Crowdfunding seems to be all the rage these days and is useful for everything from kickstarting a multi-million dollar Facebook acquisition to helping a new cook find and prepare potato salad. Love the campaigns or hate them, crowdfunding gives entrepreneurs who've reached the end of their rope a creative way to bootstrap their business.

Fall short of creative ideas to raise money, and the community will lend a hand to pick things up and keep going. It's a fantastic concept, but I wonder if it could apply to more than funding.


I often talk about ways to find new blog topics and new conference talk ideas. Still, every now and then I fall short of new ideas and need to depend on others to provide a creative kick to get things going again.

Sometimes I head to my email to suss out ideas from contact and support requests. Other times I visit sites like Quora to see what questions and topics are currently abuzz in the world. Still other times I'll ask a friend or two for advice.

But what if, like Kickstarter, you could ask millions of friends for advice?

Crowdsourced brainstorming - or crowdstorming - could become an interesting, sustainable way to gather hundreds of potential topics all at once. Pulling ideas from the community also means the ideas are already of interest to the people you're likely going to address.

Conference Topics

The first time I ever crowdstormed a conference topic idea was 2 years ago. I don't have notes as to which conference the ideas were for, but they helped me build a speakers' bureau of several potential talks that I went back to time and again for over a year.

It's time to run yet another poll; I'm hoping you can help me both refine and build a quality speakers' bureau for the coming year!