Posts Tagged ‘FaceBook’

Community Based Tweeting

Monday, March 9th, 2009

A few weeks ago, Seth Godin reminded us to be careful what you say online because Google never forgets.

Yesterday, Ron Ploof reminded us that we can “sift extraordinary insight out of ordinary” Twitter traffic if we know how to look.

So today, I thought I’d keep the ball rolling. I’d like to share with you an interesting Twitter thread concerning online communities for electronic design. It started last Friday and really heated up today. It’s amazing what you can find with a little effort :-)

(Note: I have reversed the usual “most-recent-first” ordering of Twitter Tweets to make this easier to read.)

JL GrayjlgrayFiddling around with the Cadence online lab on Xuropa… Still don’t get the community part of Xuropa but the VNC demo is cool.9:52 PM Mar 6th from TweetDeck

loucoveyloucovey@jlgray do you get the community part of DVCon? How about DAC? Same thing w/o hotel rooms and sore feet.10:27 PM Mar 7th from twitterrific

JL Grayjlgray@loucovey Not sure there are enough folks on Xuropa to have a robust community. Why not just use Twitter/Facebook/Verif Guild/OVM World…about 14 hours ago from TweetDeck

JL Grayjlgray@loucovey What’s on Xuropa to motivate me to build YASN (Yet Another Social Network)?about 14 hours ago from TweetDeck

Paul Marriottpmarriott@jlgray Too many communities cause fragmentation. I only have time for a few “quality” areas. I can’t be in all places at all timesabout 14 hours ago from TweetDeck

Dave_59dave_59@pmarriott @jlgray I like Plaxo and LinkedIn tie-in to social networks. I can see where people are posting from one site. Needs more tie-insabout 13 hours ago from web

david lindltweeting@jlgray @loucovey don’t know if it’s xuropa or YASN, but I for one would like to see an independent online chip-design community evolve.about 12 hours ago from TweetDeck

Paul Marriottpmarriott@dltweeting It’s hard to have any chip-design community that’s truly independent. Everyone has some kind of axe …about 11 hours ago from web

david lindltweeting@pmarriott maybe independent is too strong. how about “balanced”? something like DAC, EDAC, or GSA could potentially pull it off.about 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

Paul Marriottpmarriott@dltweeting “Balanced” like USA Today editorials? Yuck. I want opinion, not PC mediocre rubbish. At least opinion spurs debateabout 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

david lindltweeting@pmarriott haha. not interested in PC rubbish either. balanced in that we get all perspectives. don’t need one view dominating convo.about 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

Tommy Kellytommykelly@pmarriott “PC mediocre rubbish”? SO get a Mac d00d. PC. Mac. Geddit? … OK, maybe not.about 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

Paul Marriottpmarriott@tommykelly Hope Steve Jobs is paying you commission Mr Macintoshabout 10 hours ago from TweetDeck

Tommy Kellytommykelly@pmarriott The Lord Steve (May He Live Forever) doesn’t need to pay his willing minions. We work for love (and shiny objects).about 9 hours ago from TweetDeck

JL Grayjlgray@dltweeting One could say there is a chip-design community building here which is controlled by no one!about 9 hours ago from TweetDeck

JL Grayjlgray@pmarriott If past history holds, in a couple of weeks, @tommykelly will be pushing the benefits of PCs with input from Lord Gates :-).about 9 hours ago from TweetDeck

david lindltweeting@jlgray yes, but discovering voices/people -> too tedious. content disaggregated -> hard to follow convos. hashtags antiquated.about 8 hours ago from TweetDeck

Paul Marriottpmarriott@jlgray @tommykelly maybe a PC with Lord Torvalds is the best solution. No Micro$oft, no problem :) about 8 hours ago from TweetDeck

david lindltweetinganyone ever try friendfeed?about 8 hours ago from TweetDeck

Tommy Kellytommykelly@dltweeting http://friendfeed.com/tommy… . Not completely sure yet what the point is, other than an excuse for more social notworking.about 8 hours ago from TweetDeck

david lindltweeting@tommykelly me neither, but they have a friendfeed “room” … can aggregate tweets, blogs, pics, linkedin updates, etc.about 8 hours ago from TweetDeck

John Fordjohn_m_ford@tommykelly: re: “social notworking” LOL!!about 7 hours ago from BeTwittered

david lindltweeting@john_m_ford @tommykelly hah! completely missed that! not working indeed!about 7 hours ago from TweetDeck

