I have to admit, I’m not an early adopter nor beta tester of too many things. I don’t have the time nor the desire to risk failure over someone’s work that I have no direct oversight.
Nonetheless, I find myself almost addicted to beta testing not only CAD software but also the latest in social media. Me, an engineer, who would rather shy away and be a wall flower than join a conversation among a group of people. What benefit is there to being a part of the cutting edge in technology? Things like Google Wave, Technorati (CTQDMSPEFNWY), Twitter, and LinkedIn. OK, so many of these are not new or cutting edge to you, but for a conservative engineer who likes things to be proven to him before jumping on board, they still are new.
What value is Twitter? What value is LinkedIn? What value is Posterous compared to a blog or Twitter? What value is linking Twitter with LinkedIn? Well, apparently quite a bit.
The problem is, the only way to get value of these new forms of media is to be on the cutting edge of adopting them. Not only do you get to experience the joys of a new toy, but you get to influence its development. Not directly, but by defining useful methods of utilizing the media.
So keep on eye on emerging trends. Take time to invest in them. Get the old dog to learn new tricks. And most importantly, let’s all network and see how we can better communicate what engineer & design is to all the young engineers who breath cutting edge.