About a year ago, at the SIIA OnDemand Europe conference, Tony Ryan, CEO of UK-based construction collaboration technology vendor Asite, said the company would shortly be launching a whole new website concept, building on web 2.0 (“Sales and Marketing 2.0,” he called it). I mentioned it soon after in my ExtranetEvolution blog, but didn’t anticipate it being a year before the site launched. Nonetheless, Asite’s new community site finally appeared on Saturday morning (see EE blog post).
The community homepage has a very clean, professional appearance, summarising the latest forum posts, and displaying posts in the ‘A-blog‘ (first article by Tony), a Twitter feed (two tweets in the past six weeks), links to Asite YouTube videos and a listing of news and events. There is also a wiki (though at this early stage it is little more than a glossary).
I was going to respond to Tony’s first blog post with a congratulatory message but the blog didn’t appear to allow comments – at least not until after I had obtained a login and password and keyed them in. I then wrote a short message and got a response saying my comment would be held for review by a moderator (a common sense approach, I suppose, to avoid anonymous abuse of the community space).
In my comment to Tony I asked if the Web 2.0 approach might be carried through to features in Asite’s core application (perhaps project blogs and project Twitter feeds? Maybe discussion forums for individual projects? Perhaps a wiki repository of best practice like the one that BSD recently launched? – see A welcome wiki). What I had in mind was the potential to integrate Web 2.0 into the fabric of applications used in everyday construction project delivery (this is already being done by at least one vendor in the manufacturing ICT sector – see EE blog), assuming, of course, that AEC professionals and their employers have the inclination to use such communication channels.
It is, of course, very early days in the development of the Asite community, so I will be returning to have a look at how it develops, and perhaps comparing it with other construction-related Web 2.0 initiatives.