Mentor Graphicsmentor_graphicsMentor Graphics Community FAQ http://tinyurl.com/atl8b3 #Mentorabout 4 hours ago from web

James ColgansfojamesSocial Networks Presage Professional Network Growth? http://bit.ly/8v8nVabout 3 hours ago from TweetDeck

JL Grayjlgray@dltweeting But on the bright side, you get to channel William Shatner when writing short tweets!about 3 hours ago from TweetDeck

Facebook & Salesforce - What Does it Mean?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Two weeks ago, at their annual Dreamforce Conference, Facebook and Salesforce.com announced that they had jointly developed technology that will integrate within pages on the popular social networking site the enterprise apps from the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendor. As an example of this integration, they demonstrated an app that can leverage the social aspects of Facebook to determine what “friends” on the service might be possible candidates for a job listing. As a result, recruiters can more easily reach a larger number of more qualified candidates and job seekers can be notified of potentially interesting job opportunities.  The app will automatically log where the referral came from and credit the friend with the referral.  Future integration with LinkedIn and MySpace should be forthcoming.

Besides improving the recruiting and job seeking process, there are 3 other aspects of this collaboration that are noteworthy and bring up possible applications in the EDA space.

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First, as stated in Denis Pombriant’s CRM blog,

using Facebook’s widgets and up-to-date demographic data, companies can develop applications that leverage customer knowledge that enables them to better sponsor and understand communities of interest without the expensive and time-consuming effort of keeping a customer list current. By definition, a user of Facebook or other social site will keep his or her data current out of necessity, and this will move us a long way toward relieving the problems associated with aging lists and duplicate entries.”

Just as recruiters can find better potential job candidates, EDA vendors and design services companies can find better potential customers and clients. If you are a small EDA company that already uses their software, why not build an app on Force.com that links to Facebook or LinkedIn to find potential customers? Not for the purpose of spamming them (please!!!), but for the purpose of identifying those who might truly benefit from your products and services so you can contact them directly. Alternatively, if you’re not a Salesforce.com customer, I’m sure that James Colgan would point out that there is also the professional user community at Xuropa that can serve a similar purpose. You could contact your prospect as follows:

“Hi Joe. My name is Harry Gries and I’m an independent ASIC Methodology Consultant. I noticed from your public profile that you are currently designing an extremely complex ASICs with some leading edge technologies and tools. Personally, I have over 20 years experience (over 14 years in the EDA industry) working with advanced technologies and methodologies and have helped several clients identify the right tools to use and put together working methodologies. If you feel you might have need for someone like me, please contact me through my profile.  Or, if you feel someone else might be interested, please pass on my contact info. Thanks for your time, Harry”.

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The second interesting aspect is the increasingly acknowledged business application and utility of social media. Just today I reminisced with a co-worker about the early days of the Internet when web sites were blocked because employees would “waste time” surfing the net. He remarked that today, if we were to block access to the internet, we’d have legitimate outcries that employees could not get their job done. The internet has become indispensible, for googling a technical term, for accessing product information and users’ experiences, for keeping up-to-date on industry news and technical breakthroughs. I expect that social media sites, such as Facebook, will soon be acknowledged as just as indispensible as more traditional web sites today.

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The third and final  interesting aspect is how the #4 provider in the CRM industry is “upsetting the applecart”. Continuing from Denis Pombriant’s CRM blog,

“…it was not any of the larger and older (and richer) software giants that made the announcement. Instead, it was a relative newcomer yet to celebrate its 10th birthday, and with revenues only a fraction of Oracle, SAP, or Microsoft, that made the news.

So why didn’t Oracle, SAP, or Microsoft, come to this conclusion and build a product? A good question. The answer rests less on technology — any of them could develop the technology — and more on temperament. Of the four companies, only Salesforce.com has an on-demand or Software as a Service vision not clouded by the need to preserve a massive legacy code base and the considerable revenue stream it represents. In short, Salesforce.com did this because it could and because it has a clear understanding of the future of computing.”

Three big industry leaders … the need to preserve a revenue stream … sound familiar?

harry the ASIC guy

One Goal, Two Faces

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

“Offshore drilling?”

