Social Media

Twitter Chat Recap: Historic Travel

Posted on: August 9th, 2012 by Sarah Heffern 1 Comment

 

We've been doing the #builtheritage Twitter chat for about a year and a half now, but this month's was the first time I've seen the whole vibe of the chat -- and in many ways, the lifestyle of a working preservationist -- summed up in a single tweet:

@jonaskayla When you work in a field you love, it's hard not to do on vacation. #builtheritage
— Molly Goldsmith (@callmebutton) August 1, 2012

The chat made it clear that no one on it looks at preservation as just a day job -- we're all up in it on our vacations, too. From visiting heritage sites while traveling to learning to re-point brick, we all take our inner building-hugger on the road with us. Here are some highlights:

View the story "Twitter Chat Recap: Historic Travel" on StorifyAnd don't forget to save the date for our next chat: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. We'll announce the topic about a week in advance.

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.

 

Credit: stevendepolo, Flickr

It seems like everybody and their mother (well, not my mother) uses social media: babies arrive on Facebook within minutes of their birth, drool-worthy recipes are pinned and re-pinned endlessly on Pinterest, and news breaks on Twitter far faster than NBC can get around to showing it on television.

It’s no different for preservation activists and organizations. A social presence is close to a requirement -- potentially daunting for those of us who love all things historical more than all things technological.

The good news is, doing a little bit of planning now can pay dividends for your cause later. Over the coming months, we’ll have tips and tools for using a variety of different social sites to advance your preservation goals. But before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are 10 things to think about before you start using social media to help save places.

First, some questions to ask:

1. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you advocating to save a single building? Are you trying to raise awareness of a historic neighborhood? Are you trying to influence local (or national) policy? Knowing what you want to do will help you decide which social sites to use.

2. What does success look like? Having a clear, measurable goal from the outset will guide the choices you make and let you know when your social program is officially working. Not sure where to start? Here’s a handy primer.

3. Where is your audience? The old saying “different strokes for different folks” applies in social networking, just as it does in other areas of life. Knowing who uses what can steer you towards the right social channels to meet your goals. A great resource for demographics is the Pew Internet and American Life project.

4. What’s your budget? There’s a common misconception that social media is free. It’s not. While Facebook, Twitter, etc., are free sites, they come with options (such as Facebook ads) that are not. In addition, don’t forget the human resources cost, because having an effective social media program requires staff time.

5. How much time do you have? It’s possible to have an effective social media program with an hour a day or less, but it does require a consistent, daily commitment. And, of course, the bigger your goals, the bigger the time commitment required, so plan accordingly.

6. What kind of content -- and content creators -- do you have? If there’s one thing social media requires, it is content, so know what you have at your disposal before you start. This will help you select what social media sites to use as well as plan your posting schedule. Some questions to think about: Do you have a blog or website with stories you can share? Are you comfortable finding and sharing stories from local or national news outlets? Does your team have someone with a particular talent for photography or video? Play to your strengths!

7. Do you need a social media policy? If you’re working on your own to save a place, probably not, but if you’re part of an organization -- even a casual or ad hoc one -- having some ground rules can be helpful (so long as they’re not overly restrictive). Your colleagues who are using social media already can be the best ambassadors for your cause if you let them. Not sure how to get started? The Policy Tool for Social Media offers a step-by-step wizard to create a customized policy that meets your organization’s needs.

And now, a few things to think about:

8. Don’t default to the intern. But don’t disregard the intern, either. It’s a common cliché that interns handle social media, because as “digital natives” they understand it better. What many interns don’t know, however, is your organization and its culture, which can make it hard to find the right voice online -- or a consistent one, as internships tend to be finite. Social media can be an ideal opportunity for two-way mentoring, with newer and more experienced staff working together to build an online presence.

9. Don’t forget the offline world. It can be exciting to think of connecting with supporters online, but it’s unlikely that all your stakeholders will be online. Don’t use social media as an excuse to abandon your tried-and-true offline engagement.

10. Don’t feel like you have to be everywhere. With so many options available, it’s easy to feel like you need to have a presence everywhere, when in reality, it’s far better to have one or two vibrant social communities than a bunch of haphazard ones.

Are you using social media to save places? Tell us how it's working for you!

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.

