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London and south-east England
I'm a UK PR, marketing and Web 2.0 professional and freelance writer and journalist working in the construction industry.
Interests: marketing, public relations, web 2.0, football, cycling, sociology, social media, sustainability, saas, broadband, extranets, collaboration technologies, construction industry, browsers, legal issues
Recent Activity
If you have found this site, it may be because you were looking for In late April 2011, I migrated that site to a self-hosted Wordpress installation, which also hosts my company website and the pwcom blog on... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
A former client of mine, construction industry software solutions provider COINS, recently acquired e-Xact Online, the product information service for building materials (reports; see also COINS news release). e-Xact Online was launched in 1999, originally by the Builders Merchants... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
After more than five years with TypePad, I am contemplating moving this blog to a self-hosted Wordpress platform, but still accessible (hopefully) at The exact timing of this transfer is out of my direct control (DNS changes can take... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Vancouver, Canada-based Explorer Software has acquired two more construction software firms, both based in Australia: Adelaide-based CSSP and Adelaide/Sydney-based Kensington Computer Services (KCS), a CSSP reseller. Back in 2007, I blogged about Explorer’s acquisition of UK construction accounting software vendor... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
The latest financial results from retail fit-out specialist Styles & Wood include figures for its property management solutions business, iSite - formerly StoreData (post), but it seems not yet “S&W Intelligence” (post; perhaps the rebrand has been quietly shelved?). Whatever,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
In August 2010 (news release), Autodesk released AutoCAD for Mac and AutoCAD WS, a mobile application aimed at users of Apple-based iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices (since downloaded over one million times). Autodesk’s reach out to mobile users is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
At the generous invitation of Sypro, I will be attending Monday’s annual NEC User Group conference, held at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. It promises to be an interesting event, with a keynote from the UK government’s chief... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Unlike 4Projects which last month seemingly suspended its blog and Twitter presence, Australia-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendor Aconex looks to be about to launch a more committed Web 2.0 presence. It has created a new blog site, Blog Central,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
During my presentation at Friday’s ICT4Contruction event (post), I briefly mentioned 4Projects as an example of a construction collaboration technology vendor that had started to use social media, with a blog,, and an associated Twitter account. However, the blog... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Rant alert! As regular readers may know, I was (I think, constructively) critical of the first ICT4Construction event last October, and as a result of my feedback organiser Recep Saffet asked if I would chair the next edition, on knowledge... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
For a few idle minutes on Friday, I started contemplating a move to California –Australia-based construction collaboration technology vendor Aconex had just advertised an attractive sales and marketing role based in San Francisco (see LinkedIn jobs). Reality then kicked in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Ignore the marketing hype about SnagR being “the first its kind innovative Web and PDA-based site inspection and defect management system” (both BIW and BuildOnline – now part of Sword CTSpace - had PDA-based defects management systems in 2006), but... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Judging from the recent activities of some of the leading construction collaboration technology vendors, there seems to be a fair bit of (mainly London-based) training going on at the moment: 4Projects recently announced (14 March) a “new programme of training... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Australia-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendor Aconex will be launching its first iPhone application next month (April 2011). A short note on its support page about release 10.2, says: Coming Soon – Aconex Mobile Now Aconex goes everywhere you go.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Enhancing customer service is one area where many AEC firms could do better, and web-based tools can help support marketing and sales activities. Show Document and VeriShow I wrote about the SaaS generic design review application Show Document about 18... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
A tweet saying Aconex was "in difficulties" caught my attention, but it was short-lived. It turned out the Aconex in question is a fruit export business, Exportadora Aconcagua, based in Chile (news), not the Australia-based construction collaboration technology vendor of... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Writing last week about the London launch of the RICS report on cloud computing and commercial property, I mentioned secure offsite file storage provider Vaultium, and - surely no coincidence - I have since been emailed about another UK-based "vault"... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Virtual worlds and the built environment (PDF) is a white paper just published by Birmingham, UK-based Daden Ltd, about whom I've written before (post). Having explored Second Life very superficially a couple of years ago when Be2camp was in its... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
The latest Sword-CTSpace news release concerns an integration between the company's on-premise FusionEnterprise platform and ECM systems EMC Documentum and Microsoft SharePoint 10 (somewhat confusingly, Sword-CTSpace talks about Engineering Content Management, as opposed to Enterprise Content Management, a term much... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
The web-based RICS Contract Administrator automates and speeds up the production of JCT contract forms, but why do some of its users still print them out and send them? Amid the recent burst of marketing activity by UK construction SaaS... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Some construction businesses already function effectively as value-added resellers of SaaS-based collaboration tools, filling a gap left open by traditional software VARs. I have discussed routes to market for SaaS construction collaboration vendors a few times - for example, last... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Last Thursday I went to the London HQ of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors for the breakfast-time launch of a new RICS report on cloud computing (download; see also RICS news release) written by Andrew Waller and Bob Thompson... Continue reading
Posted Mar 2, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Online management of NEC contract processes features prominently on the agenda of next month's document and knowledge management conference in London (which I am chairing - post), with SaaS vendors 4Projects and Sypro both listed as talking about contract administration.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
I have returned from time to time to the perceived shortcomings of online design collaboration insofar as some architects and other designers prefer the intuitive, paper-based processes of marking-up, commenting and sketching on design drawings by hand. Such 'collaboration' they... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2011 at Extranet Evolution
Just over a year ago, I spent a couple of hours talking to Steve Nelson, the then Chief Financial Officer of Sunderland, UK-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendor 4Projects (see 4Projects and Profitability). In recent months, there has been some... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2011 at Extranet Evolution