing) would probably do the same. And, it could provide a social object to start interesting conversations. Indeed, over time friends started sending in not only tater tots but also potatoes for inclusion in future mash ups — thus an even wider array of ideas coming in the mix!

My next blog shows the first mental mash up I published, and the post after that lists some of the results. In the future I’ll leave some time between the publishing of the mash up and posting of interesting results, so that everyone has a chance to chime in. But this way people can get the concept.

Happy Mashing!!