Is the new Linkedin app a game changer?

I must admit I have had a love hate relationship with Linkedin.

Loved it for its contact management relationship building power and the amazing groups which I see as modern digital communities of practice, Hated it for the clunky nature of searching – you have to go looking for interesting updates, even the email alerts prove too spammy as they only tell you an update has been made, not its content.

Until recently it hasnt fitted into my online workflow as say Twitter or Flipboard has (scan, save to instapaper, read offline at leisure then archive to Evernote)

I say until recently … the new iPad Linkedin app I am begining to see as a game changer. It has been designed as a morning feed app – ie you can bring yourself up to date with news from your contacts and updates to groups over a morning coffee, and note interesting articles for reading later, With a similar concept to Flipboard, it brings a brand new look and feel to the social network, and its a pleasure to use.

Since using the iPad app I have discovered much more function and ease in using Linkedin, for example running conversations through the message function, and I have been using Linkedin on other devices for a good number of years.

I am looking forward to learning more user tips from expert Su Butcher at our Linkedin/Twiiter training workshop in Manchester next week. See you there?

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Green Deal Update Sources

Slowly green deal details are emerging.  A number of people and organisations have asked me for good reliable Green Deal update sources.  Across the web the situation still seems very patchy and I guess will remain so until we have further news from the government on the Energy Bill and release of PAS 2030 for consultation for example.

UPDATE: PAS 2030 Issued for Consultation

However, here is my list of sources as a starter for 10.  If you have any to add (that are informative rather than outright service/product/training ‘sell’) please add to comments and I will incorporate.

DECC Green Deal 

DECC Green Deal Advisory Forums

Energy Savings Trust Green Deal 

Green Deal Guide Green Deal Guide

Microgeneration MCS Certificate Scheme

Asset Skills – Green Skills

The Guardian Sustainable Business Built Environment Hub

Social Media (Blogs, Forums and Twitter):

Green Deal Linkedin Forum

Fairsnape (this blog)  eg: CSR – the hard, the soft and the CSR

Great Green Deal (PB Energy Solutions Blog)

Green Deal Twitter List (curated by me @fairsnape)

Green Deal News Weekly (Twitter  based Paper.li) (curated by me @fairsnape)

Green Deal Providers (Blog)

Future Fit Blog 

Construction in Crisis? BIM the solution?

Construction in crisis? buildings too complex? communication of knowledge rapidly changing? (Thoughts from the road)

Whilst I have long being a supporter of the need for the aims of BIM, it has been as seeing BIM as a technoloy to enable and enhance, better, improve collaborative working, not in a means to itself. In fact many agree collaboration in a digital age is or should be 80% people 20% technology.

In other blog posts here I have mentioned my thoughts on how BIM should in fact be FIM, Facilities Information Modelling, as the models set out or should set out the way the facilities will be used, managed, improved, adapted over time etc, not just the building. Ie the people aspects of building use. ( a recent example from a building designed on CAD, not quite BIM, being a student quiet zone for thinking and meditation littered with in the face fire exit signs and a large red fire panic button)

That BIM is being seen with both fear and salvation is interesting but not surprising, it will after all change the way the built environment sector works, and importantly works together and collaborates.

And yet BIM is perhaps just as the word processor is to creative writing, it may enable the articulation but not the creativity.

For BIM to be effective the people issues and desire for collaborative working need to be in place, to be well grounded and to be effective. To leap straight into BIM can be as ineffective as trying to write a creative masterpiece just because we have a new tool or piece of software available in the toolbox

Admist all the noise, news and promotion of BIM as a technology its therefore refreshing to read Randy Deutsch brilliant, BIM and Integrated Design, but perhaps his short but powerful summary that not only sums the book, but provides light on issues facing design, construction and fm. (extract below but view the article here: http://ow.ly/1vVNMJ)

(Update: Randy has reminded me You can read the first chapter here. Or buy a copy discounted online at Amazon, at your local bookstore or from the publisher.)

 

Q: How would you summarize your book in a single sentence?

A: The focus throughout this book is on people and the strategies they use to manage and cope with the transition to the new digital technology and the collaborative work process it enables as they initially adopt and then take the technology and process to a higher plane.

Q: Why do we need a book like this now?

