Tweetchat Week: w/c 4th Feb 2014

images (1)Next week is shaping up to be a brilliant week of tweetchats and twitter based conversations.

Checkout:

European Green Build

First up on Tuesday 4th Feb I will be interviewing  Building the Future (based in Catalonia, Romania and Brazil) with @C21EXPO_Europe as part of the Construction21 Euro Green Build virtual Expo tweetchat series. We will be discussing sustainability communities in the built environment.

>>> Join this conversation on this chat at 11am UK, 12 CET using the hashtag #ExpoC21Chat

Sustainability Stakeholder Engagement

Later the same day at 7 pmUK (11am PT and 2pm ET)  I am delighted to be in conversation with Peggy Ward, sustainability officer at Kimberley Clark. Peggy, based in Appleton WI, USA will be explaining how Kimberly Clark engage with and learn from their stakeholder groups. This conversation is part of the monthly Sustainable Leadership Conversations series created by Andrea Learned and Martin Brown (see our Google+ community pages)

>>> Join with this conversation on the 4th Feb at 11am PST, 2pm ET and 7pm UK using the #sustldrconv hashtag

Living Building Challenge with the UKGBC PinPoint

And then, on the 6th February, as part of the UKGBC’s Pinpoint programme taking place 3-7 Feb to increase awareness of The Living Building Challenge in the UK with UKGBC members, we will be hosting, with @UKGBC Pinpoint, a conversation with Amanda Sturgeon, VP of the Living Building Challenge at the International Living Futures Institute in Seattle.

>>> Join this conversation at 11am PST, 2pm ET and 7pm UK using the #GVischat hashtag.

All of the above tweetchats will run for 60mins and provide ample opportunity to post questions to guests, share your experiences and comment on the subject matter.

We look forward to seeing you there, and if you would like to discuss how tweetchats can promote your organisation or sustainability initiatives please do get in touch.

Also of note next week is the #CSRChat with Susan McPherson on 6th Feb at 5pm UK

iSite Links:

Records of tweetchats and conversations

Are Tweetchats: the new digital benchmarking?

#tweetchats … observations + how to

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Are Tweetchats: the new digital benchmarking?

Twitter has come of age – we are seeing more mature, powerful, innovative and business focused use. In particular open tweetchats. Initially started as open brainstorms around a topic, tweetchats remain a powerful format, latterly they have matured into great learning/sharing conversations / interviews.

Tweet-chats generate great content, enable organisations or individuals to share and learn from others. An exemplar Tweetchat has to be the #CSRChat hosted by Susan McPherson (@susanmcp1) which can be seen as a digital version of the benchmarking visits that were the improvement tool for business back in the 90’s. These chats enable real insight to the CSR, Sustainability of leading organisations, and importantly the opportunity to engage, ask questions, get responses and add experience to the chat topic.

Good tweet chats creat a transcript record or report for future reading. I originally suggested that people just jump into the Tweetchat brainstorm, adding comment, holding small conversations with other attendees, and then … make sense of it afterwards and follow up on links, links and make face to face contact.

We have run some excellent tweetchats and built up a real body expertise, under the hashtags for example #GVisChat, #SustLdrsConv and #EXPOC21chat. In fact our first GVIsChat was way back in 2011. The reach of tweetchats can be impressive, with analytics from organisations such at @Tweetbinder.

What’s not to like? As with all good things there is a bandwagon approach that borders on spam- for example we have seen a rash of tweet-chats themed around a county or town, often tagged #anycountyhour these unstructured events offer little engagement and a free for all of promoting services or products.

#SustLdrConv – a monthly series of conversations around the topic of sustainability leadership, co hosted by Martin Brown @fairsnape in the UK and @AndreaLearned  in the USA. Every Tuesday at 7pm UK 2pm ET and 11am PT

#EXPOc21chat – a series if twitter conversations related to the first European Virtual Green Build expo in February 2014.

