Creativity is hard work.
Sure, an idea can strike out of the blue, but very few of us are paid for ideas alone. If you are like me, it is in the alchemic work that follows ideation where the true rewards are to be found.

Shepherding an idea through various checkpoints and turning it into something tangible takes more than just a few words, a blog post or a string of messages on Twitter .... it takes a broad range of skills, perseverance, commitment and yes, creativity.

When it comes to social media, creativity also requires time. It takes time to plan, time to identify participants and time to enthuse people. It takes time for participants to ramp up their knowledge and to become comfortable with their mode of participation. And then it takes time for all this to lodge within the collective minds of your audience.

For brands, this means that you have to move away from the "big idea" and begin to embrace DOING as a form of ongoing strategy. As Brian Solis explains in his Social Media Manifesto, "With everything you do in social media, you have to participate in order to build bridges that connect people and the company". In part, this means allowing creativity to flourish in places where you least expect to find it.

Yet while this sounds fine in theory, experimenting with your brand in this way can cause many sleepless nights, and can, in some instances, dramatically shorten the length of your tenure. How then, can marketers safely begin to experiment with the forms of creativity on offer via social media? Perhaps Marcus Brown has just the ticket.

Marcus has spent considerable time and creative effort setting the scene for Social Psycho, identifying participants and thinking about where this all may lead. In his own words:

Social Psycho is a work of fiction that intends to build on this terrifying idea and I'm inviting you to get involved. It's my new project. Although I will be mainly writing and developing the main character of the story, you are invited to develop sub-plots and characters in order to build stories of your own.

And the invitation is open. The opportunity is real. There is a Google group that you can join to share story concepts, challenge other participants, and to  share what you learn along the way. And your participation can take a variety of forms .... from blogging to video to Twitter and back again. It is wide open.

And for a small investment of your time, you will learn, from the inside, what it takes to be creative with social media. You will work independently, yet be part of a creative process that spans the globe. And you will test your own creativity and ingenuity in a private-public space.

So what do you say? Are you in?

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Gavin in VP & Principal Analyst with Constellation Research Group. He possesses extensive international experience in driving measurable outcomes via digital customer experience platforms, digital strategy and executing innovative content driven campaigns. With a background in enterprise technology innovation, digital strategy and customer engagement, Gavin connects the dots between disruptive technologies, enterprise governance and business leaders.

Most recently, Gavin led the customer experience, communication and social media programs for SAP's Premier Customer Network. And over the last 15 years, he has been at the forefront of innovative digital strategies for some of the world's leading companies - from IBM to Fujitsu - and on the agency side, leading the global digital strategy for McDonald's.