"Using social media is no longer a choice for those who wish to remain relevant and engaged" - Discuss...

I read a very interesting article this morning that chimes with my own experience in using social media tools for business: http://bit.ly/3o8vBg

What are your thoughts?

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This is the age old bugbear of mine.... how do we convince the sceptics....? The article gives a useful insight into what he considers to be the best way of approaching the argument. Start at the beginning by asking "Do you remember doing your job without email and cell phones?".

What I'm finding is that people want to see evidence of how these tools have worked for others and why it's a good idea. In this current climate people want facts and figures - i'm going to try and tackle this as part of my presentation at Be2camp Brum.
Maybe it's the sceptics that are right? With most things you will get the early adopters (just look around here ;)) then the utility adopters and finally the passive adopters. An important thing to remember is that the generation now coming into the workplace doesn't know of a world without Facebook, never mind a VCR. It will change in time as the tools seep into the day to day mundanity of work and home.

But maybe there is something that we should keep an eye on - whether these tools are relevant and useful. We'll usually find that simplicity is what wins over. Just look at SMS and Twitter. I've just been in Facebook and frankly it's become so big and unwieldy that it's boring me now. This means that unless the tools are genuinely useful they will fall by the wayside along with the paperless office.
I entirely agree with Tony:

Tony Carroll said:
Maybe it's the sceptics that are right? ... unless the tools are genuinely useful they will fall by the wayside along with the paperless office.

and Lorna (looking forward to seeing your presentation Lorna!) in that it is about sceptics.
Sometimes also its difficult for the enthusiasts to break through purely because they are enthusiasts and this puts people off. One of my colleagues has recently joined Linkedin (and it wasn't because I persuaded him, he went to a networking event and saw someone else give a presentation which used one of my networks as a good example!)

With any new venture (and of course this applies in business) it is essential to get in the shoes of the people who need to be convinced and understand what their perspective is. They have to have a reason (as Richard White would say, a PAIN) to do something differently.

With sustainability, legislation helps get things moving. With social media its going to be hard facts.
When did you last make money out of it? Lets share some examples.

Here's mine:
I made a friend on Twitter. I followed him because he talked to me about architecture and architects. We had non-specific conversations for a while, including about cats (we both like cats and mine died). Then he picked up on our hotel work, and I picked up on his expert consultancy financing hotels and finding operators. He is meeting the head of my company to discuss a project next month. This will make us both money. The end.

I quite like this slideshow (not for people who object to offensive language though!):
In your view, has social media progressed much/at all in the construction industry since the above discussion?  Would those in the construction industry be more inclined to select a sub-contractor or professional on the basis of their blogs, Twitter feeds and such or are these simply a tool to, as Su highlighted, make personal connections that can lead to work?

Hi, Su. 

Love the Social Media slideshare above.  I have shared it via LinkedIn, a social network that I like - I find it both intuitive and professional.  In contrast, I cannot stand Facebook, which I find the opposite; but that is simply a matter of taste. 

Talking of slideshare, I recently uploaded a presentation linking broad and inclusive Development (economic, built environment, community etc.) with the Extractive Industries, e.g. Mining, Oil and Gas.  Of course, such a linkage does not always happen, all too often there is only "enclave" development where no such +ve development spin-off happens. 

I suspect that social media is slower in this Extractive Industries sector than in others, just like the built environment, but with pockets of early-adopters, some of whom will have been burnt by investing loads of £$£$ in an ill-informed way, just as  Second Life attracted architectural practices spending lots of money making sure that they looked great on this platform, despite the fact that few of their clients/ potential clients actually used it.  The trick then is investing resources on social media in a strategic and informed manner.  I will start off with LinkedIn, as is my want, on the basis that I understand it well (which helps) and as it is popular amongst my target group of fellow professionals.

Please do check out the slideshare I mention above:


and the project website behind it (all resources on it available free, no need to register etc.): http://www.eisourcebook.org/

Lastly, my view on "Using social media is no longer a choice for those who wish to remain relevant and engaged?": Yes, in almost all cases.

Thanks, Daniel

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