Developing a Construction Technology Community

There’s no question that construction professionals are a busy bunch of people (and by “busy” I mean stressed and stretched thin), so when they take the time to seek out industry-related news, it better be good. A couple years ago, in the early days of FieldLens, we identified a pretty significant gap in construction news – there was very little quality coverage of innovations in construction technology. This is a topic our entire company is interested in, and we figured there must be others out there who are hungry for construction tech information. As a technology developer with our ear to the ground on what’s happening in the industry, we decided to develop a social media community and provide the information we believed construction professionals are looking for.

Before joining FieldLens full time, in the early days when it was just beginning to take shape as a working mobile platform, I was brought on as a part-time social media consultant. This was before there was much funding to speak of, and we were running as lean of a shop as possible. Despite minimal funds, our founders still saw great value in dedicating whatever resources they could to building a strong social media community. The goal wasn’t to sell a product (there really wasn’t much of a product to sell back then). The goal for social media was – and still is – to build up a community of like-minded, hardworking construction professionals who want a space to learn about and discuss innovations in construction.

Our social platforms slowly started to grow, and we began including construction industry current events and product updates alongside construction technology news. The community joining us on our blog, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr is important to FieldLens for many reasons. It gives us a place to communicate with construction professionals throughout the world. It’s led us to connect with people like Paul Wilkinson and Pavlos Inglesis, both of whom are based in the UK and have great industry coverage on their respective sites. A bit closer to home, we’ve been able to connect with thought leaders like Reed Construction Data and Carol Hagen among many others, giving us that much more to talk about when we overlap at industry trade shows from time to time.

And while all the new connections we’ve made have been great, one of the things we love most about our social media community is simply learning what the construction industry is interested in talking about. There are pretty animated conversations about mobile technology happening on Twitter and LinkedIn. Advanced technologies like Google Glass, drones and various smart materials are also community favorites. Our team finds this especially interesting because when FieldLens entered the social media landscape in 2012, tech news related to the construction industry usually focused on the usual suspects like BIM. Yet there we were having dynamic conversations with folks all over the country about what construction project teams could accomplish with new apps, gadgets and programs. Today it’s a whole different story, and it’s pretty clear that the construction industry has come a long way in its adoption of new technology.

At FieldLens, you hear us talk about ‘networks’ pretty often, whether it’s the FieldLens network of users, the jobsite network, or the network we’ve formed through social media. Communicating and keeping people connected is just part of this company’s DNA, and it’s a part of everything we do. We’re grateful for the community we’ve built. We listen and we learn, and we hope the groups keep getting bigger so that the conversations just keep getting better.

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