KA Connect - Building Knowledge
Conference Talks Books Blog About
Join us at KA Connect 2015

KA Connect 2015, our annual conference, will take place at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on May 5th and 6th, 2015.

We'll be pulling together the program for next year's conference over the next several months. Past topics have included:

  • Building Long-Term Knowledge
  • Orchestrating Digital Communities
  • Where is Technology Headed?
  • Connecting the Built Environment
  • Trends in Web Communications
  • Knowledge Management in Practice
  • Leading a Connected Practice
  • Thought Leadership in the AEC Industry

Take advance of Early Registration Pricing while we plan.


 
Author: Christopher Parsons



We asked the panelists in the Trends in Web Communications Panel Discussion at KA Connect 2014 to describe the biggest myths about content marketing in AEC firms. Heres what they had to say.

Myth #1: Content Marketing Generates Immediate Results

"The time it takes to get from committing yourself to offering original content and trying to make that content become meaningful and valuable to the time you're going to see substantial business outcomes from it can be quite long.

Usually we tell clients it is a three-year window before you start to see the types of business outcomes that you really would like to get from a [content marketing] effort. You're building something that's long term and sustainable. I think that sometimes clients are looking for a quick win that's somehow going to replace their trade show effort or something. They're expecting that same kind of short-term marketing model, short-term outcome, and it's just not really the way it works."

Jason Mlicki, Rattleback
Myth #2: Content Must Be Perfect to Be Effective

"I would say another major myth is about quality [of content]. In certain industries, AEC, probably law firms, the myth is that it's got to be perfect, excellent quality and you can't release it until it is.

And then in other industries, consumer products and other things, it can just be anything. 'Just throw some content out there! It'll get shared! It'll go viral! Yaaah!'

So the myth is on both ends of the spectrum, but its about the quality of the content. The nature of your industry is going to dictate whether your myth is on one end or the other, but the reality is somewhere in the middle.

It should be of good quality, obviously, excellent quality, but the reality is that it doesn't have to be exactly probably what you're thinking it needs to be."

Bill Shander, Beehive Media
Myth #3: Content Marketing Is Primarily about Generating Leads

"I think its important that you don't think of [content marketing] as sales. The more information you can give out to the community, the more you can sharethat's where the value is. You don't want it to be too salesy."

Jaron Rubenstein, Rubenstein Technology Group

"A couple of years ago, I put together a survey of firms that were marketing with content and the prerequisite was that they were actually using that model and were funding it and we were looking at outcomes.

The firm that was the most successful out of the entire audience was a firm whose core web objective was educating and informing. Their entire objective for their website was to educate and inform the clients they want to do business with.

The firms that were focused on generating leads (which in my mind is just the outcome and yield of quality content) had worse performance. It kind of comes down to your fundamental objective needs to be about this kind of open authenticity of, 'We're just trying to help.'

As long as you're just trying to help, at some point, client activities start to happen. But the moment you start trying to accomplish some tangible business objectiveyou want leads, you want opportunities, you want revenuethe whole thing kind of just doesnt work as well as it could."

Jason Mlicki, Rattleback
Want to Learn More?

Watch individual talks from our panelists and the full panel discussion on the KA Connect website:

Posted: September 25, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: Christopher Parsons



"Not all intranets are communities and not all communities are intranets."


One of the audience members at KA Connect 2014 asked the following question of the Orchestrating Digital Communities session panel:

"Would you define an intranet as a community? And if not, can you migrate an intranet to a community?"

After agreeing that that "Not all intranets are communities and not all communities are intranets," the panel discussed the differences between analog communities, digital communities, and intranets.

One interesting outcome of the discussion was two ways to tell if intranets are communities or simply information repositories.

#1: "The most vibrant communities that we work with within intranets were already communities before they became communities on the intranet."


"You tap into existing groups that are already sharing knowledge, they're already coming together, and you just give them digital tools. But they still keep meeting face-to-face."

Christopher Parsons, Knowledge Architecture

#2: "If there are shared aspirations or shared goals."


Yori_KA_Connect_2014_Communities_600

"I put the definition of community slide up [above] in my presentation, so as long as you're sort of satisfying those [criteria] in some form or fashion, I think one can sort of fashion a level of activity around that. But if it's [simply] an intranet space to just post information—you have an HR site that lays out all the policies or whatever, that's an informational repository as opposed to a community."

