The Great Recession left a lasting impact on professionals involved in place making -- some estimates put the number of architects that have left the profession at 50% or more since 2005.
In this new landscape the old way of marking and communication is being replaced by the next generation that are more social and collaborative than their predecessors. While the bosses are playing a round of golf that may or may not get the next job, the next generation are exploiting new ways to collaborate and build global relationships.
The new way of selling of ourselves is where New Media for Designers and Builders, by Steve Mouzon, comes into play, presenting field-tested how-to’s in utilizing multiple new media nodes in a coordinated strategy of marketing.
While this is a book written for those with little experience in using new media (if you found this post via twitter the book may not be for you) there are topics that Steve touches upon that are applicable to all.
A few comments on being #remarkable
The post-Great Recession new normal has transformed how we work. Better. Faster. Cheaper firms no longer have the advantage. In order to distinguish ourselves, we need to be remarkable in some way. Part of this, as described in the book, is in finding a need and filling it. Other strategies include promoting your thought leaders - those with special skills and knowledge of certain topics that can contribute to sharing and reaching new markets and users. If you are a single person office, that's you; if you are a multiples person office, that may be the new staff hire with specialized knowledge or digital fabrication. The point is to capitalize on your talent.
A persistent theme that runs through out the book (and new media in general) is collaboration. Have to miss a conference because of a deadline? No problem. Follow along via the #tweetchat. Need help with an unfamiliar construction detail or obscure book title? No problem. Tweet about it, email the list serve, or check out an online forum. Whichever method you choose, Steve's book can help you achieve the best results. It's a two way street though: just as others are sharing their knowledge, you have to keep up your end of the deal and share back. This book will help you do that.
How to get the book
Unlike Steve’s other books, New Media for Designers and Builders is an iBook available through Apple’s iBookstore, with a Kindle version available soon. iBooks Author, a free app by Apple used to create iBooks, combined with the iBookstore, does for self-publishing what PageMaker and a laser printer accomplished for desktop publishing: the ability to write and publish books for a fraction of the cost, time, and energy used in the traditional old method.
Advantages are numerous: syncing page location across your iOS devices (and soon Mac in OS X Mavericks); notification updates when new versions are available; and comments that can be truly interactive. One advantage the book leverages is the ability in linking to outside information - it’s very helpful to go directly to the amazon link of a referenced idea. I’ve already downloaded a handful of Kindle title samples of interesting books referenced in Steve's book.
It will be interesting to see how a book with a strictly digital distribution model will do, especially when the target market may not be on the cutting edge of technology. Sure, a .PDF version is available for download, but the real value and experience comes through on the iPad. That said, even if you are well-versed in new media, Steve’s book is a valuable resource in the breath of reference material linked throughout and the ideas shared are applicable to beginners and experts alike.