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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 1158
Registered: 03-2002

Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 03:34 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

How will social media (FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) have an effect on architecture and specification writing?
Robin E. Snyder
Senior Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 340
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 04:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Slows down my process, since I keep checking facebook during the work day :-)

Seriously, I enjoy following the AIA and CSI on twitter, but otherwise, I am not sure. Interestig discussion thread though!
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 04:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Total waste of productive time!

Cryptic twitter messages do not provide value to architecture nor specifications.
Russ Hinkle, AIA, CDT, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: rhinkle

Post Number: 81
Registered: 02-2006

Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 05:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Our office has decided to block facebook, twitter for a couple reasons. IT sees it as a security thread - to easy for nasty stuff to get through and management see it as time wasted.

They do let us have access to linked-in and are using it to market the firm. Just so happens that we are having an inhouse lunch and learn on the topic tomorrow.
Russ Hinkle
Robin E. Snyder
Senior Member
Username: robin

Post Number: 341
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 - 06:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

unregistered - do you "follow" CSI and AIA on twitter? I actually get a lot of info and links to good information.

"Cryptic twitter messages do not provide value to architecture nor specifications." - personally, I think this type of response/attitude will make spec writers obsolete quicker than you can say "BIM". Social Media is here to stay - lets figure out how to make it add value to our industry!!
Senior Member
Username: justatim

Post Number: 9
Registered: 04-2010
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 08:05 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I briefly had a Facebook account, but a "friend" (Is that the term?) told me that he was receiving advertising from me, despite my having turning "ON" all possible restrictions. So I closed mu account not knowing how or wanting to troubleshoot the fraudulent ads.

As far as Twitter, I've seen postings and find them consistently useless...now, I'm going to turn on my hot-water heater and brew some lychee tea. Yum!... Oh, yesterday I saw quite a variety of leaves fallen on the ground. ...And, I may have ribs for dinner....
J. Peter Jordan (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 10:12 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have had a LinkedIn account for some time and have used it primarily to maintain professional contacts. I have my "home page" profile configured so that if anyone needs a quick bio for a qualification packate, the information is there (and can be downloaded as a PDF file). There is also a link to two of the several PowerPoint presentations I have done over the years. All of this is marketing of a general and non-targeted nature.

My contacts extend to past architectural and spec writing colleagues in several cities, academic colleagues around the world, CSI colleagues, and a few product reps. I follow some of the CSI and AIA discussions (CSI discussions are more substantial). I manage a group for the Association of Computer-Aided Design In Architecture (I was president in the early 1990s). I do find it interesting that a little over 250 level 1 contacts results in more than 17,500 2nd level contacts.

I recently set up a web site (after much prodding for more than 4 years by family, friends, and colleagues), but the information is much the same.

Am not sure of how to really make more of this, but at the least, it gets the name of my firm out there.
John Regener, AIA, CCS, CCCA, CSI, SCIP
Senior Member
Username: john_regener

Post Number: 492
Registered: 04-2002

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 11:25 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I briefly ... very briefly ... subscribed to LinkedIn. Almost immediately I began to receive unsolicited building product information from "friends" who peddled building products that I "must" know about.

From my recent illness, I learned who my true friends are. Some of them are Industry members of CSI. So, I'm not against those who represent building product manufacturers. I give time to and share information with business colleagues who are friends I can rely upon and who do not abuse their access to me.
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1054
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 04:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I have both Linked in and Facebook accounts and really try to distinguish between the two: Linked In for work; Facebook for personal relationships and of course there is some cross over.

I have NO interest in Twitter at all. In fact, I see Twitter as supremely unprofessional and bothersome. Luckily, you have to subscribe to a Twitter feed, so its not as if they come unsolicited into your inbox.