Robert Yori, SOM

Want to learn more?


You can watch the full Orchestrating Digital Communities session panel discussion here. All of the talks from the conference are available on the KA Connect Talks page.

Posted: September 18, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: Christopher Parsons



"People come for content and stay for community."

"People come for content and stay for community" was one of the five secrets Vanessa DiMauro of Leader Networks shared with us in her KA Connect 2014 talk, "Secrets of Great Communities and Community Managers."

So what makes great online community content great?

Here are three key points from the clip above:

#1: Knowledge Assets Drive Community Membership

The greatest way to get people to join the community is by having a knowledge asset, something that they really want to be the inspiration for why they join, why they say, 'Hey, Im going to check this out and Im going to commit some time. Im going to fill out that profile.' "

#2: Knowledge Assets Must Be Unique

"The content in the community needs to be unique, something they cant get elsewhere."

#3: Knowledge Assets Should Be Derivative of Community Member Experiences

"Most importantly, the best content for knowledge communities are those that are derivative of the users experiences. Theyre there because they want to hear what their peers and experts have to say on a topic. Using the power to convene and creating those knowledge assets, as the derivative of their experience is very, very powerful."

Want to learn more?



Watch Vanessa DiMauro's full KA Connect 2014 Talk "Secrets of Great Communities and Community Managers" and/or the full panel discussion on "Orchestrating Digital Communities".

Posted: September 02, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: Christopher Parsons

KA Connect 2015

KA Connect 2015 will take place at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on May 5th and 6th, 2015.

Senior and emerging leaders from top AEC firms will lead case studies, workshops, panel discussions, and breakout groups on building highly connected practices. We'll be announcing speakers and program details over the next several months.

Take advantage of early registration pricing while we plan.

Before September 26th, 2014 $795.00
Before January 23rd, 2015 $995.00
Before March 20th, 2015 $1,195.00
After March 20th, 2015 $1,395.00

Learn more about KA Connect 2015

Posted: August 26, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: Christopher Parsons



MindMixer provides communities with online engagement tools that allow them to have more productive, collaborative conversations. 700 communities around the world use MindMixer to connect over 1 million participants online.

Stephen Hardy, MindMixer's Chief Product Officer, shared his insights for building thriving online communities at KA Connect 2014. In this clip, Stephen shares four tips for community managers looking to drive more engaging discussions:

#1: Don't Be Afraid to Ask Detailed Questions


Stephen Hardy 2014 Be Descriptive
"We kind of assumed that youd want to be short and sweet and get right to the point (when phrasing discussion topics). What we found is longer questions indicate more investment on your part in really wanting good answers."

#2: Positively Worded Questions Outperform Negatively Worded Questions


Stephen Hardy 2014 Be Positive
"Questions with positive emotional achievement words encourage participation. 'Best', 'great', 'proud', 'win', 'advance', and 'overcome are positive achievement words that will give you a much better result than if youre saying 'keep in mind we have a limited budget' or 'under constraints.' Exclusive words like 'not', 'rather', 'don't', and 'block' dont perform nearly as well."

#3: Use the Word 'We' to Make Questions More Engaging


Stephen Hardy 2014 Use The Word We
"Highlight personal affiliations. The average number of times that just the word 'we' is used in questions is an indication of how successful youll be in getting engagement around a response."

#4: Acknowledging Participant Contributions Makes All the Difference


Stephen Hardy 2014 Acknowledge Positive Contributions
"On the left is an example of a community who through time was responding and making sure that people were acknowledged. On the rightcrickets. Somebody asked a question and there was no response on the other end of it. What we've seen time and time again is that there's a direct relationship between re-engagement, feedback, affirmation and the willingness of a community to be coming back and participating with you through time."

Want to learn more?



Watch Stephen Hardy's full KA Connect 2014 Talk "No One Knows As Much As Everyone" and/or the full panel discussion on "Orchestrating Digital Communities".

Posted: August 20, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: Christopher Parsons



The talks from KA Connect 2014 are now available online.

Enjoy.

Posted: July 28, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: Christopher Parsons



Vanessa DiMauro gave a great talk at KA Connect 2014 called "Secrets of Great Communities and Community Managers." Vanessa is uniquely qualified to speak to this topic. Her company, Leader Networks, specializes in helping businesses build deeper relationships with key stakeholders like clients, members, and employees through digital B2B communities.

