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82 Twitter Resources that are Useful October 29, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, twitter.
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Carol Hagen's Delicious bookmarks on Twitter Twitter is a great tool if you know what you’re doing. Once I learned the basics, read a few books and then realized, like other “free” social networking sites that …things change rapidly in Twitter. I started bookmarking all the Twitter tweets I found valuable in Delicious, as these articles substantially enhanced my knowledge. Twitter can be used stand alone or with numerous Tools to help you listen to your favorite topics, get to know your contacts better, and share the content you or others have created. My favorite use is leveraging it’s integration with LinkedIn.

Today I thought I’d share these bookmarked resources with you as an RSS Feed (so as I add more they’ll automatically add to the list or you can subscribe to my feed). Make sure you thank all the content providers as we all should keep learning.

Almost forgot to ask. If you have suggestions for me to read, please add them in the comments (so everyone benefits). Thanks.

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Social Media Policy or Police? September 30, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry Hardware, linkedin, twitter, web 2.0.
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Social Networking PoliceSocial Media Policy is a hot topic for most businesses. The larger the enterprise the greater the impact on the IT infrastructure. Bandwidth bottlenecks can occur quickly with employees all viewing YouTube, Vimeo and Viddler videos simultaneously. Reports on the reduction in employee productivity at work will lead you to believe that social media is a waste of time and that there’s no reason to be in Facebook on business time. Security issues are also a concern with the proliferation of social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter that offer apps, chat and email functions. So what should a company do?

Begin a Dialogue with Your Employees
Don’t just lock everyone out of everything! This reactionary approach will make your firm look like a dinosaur to your team as well as your customers. I’ve seen this implemented at large publicly held construction companies and I think they’ve shot themselves in the foot by locking out everyone with URL filtering. Determine which employees and social media applications can contribute to your company brand, market reach and customer relationships. Ask your marketing, communications and sales people including anyone involved with customer relationship management or customer support for their input. Check out your competitor’s website to see what social media applications and tools they are using. Often you’ll see a few icons listed somewhere on their site, an invitation to connect in the sidebar of a blog or perhaps an RSS feed of their social activity.

Establish a Social Media Policy
Start with defining what is acceptable and unacceptable when using social media sites as you do for email and cell phone usage. Yes, your Legal and Information technology teams will probably influence (scare) you enough that risk tolerance decisions will need to be made. My favorite book for addressing social media policy is The e-Policy Handbook by Nancy Flynn. You may have already decided that “we only allow LinkedIn”, period. Think again. The most popular Business to Business (B2B) network by far in the United States is LinkedIn and they’ve just added the ability to display Twitter feeds and blog posts on the Company Profile. Since blog posts often have videos embedded in articles, you may have just policed yourself into not being able to view your own marketing materials.

Get the IT Department on Board
With budget cuts across the board, IT is trying to do everything without spending money and often takes the “lock down” approach as the only thing they can do with the tools they currently have. Perhaps you should consider budgeting for new equipment, particularly firewalls that address social media. It’s not good enough anymore to rely on old technology. Traditional firewalls rely on port and protocol to classify traffic, allowing tech-savvy applications and users to bypass them with ease; hopping ports, using
SSL, sneaking across port 80, or using non-standard ports. It may be time to have your network traffic analyzed for applications, users and content, you need to know what bandwidth is used by social media and have a way to monitor and enforce your policies effectively. The Interface2010 Technology Symposium has this topic covered and while I attended the Scottsdale, AZ event last week, you can still catch them in a few other US cities this year.

We’re in the process of scheduling a webinar to help educate business owners and their IT departments on social media policy, monitoring and network security. If you’d like to receive a webinar invitation, be interested in a network audit or have questions, please ask us by posting a comment. Please share this with your business partners, IT friends, and customers.

Listening to LinkedIn Contacts June 8, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in linkedin, twitter.
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LinkedIn has been accepted and embraced by business while Twitter has been blocked by many IT departments as a security risk. CIOs and CEOs may not have noticed that LinkedIn has two direct connections to Twitter. The twitter handle listed in your profile and the Application Tweets. What I am proposing is using Twitter to listen. You can have a Twitter account and not post to it. This might loosen the noose that IT has imposed on the enterprise.