However, regarding Linked In -- I've gotten consulting contracts for work from people I "know" only through Linked In, and I've met a lot of pretty good professional contacts through Linked In who I later meet in person at conferences or meetings. I think its a pretty good tool if you really treat it as a work tool only. (ie, I don't think that Linked In is the place to post "cute" inspirational messages.)
I haven't had the experience that John had with unsolicited building material information, but group emails go directly into my spam folder anyway.
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1055
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 04:52 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

regarding Twitter -- before I get jumped on for being out of touch: Twitter is designed for "instant" updates. In LA, twitter is used to broadcast the location of food trucks; to send out the location of a rave; to announce where a "really good band" is playing. Unless there is a construction products truck roaming around the Seattle area, I simply can't imagine anything in this industry that requires an "instant" update. If AIA and CSI see the "need" to announce things via twitter, it indicates to me that 1) they don't see what they are doing as having lasting value 2) they figure if they use this cool new thing that it will make them seem more current. AIA and CSI have websites and email lists -- what possibly could they say that needs attention RIGHT THIS MINUTE? I really don't see it as an appropriate venue for professional notices with only one exception: announcing the beginning of a demonstration at a convention. But something that's occuring in an office? is there any sense to that at all?
Sheldon Wolfe
Senior Member
Username: sheldon_wolfe

Post Number: 453
Registered: 01-2003

Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 06:10 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Announcing the beginning of a demonstration could be useful for those at the convention, but that announcement goes everywhere, and not everyone at the convention is walking around staring at their cell phone. The PA system seems a much better way to break the news.

I've seen several "This is a great seminar!" tweets. The only purpose I see is to say how cool it is to be there, unless I'm supposed to rush to the airport, charter a private jet, and hope I get there before it's over.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 05:42 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Robin, Here are the top two twitters at AIA and CSI:


I see lots of followers are @ Greenbuild. It's great to keep up with what's going on @ Greenbuild via Twitter feed. Keep the tweets coming!

RT @designmilk There are days when I really love my job like way more than usual. Today is one of those days. Hooray for design! | YES !


RT @larryfredlund: Just uploaded CeSiLL toon #8. FREE to use in any CSI publications. Just send me a link . . .

RT @ModernSteel: RT @CSIConstruction: TODAY 2pm ET FREE WEBINAR. Topic: Specifications: Can Less Be Enough?

Enough said.
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 04:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Like a lot of other computerized applications that access the internet, Facebook and Twitter can cause your account to overflow with junk. The beauty of these systems though is there are magic "Hide" and "Unfolloow" buttons. If you don't care about someone "turning on their hot water heater", unfollow them. It's just like turning the channel on your TV. You can control what ends up in your in box , mail box, etc. There really is some good information available on many of these sites and to simply disable them is throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Jim Sliff
Senior Member
Username: jim_sliff

Post Number: 7
Registered: 08-2010

Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 12:17 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

"Social Media is here to stay - lets figure out how to make it add value to our industry!!"

"to simply disable them is throwing the baby out with the bath water."

Both good points.

I've gotten a ton of business-related messages through LinkedIn - it's proved to be very valuable, and I take a different approach; I have both business and personal info on it. It's proven to be an asset to do that as many business contacts find business/personal combined listings to be more open and communicative (that's not an opinion - it's been noted in several articles and columns).

Facebook I also use for a combination of work and hobby, and honestly I get even MORE legit contacts from Facebook than LinkedIn. There are easy ways to prevent annoyances; with Facebook you set your profile to "private" and not only can potential "friends" not see your essential info, you can refuse contact if you want. With LinkedIn potential friends also have to send a request, and there is a checklist of possible reasons for it - if you don't recognize their name (the usual justification for sending a request is "we've done business together") you refuse it, just like on Facebook.

I think the"private" profile is counter-productive though - with an "open" listing you can still refuse any friend request you want. I "nuke" product spam from salespeople representing product lines I'll never spec or totally "who the heck is THAT?" "friend" requests.

So - it's very easy to control - I look at the thing maybe once every 10 days or so unless a "friend" posts on my page. Also, I let every "friend" know that if they pester or spam me I'll pull the plug on 'em.

The only people I know who have had problems are the ones that accept every friend request and also SEND friend requests by the truckloads. So if there's a problem it's usually user-generated, not "sender".

Twitter I still don't get - I'm trying to get a handle on it, but I killed every "following" I had when I received mostly gems like "Left big meeting on Wilshire - need a bathroom and pizza".

As noted though - they're here to stay, and Facebook made an announcement (I think Monday) that their system will include a more-or-less "instant email" with multimedia capabilities. That will undoubtedly have some valid uses.