That’s what a puzzled ASIC designer would have asked with bewilderment if you mentioned the term “off-shoring” 10 years ago. But today the world is flat and off-shoring means global teams, working ’round the clock in 6 cities on 3 continents in 4 timezones on 1 chip. And it’s not just off-shoring and out-sourcing driving this globalization. Design teams for complex chips can have 100 - 150 designers doing tasks ranging from RTL design, verification, physical design, software and firmware development, mixed signal design, and so on. You just can’t find all the designers you need with the right expertise in one place or even in one company.

There are economic factors causing us to work remotely as well. Last week, American Airlines announced that they would start charging for baggage and other airlines are also raising their fares due to record oil prices. Companies, already watching the bottom line, are encouraging their people to travel less, just as they did several years ago after 9/11. Telecommuting has become accepted, even encouraged in many companies as a way to promote better employee lifestyles, save on office space, and be more “green”. As a result, for most of us, the days of the co-located design teams are as long gone as Hillary’s campaign.

Of course, these same ASIC and software design teams have designed and continue to design the technologies that enable effective collaboration between these dispersed teams. The high-speed networks that are the backbone that make it all possible. The IP routers. The graphics and specialized processors.

And let’s not forget the software applications that run on this hardware … Wikis for collaboration … WebEx, Sametime, and NetMeeting for remote meetings … Skype and Vonage for cheap global conferencing … video-conferencing … instant messaging … Twitter … Second Life … social networks like LinkedIn and FaceBook.

These technologies are impressive. Several years ago, I worked out of my home in Southern California, managing projects with team members in Silicon Valley, Arizona, Colorado, Washington State, Vancouver, Texas, Florida, Ottawa, and Bangalore. We conference called and held WebEx meetings. We worked on the same hosted environment through secure VPN. When necessary, we got up early (5 AM) or stayed up late (1 AM) to collaborate with team members half-way around the world. And these teams were able to get the job done as a result of their strong skills, hard work, and the technology that allowed them to work together. But, something was still missing and thanks to my sister-in-law I now realize what it was.

Face Time!

Our kids keep us pretty busy, so when Evelyn suggested that we need more “face time” with our kids, Joyce and I were flabbergasted. More face time? Don’t we already spend enough time getting them ready for school, dinner, or bed, taking them to this or that activity, helping with homework? Are there more than 24 hours in a day?

The truth is, although these parenting activities are important, they are not really face time. Face time is not about getting things done … it’s about getting to know one another better. Obviously, this makes a lot of sense if you are a parent, but you’re probably wondering what face time has to do with ASIC design? After all, this isn’t eHarmony or Parenting 101.

Several years ago, I attended a one-day class entitled Managing Virtually: What Works, taught by Lu Ellen Schafer of Global Savvy. Lu Ellen gave great advice on using email effectively, “drive-by-phoning” to stay in touch, collaboration tools, and especially on the difference between cultures (fascinating). But one thing stood out that she said. “Initial face-to-face interaction leads to greater remote communication.” She continued by pointing out that “informal email exchanges often do not happen among new team members until they meet face-to-face”. My friend Ron put it another way, “email is a great way to continue a relationship and a lousy way to start one”. And studies have shown this as well.

As for me, much of my day is consumed by discussions, meetings, and conference calls with co-workers, clients, and vendors. But that’s not really face time, even the face-2-face meetings. Face time is about getting to know one another and what the other person cares about. It’s something I’ve tried to do, but probably did not do enough. Go out to lunch. Go to a ballgame. Take a flight to meet a new person in the organization or on the team. Plan a team-building event and fly in the remote people. I’ve always found it easy to find excuses not to do these things … too busy … no budget … next time. But in the end, I always regret it because there is something missing. Something that feels like “trust”.

As a program manager, I recall three specific situations in which there was not enough trust because there was not enough face-time. In one case, there was some very nasty inter-personal conflict happening, but neither party trusted me enough to share their concerns until the situation was too far along. In another case, one remote team member felt he was being ignored by another remote team member, but he did not want to “bother” me with the issue. In the third instance, one team member decided to overrule another team member’s recommendations because “he knew better”. In that last case, once they met face-to-face, these two designers became a great tandem.

We all have to decide … Face Time or FaceBook?

This is not just a philosophical question but a practical one. I became aware a few days ago of a new social media company called Xuropa. From what I can gather from the website, the Xuropa Tradeshow Platform let’s you attend tradeshows at your desk. There are booths, suites, labs, demos … just like DAC, without the face time. So next year you may have a choice, DAC or eDAC?

