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Engineers and social media: the saga continues

Posted on | June 22, 2011 | 1 Comment

At Design Automation Conference a few weeks ago, I grabbed Joe Hupcey of Cadence and got him in front of our cameras to talk about our favorite shared topic: social media.

Joe’s a longtime observer, a healthy-engineer skeptic and a savvy guy when it comes to figuring out what to use when with this unique audience. He dives into the details in the video below. Here are some quick take-aways:

  • Engineers use social media all the time and always have: “One of the most popular aspect of any EDA site are the forums.” (My add: They were huge participants and advocates of the old BBS system).
  • The trick is to complement each social media type and get them to reinforce each other. For instance, forums are user territory. Even if you’re hosting the forums, be careful not to meddle. Instead, look to blogs where your company’s engineers can post tech tips, code examples (especially where there’s a tool that allows you to try out a piece of code).
  • Question: How do you avoid enabling customers to slam your products and technology on your own site? “Customers are talking about you anyway. The discussions are already out there. In terms of shaping the message, at least you have the opportunity to tune into it. Don’t shape it. you can say your piece, put that out there and people can evaluate it. And that can be more endurable.”
  • There’s no silver bullet. People go to different channels for different reasons. For example, LinkedIn: People are there for professional reasons. Cadence has created a verification forum. That’s a different slice than someone who’s going to read your blog.
  • What’s your  best bang for the buck? The blogs, and they work hand in hand with YouTube. On the digital verification space, the mini app notes on blogs, etc. have been effective. Cadence complements that with YouTube videos. “We shot a video at DVCon a few years ago has 600 views: There are 600 people in the world interested in object-oriented v. aspect-oriented verification. Who knew?”
  • Twitter? Marginally effective. LinkedIn? Early days. Facebook? There’s some activity there but we haven’t focused on it.
  • Joe’s most intriguing comment came at the end: A lot of social activity will migrate inside the EDA tools. “You run OrCad, and the marketplace is embedded in the tool.”

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One Response to “Engineers and social media: the saga continues”

  1. neil johnson
    June 23rd, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    Brian, nice interview. I like joe’s opinion re: “How do you avoid enabling customers to slam your products and technology on your own site?”. I think hosting that discussion is a best case scenario because like he said, it’s happening anyway. By hosting, you’re immediately alerted to the fact the discussion is taking place. You can jump in and correct misconceptions and/or fix customer problems and/or gracefully absorb fault. And regardless of what’s said, you’re learning about your customer base.


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