A: There’s a crisis not only in the economy but in the profession. Buildings are becoming more and more complex and the way we communicate knowledge to one another is changing. At the same time the construction world is going through enormous changes, so is our environment.

We’ll only be able to tackle today’s complex problems through collaboration, and that takes work and a prepared mindset. You have to be disciplined, can’t just show up and wing it. Your teams’ efforts have to be coordinated and integrated. I noticed that there is a gap in learning along these lines in the profession and industry and this book seeks to fill it.

Q: There are a number of books that cover the subject of BIM. How is this one different?

A: Most books on BIM cover the technology or business case while this one focuses on the process that enables the highest and best use of the technology. BIM and Integrated Design focuses on the people side of the change equation, addressing BIM as a social and firm culture process and does so in four distinctive ways:

it addresses people problems, human issues, issues of communication and collaboration, firm-culture issues, issues of motivation and workflow related to working in BIM;

it explores the most commonly encountered obstacles to successful collaboration, as well as the challenges this technology and process create for individuals and organizations in their labor toward a comprehensive, successful BIM adoption and implementation;

it describes the social impacts and implications of working in BIM on individuals and firms, and how to overcome real and perceived barriers to its use; and

it discusses challenges to BIM collaboration including interoperability, workflow, firm culture, education, technological challenges, working in teams, communication, trust, BIM etiquette, one model versus multiple models, cost, and issues concerning responsibility, insurance, and liability.

Use of social media can lead to innovative #smworkplace employees

Following my last blog on Social Media in the workplace two very interesting links have come to light:

From Business Insider:

As elaborated by the Harmon research on social media productivity … inclusive collaboration will unleash huge organizational potential for knowledge discovery with benefits including greater innovation, reducing time spent searching for information and elimination of duplicated effort.

and

Innovation comes also by multidisciplinary collaboration … with … social media are a means to this end, obstructing this opportunity will do more harm than good in the long term. Adaptation and transformation of people, processes and technology will have to occur sooner or later, because both the organization and the competitive landscape will demand this.

(my emphasis)

And from Tools for internal communications back in Jan 2010:

Melcrum have also begun a major research project into the use of social tools for internal communications; initial findings confirm “widespread adoption, a clear business case and visible return on investment for communicators.”

“Many organizations have now moved beyond the experimentation phase and begun embedding social media into the way they do business,” said Victoria Mellor, CEO of Melcrum. “There is a fundamental shift happening with how information flows inside an organization. Peer-to-peer online networks are enabling real-time feedback from employees to inform decision-making, not to mention facilitating collaboration between remote workers,” she added.

social media in the workplace

Workplaces need social media. Martin Pickard @FMGuru posted a question on twitter this morning on (should we) use Social Media in the Workplace in preparation for a debate this week. These debates are happening across all sectors, particularly so within the built environment, but I find it odd that we are have these debates at all and wonder:

  • What do I tell my son who is learning how to use facebook and how to blog at school, with QR codes to promote school sports day results, that when he starts work he wont be allowed to use such skills?
  • Did we have these discussions when the telephone or fax was introduced. (Lets send a hand written note around, get people together to explore whether we should allow the telephone on to sites)
  • Or indeed when email was introduced. I work with construction contractors who still do not allow computers on site, emails are send to an info@ address, printed in the head office and taken to sites by the contracts manager. We laugh at this now, but are we doing the same on social media?

Lets think about social media as collaboration and communication. Do we really want to have a debate as to whether we need ‘communication’ in the work place? Or whether we want people to work together, to collaborate?

Increasingly we shore up our policies and employee guidelines preventing the use of social media rather then guidelines on responsible behaviour. Better to have a workforce of ambassadors across social media than a frustrated annoyed workforce who criticise or worse during their own time or in their lunch times?

If we start to use the expression of ‘Real Time Web’ rather than social media it opens the door to thinking about using it as a tool for learning, sharing, communicating and gathering the intelligence an organisation needs (market, client, comptetitors, innovations etc)

Google have enabled Real Time as part of their search options. Staff can now see who has tweeted, blogged or shared anything they search for. Should we hence prevent the use of Google.  We cannot stop the use of social media or real time web, are we (as employers, managers, directors etc) just trying to stick more and more fingers in the soon to break dam?