For those that list their Twitter handle in their LinkedIn profile, Tweets extends the ability for you to listen to those you follow. It also has a tab for your LinkedIn contacts. The tab aggregates all your contacts that list a Twitter handle and provides a handy follow button.

Why is this important? If you are keeping in touch with your contacts, it stands to reason you can achieve a closer business relationship by knowing what your contacts tweet about. This also holds true with contacts that blog. These creators of content are using social media to share their expertise and often provide gems to improve productivity, enhance relationships and display thought leadership.

Now if you can’t get IT to change their minds about Twitter then start reading the blogs your contacts write by using the LinkedIn app BlogLink. It aggregates all the blog posts of your contacts and you can set it to display on your LinkedIn Home and not your profile. This can build trust and stronger relationships quickly. This is business development basics! You notice when someone takes the time to comment on your blog or mentions the topic you blogged about in a phone conversation.

I shared this information as a guest speaker for the AZ Entrepreneurs group in Scottsdale this morning(Yes they are a LinkedIn group) and I’m sure some of them have already added the apps. I know a few have already invited me to join them on LinkedIn (still waiting to see a few Twitter followers).

After you try Tweets or BlogLink tell me you wished you knew about how to use these LinkedIn apps sooner. I’d also liked to hear about your success stories, so bookmark this page to come back and comment.

Please also consider sharing this with your business contacts too.

Social Media Safety Meeting Minute May 3, 2010

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, records retention, twitter, web 2.0.
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The idea of a Safety Meeting in a minute is a great idea, which I must thank Tim Greene of Networld for sharing in a PCWorld article yesterday. What’s different if you haven’t figured it out is this is not your typical construction site safety meeting. We’re talking about Internet Safety and I believe the idea is fantastic.

The premise is if you had to take a 1-minute internet safety lesson before being allowed access to the Internet your employees would recognize just how important it is to protect their identity and the electronic information contained within the company. The article mentions many of the popular social media sites but doesn’t give you 10 lessons to kick start the idea. So why not make this blog post a place for everyone to share their ideas…and build a 100 or more “lessons”? I’m extending this to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter too (as I believe a 140 character tip will ensure the time constraint of keeping it to one minute).

Safety Tips

To get us started, here are a few of my one minute safety tips:

  • Know your company’s policy on Social Media use (Write a corporate policy on Social Media)
  • Make all your passwords more than one word in length and include at least one number
  • Never write (post) anything you wouldn’t want your mom or your boss to read (or see)
  • Text Messages from your Blackberry are “discoverable” so think of them as business emails
  • If you blog independently of work, make sure it is understood the contents are not the opinions of a past, current or future employer, but only that of the blogger’s
  • If you post while at work to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn make sure it is work or industry related (see corporate policy)
  • Never open attachments or click hyperlinks from people you don’t know and trust
  • Now that you get the idea, let’s hear your one minute (or less) lessons and Tips. I promise to share them with you all!

    3 Social Media Twitter Tools I Recommend for Construction January 18, 2010

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, twitter.
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    The construction industry is known as a technology laggard, but not all construction companies take a wait and see approach. In the social media realm, many contracting firms have decided to get involved early, primarily being driven by the business development and marketing folks. They want to use LinkedIn to further develop their contact base and find prospects hiding in the contacts of their associates. Linkedin is the public version of customer relationship management (CRM) for B2B and for some, the only computer-based CRM available.
    What really astounds me is the misunderstanding of what social media brings to the table. Smaller firms are more nimble at embracing these technologies and still Twitter is the most underutilized tool in the bunch. Twitter seems to have an identity crisis when you talk with construction CFOs, CEOs and CIOs. Now that Google, Bing and Yahoo are searching tweets, Twitter should become part of your search engine optimization strategy at least.  

