The Purpose of Social Media (for architects)

Bob Borson —  October 28, 2010 — Leave a comment

Panelist Marcela Abadi-Rhodes, Bob Borson, Laura Davis, and Jaime Crawley

I was asked by the Texas Society of Architects (TSA) Committee on New Media to participate on a panel discussing The Purpose of Social Media for Architects. It is still a little amusing to me to have participated on the panel as the “blog expert” because I haven’t been using social media for very long. The intent was to have three “experts” talk about specific areas within social media and try and explain what they meant, how it worked, and why you should consider participating.

And we were given 15 minutes each to do it.  Huh? –   What!?

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For the record, I can’t finish anything in 15 minutes so while it would have been a tall order for anyone to explain blogging in that amount of time, it was almost impossible for me. But I came close – around 25 minutes in total but  in my defense, 5 or 9 minutes of that time wasn’t my fault. I had to wait until all the thundering applause would end after a particularly insightful comment or wait until the laughter subsided enough so that I could continue (see? not my fault). So I am not going to try and cover all my material here – within the next few weeks I am going to edit it down into a proper post. For now, I just wanted to share some of the information I put together as well as a few other notes and anecdotes regarding the actual presentation. To get a pdf copy of the PowerPoint, just click  here or on the image below.

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Download a copy of my presentation

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So, now that you have a copy of the presentation material, how about getting to listen to me actually delivering the presentation?? Yeah!!  … err … ah, that would have been awesome but there were some complications. I really do need to thank Jaime Crawley for what I do have because he is the one who thought far enough in advance to record the presentation.  (thanks Jaime!) But sweet, dear readers … I need to prepare you for what you are about to see. The video quality is sightly less than ideal and you’ll have to turn up the sound in order to hear me (but brace yourself for the occasional throat clearing hack from the person apparently sitting on top of the recorder) and the battery died on the recording with about 3 minutes to go. (Of course it did…) Yes, I know – it’s terribly sad because this presentation was destined to end up in the Smithsonian as the first of several milestones marking my life which in the end will only be notable due to the fact that I was the first human being to be publicly collected by aliens for probing. And not in a good way – you, know … like the “asking me questions” type of probing.

I was a little disappointed to learn that the battery died (DOH!) – I wouldn’t have cared if the presentation had gone terribly but from most accounts I’ve heard it went pretty well – kinda funny and surprisingly well organized. I am sad because the best line, the one that seemed to get the biggest laugh, happened about 7 seconds after the battery died and the video ends. It was during the time when slide above was on and while I was a little hesitant to use large and powerful architectural firms such as RTKL, HOK, and Gensler to prove a point (since it is possible that I might be groveling to their doorstep with my resume in hand one day), this slide was the apex of the entire presentation. Since I wanted to focus on the power of social media and how the playing field can be leveled purely based on content – it’s a big deal that my site is ranked considerably higher than these large firms who most likely have knowledge and resources far exceeding my own. I write this blog on my lunch breaks and sitting on my couch at night and it doesn’t take much of a leap to understand how people respond to the two-way dialog that social media (and this blog) encourage over the one-way communication typical in traditional media models.

I won’t hold it against you if you don’t want to listen to my presentation, but I think you might not feel like it was a waste of your time either.

 

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Sorry if you can’t see the video embed above but if you go to my site, it is available for viewing (re: mobile devices that don’t support flash)

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