Reading the traits of successful collaborative leaders for a piece of work with an innovative construction organisation and I see time and time again that a collaborative leader, (to which most built environment leaders would profess to be) is one that is connected, internally and externally across many sectors, through, yes, social media as well as traditional media. (Blog post to come)

Increasingly I am working with organisations who are waking up to the use of social media applications to improve winning work potential, from gathering leads/market/client/competitor intelligence, to gathering evidence for PQQ’s (from eg project blogs) to collaborative writing of responses and much more. (Follow me on @fairsnape for more on this)

Related links:

Using social media can help boards be better on sustainability. (CSRWire Talkback Blogpost)

Why FM needs to go social (a @be2camp FMX Article with @EEPaul)

Top 10: uses of social media to win work (check back after 23rd June after my session with Lancs Construction Best Practice Club)

The future is influence? my thoughts from #commschat

I listened in and contributed to a great twitter @commschat debate yesterday evening. The main focus of the chat was around the importance of influence and the place of Peerindex with @azeem.

Part of the commschat transcipt can be found here

Whilst the chat seemed aimed more at PR professionals (which I confess, I am not) a lot of the more technical comments passed me by, but one or two gems started me thinking, or rather confirmed some of my thinking on the importance of influence Particularly as social media use becomes more main stream in the built environment. Here then are my thoughts.

One take away was the concept of ‘Peer Influence Leaders’ which I now see as increasingly important in PR and indeed in social media generally.

A while ago I supported a Macmillan group in the Midlands on awareness of the use of social media in their fund raising activities. I suggested they look for the top 50 influential tweeters within their area and start following, start conversations, pick up on the twitter buzz and link their funding activities accordingly.

Until recently it has been difficult to determine just who are the top (twitter) influencers are in the built environment (construction, design, FM etc But with the curation of the tCntop100 lists for construction and architects we are starting to get an understanding.

OK we may not fully understanding the scoring or alogorithms yet, and the movement in the rankings (that would have kept Fluff Alan Freeman happy for many pop pickers) suggests influence is a fluid, transient thing. Indeed as mentioned yesterday it has to be earnt and sustained.

Now if construction, design, and FM organisations and or their PR companies look to get a good message, new product, award, sustainable achievement into the industry then by engaging with the say top 50 for that discipline, who in turn are more likely to retweet, mention or comment onward to their peers would make brilliant sense. Conversely are those not engaging with these influences are missing an increasingly important element of PR

In a chat with Paul Wilkinson @EEPaul, earlier today on this subject, Paul mentioned the concept of ‘Amplifiers’ ie those whose influence is such that they can amplify messages. I like this concept, and when coupled with a maven ….

This of course could bring additional pressure to those on the (tCn top100) lists who would not want to be used as PR publicity retweeters, and reinforces the need for engaging, building trust and relationships.

And, one comment at #commschat  that I am still thinking through from @EbA :

 @fairsnape: Excellent point @EbA: @azeem where does emotional intelligence come in? If at all #CommsChat

Thoughts and comments very welcomed …

Will BIM move to FIM? (Webinar 16/4/10)

The concept of a Facilties Information Model as a more encompassing, arching umbrella model to a Building Information Model has been discussed over the last few years, but with little (public) evidence of use in practice.

I guess in some ways it reflects the larger discussion between construction and facilties management, between the provision of buildings and use of buildings. And, as in practice we see FM and endusers taking a more prominent role in design and construction, we will see BIM become Facilities Information Models.

Good then to see the public debate and webinar How Owners are using BIMStorms scheduled for 16th April: (Info from BIMStorms:)

Owners are looking at BIM in a much broader way, beyond just design and construction. Learn how everyone can learn how to work with information in BIM that brings greater value to owners for the full life-cycle of projects.

Linking Business Requirements to BIM
Early Planning
Design and Construction
Facility Management
Real time sensor data connected to BIM
Managing a portfolio of projects using Real Time BIM data
Creating a feedback loop to work with existing buildings in BIM

Please join us in this webinar that will show how owners such as The Los Angeles Community College, GSA, US Coast Guard, School Districts, are using BIMStorm and the Onuma System to define projects, interact with architects and manage lifecycle information.

April 16
9:00 AM Pacific
10:00 AM Mountain
11:00 AM CT
12:00 PM Eastern
4:00 PM London
5:00 PM Oslo
1:00 AM Tokyo (April 17)

This blog post will be updated after the webinar.