    Here are the 3 most useful social media twitter tools for construction, or for that matter any business:

    1. Blogging. Once a week someone at your firm must have something they could share that could help: Establish your brand, identify a new business niche, further the relationship with a client, improve the communications with your suppliers or empower your employees.  Why not blog about it and establish yourself as an expert!  Blogging will  assist in attaining higher search engine rankings and gives you the ability to create a unique voice.  Why is this a Twitter tool?  Because when you publish your blog article it should immediately post to Twitter.
    2. Twitterfeed or Feedburner.  Feedburner has been around the longest and was aquired by Google long ago.  They recently added the Socialize function to “push” your blog posts to the Twitterverse automatically.  It doesn’t have some of the reporting options that Twitterfeed does, but I suspect that will arrive shortly.
    3. TweetBrand.  I was so impressed I became an affiliate of theirs.  What it does is further your branding within your tweets.  There’s a timeline entry for every tweet that says how it was posted (via Twitter, Ping, Tweetdeck, LinkedIn, etc).  What if instead it had your company name that hyperlinked to your company website or URL of your choice? 

      Stop giving away your Tweet Real Estate

    For the B2B and B2C (Business to consumer) Facebook is also something to consider.  If the AGC of America, Turner Construction and ENR all have Facebook pages you’d think that there must be value there right?  As a social media strategist it still surprises me that so few construction  firms have even tried to dabble with social media tools. 

    Perhaps you think social media is a waste of time, that your employees would lose productivity, that there are only teenagers out there using Twitter to “instant message” their friends.  But social media can be used for much more.  What are your favorite tools?  Can’t wait to hear your comments. 

    Why not try out TweetBrand and tell me if your like it as much as I do.

    Social Media Use in Real Estate and Construction Industry December 8, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in linkedin, twitter, web 2.0.
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    I finally found a definitive study from Business.com that devotes a portion of their research to my niche…the construction industry.  In the 2009 B2B Social Media Benchmarking study published in November discussed such things as “What do people consider to be the most useful social media resources for business information?” and “How do B2B companies judge social media success?”  Some of these finding like only 17% of real estate and construction use Twitter to find or request business related information isn’t surprising, but over half of the survey participants visit company blogs and company profile pages on social media sites.  This free study is a must read so you know what the Most Popular Business Social Media Initiatives are, how executives use social media differently and how they measure social media success.   

    Source: Business.com’s 2009 B2B Social Media Benchmarking Study (http://www.business.com/info/b2b-social-media-benchmark-study 

     

      

      

     

    LinkedIn and TweetDeck Together at Last December 7, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, twitter, web 2.0.
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    My workshops have been attended by construction firm execs, IT and marketing personnel, and we have spent plenty of time discussing Tweetdeck and Twitter.  LinkedIn was already being used by every student in the class.  Now we all need to take advantage of the recent upgrade to TweetDeck (v0.32.1).  TweetDeck has just added LinkedIn accounts to make it easy for you to view LinkedIn updates in your own personalized column…a one stop shop.  Here’s how to get this working.  Under your TweetDeck settings, choose accounts and add your LinkedIn info:

    Once you have that done, you can add your own LinkedIn column based upon your preferences.  From TweetDeck click on the add column button and select the LinkedIn icon.  You can decide what items to include like recommendations, connections, status updates, etc.  Here are your choices so you can be a smarter, more efficient listener:

    Now that you are listening, have you tried out the Twitter options on LinkedIn?  I blogged about it a few weeks back.  Read it here if you missed it.  Now have you all considered using Twitter (or some other microblogging application) for your company press releases?

    Share Tweets with LinkedIn Connections (even if they don’t have Twitter) November 20, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, twitter.
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    There’s a new application available in LinkedIn called Tweets. This does more than just the plain add your Twitter account and tweet at the same time you update your LinkedIn status.  It give you access to your Twitter followers and their tweets from within LinkedIn.  You can retweet and reply to your tweets too. 

    But these are not the gems of the application.  What I really like is if your LinkedIn connections don’t have Twitter you can directly share the tweet message with them.  It doesn’t even have to be your own tweet.   Just click share and then pick your LinkedIn connection to compose a message.  It will default to the subject “Interesting Tweet Found in LinkedIn Tweets”  and put the tweet in the body of the message. 

    Now go try it out and tell me how you like it!