So as much as I really don't care much for any of them (MySpace is another, but it seems to be slipping) they are becoming as necessary an evil as text messaging (which now I use at least a half-dozen times a day).
George A. Everding, AIA, CSI, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: geverding

Post Number: 566
Registered: 11-2004

Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 04:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Okay, I admit it: CSI’s Joy Davis succeeded where children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews all failed: she convinced me to get massively socially networked. Joy presented a whirlwind tour of various means and methods of networking at our chapter meeting last month. The audience seemed fairly evenly divided between those, like my younger family members, who are already totally immersed in the technology ocean, and those like myself and most of you, who seem to be clearly in the timid toe-dipping stage.

Now, a month later, I have tweeted, blogged, skyped, linked-in, iPhoned, dragon-dictated, and booked my face, and I am unashamedly convinced each one is more spectacular than the next. What a wonderful world we live in. And none of the different media should ever be annoying because, one, you can manipulate the privacy settings and to filter out what you don’t want to see, and two, you don’t have to opt-in in the first place. It’s like TV, it has a channel changer and an off switch. And unlike the old days when you had to get up from the easy chair and walk over to the set to change the channels, now you can do so sitting on your butt with a remote (or your iPhone) in one hand and a beer in the other. What’s not to love about that?

As far as difficulty in learning how do use any of the various gizmos, you can do what I did and hire a cheap consultant – in my case my 10-year old grandson – who was happy to text message me the instructions whenever I needed them. I even loaded Dragon Dictation on my phone so that I wouldn’t have to use my fat and arthritic fingers to try to keep up with his speed-texting. The only downside is that occasionally words come out with off the wall spellings, as when I texted Bobby that grandma was making “spider coke attack” for dinner (spanakopita).

But the topic is business uses, not fun with family and friends. Joy Davis made the point that the various social media tools each had their places, as has been mentioned above – linked in for biz and facebook for friends. Also, there seems to be a hierarchy involved. Emails are appropriate for some business transactions, while instant messaging, skyping and so forth might be better for other communications. In fact, sometimes it might be appropriate to pick up that ancient and venerable piece of social networking technology – the telephone – to really stick your message to someone. I even have a rotary dial app on my iPhone for when I want to be deliberate and serious when calling.

After a month of immersion in this stuff, I have to disagree with much of what is being said here. I don’t think any of these social media tools are inherently bad, or even inherently worthless. Even Twitter. It’s really easy to scroll through the babble and pick out what you are interested in. And if you don’t find anything, it’s only a few seconds of time spent. To those who post regularly here, let me pose this question: do you read each and every post on each and every category? Or do you scan the boards and pick what seems relevant? Forever we have been filtering through junk mail at work (in the trash or in the recycling without being read) and saving the worthwhile and important real mail. How are modern social media any different?
George A. Everding AIA CSI CCS CCCA
Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies
St. Louis, MO
Randy Cox
Senior Member
Username: randy_cox

Post Number: 75
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 05:00 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I looked into creating a project based wiki to record and disseminate design decisions, but the effort to payoff didn't make sense. Until I find a better way, I'll just use old fashioned ftp sites and e-mail.
Paul Gerber
Senior Member
Username: paulgerber

Post Number: 48
Registered: 04-2010

Posted on Friday, December 10, 2010 - 02:53 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I use pretty much the same rationale as Anne and Jim when it comes to social networking...LinkedIn for business contacts and facebook for personal. I have and continue to deny friend add requests from business contacts on facebook. The only exception is a couple of people who I have worked with in the past and have gotten to become friends with (not simply colleagues). I use facebook to stay in touch with family and friends.

People that I get e-mail from at work or see once in a blue moon when the come in to my office to update me on the latest product information don't need to see my vacation pictures, or photos from my last ride with my riding club or pictures from my family reunion or my daughter's dance recital. That's what facebook is for in my case (oh and for playing a couple of non-thinking online games).

As I am in the process of establishing a new business opportunity, I am anxious to see what kind of reach I can get from the whole marketing end of having a LinkedIn account!

As far as Twitter goes I have never even been to the website, let alone signed up for an account. I see this as a purely social social media site and that it what I use facebook for. It's probably the same reason I have never had a MySpace account either. There are only so many hours in the day!
Ride it like you stole it!!!
William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: wpegues

Post Number: 826
Registered: 10-2002

Posted on Friday, December 10, 2010 - 03:01 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Paul describes my usage of both LinkedIn and Facebook exactly.

I am also always telling those that are out looking for a job that they can really do a lot with LinkedIn and that their resume that they might submit to a prospective employer should always contain a link to their LinkedIn site where much more detail can be added. Even on the basic free account, you can set up applications inside the LinkedIn site that will let you show a slide show presentation or other files.

