Twitter Chat in Review: Bridging the Preservation Generation Gap

Posted on: February 6th, 2012 by Sarah Heffern 2 Comments

Over the months I've been co-hosting the #BuiltHeritage chats on Twitter, I've realized that they're one of the few things that reminds me that I am not a digital native. My job has allowed - in fact, requires - me to keep up with all of the latest happenings in the online world, which usually keeps me to feel like one of the kids online, but keeping up with the speed of the Twitter chat blows my mind. Every time.

I was reminded of this often during this month's chat about inter-generational preservation, which seemed to move at an even faster pace than usual. (More Millennials joined in, perhaps?) We had a lively discussion of the varied motivations people of different ages have for becoming interested in preservation and ways to keep them active and engaged. (Not surprisingly, holding events centered around food and drink came up - the recurring sub-theme of all the chats!) We also talked about some of the tougher questions - including how to break down stereotypes and how younger preservationists can make their voices heard.

The key takeaways seemed in many ways to echo those uncovered when we were talking about reaching out beyond the "usual suspects" back in August: get involved, don't generalize, and take it offline. Obviously, all of us who participate in the chats like online communication at least enough to have Twitter accounts, so remembering that not everyone does is critically important to bridging any generation gaps that come up.

Save the date: the next #BuiltHeritage chat will be held Wednesday, march 7, 2012 at 4:00 EST.

The slideshow above hits some of the highlights from the chat, and the full transcript is also available. For anyone looking to connect with other young preservationists, I'd like to recommend our group email list, which you can join by sending a message to

Sarah Heffern is a member of the Digital and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern

Sarah Heffern is the social media strategist for the National Trust’s Public Affairs team. While she embraces all things online and pixel-centric, she’s also a hard-core building hugger, having fallen for preservation in a fifth grade “Built Environment” class. Follow her on Twitter at @smheffern.

General, Social Media

2 Responses

  1. Lloyd Alter

    February 6, 2012

    I am no kid but have been hammering at keyboards for a long time, and the #builtheritage chats are almost a highlight of my month, a don’t miss whatever happens event. It creates intergenerational ties that are critical, I have built relationships online that are directly translating into involvement in our organization. And there is one thing that we shouldn’t forget: we type faster, with all ten fingers, and on the first wed of every month, that is a very big advantage. phones and thumbs don’t cut it.

  2. Quum

    February 8, 2012

    Vauu, I need more time to read this all, but great site! I put it in my favourites sites!