A Different Look at Creativity Part II: the social media mix

Before we go any further…

I want to point out that what I am describing here is a process, a way of looking at how we create whether it involves groups of people or individuals and what we need in the way of tools and environments to support us along the way. The  concepts and processes are not linear or pretty and admittedly leave lots of room for further exploration and development.

creative_spectrum_somedia A Different Look at Creativity Part II: the social media mix

Let’s get going..

Now that we have the creative spectrum somewhat sketched out let’s see how it can work with the social media. The primary element of social media, in fact its’ keystone is connectivity at levels that far exceed what we could have imagined even a year ago. And… this connectivity has different levels of applicability depending on the users intent and goals.  Before we  look in detail at specific social media let’s try to find what  Creators, Makers and Producers  need to succeed, what tools are most useful to them. The brief list below summarizes common tools and methods, some have been available but limited in their usefulness.

  • Brainstorming – This is one of the fundamental tools of creativity. While it is possible that it can be done alone,  in this context it is considered best used interactively with 2 or more participants.
  • Collaboration -Whether between those working in like media or dissimilar media collaboration is often a tool for generating new outcomes. Often new ways of seeing the same problem/issue or a new direction or concept emerges through collaboration and interaction
  • Critique and feedback -In order for creatives to successfully achieve their vision they need to engage the eyes, hearts and opinions of others as a reality check. Given their goal…does their concept or theory attain the desired outcome?
  • Moral and professional Support – Just as critique and feedback are important to the creative process so is having access to moral and professional support. This kind of support can be everything from a colleague being a phone call away to a regular mastermind group that provides encouragement and professional mentoring. provide  user friendly  tools for dialogue.
  • Background research – One of the early steps in a creative venture is background research designed to find out what if anything has been done before and what the results were.
  • Market research – Separate from background research is the particular type of research linked to the branding process. Market research is important in the concept stage as well as the producer stage, however, the intensity of its use may vary throughout the spectrum.
  • Client/customer support – Good customer support which can include helping customers use their products, to getting usability feedback is very important .
  • Visibility- Visibility contributes heavily to a product’s success…  the more extensive the visibility possibilities generally the better the sales.  For visibility to work it must give the users the ability to be seen by their buyers.
  • Customer/client communication -Being able to communicate in a direct and timely manner to  customers  keep them informed and up to date for new developments is a strong determiner of success.
  • Market connection – Having reliable channels to connect to markets is also very important to ensuring good communication  with users and being able to respond to changes in market preferences.
  • Relationship development – The relative ease with which potential relationships can be identified and developed between Makers and Producers and their markets as well as amongst their colleagues cannot be underestimated. This factor is particularly important now with the decline of traditional interruption based marketing.

Now lets take a more focused look at  these in relation to the Creators,Makers and Producers. A word of caution…this is at best an approximation and for simplicity sake implies that the spectrum overlap areas will also include overlap in social media usefulness.

Creators

Since this part of the spectrum leans heavily towards the conceptual  ( see part 1)   tools that will be the most useful are the ones most likely to enhance creative thought. Their primary needs are:

  • Brainstorming
  • Collaboration
  • Critique and feedback
  • Moral and professional Support

Makers

Again as described previously in part 1, this group starts to interact with the market while at the same time providing feedback to the original creators of the recipes and templates they are refining. Their primary needs include:

  • Visibility
  • Relationship development
  • Market and background research
  • Moral and professional support
  • Customer communication
  • Relationship development
  • Market connection

Producers

This part of the spectrum’s needs are quite different than the others in that it is heavily market focused. The primary needs of Producers are:

  • Visibility
  • Relationship development
  • Market and background research
  • Customer communication
  • Relationship development
  • Market connection

In summary  the Creative community needs the following environments and tools:

  • Interactive to easily sprout and nurture creative thought and interact with peers
  • Relationship building to enable easy relationship development with their markets peers
  • Market focused to help build and maintain visibility and disburse brand messages

The next step…

is to take a look at social media to see what tools are available and which type of  media works best for Creators, Makers and Producers respectively. Let’s first look at what constitutes Social Media by definition…Wikipedia describes it as

“Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences.”

Organizing Social Media

  • Blogs and Microblogs web site that allows individuals or groups to produce an ongoing conversation, microblogs limit uses to small bursts of information.
  • Interactive/Social networking networks that allow users to interact directly either in real time of very close to it.
  • Social network aggregation sites that gather all of the social media messages and content and categorize it for reading
  • Events networks online networks that allow users to organize users around specific subjects and schedule live on-site meetings.
  • Wikis a web site that allows collaborative editing of its content and structure by it’s users
  • Social bookmarking sites that allow users to save, recommend and comment on web content
  • Opinion sites consumer evaluation, review of products and services
  • Photo and Video sharing sites that provide a means of sharing organizing and sharing photographic and video content with users
  • E-commerce sites that allow users to sell products they created or are re-selling

Matching the needs with the tools

Now lets organize these according to how they can help the creative community with an eye on the specific needs Identified earlier.

Brainstorming – Collaboration

Microblogs / Presence apps Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku
Photo sharing Flickr
Video sharing YouTube,
Interactive Networks shapshifters, deviant art, Behance network. Likemind, Ning
Wikipedia wiki’s, forums and membership sites

Critique and feedback

Blogs & micro blogs Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku
Wikis PB wiki
Photo & video sharing Flickr,YouTube
Social/Interactive networks shapshifters, deviant art, Behance network. Likemind, Ning
Wikipedia wiki’s, forums and membership sites
Opinion sites epinion,ask

Moral and professional Support

Social/ interactive networks Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, deviant art, Behance network Likemind, Ning forums
Event Networks Meetup

Background research

E-commerce Etsy, e-bay
Wikipedia
Microblogs / Presence apps Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku
Social bookmarking Delicious, StumbleUpon,Digg, Mixx, Reddit
Event Networks Meetup

Market research

Blogs
E-commerce Etsy, e-bay
Social/ interactive networks Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, shapshifters, deviant art, Behance network Likemind, Ning
Wikipedia wiki’s, forums and membership sites
Event Networks Meetup

Visibility

Blogs & micro blogs Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku, blog catalogue, good blogs
Photo & video sharing Flickr,Youtube
Social/ interactive networks Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn,  deviant art, Behance network, Ning
Event Networks Meetup
E-commerce Etsy, e-bay

Customer/client communication

Blogs & micro blogs Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku,
Photo & video sharing Flickr,Youtube
Social/ interactive networks Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Ning site
Event Networks Meetup
E-commerce Etsy, e-bay

Market connection

E-commerce Etsy, e-bay
Blogs & micro blogs Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku
Social/ interactive networks Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Ning site

Relationship development

Blogs & micro blogs Twitter, Pownce and Jaiku
Social/ interactive networks Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, Ning site
Event Networks Meetup

Part 3…..

will will take a closer look at just what and how Creators, Makers and Producers can utilize social media from Facebook to Twitter to YouTube.




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 A Different Look at Creativity Part II: the social media mix

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