Twitter Chat Update: July Recap, Save the Date for August

Posted on: July 23rd, 2012 by Sarah Heffern

 

This month's Twitter chat marked the first time we've ever invited guests, and I have to say, our friends at Habitat for Humanity assured that it won't be the last. In addition to our expected participants, Duane Bates (@habitat_org) and Shala Carlson (@HWEditor), several Habitat affiliates, including those from Buffalo, Charleston, Cincinnati, and Newburgh, NY. For an hour, longtime chat participants, newbies, and guests alike engaged in a lively conversation about the role of preservation in Habitat for Humanity's work. Here are some highlights:


Here are a few links from the conversation:

And of course, there's also a full transcript available for your reading pleasure.

Because the Independence Day holiday postponed the July chat by a week, and because August starts on a Wednesday, the turnaround between July and August chats is a particularly short one, so this blog post is going to do double-duty and announce our next date and topic:

On Wednesday, August 1, from 4:00-5:00 EDT, we'll be taking on a nice, summery topic: historic travel -- specifically, what kind of places preservation-minded folks like to go, and what we like to do once we get there. It'll be either a great opportunity to relive your summer vacation or crib ideas you can use for your next trip!

How to participate:

1. Sign in to Twitter, TweetDeck or TweetChat. We (the chat moderators) usually use TweetChat since it adds the hash tag automatically and allows for easy replies and re-tweets.

2. Follow and tweet with the hashtag #builtheritage.

3. Watch for the questions in the Q1 format. Provide answers using the A1 format, and interact with other participants using replies and retweets.

Oh, and what we mean by the Q1/A1 format is this: Questions (we usually have four per chat) are posed by the moderators as Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 about every 15 minutes. We ask that chatters reply with A1, A2, etc. to help everyone stay clear on what they’re responding to. A lot of side conversations and such still break out, but it helps keep things at least a little organized.

I hope you can join us!

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.

 

As a social network, Twitter is a celebration of real-time human experience. It's ephemeral: Messages come and go as the Twitter feed updates, and news and messages sink to the bottom of the screen -- and the reader's consciousness -- within a matter of seconds. The social media network seems to be built on the idea that what's happening is valued above what happened, and that new is more important and relevant than old.


The planted roof deck of Twitter's new headquarters inside the 1939 Merchandise Mart building.

Which is why Twitter's real-life move to the 1939 Art Deco San Francisco Merchandise Mart building in the city's up-and-coming Mid-Market neighborhood, instead of something more UFO-like in the middle of Silicon Valley (see Apple's proposed new headquarters), is a pleasant surprise. With the move, Twitter is helping to prove that being on the cutting edge doesn't have to mean "out with the old," and that where we've been -- architecturally, historically -- is as relevant as where we're going.

According to Ed Axelsen, Twitter's Director of Facilities:

"A revitalized building like SF Mart offered Twitter several key advantages: it's centrally located for public transportation; the building has lots of light, it has huge floor plates, it offered the possibility of outdoor space; and perhaps most appealing, it's an historic building that is being revitalized for modern use."

Check out their new old building in the slideshow below. As you can see, they've adapted the interior to fit their brand -- dynamic, fun, and innovative -- while acknowledging the critical importance of urban and historic context for moving modern communication, their company, and this corner of San Francisco forward.

(All photos by Troy Holden / @Twitter on Flickr)

Editor's note: This seems as good a time as ever to remind you that, yes, the National Trust is on Twitter! Follow us at @PresNation.

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.

 

Habitat for Humanity's excellent work building homes in partnership with families that need them is well-known in many communities -- but their work as preservationists is a bit more under the radar. A growing realization that a good home requires a good neighborhood has led many of their affiliates to take a more holistic approach, one that involves rehabilitating buildings and revitalizing struggling communities.


One of four Victorian cottages relocated and restored by Habitat for Humanity of Teller County in Cripple Creek, Colorado. Read their story.

This is, of course, an idea near and dear to our preservationist hearts -- and a couple of years back, the National Trust partnered with Habitat for Humanity to develop resources to help Habitat affiliates become more active in preservation. (And Habitat World magazine returned the favor earlier this year with a gorgeous feature about some recent success stories.)

To help preservationists and Habitat affiliates continue to learn more about one another, we’ve invited Duane Bates (@habitat_org) and Shala Carlson (@HWEditor) to join us for the July #builtheritage Twitter chat. We’ll discuss why preservation is a good fit for some Habitat affiliates, the challenges -- and rewards -- of uniting home-making with preservation, and learn a bit about Habitat’s plans for future preservation-focused work.

The chat will take place on July 11, 2012 from 4:00-5:00 EDT. (Regular #builtheritage participants take note: this is one week later than our usual first-Wednesday-of-the-month chat date because of the July 4th holiday.) ... Read More →

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.