“Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging (videologging, podcasting, comic drawing etc.!) to draw attention to the achievements of women in technology and science. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines, whatever they do. It doesn’t matter how new or old your blog is, what gender you are, what language you blog in, or what you normally blog about – everyone is invited.” (Finding Ada)
Last year, I wrote about one of my fellow Be2camp co-founders, Pam Broviak, but this year I want to pay homage to someone I met through Be2camp (itself a demonstration of the power of social media in architecture, engineering and construction).
Su Butcher must be the architectural queen of Twitter. She started out training to be an architect, didn’t quite make it, but is now practice manager for Barefoot & Gilles, an architects practice in Ipswich. I first encountered her through Twitter, and she took it upon herself to promote the use of Twitter among architects, creating the Architects Twitter League, among other things.
I first met Su face-to-face when we both participated in an AECnetwork event at the Building Centre last July, but the Twitter contact meant it was like meeting a long lost friend not a first-time get-together. We have since both contributed to other social media events, notably the RIBAForum09 in October, where she gave a killer presentation (see post) on using Twitter (incidentally, one of Su’s co-stars at the RIBA was Suw Charman-Anderson, another occasional Be2camp contributor and the originator of Ada Lovelace Day), and the SMAEC event last month.
In addition to her personal Twitter account and her Just Practising blog, Su manages several other Twitter accounts, has started the Just Professionals blog and a SMAEC group on LinkedIn to help AEC and other professionals learn about social media, and is also helping to organise the first Be2camp East, due to take place in Chelmsford, Essex, on 29 April 2010. Moreover, I have lost count of the number of people who are now friends that I have met (both online and face-to-face) through her; she has inspired many other AEC people to make their first forays into social media; and, from personal experience, her online banter has been inspiring, entertaining and hugely supportive.
Small wonder, therefore, that Su Butcher is my social media and technology hero for Ada Lovelace Day 2010.