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Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?

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NBMorty
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
NBMorty   3/18/2009 1:34:45 PM
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I see Twitter being useful as a broad networking vehicle. 140 characters is enough to initiate an intelligent conversation to a broad audience, but not so much as to let people go off on their multi-page rants. However, I still see much more value in conversation or face-to-face meetings. You may not be able to judge the reaction of the user from his/her Tweet as well as you can from the sound of his/her voice or body language. From a productivity standpoint, I still prefer to pick up the phone, have my questions written down, verbally communicate my issues, and either have them addressed immediately over the phone or have them taken away, researched and then dealt with offline (within a reasonable timeframe). Will the art of verbal communication be lost on the "Social Media Generation"? Perhaps Carpal Tunnel will have something to say about that...

MikeDemler
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
MikeDemler   3/18/2009 1:04:46 PM
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Yes, in-person socializing is best and engineers should do more of it. However, there are several reasons why engineers should take advantage of web 2.0 social media. First, it can facilitate face-to-face introductions at a later time. That has happened many times for me. Second, it is becoming critical in career management to develop a personal brand. Engineers are having important conversations via Twitter and blogs, and both are great channels for near real-time access to information and events. Mike Demler ... find me on Twitter or in my blogs

Engineer62
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
Engineer62   3/11/2009 3:06:56 PM
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I contribute to technical news goups (Usenet) and forums (fora?) as they (at least the ones I choose) are stimulating and educational (both ways, I learn and contribute.) I don't have a blog and will have nothing to do with Facebook or Twitter which I perceive as shallow, silly and populated by too many idiots. But I am planning to set up a website to cover my hobbies (vintage radios and the piano) but I haven't got a "round tuit" yet - still looking! (but studying xhtml 1.0 in the meantime!) Cheers, Roger

lamaya
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
lamaya   3/11/2009 2:48:32 PM
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Time to comment, yes. Blogging or twittering... In order to post a comment to a friend's blog I was forced to create an account, so I have a blogger page; but it is EMPTY. Twitter is different. I have no clue what it is. I hear lots of people talk about it and I haven't even gone to their website to see what it can do. We need social networking, of course. But how about having some real social contact? Talk to other people in person! lamaya

Marco Wang
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
Marco Wang   3/11/2009 4:32:17 AM
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Social networking is for young generation, who are still teenager and stay in high school or college.

polygame
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
polygame   3/4/2009 10:10:21 PM
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I felt guilty just taking the time to read this and it's hard to make the time to write documentation that you know would help further along. Where would I get the time to write about something not directly related to any of the projects I am working on?

JeffreyH
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
JeffreyH   2/28/2009 2:38:17 AM
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I've been fortunate to be in the position of helping technology companies -- from semiconductors and equipment to IT and Web/software development -- consider social media for ten years. I'm talking list-servs, message boards, blogs, micro-blogging (e.g., Twitter), and social networks. For these busy professionals, the hype coming from early adopters and the media is often very confusing. Should I sit on the sidelines? Should I jump in? Will I look like I'm wasting time if I do? Or could I appear out-of-touch if I don't? For many, it feels an awful lot like high school. When asked for my opinion, I often tell them to research first. If your peers or someone you're trying to reach is on social media, it may be worth looking into *professionally.* If they're not on there, but you're curious, tinker as time allows. It's as simple as that. The many technology industries differ culturally more than the public realizes. I can say that, generally, new media adoption goes like this: Web/software developers, then IT staff, and finally electronics engineers. There are always exceptions to the rule. Why? Friends and colleagues have entertained many theories. What I can tell you for certain is four years ago when IT clients were using blogs to reach peers, many electronics engineering clients were still reluctant. However, today, you see dozens of active electronics engineering blogs created by individuals, trade pubs and vendors. Perhaps Twitter itself won't see wide adoption by electronics engineers, but I bet some micro-blogging tool will. After all, it takes a minute to update Twitter, while it can require an hour to write a blog post. How's that for efficiency in a busy day? Go to search.twitter.com and do some searches around, say, FPGAs. The results will pale in comparison to those of Web/software development and IT conversations, but you'll be surprised how many people are asking questions and giving input in a space that's relevant to engineers. One more thing: Our agency, McClenahan Bruer, studied Chinese engineers in 2007 (study at http://www.mcbru.com/china_study.html). We learned that many more Chinese respondents were using new media versus what we heard from their U.S. counterparts in our 2005 study. Perhaps we can't generalize about electronics engineers and their appetite for new media across the whole world. Perhaps the value of these tools should be determined on a case-by-case basis. - Jeff of McClenahan Bruer

MAR
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
MAR   2/27/2009 11:06:53 PM
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I'm a relative old timer, and I use facebook all the time. But only as a social tool to keep up with friends and family (for which it is a revolutionary tool.) But I haven't yet found a compelling use model for social networking tools at work. Applied engineering, being less information-driven and more "head down and work" may not be a good match for that broadcase/receive model of communication. People in careers that are more information-driven, such as journalism or politics, will find these tools more useful. I would suggest that engineers and scientists in less "applied" fields (e.g. corporate R&D, academic faculty and students) will find these tools extremely useful. Recall that the Renaissance intellectuals were well known for keeping up extensive written "correspondence" with their peers. What would da Vinci or Darwin have been able to do given Facebook or MySpace?

ttt3
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re: Counterpoint: Twitter, or fritter?
ttt3   2/27/2009 8:21:48 PM
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Bill - As an engineer in his mid-late 20's who works with a range of younger and older engineers, I can say that the younger generation of engineers has embraced social networking, while the "old timers" are still holding out and living in relative isolation. These "old timers" are often the same type who insist on voice phone calls to settle technical issues instead of more efficient email communication. It's old school versus new.

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