A Placemaking Journal

New Media for Designers and Builders

Steve Mouzon’s much anticipated new book, New Media for Designers + Builders, releases today. This groovy user-intensive e-book is a road map for revising the marketing efforts of the design and construction community. The premise: Tired marketing budgets are antiquated and out of step with a post-recession world where values have shifted towards authenticity and frugality. The book is a how-to manual to jump start design-related social media savvy. It’s not just about starting a conversation and sharing ideas with your potential customers, but also about learning from the collective design community voice. Not for the love of the contract, but for the love of the conversation.

new-media-cover-416The goal is to engage, share wisdom and tools, and generally become accessible to the larger community. Steve shows how the “share” can go in both directions as he showcases many thought leaders in the design and construction world, as well as in the social media arena. This includes numerous resources for the larger issues of blogging and websites to the smallest details of publishing, video and image collections.

As the cover suggests, new media don’t start firing on all cylinders with just a great blog and an insightful Twitter feed. The real intensity happens when many conduits and methods of communication are working together in a strategic – and fun! – set of patterns and practices. Change really happens deep in the net of the network, when millions are working together to address hard questions and tap great potential. Steve is a master of showing others these ropes, but never with as much pizazz as with this e-book, produced with Apple’s iBooks Author.

“While it may appear daunting at first, it is precisely this rich network of interactions that can make your ecosystem so Googlicious.”

For each of the nodes of new media, the book details what it is, why it’s important, how to speak the language, how to do it, and the top ten rules. Then it looks at which of the other nodes it feeds. From a design perspective, having our varied personal practices nurture each other instead of being energy vampires is an important contemplation.

One of the most interesting pieces of the book is part three. This section analyzes efforts of many individuals in the new media universe — from blogging to publications, websites, speakers and image collections. The book links to the sites and resources of all the individuals listed and provides for a rich collection of references for both the neophyte and the experienced media maven.


steve-416Steve Mouzon is an architect, urbanist, author, photographer, and social media wizard from Miami Beach, Florida. He is probably one of the most proficient “tool-makers” in the industry, and has long been dreaming up ways to bring people together to solve difficult problems. Steve is one of the founders of the New Urban Guild, a group of architects and designers that are dedicated to traditional patterns of architecture and urbanism. His last book, the Original Green, put him on the international speaking circuit with the idea that there are historic, sustainable patterns in building and planning that are leaner and more lovable, thus more sustainable, than any of the gadgetry of the techno-green solutions Steve dubs as “Gizmo Green.” He is a prolific blogger and perhaps one of his most noted achievements is his commitment to focusing on the talents and achievements of others in the New Media universe.


We confess to having a long connection with Steve relative to social media. As one of the founding principals of PlaceMakers, Steve started hounding us to enter the blogging world in 2007 or 2008. We were slow to respond, distracted by work at hand. Eventually we were drawn into the virtual conversation regarding placemaking, and have delighted in the experience of being drawn to listen – not only to all of you in our comment and social media exchanges but also to our experiences in further writing and reflection.

The book clearly describes the Why? How? Who? What? of its structure. If you’re a newbie to the new media universe, start with the why. That’s where we started in 2009, thanks to Steve’s persistent lectures. Interestingly, back then, our first post was a book review. Rescanning almost five years of our own New Media content, we’re feeling grateful for many ideas we’ve received from you all that have significantly shifted our content and style.

So, if you’re a long time user of the social media networks, the “How?” chapter has layers of detail, strategies, and solutions, and we found many that had escaped our notice. One of the most interesting things about this book is that it addresses so many levels of experience without leaving anyone behind.

Susan Henderson and Hazel Borys

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