Posted on | June 17, 2010 | 3 Comments
One in every 4.5 minutes spent online is spent in a social network or in a blog, according to a study released yesterday by Nielsen. That’s engagement. It’s too bad that’s not translating into the engineering B:B space. Semiconductor and EDA companies have invested millions in the past 5-10 years not only revamping their Web sites but adding social functionality in more recent times.
At this point, the social functionality is a build-it-and-they-will-come rationale, because they aren’t coming at the moment. Â Coincident with the release of the Nielsen study was a fine marketing webinar hosted by the folks at EE Times Group. A key takeaway: 85 % of engineers aren’t on Twitter. EE Times acknowledged it isn’t a scientific study, but it was a flash survey of 285 engineers done just last month. Roughly half of those who responded used words like hate or dislike to describe Twitter.
At DAC and Synopsys’ Conversation Central interview series this week, Twitter and blogging was acclaimed by some (it’s big in EDA) but derided by just as many others as self-promotional hot-air balloons run by consultants and companies with an ax to grind.
Longer term, you could make the case that eB:B marketers are building those high speed rail lines in anticipation of their trailing-adopter audience jumping on the train eventually (remember the 1990s and the first Web sites?) EE Times shared other data that showed vendor Web sites are now the places engineers go to most often to research, in this case, embedded design decisions. Not too many years ago, vendor Web sites were a distant third behind industry publications and colleagues.
In that particular slide, 83% of the respondents said they consulted those vendor Web sites. Bouncing along way down the tail were blogs (18%) and social networks (11%). But a closer look reveals blogs jumped four full percentage points between 2009 and 2010 and social networks doubled in popularity. A fraction of the engineer’s interest to be sure, but growing fast.
Time will tell for sure where engineers consider their time well spent. When I Tweeted the EET engineer/Twitter dynamic earlier this week, an engineering colleague Tweeted back that engineers simply may not be big communicators, regardless of the medium.
And that’s a definitely a factor to be reckoned with in the months and years ahead.