Earlier this summer, I wrote about London-based construction collaboration technology vendor Asite‘s revamped website and its new social media features (see also ‘Extranet’ vendors getting social?). Three months later, I had a quick look to see how the Asite community has been developing….
- Blog posts have been a bit slow in coming. Three in June, one in July, none in August and one more (so far) this month.
- After a June Tweet about the company’s Summer 09 release, there was no Twitter activity until earlier this month (just seven – so far – in September). Asite is following five people and its corporate Twitter feed has 27 followers (at least two staff have their own Twitter accounts, and are slightly more active).
- There has been a little more recent action on the video front. A Fox Business Network news feature on Asite in the USA is available on YouTube, as is a short video about using Asite’s AppBuilder to select the winner of a prize draw from contributors to an online poll.
- That online poll – which collated 81 votes – was in the Asite forum or discussion board. To date, 20 topics have been opened in the forum, 80% of them in the Platform and Product Development section. Perhaps not surprisingly, with an iPod Nano at stake, the Asite survey was the most popular item generating almost as many replies as the rest of the topics put together, and stimulating some additional feedback on potential system improvements – an example of how firms can ‘crowd-source’ ideas about their products from their end-users.
- The Asite Wiki (which appears mainly to be a glossary of IT-related terms) does not get widely used. It has been updated just eight times since June, and only one edit has been by somebody outside Asite.
So there are some mixed messages coming from Asite’s social media efforts. The discussion forum is receiving some traffic, with people contributing a few topics and viewing lots of the posts, and the recent YouTube uploads has resulted in more than 300 views of its two most recent videos. Early signs are that the blog, Twitter feed and Wiki could all do better, but it is still early days. As a PR, marketing and social media practitioner in the AEC sector, I tell clients that Web 2.0 is not about short-term wins; firms need to prepared for the long haul, and need to work proactively to establish and maintain conversations and relationships with individuals in their communities.
I would urge Asite’s bloggers to read and comment upon other bloggers’ output, to participate in conversations about Asite-related niche themes or interests elsewhere. This would help boost awareness of the Asite blog, and might also stimulate further Asite blog posts (see my Should every business have a blog? post).
Similarly, Twitter activity could be ratcheted up a notch or two; by identifying a few more people to follow, and by contributing useful updates, links, etc, Asite’s Twitter feed could become more conversational and more than just another outlet for corporate announcements. Lack of personality is a common issue with corporate Tweeters, so Asite could (a) ensure its corporate ID is adopted by one named individual who becomes familiar as the “voice” of Asite and/or (b) have individuals profiled as Asite employees using Twitter more frequently (see Should every business twitter?).
On the more conventional marketing front, Asite is involved with BuildLONDONlive again. It was one of the organisers of BLL 2008 in June last, and is helping run the event again this year, which is being run 6-8 October [Update: now postponed to 15-17 December 2009 (see BLL blog post) – Be2camp text below amended accordingly].
Social media is again being employed. The BLL Twitter feed has been revived from its hibernation after the 2008 event, and is (so far) following six people and has amassed 61 followers; BLL forums (run on the Asite platform) are being used currently to match-make teams and participants; the BLL blog had four posts last week when the competition’s registration opened, but nothing since; and the BLL YouTube channel features two videos about last year’s event.
BLL meets Be2camp?
On its original dates, BLL 2009 was to have coincided with Be2camp@ WorkingBuildings2009, a two-day social media ‘unconference’ event that I am helping to organise at London Olympia on 7-8 October. As a result, I was talking to my friends at Asite about some kind of cross-promotion between the two events, and I am hopeful that we may be able to feature a speaker from BuildLONDONlive at one of the Be2camp sessions.
Certainly, I think there is a lot of potential synergy between the two events. Both are focused on using technology to enable sharing and collaboration upon information about the built environment, and I know some Be2camp participants may well be interested in participating in BLL or at least seeing how far any of the BLL teams go in their embrace of Web 2.0 to support their teamwork.