    More Tips on Blog Subscriptions November 13, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, twitter, web 2.0.
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    As promised this is a continuance of “Attracting Blog Subscriptions” highlighting other functions and features of Feedburner.  Today we’re spreading the news of your blog  (and if you attended my recent seminar Web 2.0 tools for the construction industry or one of my Social Media on a Shoestring Budget workshops , this is a homework assignment).  If you have a few subscribers, why not make it easy for them to share it with the friends and co-workers?  You can do that easily giving them options to email it or share it on Facebook.  The tool is called FeedFlare and it’s found under the optimize tab: feedflare1

    This gives the viewer of your blog feed or site an opportunity to pass it along, make it more popular with Digg and spread your message.  Once you choose FeedFlare, select the options you want for your feed or site and it will show you what it will look like to your readers:

    feedflare2You can reorder the choices you selected by dragging the Share on Facebook or Digg it hyperlinks using drag-n-drop. You’re done when you hit SAVE. 

    The next time your feed goes out, all your subscribers will have these choices to share and you will reap the rewards! 

    There is also a FeedFlare catalog of other choices to add including english to spanish translations, adding links to your favorite charity, event promotions and Map It
    (to Link to a web mapping service display for feed items that have location context associated with them). 

    Go ahead and experiment. Try out FeedFlare and let me know about your success.  We love your comments.

    Oh, and since you read the whole blog post, you can add a follow me on twitter flare with these instructions from HyveUp

    I’ve been Beta’d by Twitter November 11, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, twitter, web 2.0.
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    I was pleased to see a notification this morning on my Twitter account that I believe will be valuable to all the listeners in the Twitterverse.  Here’s a screen shot of the Retweet To Share Tweets (Beta):RetweetToShareTweets

    I think Twitter got this one right.  If I want to know what my followers are really interested in, it should be their retweets.  After all it is a call to action for their own followers and represents the groundswell of our followers reach too.  What better way to understand the value of content than from our followers.  This is a keeper as far as I’m concerned.  Now will this feature be incorporated into some of the popular aggregators like TweetDeck?  How do you decide when to retweet?

    Social Media Challenges in Business Similar to Early Internet Adoption October 30, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in communication, twitter, web 2.0.
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    Here we are 40 years after the Internet was first used to send a message and business is repeating history with their adoption rates to new technologies. 

    From a Robert Half Technology Survey and mentioned in Stowe Boyd’s blog post Enterprises Block Social Networks, 54% of US companies with over 100 employees have completely blocked sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.  At the same time, analysts at Gartner are telling IT managers, Loosen up on social networks, security.   These opposing views remind me of the early years of the Internet.  You could walk into a business in the early 1980’s with a dozen PCs and one of them was not connected to the network.  That lone PC was connected to the internet, but it wasn’t safe to have the entire office on-line.  The reasoning was that some hacker could break in and steal all your accounting data and the employees would spend all their time surfing the net rather than working.  

    This battlecry has reared it’s head in the business world with Social Media as “someone might say something negative about us.  We don’t trust our employees to work during working hours.  Lock it down.  Turn it off!”   The control must be kept by the CIO or communications director, and our lawyer and HR department are ready to reprimand any employee that crosses the line.  Oops, only 30% of business have a social media policy.   You can get help with social media and email policy from my earlier blog post Email Records retention Can Be Tricky.

    This fear of social networking will handcuff the enterprise while competitors will leapfrog ahead.  If you don’t trust your employees with some responsibility, why did you hire them?  As Paul Proctor, a VP at Gartner says, “You cannot protect yourself from everything. You must learn to balance risk and performance.”  AIIM has gathered a number of statistics from surveys and research that help to explain the current state and where we are heading.   Here’s just a snippet to share:

    Over half of organizations consider Enterprise 2.0 to be “important” or “very important” to their business goals and success.  Only 25% are actually doing anything about it, but this is up from 13% in 2008.  Knowledge-sharing, collaboration and responsiveness are considered the biggest drivers.  Lack of understanding, corporate culture and cost are the biggest impediments.

