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Engineering Materials

What's Your Opinion on a Design Ideas Forum?

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Elizabeth M
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Blogger
Great idea
Elizabeth M   3/6/2013 7:11:44 AM
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Ann, this is a great idea. I, too, am impressed by the level of expertise, knowledge and creativity of our readers. To be able to leverage this in a forum would be helpful to everyone. Perhaps the forum could have topics similar to ones on the Design News site (ie, Automation and Control, Design Hardware and Software etc.) and people could submit ideas and comments, or discuss projects they're working on and seek input on design issues.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Conflict of interest
ttemple   3/6/2013 9:04:09 AM
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I don't think you will find businesses and companies eager to trade comments and suggestions and ideas.

To an engineer, sharing ideas is altruism.  To a business it is (potentially) giving away intellectual property.

I think that fundamentally Design News is already about sharing ideas for solving design problems.  Most of the articles are promoting new ideas and products.  They get commented on, etc.  Walah! You already have what you are proposing to make!

a.saji
User Rank
Silver
Re: Conflict of interest
a.saji   3/6/2013 10:51:50 AM
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"I don't think you will find businesses and companies eager to trade comments and suggestions and ideas."

@ttemple: Why not ? I think it will help them to get an idea about the market in a much more friendly plus freely manner.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Great idea
Ann R. Thryft   3/6/2013 11:28:39 AM
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Elizabeth, thanks, I think that's a good idea for helping to focus discussions.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Conflict of interest
Ann R. Thryft   3/6/2013 11:30:30 AM
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ttemple, thanks for your feedback. The whole point of this idea is that although we do gets lots of comments of this kind, they're hard to find within all these threads and some not even germane to the topic of the article they're attached to. I also think it should be primarily engineer-focused, and if companies want to participate, great, but they're not likely to be the main users, although their individual engineers might.

Ann R. Thryft
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Blogger
Re: Conflict of interest
Ann R. Thryft   3/6/2013 11:31:15 AM
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a.saji, I think you're getting the gist of my idea, which is engineers first, and companies second. The savvy ones will view it as you describe.

apresher
User Rank
Blogger
Design Ideas Forum
apresher   3/6/2013 11:45:02 AM
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Ann, I think you're onto something but the question is how to introduce topics for specific comment that would be more effective than the current model without getting so general that it degrades and loses focus.

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Conflict of interest
ttemple   3/6/2013 11:49:22 AM
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@a.saji

Companies desire to sell good ideas, not give them away.  Once an idea is developed and protected, this is an excellent forum for introducing products.  Many of the articles here are product introduction type articles.

 

ttemple
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Conflict of interest
ttemple   3/6/2013 11:56:05 AM
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Ann,

I think engineers should be careful about what they post on this type of outlet, especially if it could be considered intellectual property of their employer.  I frequently post opinions and thoughts on experiences from my past lives, but I wouldn't divulge anything that might compromise the competitive position of my employer, or might be construed as intellectual property.  I also try not to divulge information that I would not have been allowed to share from old employers.

Many engineers are forced to sign confidentiality agreements, etc., which are designed to prevent a company from bleeding intellectual property.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Design Ideas Forum
Ann R. Thryft   3/6/2013 1:21:00 PM
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Al, all good points. I suspect we might need to monitor and moderate the discussions a bit so they're more focused than what happens here on the comments page.



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