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Rob Spiegel
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Is the trend getting traction
Rob Spiegel   4/12/2012 11:26:26 AM
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You have reported on quite a number of these product development social media tools, Beth. I find the development fascinating. Are these tools getting any traction, or is it too early to tell? 

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
Beth Stackpole   4/12/2012 11:42:36 AM
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Rob, I think it's early on and way to soon to say these tools are gaining traction. I think with any kind of new technology, the software vendors are experimenting by pushing the envelope with capabilities that consumers are using in other aspects of their lives and seeing how they can make a difference with design tools. Some engineers will like the new way of working, others won't. But just like with any new technology, you've got to take some shots and see where it all lands. Years from now, I think social components will be a mainstay of every kind of software, but because it's new territory, it still feels pretty foreign to most engineers.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
Rob Spiegel   4/12/2012 11:48:03 AM
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Yes, I would imagine it feels foreign to most engineers, However, I have hunch that twenty-something engineers fresh out of college will get their hands on these tools and go, "Whoa, look what this can do!" Whatever vendor can wow the next generation of engineers may have a winner.

naperlou
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
naperlou   4/12/2012 1:17:36 PM
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Rob, I was going to ask the same thing.  I was reviewing collaboration software for some clients a couple of years back.  These tended to merge social media with project management.  In one tool, which looked good, everything was a project.  The last time I talked to the local rep for that company they were being redirected to a particular application area.  I think the problem they ran into was with their project centered terminology they were lumped in with project collaboration and management products.  Like Facebook, they were completely general purpose. 

It looks like the vendors in the CAD space are going the same route.  Make something "like" Facebook, but more specific.  With this approach they can address security concerns while leveraging the social media idea. 

Another answer to your question might be that the trend these days is for users to want their on-line experiences to be similar at work and at play.  Considering the centrality of computers to our lives these days, that makes sense.  How it gets implemented is another story.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
Rob Spiegel   4/12/2012 3:34:24 PM
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Thanks for the info, Naperlou. I think the key to what you're saying is "How it gets implemented is another story." I suspect it will be a simple matter of benefits versus effort. At home, social media offers personal connections. At work, there needs to be a different benefit -- improved design, improved projects.

Charles Murray
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
Charles Murray   4/12/2012 6:28:39 PM
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This is yet another story that demonstrates why engineers shouldn't be too resistant to social media. The right business model will come along sooner or later, and when it does, the engineers who are open to to it will have a leg up.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
Rob Spiegel   4/13/2012 9:31:20 AM
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Good point, Chuck. Chances are the early adopters will be young engineers who would take to social media quickly and easily. I do think there would have to be a very clear benefit to encourage adoption.

ChasChas
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
ChasChas   4/13/2012 11:00:11 AM
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The software must eliminate way to get careless with info - if there are ways to be careless, poeple will get careless - it's so easy for any of us.

This "hardcore" engineer still believes in security.

 

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
Rob Spiegel   4/13/2012 11:03:39 AM
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Absolutely, ChasChas. It's in the very nature of social media to share information. There would have to be very clear lines on what can be shared and what can't be shared, So someone would have to be tasked as the referee.

Charles Murray
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Re: Is the trend getting traction
Charles Murray   4/13/2012 6:24:30 PM
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You're right, ChasChas, security is still a concern. Facebook seems to be spending a lot of time denying that it shares user data.

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