    Let’s look at this from the perspective of the business leader.  They hear the word social and think of twittering “I’ll meet you at the pub after work”.  The word social needs to be replaced with business  collaboration when you bring the discussion from the IT department to the Board of Directors.    The real questions that business should be focusing on are:

    • How can we harness “collaborative” networks to improve communications, knowlege sharing, marketing efforts, etc?
    • Should our deployments be internal or external? 
    • Have we developed our business strategy to include these technologies?

    There are numerous business reasons to embrace Social Media including public relations, brand building, lead generation, crisis management and search engine optimization.  Now that Twitter has deals with Bing and Google, to crawl the twitterverse,  I suspect a few more firms will be appointing a “corporate twitterer”.    You want to be planning now as I read in the Social Computing Journal , Nielsen Norman Group estimates “a timeline of approximately three to five years for most organizations to successfully adopt and integrate social technologies into their intranets.”  Better shake a leg.

    IPhone Apps I Wish were All Available on Blackberry September 25, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Construction Industry Hardware, Document Imaging, iPhone, scanner, twitter.
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    My Friend Tom Davanaugh is more enthusiastic about his iPhone than any other tech gadget he’s ever had.  That’s significant since Tom has lived and breathed IT for decades and is dedicated to educating the construction industry on ECM solutions.  Whenever we chat he mentions new apps he’s using.  The latest excitement has come from JotNot and Evernote since document imaging and mobility are required in the construction business today.

    Want to capture expenses easily … so easy an executive will do it himself?  Jotnot turns your iPhone into a scanner and with the Evernote integration you start cooking!  Categorizing your text notes, voice recordings, and snapshots, you can organize notes into notebooks, add tags, search and more.  You can capture text, webpages, voice recordings and your tweets too.   There’s more coming per their blog with the beta 3.5 new release.  Things like auto spell checking, faster searches, map views are on their way.  The combination of these two apps usurps an earlier blog entry I made on iPhone scanner apps.

    Here are Tom’s favorite iPhone apps, not in any specific order… if you are getting hooked yourself and some of these apps are available on blackberry (BB): 

    Tom Tom             GPS !!!

    Google                 Which has every google app all on one screen (BB)

    Vlingo                   Amazing voice commands to search the web, get map directions and or voice dial. (BB)

    Appbox                A utility set 

    Camera                Depending on the application required I have several, most of them zoom and or improve native camera functions…  camerabag, genius, izoom, photogene, colorsplash, picture safe…  all of these either do some amazing things to make the camera more usefull or allow you to manipulate and or modify the photos…

     Tidegraph            I am a fisherman

     Navionics             Is specialized GPS and more (waypoints etc) for the water…    I am a fisherman

     Glaurung             Chess  I am a chess player also

    Koi pond              The longest living creature on the planet… and a way to have a virtual koi pond    Which I also have in the entry of my home only it’s a real one

    DocScanner        Take a pic and voila you have just virtually scanned!

    Zen Garden        Nice to burn up some free time

    Urbanspoon       A way to find a restaurant like you were a local

    Stars                      I am a student of the universe

    Planets                 because I am both a fisherman and see above

    Dollar Origami    No way…   yep!

    Stanza                   a Kindle like app with access to the Gutenberg project…

    Ultimate quote machine               because there were many other well spoken people before me

    PM sayings         cause I used to be one and they are so appropriate still today

    Ocarina                 A musical instrument that also broadcasts what is being played on it all over the world in real time

    Backgrounds      Amazing photos

    NoteVault           The same one for the construction industry…

    Just having the internet in my hand and being connected even at 36000 ft is pretty powerful.  The search ability of the stuff in the phone itself is awesome like a google appliance

    JotNot and evernote.com – It is cheaper than Docscanner (3 instead of 9 dollars)… saves in more formats… and is integrated with evernote.com …   this one wins so far… it also does more than paper.

    Some great games for those that love em and have the time…

    Shazam … it samples recorded music and comes back with the title and artist and YouTube video and suggestions of songs like it. (BB)

    Might as well add my stock app also… there is one for each of the common and popular systems out there.