Background: #tweetchats … observations + how to

#GVisChat – a monthly conversation supporting the Leeds Sustainability Instiutue Green Vision programme (and host to the Living Building Challenge UK collaborative

Conducted properly tweetchats can be a powerful digital version of benchmarking exercises, of a white paper, enabling a structured interview to air your position, comments and developments whilst allowing for real time input from other topic experts, advocates and practitioners.

Having developed a track record in successful tweetchats, we would be delighted to discuss how these online conversations can greatly assist your wider social media, digital or PR efforts.

Have we picked the low hanging fruit of Sustainable Construction?

low hanging fruitThe mid 90’s saw my first involvement with sustainable construction, as Business Improvement Manager, setting up strategy and awareness programmes for Mowlem Construction, driven it should be noted to address client bid requirements in PFI and Prime Contracting.

At that time Brundtland’s definition from 1987 was fresh and it made good sense to include it in strategies and as a definition.

In hindsight, one of the problems of this approach is that it reinforced the thinking of that time, that environmental management, and by default sustainable construction belonged firmly and squarely within the Health and Safety departments.  A misconception that many organisations still subscribe to, or struggle to move away from.

But, since then, sustainability thinking has moved on from environmental management as H&S add on, to a wider view of sustainability that includes social and business responsibility, ethical procurement and localism and is now heading for a challenging future greener and deeper agenda

It is encouraging to note the move away from what I have referred to as ‘accommodationalist‘ thinking – ie doing only what we are required to do by law, no more no less. In fact this  thinking is now being challenged by the Governments red tape initiative, proposing to remove certain sustainability related legislation

Over the last 7 years I have been supporting organisations map out and chart progress on their ‘Route to Zero‘, identifying actions necessary today, tomorrow and most likely into the future. We may be in the position of being able to say we have picked off the low hanging fruit from the sustainability tree.

Most construction companies now have a sustainability policy and project approaches that are ISO 14001 accredited, to deal with better management of waste,  recording transport construction miles, employing locally and so on.

But now the real work begins, reaching higher into the greener, more dense canopies of the tree, with a new, emerging set of challenging actions that will take us closer to our zero impact ambitions.

Amongst these new challenges we can see:

  • Collaborative and circular economy thinking. For example what if every building improved with age, improved in its function, its resilience, its performance.  Became more ‘durable‘?  Contracts would not only need to cover the design and construction of buildings, but a new form of collaboration between provider and user that included continuous improvement criteria.  Such Circular Economy thinking would force new collaborations across the supply chain, across discipline and with clients.
  • Convergence of data, information rich ICT environments, an Internet of Things linked to metering sensors that will provide real time feedback on performance of the buildings and of the construction process, driving improved and sustainable resource utilisation. Getting us closer to zero waste and  zero carbon emissions.
  • Responsible specification and procurement, that is not only local but considers ethical and most importantly the health impact of building product ingredients. (see the Healthy Product Declaration Standard)
  • Challenging standards, that bring new deep green philosophies and certifications for buildings and facilities, as we see with the Living Building Challenge
  • The inclusion of costing nature within construction projects. ‘Cheap’ buildings may only be cheap because the real social, environmental costs have been externalised for someone else, often society and the public purse to deal with. Time to bring those externalised costs back into the project costs?
  • A mindful built environment sector, or one that has mindfulness, ie ‘in the moment’ awareness of the impact the design, the construction, the maintenance, use and deconstruction of the building will have upon the environment and nature. Mindfulness is a huge and complex topic but an important sustainability concept we will hear far much more of in 2013.

The first Green Vision tweetchat for 2013 will explore some of these issues on the 28th January at 8pm using the hashtag #GVisChat, asking the question are we getting closer to ‘Zero’?

If you would like to know more on how the Fairsnape Route to Zero mapping and charting programme can help your business, please do make contact

Update – Presentation on this theme 

#tweetchats … observations + how to

What is a tweetchat? In my view: a global online brainstorm: a fast paced collection of expert opinion, links, references, questioning, learning but above all sharing around the theme of the chat.

