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Posts Tagged ‘Twitter’

Alibre Goes Social in a Big Way

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

I have had quite a few criticisms volleyed towards Max Freeman, the Marketing VP for Alibre, Inc. in regards to Alibre’s presence in social media.

As an engineer, I am conservative in my approach to new, untested technologies.  I was late to LinkedIn, late to Twitter, and I still don’t have a Facebook account.  Like many others, I questioned the value of these tools but could easily see the distraction they created.  None the less I couldn’t criticize if I haven’t tried them.  After using them, I realize there is value in these products, more than just name or brand recognition.  When used properly, they really do create relationships; provide timely, meaningful information about my industry; and don’t take up much time out of my day.

My criticism, though, lies more with the mentoring of future engineers.  Why? Because Facebook and Twitter are where the future engineers are.  If we are doing our duty as senior engineers and mentors, then we need to reach out to the young engineers – and that means social media.

Much to my surprise, last week Max announced on the Alibre forums a new website, Alibre Powered.  This is a Facebook-like clone developed specifically to allow Alibre users to showcase their abilities.  So, not only is it social media, but designed from the ground up to be a value-added user experience.

Alibre Powered

(image courtesy of Alibre Powered website)

I wasn’t about to let Max off the hook so easy.  He stated that Alibre spends its resources making the best CAD for the money and therefore doesn’t have time for social media.  But, Alibre has time for an entire social website?  Much to my dismay, I couldn’t pull one over on Max.  This is Alibre’s vision for Alibre Powered, via Max’s response to my razzing.

The amusing this about this project is that it required literally no resources. We thought about the idea, made it happen, and went  live inside of basically 24 hours. :)  The real goal is to let the users come and post their designs – and we can point schools, young engineers, media types, prospective customers, etc. here so they can see what “real” people do with our software, versus “marketing people” (us). We made this with a specific goal of making a living gallery basically, which is why the 2 main sections are “designers” and “their stuff” – but as you suggest it will also serve nicely as a social media aspect.

So congratulation to Alibre and their marketing team for putting together a very cool, useful, social outlet for Alibre users.  And, you can even use Alibre Design to create the logo.

(image courtesy of Max Freeman)

(image courtesy of Max Freeman)

Hopefully Alibre can expand on this and join the ranks of Siemens, Solidworks, and Autodesk by having an official, or at least unofficial, presence on Facebook and Twitter.

CAD and Social Media

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

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.

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