When Twitter first came out, I couldn’t figure out how it could possibly be useful in a professional setting. What can you say in 140 characters or less? “Going to cafeteria for lunch now – thoughts?” It seemed like a restrictive form of instant messaging that could instantly broadcast trivia across the globe to people who really don’t care.
My perception has changed over the past year. I noticed that many high-tech bloggers tweet, if only to tell followers about their blogs and continue discussions that start in the blogs. I noticed a lot of tweeting from conferences, including interesting tidbits sent in real time from panels and presentations. This culminated at the Design Automation Conference, where there was a very active #46DAC list with something like 1,500 tweets.
Recently I signed up as @RichardGoering. My intent was to simply listen in for a while and get a sense of what Twitter is all about. I soon came to the conclusion that the primary role of Twitter, in our industry, is to point to on-line news reports, blogs and event listings that people find to be interesting. There are also short messages about news events, conferences, and standards activities, and right now, as you can imagine, a lot of commentary about the Apple iPad.
In recent days, I have been monitoring the #EDA list. Lo and behold, I’m finding it to be useful! Here are some of the things I discovered through tweets posted there during the past few days:
A group called DVClub Silicon Valley holds interesting lunch talks on IC verification. I attended one Jan. 26 and plan to blog about it.
- Pointer to a blog about TSMC fixing its 40 nm yield issues.
- EE Times opinion piece about need for an international EDA road map.
- A SystemVerilog-201x “listening campaign” will be held Feb. 26, the day after DVCon.
- Blogger Olivier Coudert started a debate on #EDA about whether innovation in formal verification has stalled. I responded, as did others.
- Interesting and provocative article: “Will normal folks ever use Twitter?”
You can also find interesting content by searching for #FPGA or #Semiconductors. The #DVCon list turns up the latest information about that conference. You can follow the latest Cadence news and commentary at #CDNS. Remember, however, that our industry doesn’t have a monopoly on acronyms -- #DAC turns up tweets about the Denver Boy Scouts, and #ESL is about English as a Second Language.
Twitter seems like a fast way to find out what’s happening in the world of electronic design, and to continue the interactive conversation initiated by blogging and other social media. I’ve become more of a believer and have posted my first few tweets. And I promise that, if you follow me, I won’t tell you what I’m having for lunch.