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How Can Social Media Support BIM Workflows? #SocialBIM: Episode 3

“How can we take the culture of sharing online and bring it into a project, into a closed environment with security from the outside world?” asks Construction Social Strategist Su Butcher as she kicks-off Episode 3 in our 4-part #SocialBIM series.

In this edition typical project communication practices are challenged, particularly the tendency to communicate over email: “The trouble with email is that you have to choose who to include” explains Su. “You then get a very long thread of complicated interactions between numbers of different people. There’s no audit trail, there’s security issues and people miss things”.

In a fantastic whiteboard example, social streams are introduced as a more efficient and effective means of project collaboration. Whilst that may feel like a big step for many of us, the experience is unlikely to be entirely new: “When you think about that approach it’s just like Facebook” says Su. “It’s an interactive process that you’re probably already very familiar with”.

A number of great platforms already exist to enable social collaboration within organisations, such as Yammer, Chatter and Slack. Others, like Procorem, offer the opportunity for private streams within project teams formed from multiple organisations.

Su points out that successful working in a BIM environment demands collaboration between people generating and collating data, making social media a perfect fit.

“The question is: who in our industry is going to take these social media tools and start applying them to BIM?” she asks. “Whoever does that will see huge commercial benefit and really make collaboration work effectively in construction”.

Episode 3 clearly marks a step-change in our series and sees the introduction of some more forward-thinking concepts (though the topics covered to date are undoubtedly new-thinking for many).

Fred Mills, Co-Founder of The B1M, explained “We knew from our earliest research that Episodes 3 and 4 would really take things up a gear and challenge conventional thinking. They move on from the concepts and familiar knowledge-sharing applications mentioned in the first two videos to push the envelope on what social media could ultimately do for our industry”.

Join in with all the conversation around this video series using #SocialBIM.

You can watch the full playlist of Episodes 1-4 here, or by following the links below:

Episode 1: Why Social Media for AEC?
Episode 2: How Can Social Media Support BIM Knowledge Sharing?
Episode 4: How Can Social Media Democratise Building Design + Operation?

Find out more about Su at and interact with her on Twitter @SuButcher.

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