State of the Twitters

State of the Twitters

  • by Architecture for Humanity
  • Apr 25, 2010
  • comments

It has been well over a year that Architecture for Humanity has been posting to twitter as @archforhumanity. Thanks to word of mouth, flattering RTing, generous #FFing, and some random celebrity attention, our follower list has grown to over 16,000 users. And we are fairly certain that at least half of them are not spambots.

It has been a wonderful experience forging personal relationships with many of our individual supporters. We've enjoyed not only telling you about the work of our many designers and partners, but also learning from our followers in turn. Twitter remains the best medium around for connecting smart people and spreading innovative new ideas.

We've also tried to keep the mood as light as possible, as there are few fans of the robotic self promotion that is emblematic of many organization accounts. And hopefully you have enjoyed at least a small percentage of our antics, whether it was introducing our globe-floating mascot or poking some fun at our good-natured co-founder @casinclair.

However, now that we are faced with thousands of twitter users hanging upon our every character, we are exploring new ways to deliver each of our followers more of the riveting updates that they crave and less of the inane banter that they probably crave a great deal less.

Therefore we will be splitting our tweets amongst the following organization accounts:

@archforhumanity News, announcements, and links concerning the international organization and our mission. Also some RTs of the best content from our other accounts, chapters, and followers. Pretty serious stuff.
@afh_hq Get to know the folks that work all day in the distinguished (but not particularly well paying) Architecture for Humanity headquarters in San Francisco. It is kind of like the twitter version of The Office, and will probably involve a lot of embarrassing photos.

A couple of our projects have their own accounts:

@openarchnetwork The TED Prize winning Open Architecture Network, the premier site for community-focused humanitarian design. Features platform news, innovative projects, and competitions that you can compete in for lavish prizes and/or professional recognition.
@safetrestles News about the Safe Trestles competition that is currently in judging. Get a backstage peek at judging process, and be the first to learn which innovative design is declared the winner.
@pacrimstudio Updates about our international education program to help architecture students learn about and create solutions for environmental challenges facing the oceans. Also features interesting links about marine ecology issues.

Architecture for Humanity was also responsible for designing the cabin for the @plastiki, though we are not directly involved with piloting the boat or the twitter account.

We have several staff members that are personally tweeting on a regular basis:

@casinclair The iconoclastic co-founder and Chief Eternal Optimist of Architecture for Humanity. Features tweets from around the world as he promotes our mission from the loftiest of statehouses to the most modest villages. Warning: he can get a bit cheeky.
@afh_hugh Hugh Manatee is the good-natured aquatic mascot of Architecture for Humanity. He posts some interesting links and likes talking to our supporters, but watch out, he is a bit resentful that @casinclair gets to do all the traveling.
@mikemccaffrey The Web Development Manager for Architecture for Humanity. Warning: he posts any interesting material to the organization twitter accounts, so his personal account is mostly sci-fi links and semi-delusional rants about the US Mint.

There are several other staff members, design fellows, and office volunteers that are posting on a semi-regular basis, and you can find them on our staff list.

We have dozens of chapters around the world and many of them are on Twitter:

@arch4humanitynd The New Delhi, India chapter.
@afh_stl The St Louis, MO chapter.
@afhatlanta The Atlanta, GA chapter.
@afhmiami The Miami, Fl chapter.
@rebuildsd Don't let the custom name fool you, they are our San Diego, CA chapter.
@afhny Our first chapter, located in New York City.
@afhla Our Los Angeles, CA chapter.
@afhnewark Our new chapter in Newark, NJ.
@afh_dallasftw Our Dallas, TX chapter which is also claiming dominion over Fort Worth.
@afh_bogota Our Bogotá, Columbia chapter. Ellos hablan el español!
@afh_sf Our San Francisco, CA chapter. Yes, this account was created about an hour ago, but we promise that it will have some useful Bay Area projects, updates, and events.
@ afhguadalajara Our new chapter in Guadalajara, Mexico.

We will be keeping the chapters list up to date as new groups join teh Twitters, so keep an eye out for a local account to make an appearance in your city. We are also putting together a list of our chapter members, so we can find out what is on the collective mind of our full membership.

Did you know that there are some ways you can help us out on Twitter?

  • Follow one or more of our accounts! (very obvious)
  • RT the things we say or #FF us to your friends! (also pretty obvious)
  • Send us interesting links for us to share! (apparently not obvious, as few do so)
  • Tell us who the most awesome people are to follow about architecture or humanitarian design! (inquiring minds want to know)
  • Let us know if you should be on our chapter members list! (we'd like to get to know you)
  • Start a twitter account for your chapter! (share the awesomeness)
  • Order the Night of 140 Tweets DVD to support our rebuilding efforts in Haiti! (it really is very funny)

Thank you for your support, and remember to tweet like you give a damn!