Social media for BIM professionals
We love social media! As a matter of fact, we are so hooked into social media, that most of us have several profiles in different social media network, spending countless hours browsing, reading, posting and commenting. With an average of nearly 2 hours per day social media presence for most internet users, it is no wonder that we see more and more specialized platforms, serving a wide array of professional and personal interests.
But how can we talk about professional interests without mentioning BIM? This hot and dynamic topic is continuing to generate vast amounts of news on a daily basis. Every day, the Internet produces an amazing amount of BIM articles, news, surveys and case studies, through which we have to dig up what concerns us the most. In battling such inconveniences niche social media are a great solution replacing the old-fashioned RSS feeds and therfore we shouldn’t miss the oportunity to talk about them.
Today we are interviewing Nathan Hudson, The BIM Hub’s UK Business Manager, and a man who is passionate about BIM and has a broad view on what has been exciting BIM professionals community in 2015.
coBuilder: Could you please present The BIM Hub platform for our readers? What is your mission?
NH: Certainly.The BIM Hub is the first dedicated content driven social media platform for BIM professionals around the world. With an emphasis on “content driven”, as we create produce and aggregate not only news stories, case studies and analysis but we’re also strengthening our position as being the “ultimate” BIM knowledge base too on a daily basis. We create many tools in-house but we also partner with strategic external organisations as well, bringing the very best experience to all of our users all over the globe. On the back of this, new features are added to the platform all the time, and all for the price of free.
coBuilder: Why is it important to talk about BIM?
NH: I think the reward for sharing and collaborating has never been so significant and so great. The only way to become substantially stronger really, is when relevant knowledge is shared and improved upon outright. Given that we have so many shared experiences overall, this collective wisdom now needs to be harnessed more wholeheartedly. Although every building is different many techniques and approaches are the same. So joining other BIM professionals in the true spirit of collaboration will only streamline this value driven experience even further.
coBuilder: Is the average AEC professional BIM-aware?
NH: Yes, definitely. Whether they’re “BIM capable” or not is another matter. But I think industry wide there can’t be more than a handful of people that have yet to hear about it. Polls consistently show that it is on most people’s radar even if they aren’t working with BIM deliverables at present.
coBuilder: What is the BIM topic people got most excited about within The BIM Hub in 2015?
NH: That’s possibly the toughest question of all. The platform is genuinely so content rich that an Architect could spend a month reading entirely different content to a Facilities Manager – so different topics are more popular among different members. This is where the tags and filters come in handy as the content is so well catalogued. But to address the question more specifically then the item that got the most views was “Ten Reasons to BIM” and this was from a total of one and a half thousand. Although many came a close second.
coBuilder: During 2015 all eyes were on the UK with its BIM level 2 mandate coming in place in 2016. What is likely to become 2016’s big BIM story?
NH: That companies who are currently less BIM capable really did take a deep breath, roll up their sleeves and hit their deadlines superbly. If there’s one thing that UK companies can do well then it is to panic at the last minute and just about hit a major deadline right in the nick of time. There will be a major “industry buzz” this year, which will generate wonderful stories, case studies and developments. I think the market will transcend from talking about what it is going to do, to criticising how better it can do what it did, as we move towards a Digital Built Britain.
coBuilder: The BIM Hub is a platform that allows different BIM professionals to share their knowledge through a free article submittal option – how much of the content published in The BIM Hub is original?
NH: A lot of the content is user contributed, which is usually first time uploads or re-purposed items from their own company websites for example. We do collaborate with other editors and merge quality content from other sources as well (and credit this of course) as this is another one of our features overall. But we also host case studies, white papers, videos, webinars and other items that many other outlets do not, such that there is much more content on the platform than just the weekly news. We will also be generating much more content in the form of interviews and the like ourselves as we are inundated with requests at present, which is great.
coBuilder: What is next for The BIM Hub?
NH: Approximately, in this order (as they are in heavy development); launch the language support tools and complete the development of the other language options, launch the Products & Solutions portal, tweak the platform for users and companies to more easily broadcast their BIM maturity levels, facilitate an online courses & eTraining portal, launch the BIM quiz, launch the mobile app and progress the CDE “Projects” realm with specific industry partners. Many more items will also follow too, but at present they are under wraps.
What I will say is say that we will always continue to reach out to all government, academic, corporate and media agencies around the world in the spirit of true collaboration too. We’re a very friendly bunch and we love to read interesting content and learn about the latest jobs and events anyway.
coBuilder: How do you see The BIM Hub’s future direction?
NH: Currently we accommodate a membership of BIM professionals from over 95 countries (and unique visitors from 184) and we expect to work with even more countries soon and firmly expand our membership much further. Given our recent progress with multi language support especially.
Longer term will be working with more technology partners as part of our strategy to leverage their applications to our community for sure. This will likely require additional investment and we will be looking at opportunities to work closely with selected companies in order to achieve our desired goals. So it’s an exciting time for us as well as for industry of course, who we will always strive to better serve.
Great thanks to Nathan Hudson for this interview!