Construction Contractor Advisor: The weekly effort

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craig martin

Yesterday, I received some hard reminders about the importance of co-ordination, testing and communication when you wish to plan a public event. I had set up a video link interview with Craig Martin, the publisher of this year’s first-place Best Construction Blog, for 2 p.m., and decided to invite the world to listen to the interview live, a concept made possible through the Google Hangout/YouTube live video system.

Two p.m. arrived. No sign of Craig. The answer, painfully simple: He thought we had set the call for 2 p.m. central time (he is in Omaha, NB), while I thought it was 2 p.m. eastern. Several people arrived to the video site to find, well, dead air.

Craig and I reconnected and, once we knew the problem, reset the call for 4 p.m. (eastern). I decided not to announce the change, and this proved to be a wise decision. Martin’s built-in computer camera didn’t work. We tried various methods to solve the problem, and finally, after about 15 minutes, he found a camera that could connect, and we proceeded with the interview.

His story is simple and reminds us that blogging takes some effort, consistency, and that the rewards may be indirect and longer-range than short-term.

Martin says he started blogging as a reputation-building resource (he works at Lamson, Dugan and Murray in Omaha) and that most of the inquiries he has received directly from his blog have been from out-of-state potential clients with Nebraska construction law issues. However, the blog’s value may transcend direct response and business. He believes local clients may hear about him through referrals and non-Internet relationships, but then check him out online before making the call. They can see he knows his subject matter.  

Martin writes his Construction Contractor Advisor blog Saturday mornings at home. The regular time — and freedom from other business distractions — helps him complete the work, which requires a couple of hours effort each week. Sometimes it is a challenge but he knows the importance of consistency in effective blogging.

He also says has discovered a community of fellow construction law bloggers, creating the opportunity to build inter-state relationships and referral opportunities.

On my side, the initially unsuccessful effort to create a live video feed yesterday shows me that caution, planning and testing are vital for video work (especially live communications. However, the YouTube system has been significantly enhanced since my last experiment with a live-stream video link two years ago. There are more controls and tools, and the system has become quite easy to use, if you check the details beforehand.

Reminder one: Check your time zones. Reminder two: Check your video links before going live and rehearse. Hopefully, I’ve learned my lessons.

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