As for me, I’m gonna have lunch on Friday with some people I haven’t seen in months. What about you?

harry the ASIC guy

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised!!!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

My friend Ron has a knack for recognizing revolutionary technologies before most of us. He was one of the first to appreciate the power of the browser and how it would transform the internet, previously used only by engineers and scientists. He was one of the first and best podcasters. And now he’s become a self-proclaimed New Media Evangelist, preaching the good news of Web 2.0 and making it accessible to “the rest of us”.

Most of us are familiar with mainstream Web 2.0 applications, whether we use them or our friends use them or our kids use them. Social and professional networks such as My Space, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Podcasts in iTunes. Blogging sites on every topic. Virtual worlds such as Second Life. Collaboration tools such as Wikipedia. File sharing sites such as Youtube and Flickr. Social bookmarking sites such as Digg and Technorati. Open source publishing tools such as Wordpress and Joomla. Using these technologies we’re having conversations, collaborating, and getting smarter in ways that were unimaginable just 5 years ago. Imagine, a rock climber in Oregon can share climbing techniques with a fellow climber in Alice Springs. And mostly for free, save for the cost of the internet connection.

When we think of Web 2.0, we tend to think of teenagers and young adults. But this technology was invented by us geeks and so it’s no surprise that the ASIC design world is also getting on-board. Here are some examples from the ASIC Design industry:

Social media is networking ASIC designer to ASIC designer enabling us to be smarter faster. But that’s not all. Many forward looking companies have recognized the opportunity to talk to their customers directly. About 6 months ago, Synopsys launched several blogs on its microsite. Xilinx also has a User Community and a blog. It’s great that this is happening, but does it really make much of a difference? Consider what I believe could be a watershed event:

A few months ago, JL Grey published a post on his Cool Verification blog entitled The Brewing Standards War - Verification Methodology. As expected, verification engineers chimed in and expressed their ardent opinions and viewpoints. What came next was not expected … stakeholders from Synopsys and Mentor joined the conversation. The chief VMM developer from Synopsys, Janick Bergeron, put forth information to refute certain statements that he felt were erroneous. A marketing manager from Mentor, Dennis Brophy, offered his views on why OVM was open and VMM was not. And Karen Bartleson, who participates in several standards committees for Synopsys, disclosed Synopsys’ plan to encourage a single standard by donating VMM to Accellera.

From what I’ve heard, this was one of the most viewed ASIC related blog postings ever (JL: Do you have any stats you can share?). But did it make a difference in changing the behavior of any of the protagonists? I think it did and here is why:

  • This week at the Synopsys Users Group meeting in San Jose, the VMM / OVM issues were the main topic of questioning for CEO Aart DeGeus after his keynote address. And the questions picked up where they left off in the blog post…Will VMM ever be open and not just licensed? Is Synopsys trying to talk to Mentor and Cadence directly? If we have access to VMM, can we run it on other simulators besides VCS?
  • Speaking to several Synopsoids afterwards, I discovered that the verification marketing manager referenced this particular Cool Verification blog posting in an email to an internal Synopsys verification mailing list. It seems he approved of some of the comments and wanted to make others in Synopsys aware of these customer views. Evidently he sees these opinions as valuable and valid. Good for him.
  • Speaking to some at Synopsys who have a say in the future of VMM, I believe that Synopsys’ decision to donate VMM to Accellera has been influenced and pressured, at least in part, by the opinions expressed in the blog posting and the subsequent comments. Good for us.

I’d like to believe that the EDA companies and other suppliers are coming to recognize what mainstream companies have recognized … that the battle for customers is decreasingly being fought with advertisements, press releases, glossy brochures, and animated Power Point product pitches. Instead, as my friend Ron has pointed out, I am able to talk to “passionate content creators who know more about designing chips than any reporter could ever learn”, and find out what they think. Consider these paraphrased excerpts of the cluetrain manifesto : the end of business as usual:

  • The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media. As a result, markets are getting smarter, more informed, more organized.
  • People in networked markets have figured out that they get far better information and support from one another than from vendors.
  • There are no secrets. The networked market knows more than companies do about their own products. And whether the news is good or bad, they tell everyone.
  • Companies that don’t realize their markets are now networked person-to-person, getting smarter as a result and deeply joined in conversation are missing their best opportunity.
  • Companies can now communicate with their markets directly. If they blow it, it could be their last chance.

In short, this ASIC revolution will not be televised!!!

harry the ASIC guy