    If you are still reading, Tom has his Blackberry strapped to his waist while he waits for corporate to allow call forwarding to his iPhone.  And I was lazy looking up all the links for all these apps…just go get your iPhone now and you can thank Tom.  He’s out there!

    LinkedIn, Twitter and Web 2.0 for the Construction Industry August 19, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, linkedin, twitter, web 2.0.
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    Yesterday I presented the seminar “LinkedIn, Twitter and Web 2.0 for the Construction Industry” at the American Subcontractors Association Arizona Chapter office. While well attended, I found the majority to be in the same boat as most B2B firms… still trying to understand just what Social Networking is all about and how these tools could impact their business.

    Interestingly enough, one attendee was from a Lien Service and was successfully using LinkedIn for locating people that had stiffed their suppliers & subs. One designated Twitterer @smallgiants came to see how they could more effectively communicate with their customers with Twitter and Blogging…I actually suggested a forum or discussion group for their clients while using a blogging tool like WordPress.org or WordPress.com to give them easier updating and flexibility. 

    The contractors present all had the “generation gap” syndrome and needed to understand that this Web 2.0 stuff is not a fad it is about a method of communication that creates a conversation. These conversations can be with employees, customers and vendors but depending upon your strategy you should focus on one group of people at a time in deploying any web 2.0 tools.  Another consideration before jumping in is addressing your e-policy to include such things as disclaimers on any employees “freelance” blogging as it is likely they have you listed as their employer.  If you haven’t created an e-policy yet I recommend “The e-POLICY Handbook” by Nancy Flynn.

    Every construction firm should have their company profile on LinkedIn and at least a few employees, particularly business development and human resources connected to LinkedIn.  It is where unemployed construction talent has posted their resume, and it’s where savvy entrepreneurs are recruiting.  This morning I received my weekly update from the McGraw-Hill Construction LinkedIn Group and a discussion post included an 8 page summary of Jim Collin’s book “Good To Great” and applying it’s study and conclusion to the business of construction contracting.  I guess this just reiterates the message of my seminar, to get started you must first listen to people, then determine your objectives to create a web 2.0 strategy before you pick all the technology for a full court press of embrasing E2.0 or web 2.0 tools. 

    Have you started a web 2.0 project?  I’d like to hear about your experiments, challenges, and success stories.  Leave a comment or contact me directly.

    Construction Industry Slow to Adopt Twitter August 12, 2009

    Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, twitter, web 2.0.
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    I was speaking with the CFO of a highway heavy contractor recently and he thought that Twitter was a waste of time. Of course this gentleman was over 50 and thought that tweets were just going to be more spam being delivered to his phone or email. Isn’t this the conception you have of Twitter?

    There are 8 Things You Need to Know About Twitter and Business according to John Mancini, president of AIIM International.   Twitter is more than instant messaging because it has a world wide reach.  You need to keep your business purpose in mind and understand the use of hashtags when using this web 2.0 tool.  There are some contracting firms getting their feet wet, and using a twitter account like Leobuild that posts press releases and some news in hopes of driving traffic to the Leopardo website.  So while I haven’t found a construction firm hugging the tweetdeck wholeheartedly, but how ’bout an A/E firm? 

    HOK, a prominent architectural firm launched HOK life last year using blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and more. It’s more about extending the conversatation. They tweet about HOK media coverage, employee’s accomplishments, project stories, publications, new hires and more. They are branding their firm as “the best firm to work for” and a place where new technology is embraced.  They build links between tweets & blogs, pulling you into the conversation and encouraging discussions, improving relationships and personalizing their firm.   Their employees use these tools during work hours, their purpose is clear and their company rules are few.  Do you think they have talent chasing them?

    Twitter is just one of the web 2.0 tools out there that is underutilized by the construction industry.  In my efforts to educate contractors I use Twitter and LinkedIn to announce seminars and other events including an upcoming  Lunch N’ Learn entitled, “Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Networking/Social Media in the Construction Industry”  at the American Subcontractors Association office in Phoenix on August 18th. 

    Are you interested but can’t attend in person?  There will be a webinar announced in the near future.  I’d also be interested in contracting firms that are using web 2.0 tools extensively in the USA.  I welcome the comments.

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