Category Archives: business

Spam on Linked In – Social media, not soap box media


I’ve recently started to increase my use of LinkedIn and for once I’m actively reading and following the discussions in groups that I am a member of.

In general I think it’s going well and I am enjoying the experience, I think it’s a bit early to tell what the affect might be from a networking point of view but I am learning, sharing and helping.

With some groups I found myself wading through a lot of broadcasting posts and struggling to find a lot of discussions.  This got me wondering why there was a lack of discussions and a surplus of self promotion, spam or posts of questionable content, call it what you like, not to mention the number of posts in the wrong sections, like jobs and promotions.

Apart from the annoyance of scrolling past the posts I wasn’t interested in I also wondered why people took the time to broadcast and waste time posting in the wrong place.  How can this be effective?

It obviously got other people thinking too, because I found Duncan Baker posting about Spam On LinkedIn, in the Shropshire Business group, so I decided to post my own question in an Architecture and Interiors group, about the lack of real discussions on LinkedIn.

I felt that the potential for some groups was being missed as they present a great opportunity for people to share information, learn, network and generally benefit from diverse and active discussions.

I was pleased with the responses on Twitter and LinkedIn to my question, which ended up talking about shop or supplier’s drawings on building projects, as well as the discussions that resulted from Duncan’s post, which moved more towards how to choose topics for social media discussions and blog posts.

For people like me who are relatively new to LinkedIn groups, the Shropshire Group gave us some good tips on how to deal with inappropriate posts, by using the flag button, which a lot of people seem to do, messaging the group moderator and generally managing your group feeds.

On reflection I was encouraged by the number of people experiencing and dealing with the same issues and it just shows how important it is to connect with the right people for you and your business.

Do you have any thoughts on this? Feel free to join in and add to the discussions.

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Free Architect consultations – Shrewsbury May 18th


If you are thinking about a building project, want some help with planning, design or construction we are running another afternoon of free architecture clinics in Shrewsbury on 18th of May.

It’s a great opportunity for home and business owners to discuss any issues they might have relating to design construction and property.

Bookings for 20-30 minute sessions can be made directly with Rachel Donaghey on 01952 224047 or email rachel.donaghey@lblaw.co.uk

I have posted recent questions from the live sessions on this blog and for Hub Magazine and created an event for Ask The Architect on Tour on Facebook

Live design surgeries – March


I will be holding free Ask The Architect clinics at the Shrewsbury offices of Lanyon Bowdler in the afternoon of Friday 9th March.  Anyone can make a booking to discuss anything from small domestic projects to large commercial works.

More details and how to book here: Ask the Architect Clinic Offers Free Advice

These clinics are in addition to the usual twitter & email service held every Friday afternoon.

British Gas part 2


I’ve been quite busy since my last post but I am happy to say that British Gas want to use my idea and thanks to the hard work and efforts of John Kirby and the RIBA  things are moving on. 

I hope to be able to report more in the coming weeks and would like to thank everyone who has supported me and helped me so far.

British Gas – The idea


In July I had an idea for British Gas.  I have now decided to describe the idea on my blog, in the hope that something positive comes from it.

As I have said before the aim of this is to promote architecture and design in the UK.  If those who take part benefit from the exercise too then that’s all well and good.

This all started when I was watching television and the British Gas ‘our world’ advert came on the screen.  If you want to see some pictures of the advert look at Helen Butterworth’s blog.  As I was watching the animation I found myself thinking that there wasn’t much of a representation of modern architecture in it and in a little while I had the following idea.

A national competition supported by British Gas and the RIBA to design your ideal home based on the theme of the advert.  The winners could be featured in an advert or two and the other entires could be showed on a website.  There could be a number of categories based on age to widen its appeal and keep it fair for entrants.

I have contacted both British Gas and the RIBA and sent them a few details of my idea and with a bit of luck it might come to something.

I would love to hear what you think…

Idea for British Gas


On Thursday night last week I had an idea to help promote modern architecture in collaboration with British Gas and the RIBA.

The next day I decided to start things off using Twitter.  I found @BritishGas, tried tweeting them and soon discovered that they were not really engaging with people on Twitter, but that’s another story.

I changed my approach and tweeted for help and got some great responses.  David Sharpe sent me the press/media number for Centrica so I called them and sent them an email.

Yesterday I called the RIBA and had a telephone call from Centrica, which gave me the chance to explain how I thought my idea could promote modern architecture and be a great marketing exercise for all concerned.

I now have a bit of a dilemma as I am reluctant to explain my idea at this stage and risk losing control of it.  If anyone has been following my tweets and this story they have probably been able to work out what I am banging on about so I may have given it away already!

Once more I turned to my twitter network to ask for help and advice on what to do and got some good ideas and offers of help from Michaela Hardwick, Su Butcher, Graham Norwood and Keith at Pa Group.

The purpose of this post is to start telling the story of my idea and get something out in the public domain.

If you have any ideas on what I should do next I would like to read them.  Thanks

Professional Stereotypes


One of the discussions on Twitter during last Friday’s Ask The Architect was about people’s experience of stereotypes and how they can affect a profession, so I thought I would follow it up with this post.

So what are some of the Architect stereotypes?  Off the top of my head I have listed some below which can affect how the public sees us.  You are more than welcome to add to the list with your comments.

 1 Architects are expensive or a luxury

Imagine trying to order food in a restaurant when only the wine menu has prices on it.  How would you know if the wine was good value or not when you don’t know how expensive the food is?

Architects are used on all sorts of projects that vary in size and cost and we can help the client get better value for money from their budget.  The cost of an Architect on a project is normally relative to the overall value of the job.  However, as we are often first to be approached and first to give a fee proposal the client has no other costs to compare our fee projection with.  This is where a lot of sucking of teeth can occur!

2 Architects specialise in modern buildings or new houses or offices or public buildings, etc (delete as required)

As a creative person an Architect should be able to turn their hand to design anything.  The reason some companies or individuals specialise is the same reason why some musicians play blues or some novelists write thrillers, they like it and are good at it.

Obviously there are commercial reasons involved with specialising in certain project types but a specialist practice often undertakes other projects too.

So why do people think we are like surgeons and do the same thing for our entire career?

3 Architects ignore their clients and design what they want

So how would this work?  I don’t even need to use the restaurant example to show you that this doesn’t make sense.

Part of our job is to advise our client in their best interest and this can lead to having to say what people don’t want to hear.  For example, a client might like to have an ornate wall mirror in a minimalist kitchen, or one of their design ideas contravenes legal protections.  As a result, we end up being the bearer of bad news by saying things like ‘Sorry you can’t do that’ or ‘Do you think that is appropriate to your brief?’

Everyone has a stereotype and I could go on but my black turtle neck is back from the dry cleaners!