Washington D.C. – Introduction

My lovely girlfriend came in over an hour ago and said, “why don’t you just write that you didn’t get home from Washington D.C. until 1am, but that you’ll post tomorrow?” and I said, flatly, “copout”. But then I started editing the pictures and trying to write something funny and pretty soon I was amending my definition of copout. Let me give you a little background and I’ll tell you what’s up.

Washington D.C. was the host city of the AIA Convention this year. The American Institute of Architects has a Convention every year to offer continuing education classes. There is also an Expo portion, where manufacturers set up booths to show potential specifiers the latest building materials and technologies. They also provide tours of the host city, and parties for various groups, and on and on. I’m not an AIA member yet, but I thought I would head down and check it out for myself. Since the convention only went Thursday through Saturday, I thought I would take the remainder of the weekend to see the city and make a nice trip out of it. I’ll summarize the class I took here, then give you a taste of the expo, and talk about some of the sights I saw later in the week.

I went to just one class, Architect’s Who Blog: Some Tagline After the Semicolon. I was excited to see Bob Borson and Jody Brown (who write Life of an Architect and Coffee with an Architect, respectively), and learn more about Cindy Frewen Wuellner, who I hadn’t heard of before. They covered all the main points that I already strive for. Make it personal, but not a diary. Check. Keep it focused, and let your audience come to you. Check (assuming you guys are covering the audience thing). Then there were the things that I know I should be doing, but I’m not. Like being on LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and Diggo, and actually tweeting every now and then. I’m not a person who is entirely comfortable with that level of self-promotion. Not to mention, the payoff seems pretty minimal. Nobody has yet been able to turn massive exposure into money yet, in the architectural realm, at least. To this point, one thing that really resonated with me was that you need to set your own threshold for success. A goal of having 571891236 people view your blog every day is only going to end in sadness for most people. But a goal of one creative post every week, without an arbitrary number attached to it, can be satisfactory in itself (said the guy with 10 views a week). And I shouldn’t need ChainLinkd or Diggums to do it, either. So there. All told, there wasn’t a whole lot of new information for someone who follows those guys regularly (as I do), but it was still nice to see them in the flesh, and hear them tell their stories. I owe a lot of my inspiration to starting this blog to people like them, so hopefully they continue to generously offer up their time and wit for a long time.

Alright, that’s it for the classes, expo coverage starts tomorrow. By the way, I have exactly one guess for last weeks contest, so you get another day to get over there and make a comment if you want some sweet bragging rights.

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