Ideas used to be nicely wrapped up, wrapped in movies or books or some other sort of container. The Harvard Business Review and Fast Company would collect a bunch of them in one handy, easy to carry package. And the way we found those ideas was by going to the place where the containers lived and grabbing one. The bookstore was a valuable showroom for worthy ideas.
Today, ideas spread. We find them from someone we trust, or as they flash across the sky of social media. Today, people with authority and leverage continue to need new and important ideas, but there isn't an obvious idea store to go and pick up the next one. Instead, we listen to the pulse of what's going on around us, and see who is talking about what.
Those conversations are the string. Curious people will follow the string all the way back to the place it came from.
Attaching a piece of string to your idea is the updated equivalent of getting it placed in the right part of the bookstore. Attaching a string and putting it in a place where it can move from person to person.
A string by itself is worthless, a waste of time, an internet amusement.
An idea without a string might be valuable, but it won't change much, because no one will find it.
Now we need both.