CONSTRUCT Blogger’s Panel 2014

We were pleased to once again attend the CONSTRUCT’s Blogger Panel at the annual CSI Convention happening this week in Baltimore.

The moderator was Eric Lussier, who has his own blog at Eric D. Lussier.

The panel this year consisted of:

Why these leaders started blogging ranged from Sheldon feeling it was a natural progression from writing newsletters to Lori trying to educate architects about hardware. Marvin started a blog due to some chapter leadership turmoil and Cherise always wanted to be a writer as a child. The best answer was from David – “as a form of anti-Twitter”.

The answer to how often should a blogger post also varied from being very structured to Cherise posting when the voices in her head got too loud.

Everyone agreed that anyone wanting to start a blog just needs to do it. Blogs tend to take a path of their own and you can’t make every post perfect. You don’t even need to take one path.

An interesting point Eric brought up was he considers Twitter the perfect format for micro-blogging.

When David initially tried Twitter he couldn’t get the hang of it. When he started promoting his blog he finally found his voice with CSI activities. He also used Twitter during conferences to take notes and then used Storify to capture his and other tweeters notes in order to pass along to his staff. He uses his clients questions as the spark for content.

Lori started her blog 5 years ago as a way to help the architectural community understand what was perceived as the dreaded hardware division. Her blog has become a go to source for many in the AEC community. Her employer finally came to the realization that that was she was doing wasn’t rogue marketing, it was actually helping to educate the building community.

Sheldon has two blogs as do other panelists. He has been writing blogs before there were blogs. Initially his subjects were computers. Now he writes about Master Builders and where the industry is going. His posts are in-depth and thought provoking. He wants to use some of those mistakes we all experience on projects for content but in a positive light, which can be challenging.

Twitter has gotten so mainstream that Marvin checks it first thing in the morning while his coffee is brewing. From there he can check the highlights of the world. Marvin also moderates a 2nd blog, the Felt Tips, which is a supplemental to the Baltimore CSI chapter newsletter.

Cherise is the newbie in the group having started her blog after last years Blogger’s Panel and lots of encouragement from Eric. She likes the winding path her posts takes and doesn’t write for a specific audience in mind though she uses tags on her posts so people can find them.

Most of the bloggers use Blogspot or WordPress to host their blog but LinkedIn has also started experimenting with allowing users to post blogs.

It is difficult to equate how many panic devices has been sold due to a specific post Lori has written. Certainly blog traffic can be measured but the return on investment is really more about return on relationships.  All the bloggers take pride in how they have  strengthened their industry by promoting and educating through their blogs.

CSI also takes blogging seriously as this is the 2nd year they have hosted this panel. We thank them for this opportunity to learn and grow from others in the AEC community.