“A tweet chat is a pre-arranged chat that happens on Twitter through tweets that include a predefined hashtag to link those tweets together in a virtual conversation” Formal Twitter tweet chats are arranged in advance and occur at set times. They may include a formal agenda with a specific leader or “speaker”, or they might involve a free flowing discussion between all participants.

Dont attempt to make too much sense of it at the time, dive in, chat and share. Make sense of it later (which makes the output and transcripts very important). A brilliant use of twitter!

Having participated in a number of tweetchats over tha last few months #futrchat, #CSRchat and the more frivolous #sugarfreetweets for example, I recently took on the task of oragnising and facilitaing #GVisChat ‘Future of Energy in Buildings’ for Green Vision.

For an inaugural chat it worked well, with thought leaders and seasoned tweeters conversing and sharing with those who made their first tweet during the chat, which has to be a result.

Here then are my thoughts and observations:

Preparation:

  • Choose a hashtag and check it hasnt been used for another chat.
  • Most hashtags end ‘chat’ which has become a notation for tweetchat.Make the hashtag simple and memorable
  • Get the word out there – through twitter but also through related groups, forums both online and real.
  • Get the time and date agreed: Check there are no other big, subject related chats scheduled around the same time: Balance between working day time (9-5) and a global enthusiast though leader chat: It does seem the popular time is 7, 8 or 9 pm UK time for a global input. (and looking at a recent spreadsheet of existing scheduled chats, USA tweeters would appear to be more comfortable with the tweetchat format.)
  • Have instructions you can point to in order to help participants, for eg: How to take part in a tweet chat and How to join up to twitter (you don’t want to exclude those not on twitter who may see the whole twitter thing a bit of a dark mystery)
  • Agree roles – I think there are three, a facilitator, a subject driver and an amplifer See below  (I did all three so it can be done but … wow – it gets busy)
  • Agree Questions in advance, say 5 or 6 but be prepared to change and flex with the direction the chat may take.

Setting up to capture: 

Register the hashtag with  tweetchat.. Tweetchat provides a nice simple format that puts you in the ‘tweetchat room’ for the chosen hashtag and automatically adds the hashtag. Overall though I find tweetdeck easier to use during the chat.

‘Facilitating’ the chat:

  • Introduce topic, and the first question.  The start of the chat was probably the most ‘awkward’: unlike real meetings there are not many signals to pick up on that people are there and ready to go so you have to dive in. I had a sense of I was waiting for tweeters and they for me to kick off.
  • Welcome – be sure to welcome people as they enter the chat, that is make their first hashtaged contribution
  • Let twitter know the chat is running
  • Feed in the questions – the skill would appear to be in introducing next question at the right time, not too soon or too late – keep the fast pace going…
  • Amplify good points (ie RT and add to)
  • Praise good points being made, thank people for links (as you would in a real world brainstorm)
  • Challenge, question, throw in off the wall out there concepts to widen the discussion (eg future of energy chat led to possibility of building on the moon)
  • Give time checks, especially towards the close  – the 60mins flies past rather swiftly!
  • Watch for contributions from people forgetting or not using the hashtag and RT them so they get into the mix. (and remind people to use the # and Q and A numbering)

During the chat I used tweetdeck so I could have a DM channel open for closed communication with other hosts and a timeline to watch for related tweets from friends who forgot the hashtag!

Post Chat

Use a service such as the brilliant Tweetbinder to capture the tweets as well as statistics on the tweetchat.

Drop the tweets into Storify to create a transcript

Use the tweets and links to craft an interview sytle article for publication on blogs or elsewhere

Thanks:  These are my observations and lessons learnt from organising a tweetchat for the first time. I do hope they help and encourage you to get involved in a chat and to facilitate, they are great fun, generate a real buzz and to me prove the potential business and learning power of twitter is yet to be fully realised

I am indebted to Cindy @Urbanverse, a great friend and seasoned tweetchat expert for help and guidance