In the middle of 2008, four people started a Twitter conversation about how people in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sectors might be able to use social media tools and techniques to plan, design, construct, operate and maintain a better, more sustainable built environment. These early exchanges led to the formation of a social media advocacy movement,Be2camp, with which I have been involved ever since.
Over the past 30 months, Be2camp has organised 15 events, combining face-to-face with digital interaction and sharing as much content as possible online. Hundreds of people have attended our ‘unconferences’ and lots of new and interesting applications of Web 2.0 approaches have been identified. The logical next step was to highlight some of the best examples of social media in the AEC and related sectors, and so we have launched the Be2awards: the world’s first awards for social media in the built environment.
The Awards programme is being run in a concentrated six-week period, and is distinctly social. We won’t be following the approach of most awards programmes – no cosy decisions made by judges in private here. Instead, the Be2 award nominations are being sourced from you, our “crowd”, and will be voted upon by the same “crowd”: you. The intention is to get a wide spread of nominations and then to encourage shortlisted candidates to mobilise their supporters once online voting begin.
However, we really want to get the message out as widely as possible. You can help by tweeting or blogging about the awards, by sponsoring an award, or by nominating someone for an award (yourself, your company, a client, a blogger who’s output you like, a Twitter feed you enjoy, an application that you can’t do without, etc, ).
Of course, awards are great for marketing and public relations, and there are also two categories for PR and marketing professionals. If you work in these fields, this is your chance to be highlighted for your successful use of social media as part of an AEC industry campaign.