In the middle of 2008, four people started a Twitter conversation about how people in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sectors might be able to use social media tools and techniques to plan, design, construct, operate and maintain a better, more sustainable built environment. The outcome of those early exchanges was the formation of a social media advocacy movement, Be2camp (history), with which I have been involved ever since.
Over the past 30 months, Be2camp has organised 15 events, combining face-to-face with digital interaction and sharing as much content as possible online. Hundreds of people have attended our ‘unconferences’ and lots of new and interesting applications of Web 2.0 approaches have been identified. The logical next step was to highlight some of the best examples of social media in the AEC and related sectors, and so we have launched the Be2awards: the world’s first awards for social media in the built environment.
The Awards programme is being run in a concentrated six-week period, and is distinctly social. We won’t be following the approach of most awards programmes – no cosy decisions made by judges in private here. Instead, the Be2 award nominations are being sourced from you, our “crowd”, and will be voted upon by the same “crowd”: you. The intention is to get a wide spread of nominations and then to encourage shortlisted candidates to mobilise their supporters once online voting begins (and we’ve even left open the opportunity for people to suggest a new category or two).
The 2011 Be2Award categories
- Built environment blogger of the Year
- Best sustainability blog
- Best AEC social media blog
- Best use of Twitter
- Best AEC collaboration platform
- Best AEC community, network or application
- Best use of Web 2.0 for construction products
- Best location-based AEC application
- Best ‘internet of things’ application
- Best mobile application
- Best virtual or hybrid event
- ‘Old media/new media’ award
- Best AEC PR campaign
- Best AEC marketing campaign
- Best education and learning award
- ‘Other’ (suggestions please!)
The Awards website was launched last week, with nominations being made via an online discussion forum. This process will be held open for two weeks, with nominations closing on 18 January. From 19 January, we will enable online voting through to midnight GMT on 7 February. The awards will be announced at a Be2camp “unawards” event in London on Wednesday 9 February – a date selected to coincide with London Social Media Week.
Held at the Building Centre, the awards event will also include an ‘unconference’, ConstrucTALKs, featuring some thought-provoking industry speakers on the interfaces between construction and technology, social media and business.
For the winners, securing a Be2 will mean they have successfully gained the recognition and endorsement of a substantial online community, with the merits of their award clear for all to see. The winners will receive a trophy, and a Be2 winner badge that they can display on their website, blog, literature, etc. Additionally, some award categories also feature prizes donated by sponsors – the first big announcement has been the involvement of HP who have offered Designjet 111 printers to the winners of two categories.
Can you help?
Throughout the planning and implementation process, we have been keen to show the power of social media in spreading word of the Be2Awards. There is, of course, a Be2Awards blog (with RSS feed), and you can follow @Be2Awards on Twitter. Details have been posted on LinkedIn, and will be added on Facebook shortly, and the message is also being shared on other networks, including Ning-based communities such as AEC Network and tCn.
However, we really want to get the message out as widely as possible, so if you are interested in helping, please let me know. For example, you can help by tweeting or blogging about the awards, by sponsoring an award, or by nominating someone for an award (yourself, your company, a client, a blogger who’s output you like, a Twitter feed you enjoy, an application that you can’t do without, etc, ).
Of course, awards are great for marketing and public relations, and there are also two categories for PR and marketing professionals. If you work in these fields, this is your chance to be highlighted for your successful use of social media as part of an AEC industry campaign.