Book Review :: New Media for Designers and Builders – simply put….buy the book and read it. If you need more convincing, read on.
I must admit that I am slow to adopting technology at times, but I really like it once I can use it. It took me too long to create a Facebook page for my business let alone some of the other new media options that are available to us as architects and designers (Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging, Google+, Pinterest, websites, on and on…). However, I realized one thing – no one cares whether I think we should use them or not, they are here to stay whether I adopt them or not. The real question is am I here to stay?
I’m not a fan of self-help books nor do I care for motivational business books. Sorry I’m just not. Will I read a how-to book on each of these media nodes? No, I simply don’t have time or interest. However, I have and will continue to listen to TED talks and other podcasts on interesting subjects. I use YouTube and enjoy online discussions. I can say I have many friends out there but we’ve never really met in person…yet.
Steve Mouzon, author, speaker and thinker is releasing his new book “New Media for Designers and Builders” today and I was privileged to read an advanced copy as an e-book (i-books). Here is an architect, speaker, and urban advocate writing on technology, yet it’s more helpful than most of the stuff I’ve read. I’ve heard Steve speak on two occasions about his Original Green philosophy of sustainability. I was immediately captivated by his easy going style but poignant statements about our environment and about architecture. He has useful, down-home practical stuff to say that just makes sense. We have emailed a few times and exchanged a few comments about architecture, urbanism and this book, but after reading his book, I feel like I’ve sat at a coffee shop with him and had a long conversation about how these multiple forms of media must be part of our businesses in order to survive in our culture today.
This book outlines the former methods of advertising and promotion and eloquently explains their death. However, Steve passionately outlines through his personal, non-corporate style why we must change and adapt. He takes us through the death of marketing and advertising, but shares the good news of the various forms of digital and online media forms that can be used as a woven fabric to present our ideas as designers to the world (connectedness). Each aspect is a node in a connected network of methods to promote your ideas and ultimately your business.
In Chapter 8 he explains it so well in terms of Old Virtues vs. New Virtues. “The three prime virtues of business beginning in the Industrial Revolution (better, faster and cheaper) are entirely incapable of transporting your business into the Age of the Idea, but so long as you’re using them as lenses to look at the age we’re now living in, this new world looks impossibly wasteful and terrifyingly alien. If you’re a designer or builder that wants to thrive in this new environment, you really must be guiding your operations by the three prime virtues of our new day: patience, generosity and connectedness.”
In the book Steve takes us through things like blogging, micro-blogging, websites, public speaking, email, online communities, publishing and so much more. Not only is there a simple clear explanation of what each is and why we ought to adopt it, but he shares his many years of experience of HOW to do it. The book is image rich (I stole a bunch for this post) and with so many chapters and sub-chapters, you can read this book anywhere whether in spurts or in a single read and still know where you left off.
He is a Mac user and iPhone user and mentions software that may seem more familiar to similar users. I’m a PC user and not sure I have the time to implement each node in the time frame he suggests. Nevertheless, he has short clips on each subject that one can quickly and easily digest and use. Not only is this book a wake-up call, but it’s also a friendly how-to as well. Many will tell you what your problem is, but few will tell you how to fix it. Steve shares (generosity) his own experience of how he learned and implemented each of these concepts. He shares his mistakes and shares his successes.
I found it a very easy and quick read, but I will keep referring to it as a vital resource. I am not sure how I will adopt everything he recommends in the book nor do I believe everyone should jump blindly on the band wagon. In fact the more I “got to know” Steve by reading his book, the more I see his invitation to conversation through his writing style and through his own media outlets. He welcomes all forms of comment and feedback at the end of each chapter.
Face it, whether you are tech-savvy or not and whether you carry a smart phone or not, if you’re in business or are instrumental in the business where you work, your office needs a copy of this book and you need to begin a plan to adopt many or all of these recommendations as your media eco-system.
photos are from Steve Mouzon and his affliated sites (sorry Steve I “borrowed” your own images)