To my surprise, I have been shortlisted in the ‘Smartest Blogger’ category, where:
… an individual … posts messaging on their company/personal websites directly related to BIM and digital construction. We’re looking for topical, current and possibly controversial content which has consistently made a genuine and meaningful contribution to the built environment.”
I am flattered to be shortlisted – alongside Rob Jackson of Bond Bryan and BRE’s Dan Rossiter, both of whom write far more knowledgeably about BIM than I do – but the nomination does at least give me an excuse to reflect on the past 12 years or so….
ExtranetEvolution started in September 2005 following publication of a book about construction collaboration technologies I wrote for publisher Taylor & Francis (today part of Routledge) while working at what was then BIW Technologies. The blog was originally intended to help me produce a second edition of the book, but it took on a life of its own. By the time I left BIW (later Conject and now part of Aconex) and started out as an independent consultant in February 2009, the blog had become something of a shop window for my expertise, as well as a news and features resource for anyone interested in construction, collaboration, cloud computing, Software-as-a-Service, and related areas such as mobile, social media and BIM. (As I have said many times, “it’s a small niche, but it’s my niche“.)
Initially, a little UK-centric, it has also expanded to include more content about developments in Europe, the US and Australasia, among other places. Since 2005, I have covered a succession of acquisitions and mergers, personnel changes, numerous product launches and industry conferences. I have interviewed senior figures representing most of the major AEC-oriented collaboration vendors, and a great many more startups. I have watched businesses grow – and seen a few die – and recorded their ups and downs along the way.
I have used two blogging platforms: first, Typepad and, since 2011, WordPress, publishing nearly 1800 blog posts. Since February 2009 (when my Google Analytics records start), the blog has had 1.24 million page views, and more than 270,000 users.
In 2011, ExtranetEvolution had its then best year, delivering 59,416 page impressions to 23,746 unique visitors. In 2014, I topped 100,000 page views, with content read by nearly 49,000 visitors; my 2015 visitor total was just short of 52,000 – still my best year.
My most visited post is from February 2013 (16 reasons why nobody yet dominates the construction SaaS collaboration sector – viewed over 15,000 times), while the daily peak was 2,641 when I wrote about Aconex’s acquisition of Conject in March 2016. M&A activity is clearly a recurring interest; my 2017 peak was in December, following Oracle’s offer to buy Aconex.
(I have been a little less productive in terms of blog posts in the past two years, mainly for family reasons – my stepmother died in early 2016, my father died in July 2017, and I had three other family bereavements – but also pressure of other work.)
Thanks to everyone who has supported ExtranetEvolution since 2005, and thanks to whoever nominated me for the BIM Awards!
Update (26 April 2018) – I didn’t win the award, which went to Dan Rossiter. I didn’t attend the event – I broke my right arm on 25 February, and the ‘Beast from the East’ [bad weather] also scuppered my travel plans.