It seems like just a few weeks ago I was in Phoenix for the first time. Then a few weeks before that was Chicago. It turns out that PHX was 1 year ago this month and the Windy City was one year before that. It is incredible how fast time has flown over the last few years. My daughter has become a Tween, my once newborn son has entered the ‘Terrible Two’s’ and we now have a 1 month old daughter on our hands. They say the older we get, the faster time goes. I’m not so sure I’m ready for that.
I am ready to go to Nashville this month, though. The reason being for the same event that I went to Arizona last year and Chicago the year before that: CONSTRUCT. The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Annual National Convention and Tradeshow attracts the ‘Who’s Who’ from the AEC community. Especially those that look to educate themselves and others all while meeting up with friends that get together all to sparingly. Camaraderie is strong and the willingness to share is even stronger in CSI. Dozens of the AEC industry’s thought leaders are set to speak with over 50 seminars slated over four days this coming September 24th through the 27th. That is coupled with a Tradeshow that is truly about learning, sharing and educating. Complete with a Learning Pavilion and hundreds of exhibitors eager to share the latest in building products, CONSTRUCT has quickly become my only can’t miss convention of the year.
My schedule is fairly full from the start on Tuesday morning, September 24th, straight through to Friday, September 27th. Seminars on specifications, marketing, relationships and more fill my time. Thursday could be a highlight of the stay with not only a TweetUp at 2pm in the CSI Booth 435 , but also a private event at the Country Music Hall of Fame hosted by the Nashville Chapter of CSI. Thousands will be converging on Nashville for this event. While most are strangers to each other, all have the mission of CSI in mind: “to advance building information management and education of project teams to improve facility performance”.
Those that I feel closest to are connected through the digital realm. We may not share a Chapter, but we do share the mission and the love of social media. Through Tweets, webinars, LinkedIn Groups, TweetChats, Facebook posts and more, a core group of CSI Tweeps keep in touch digitally, but utilize CONSTRUCT as our reunion and homecoming all tied into one. The big event has not even started and plans are underway for TweetUps, blogging panels and perhaps the Grand Finale – a post CSI Honors & Awards Gala on Friday night. Keep your ears peeled for details on that!
It’s not too late to attend this can’t miss event. It’s only three weeks out and we all know how fast time goes by. Visit http://constructshow.com for more information on attending. If you can’t attend, be sure to tune into the #CONSTRUCT hashtag.
Is society to blame for the “I want it and I want it NOW’ entitlement that some people possess? Technology is speeding out of control and has put us in the fast lane for everything. The answer you seek once took extensive research and perhaps a visit to a library – whether the architectural library or the community library – and that answer is now at the tip of your fingers.
Google has completely changed the way we live, whether you are a user or not. As I tweeted this morning “Google is the modern day Big Brother. They are EVERYWHERE. Matter of are you trying to hide or be found?” Even if you live completely off the grid, I’m not even sure you can hide from Google. How easy is it to be found nowadays? While addressing Christmas cards last night, I was missing a few addresses. Within 3 minutes, I had the 3 addresses I need. So, if you can’t hide, you might as well try to be found.
Being in construction sales and marketing, it is my job to be found. Whether a specifier needs an architectural specification or an interior designer needs samples for their charette, I need to be Googleable, as do my keywords. When one of these parties reach out, what is the proper expectation for my response time? With smart phones, tablets and constant internet connectivity, my job is no longer 8 to 5, Monday through Friday. Even though that is what I am paid for, my job is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. And if I don’t make myself available 24/7/365? My competitor most likely will. Even though the specifier or interior designer gives a window of opportunity for me to respond, I know the early bird still gets the worm. It goes along with search engine results when you are looking for something. How often do you click through to page 2? Chances are, you are clicking on page 1 and you are finding what you are looking for within seconds.
This all ties back to our instant gratification society that we now live in. The internet and social media are entirely to blame for the ”I want it and I want it NOW’ entitlement that we live in. You can embrace it wholeheartedly or you can continue to live in denial. Our constant connectivity is not going anywhere and if anything, is getting worse. Our car dashboards are no longer just speedometers and odometers. Google Glass is on the horizon. You can choose to accept it all or get left behind. I choose to live and accept the former and am excited at the continued possibilities.
My absolute love of Social Media does absolutely nothing to help my attention span, which at times reminds me of Reid, my 15 month old son.
Trying to keep on top of the latest and greatest in Social Media requires one to be on their toes and be willing to dapple in what fancies you. How do you know what to pay attention to if you don’t give it a try? The older I get, the less I can concentrate for longer than 5 minutes it seems. I haven’t investigated Adult ADHD, but I wouldn’t be overly surprised if I have at least some form of it. So, if I’m introduced to a new Social Media platform and see a value in it, I’m on it. The platforms that stick, at least with me, are the ones that are most user friendly. Facebook (although that is more personal than business, Twitter and Pinterest all come to mind. I do like the visual and text blend of all three.
