Run and Gun…

Are you ready to create your own videos?

By Patty Swisher Posted on November 19, 2013

Are you in a situation that’s ripe for shooting video, but there’s no time for preparation or pause? Do you want to capture real-time quality content, but there’s no time to set up lights, diffusion panels, scrims, and reflectors – let alone hire a professional videographer, write a script, and pay for editing and sound engineering? Welcome to the world of “run and gun” video production; it’s about capturing real-time quality content with no crew, no time, and no (or little) preparation. I talked with Lori Miller, Marketing Leader and Executive Coach at Perkins Eastman, about her first steps into video production. Q: What led Perkins Eastman to create its first set of videos? A: The senior living practice group had...

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So You Have a Twitter Account… Now What?

Navigating this new tool

By Patty Swisher Posted on September 11, 2013

In my first article, I shared the three easy steps to get started with Twitter. Have you followed the steps and signed up? How’s it going?  It has been said that your Twitter account is only as good as your Twitter news feed. Are you following at least 100 people, companies, business publications? These are the sources of information you will receive via Twitter. How useful that information is depends upon whom you select to follow. If you are still a little overwhelmed, here are a few tips to help you get more out of Twitter.  Download Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a free app with a paid upgrade., can be found at www.hootsuite.com, and I am a huge fan! Hootsuite is more than...

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3 easy steps to get started with Twitter

By Patty Swisher Posted on July 10, 2013

Twitter. Tweet. Hashtag. Retweet. What is all this gibberish about the social media platform Twitter? Twitter is a microblogging service created in 2006 and currently has over 500 million registered users generating over 340 million tweets per day – and there are new people joining every day. Today, Twitter has become an excellent source for networking with business contacts, connecting at conferences or events, making new friends, following celebs and TV shows, and learning about breaking news from sporting events to natural disasters as they occur. According to the Twitter Help Center, “the real magic lies in absorbing real-time information that matters to you.” First, a little about vocabulary for Twitter. A tweet is a message that is 140 characters...

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Incorporating Keywords in Your LinkedIn Profile

Taking action to improve your brand

By Patty Swisher Posted on May 21, 2013

The last article was a general introduction about the importance of keywords, and if you had an opportunity to attend the panel presentation on social media at Build Pittsburgh in April, you may have a better understanding of the value and usefulness of keywords. Keywords are those three to five words that define who you are and how you want your clients to know you. Are you familiar with the classic marketing book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding, by Al Ries  and Laura Ries? Law Number 5 says to “own a word”, with examples such as Volvo owning “safety,” or FedEx owning “overnight.” During the seminar, we talked about keywords in relation to LinkedIn profiles. I also recently read...

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Where to Start?

Becoming familiar with social media

By Patty Swisher Posted on December 12, 2012

So, I’ve volunteered to write this regular short post on Social Media in the A/E/C industry for Columns.  My goal is to share lessons learned with you. One of the first challenges is understanding what IS social media?  Here is a post that offers 50 variations on the definition of social media. Social media takes many forms including collaborative projects, blogs and microblogs, content communities, social networking sites, and virtual (game) worlds. You will recognize the ‘big’ social media sites (platforms) and applications including Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and most recently, Pinterest as well as perhaps Flickr, Vimeo, Tumblr, MySpace, and a list of others.  A variety of technologies may be applied when delving into social media including blogs, picture-sharing,...

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AIA Introduces Energy Modeling Guide

In order to help architects more accurately predict the energy consumption in their design projects, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has put together An Architect’s Guide to Integrating Energy Modeling in the Design Process. The guide is an exhaustive, step-by-step map to predicting (and thus reducing) the energy usage of buildings. Written and assembled by a committee of architects, sustainability experts, and government building science officials, as well as AIA staff, the guide surveys a wide swath of the building design and construction industry to present baseline best practices for empirically evaluating the energy performance of buildings. Beyond defining and making a case for energy modeling, this primer walks readers through different types of energy modeling and the individual...

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AIA BIM/Digital Practice Document Update

AIA National asks for your feedback

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has changed the way the construction industry interacts and communicates internally. Project plans have moved beyond two-dimensional design to multi-dimensional models that have parametric capabilities. The American Institute of Architects has commenced an effort to evaluate the continued development and adoption of BIM and the impact it has on contracts. As part of this effort, AIA is updating its BIM and Digital Practice documents for use on construction projects involving digital data or BIM, and have made the updated documents available for public comment. The feedback received will help to deliver the most relevant and complete documents possible. During this unique opportunity, the draft documents are available for review through the AIA Contract Documents website. After...

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Bypassing Architects? Confronting Change in the Information Age

By Mark Dietrick, AIA, LEED AP Posted on July 18, 2012

Several weeks ago, the New York Times published an article that highlighted computer programs that can help owners bypass architects and questioned the wisdom of such an approach.  While our first reaction as architects to this concept and many of the ideas represented in the article is likely absolute abhorrence — architecture is a process that only trained architects may orchestrate — I have spent the last couple of weeks pondering what we can learn from this story and generally what it might mean to be an architect in the information age that is radically transforming our world. Most importantly, I don’t think we can simply ignore it and pass it off as just a small percentage of “DIYers” and...

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Good Design Takes Many Types

By Mark Dietrick, AIA, LEED AP Posted on May 16, 2012

I remember being a freshman in college and my professor telling our design studio that only a small percentage of us would end up “designing” buildings, at least in the way we were thinking of “design”.  He proceeded to tell us of all of the many aspects of the profession and that many of us would end up either having some supporting role within a firm, or would end up being in a separate yet related field altogether. At first, this discussion was a bit disturbing.  What we didn’t understand at that time is the fact that designing and constructing environments is an intensely complicated and dynamic process and that it requires many diverse skills to do it well.  I...

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Collaboration, Come Full Circle

By Eric Osth, AIA, LEED AP Posted on April 15, 2012

At 38 years old, I am a very young architect. But in the terms of the use of digital technology in the practice of architecture, I am relatively old. When I finished my undergraduate studies, I worked in an architectural office that was one of the last offices still assembling construction documents on paper. Ink, pencil, drafting vellum, and blueprints were synonymous with (if not symbols of) the architectural industry for generations before me. And just as I was entering the field, all of these traditional tools were being pushed into a storage closet as our firm followed the industry to incorporate Computer-Aided Drafting Design (CADD) programs into the core of our practice. CADD was a logical upgrade to practice....

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