In her talk, Vanessa shared 5 things that great communities and community managers do well. Vanessa's talk will be up on the KA Connect website (along with all the other talks from the conference) in a few weeks. In the interim, here are Vanessa's five secrets:

#1: Great online communities are strategic.
#2: Great online communities develop a 90-day plan, every 90 days.
#3: People come for content and stay for community.
#4: When online communities become great, the members take control.
#5: Great online communities demonstrate tangible value over time.


You can find more detail in this blog post. Anything to add?

Posted: July 10, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: Christopher Parsons

ARCHITECT R+D Awards

Many member firms of the KA Connect community are investing in R+D. If you haven't seen it, ARCHITECT Magazine has been running an annual R+D awards program for the last eight years. Here's a short summary of the program:

"To celebrate the building technologies that are revolutionizing the process and product of architecture, ARCHITECT magazine announces its eighth annual R+D Awards program. The awards honor innovative design and systems at every scalefrom entire buildings to building systems, discrete products and materials, and digital tools such as software, cloud-based platforms, and mobile apps. The R+D Awards welcome entries of all types to encourage the broadest possible dialogue among architects, engineers, manufacturers, researchers, students, and designers of all disciplines."


More information about the award program's rules and regulations and past award winners is available on the ARCHITECT site.

Good luck!

Posted: April 03, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: Christopher Parsons

KA Connect Books

We talk about books quite a bit in the KA Connect community, both online and at our conferences. The team at Knowledge Architecture is constantly asked for book recommendations on a variety of topics---from knowledge management to research to thought leadership.

I have been wanting to put together a KA Connect book list for a while now. Last week, one of our clients posted a request for a list of knowledge management books in our client community, which was the final nudge I needed. I went through my bookshelf, my Kindle, old blog posts and presentations, as well as KA Connect talks and LinkedIn Group discussions to pull together version 1.0 of KA Connect Books, which you can find here:

http://www.ka-connect.com/books.php

Some of the books in this list are new. Some are old. Some are AEC-specific. Others are more general in nature. The unifying factor of the collection is that these are books we have read over and over. Books we use in our practice. Books we recommend again and again.

I hope you enjoy them.

Posted: February 13, 2014 | View this Post
 
Author: KA Connect

KA Connect 2014 Mosaic

The A/E Firm Website of 2015
Jason Mlicki, Principal, Rattleback

The 4x4 Model for Winning Knowledge Content
Bill Shander, Founder/CEO, Beehive Media

AEC-APPS: Community as a Competitive Advantage
Nick Holt, Technical Director, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Secrets of Great Communities & Community Managers
Vanessa DiMauro, CEO and Managing Partner, Leader Networks

Buildings: The Ultimate Smartphone Accessory
Alex Serriere, Director of Research, TEECOM

Future-Proofing your Design Technology Strategy
Steve Sanderson, Director of Implementation, CASE

What Transportation Can Be: Technology for the Next Generation
Bruce Haldors, President and CEO, Transpo Group

Connect your Future: Building the Connected Practice of Tomorrow
Christopher Parsons, Founder and CEO, Knowledge Architecture

Integrated Knowledge Flow: Enhancing Culture and Practice
Stefnee Trzpuc, Knowledge Management Specialist, BWBR

Change is the New Black: Building a Sharing Culture at
Mead & Hunt

Pat Peyton, Leader of Knowledge Management, Mead & Hunt
Kathy Schumann, Leader of Employee Communications, Mead & Hunt

Scenario Planning: A Creative Tool for Future Strategies
Ray Kogan, President, Kogan & Company

Successful Knowledge Transfer During Leadership Transition
Andy Fry, COO, Magnusson Klemencic Associates

Connecting People with Data
Nick Vlattas, COO, Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company

The Case for Thought Leadership in the AEC Industry
Bob Buday, Partner, Bloom Group LLC

Join us at KA Connect 2014


KA Connect 2014 will take place at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on June 3rd and 4th, 2014.

We'll be announcing additional speakers and program details over the next several months.

Take advantage of early registration pricing while we plan.

Before February 18th, 2014 $995.00
After February 18th, 2014 $1,195.00
After April 4th, 2014 $1,395.00

Register Now

Posted: January 28, 2014 | View this Post
 
  © Copyright 2014  |  Knowledge Architecture  |  All Right Reserved