I even advise that if they are communicating by email that they put their LinkedIn url in their signature.

William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS, SCIP Affiliate
WDG Architecture, Washington, DC | Dallas, TX
Ron Beard CCS
Senior Member
Username: rm_beard_ccs

Post Number: 365
Registered: 10-2002

Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011 - 03:50 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Since many of us are senior specifiers and are texting and tweeting as a part of our social media experience, there appears to be a need for a Senior Texting Code (STC). <g>

ATD_____At The Doctor's
BFF _____Best Friend Fell
BTW_____Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT____Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM_____Covered By Medicare
CGU_____Can't Get Up
CUATSC__See You At The Senior Center
DWI_____Driving While Incontinent
FWB_____Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW____Forgot Where I Was
FYI _____Found Your Insulin
GGPBL___Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA_____Got Heartburn Again
GLKI ____Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In
HGBM____Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO____Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO____Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL _____Living On Lipitor
LMGA____Lost My Glasses Again
LWO_____Lawrence Welk's On
OMMR____On My Massage Recliner
OMSG____Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
ROFL ____Rolling On The Floor Laughing
SGGP____Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTYL____Talk To You Louder
WAITT___Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA____Wet The Furniture Again
WTP_____Where's The Prunes?
WWNO___Walker Wheels Need Oil
"Fast is good, but accurate is better."
.............Wyatt Earp
Margaret G. Chewning FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: presbspec

Post Number: 197
Registered: 01-2003
Posted on Monday, January 10, 2011 - 05:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I'll never use these acrynoms again without laughing! I almost fell out of my chair. Hubby came running to see what was so funny!
Anne Whitacre, FCSI CCS
Senior Member
Username: awhitacre

Post Number: 1096
Registered: 07-2002

Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - 07:40 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

and what wasn't mentioned here (and I'm finding really annoying) is the Twitter feed that goes straight to LinkedIn. One of my colleagues sends several twitter feeds a day along the lines of "can't believe how many people here today!" or "Had a really great breakfast at the hotel!" or "I'm so excited to be at this conference!" (they all have exclamation points at the end.)

Here's the counter productive outcome -- I had thought of her as an up-and-coming young professional and now I think she has bad judgment and is sort of a lightweight, cheerleader type. Twitter can really illustrate this old maxim: "Better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you're stupid than to open it and remove all doubt."
(Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 - 11:20 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

thinking of social media - this is social media -and you folks have way too much time on your hands! get back to work.

Specification Writer
Senior Member
Username: specification_writer

Post Number: 19
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Thursday, January 13, 2011 - 10:35 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Today is the 15th anniversary of the disappearance of Amber Hagerman in Arlington, TX. Her body was found 4 days after she was abducted, and to date no one has been arrested.

Here is what could possibly be the best use of social media:

Amber Alert is on Facebook


Although the Amber Plan is named after Amber Hagerman, this national program is dedicated to all children nationwide who've been abducted. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there are more than 114,000 attempted abductions of children by non-family members each year.

Here is more information and the history of the Amber Alert:

Specification Writer
Washington, D.C.
James M. Sandoz, AIA, CSI, CCS, LEED AP
Senior Member
Username: jsandoz

Post Number: 79
Registered: 06-2005

Posted on Friday, January 14, 2011 - 09:42 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I would call the function that "Specification Writer" mentions "Socially Responsible Media." We need to remember to weigh the good that new technology brings against its potential abuses.

Naturally, my children wanted cell phones as soon as they saw their first friend get one. Initially I was reluctant because of some of the terrible things I had heard happening to teens and pre-teens through their cell phones (seems the same can be said for other communication modes as well). Anyway, I handed my daughter her cell phone when she was 14 years-of-age. In the past four years I have never regretted doing that. She is assiduous about letting her parents know where she is, where she is going, and when she anticipates arriving at home or some other place. She is in college now, has a part-time job, and plays league sports with her friends so she is out and about a lot.

It is good to know that we are only a few key strokes away from being in touch. I gladly got out of bed at 12:30am a few weekends ago when she called from her cell phone to ask me to come pick her up because her car had overheated on the way home.

As to the distractions caused by social media, it's just like radio, TV, or the old fashion telephone - we just need to discipline ourselves to ignore when necessary.

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