I have started no less than 3 blogs now in 3 different locations. The first was on ericdlussier.com, the 2nd was here on WordPress and now I have just started a Tumblr page. Tumblr is (to quote Wiki), a service that allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. I think I can already see what appeals to me as the visual aspect is what is featured first and foremost (hence, my love of Pinterest).
One of these days I think I need to sit down and concentrate on one spot and one location, at least for my blog. Is there such thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to Social Media? I think so. But for the time being it is all about being found, if someone is looking. So, if you are looking, you have found me.
Take your pick. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, WordPress, Tumblr or on my own website
While the verdict may be out about the ultimate value of Social Media, there is no denying the power and influence.
How did you find out about Osama Bin Laden's death? I found out on Twitter perhaps the moment it hit (Thanks @DrFunkenberry). No longer do we wait until the newspaper drops on the stoop in the morning. No longer do we wait for news websites to be updated. We can now go to Twitter and either in your feed, or with a quick search, you have complete access to what 200 million people are saying.
It's not all "I had toast for breakfast today" or "I'm taking my dog for a walk". Twitter is now millions of news agencies delivering the news AS IT HAPPENS. I personally use and adore Twitter. Rather than hunting through numerous news sites, I can go to one location and get all of my updates. If you use an RSS feeder, think of it as an RSS feed on steroids.
Sign up. It's free. Sit back and follow actors, musicians, politicians, news agencies or whatever interests you. You don't have to join the conversation, but it's much more interesting if you do.
Oh, and if you sign up, find me @EricDLussier
Things have been a bit hectic over the last few months, as my girlfriend and I welcomed our son, Reid Ernst Lussier, on March 8, 2011. Things are going terrific and it is absolutely amazing how one little person that didn't exist in the outside world one day, can come forth and completely steal your heart in just a moments time.
Reid was born in Vermont and as a result, Annika and I were there from January 30 to March 24. An extremely long time to be away from home - that being Lititz, Pennsylvania. With bad timing on my part taboot, as February 2011 was the snowiest on record in Burlington, VT. Further, Reid was born in the aftermath of the third largest snowfall in Burlington, VT history.
Annika and I are very thankful to be back in Lititz but do miss our families a great deal, as almost all of the direct and extended family are still in upstate Vermont. We hope to be back in Vermont as much as possible, but how much travelling can you safely do with a newborn? We'll see.
For the time being, all is going splendidly. You can follow the day to day happenings of my son on Twitter at www.twitter.com/reidlussier
This post comes much delayed. I have told myself for weeks, heck, even months, that I need to update this. Who knows if it is read by anyone other then myself, but, the question is, does that even really matter?
Your Googleability is no longer an option. Hence, the reason I created this website and blog, thanks to weebly. Google drives decisions and ultimately sales in this day and age, no ifs ands or buts about.
So really all this comes on the heels of one of our manufacturers, who for some reason, does not appear in the first handful of pages of Google results for their prime product. Nowadays, everything helps and just yesterday, Google and Bing both admitted that Twitter and Facebook hits play into their search results. It's easy to say that 95% of the public have access to an internet connection and as a result, our shopping and buying habits have changed immensely. At one point, if you saw a product and liked it, you bought it. Now, if you see a product and like a product, you Google the product. You then research to your hearts content what people have to say about your product. OR, if you don't know what you want to buy, you Google say, "LCD flat-screen TV" and let the results lead the way.
Some people get it, some people don't. It's really a shame, because in 2010, you have no excuse not to be one of the latter. What will 2011 bring?
The old adage is really true. So much to do, so little time. The longer I work in Pennsylvania, the more I realize a) how darn big this state is and b) how much I really have to do.
I speak with many product reps that have a territory that is a fraction of what I cover, or I speak to a firm that has dozens of people doing what I do over the same area. Sometimes the more I think of it, the heavier the burden seems. It tends to work best when I just go about my business and not overthink things. If it were only that easy.
Surround yourself with a good support team, use technology to your advantage and do your best. If that was only that easy as well.
I've discovered a few pieces of technology that have helped me in the social media struggle and that is TweetDeck from Seesmic and now Gist. If you haven't checked out either and you are an active Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn junkie like myself, give them a whirl.
That being said, I am still in love with my Droid, too. I miss my BlackBerry Pearl sometimes, but the Droid really is where it's at.
I must find more topics to write about and time to do so.
The miscellaneous ramblings of Eric D. Lussier, CSI, CDT