I just saw a tweet from @SocialBttrfly about Social Change: Art or Science? It includes a link to her thought provoking post on the subject.
In essence the question was about whether this social media stuff is art or science or both...
I'd add a key thing here also.... 'timing'. I love what Gladwell has to say on the subject of timing in his Outlier's book - how so much of what has given people the opportunity for success is the luck of being born at the right time in the right place.
And that timing applies to putting a social media idea or practice into place. The Science part to me, is about putting the tools into place, setting up the facebook account or whatever. Then the art or creativity has to jump in.
If you are at the early end of the cycle you can rely on the science part. So and so did this, and I can map out exactly what they did and repeat it and it works. Yeah! Like the first 5 or 50 or 500 people to run a twitter fundraising viral campaign. Super!
But then you are too far into the cycle and it doesn't work so well any more.
This is one of those places where you have to switch hats again. Being creative and then being nimble to run with it.
I've been thinking alot about this in the context of the role of our decision making. I think they are related. I just read Jonah Lehrer's book 'How we Decide'. And while I don't think all his conclusions make complete sense, there is some very interesting things. I highly recommend the read!
For instance, the idea that the 'emotional' brain (which I equate with creativity) is actually the super computer of the brain, able to do enormous amounts of simultanious processing. Its able to look at all the trends on twitter that you've been following, then make what appears to be an 'intuitive' leap to the next big thing. Its the part of the brain that makes decisions, carefully weighing everything that it has learned - mostly completely without our 'awareness'.
What do you think?