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What Social Media Web Sites Do Signal Integrity Engineers Use?

Posted November 17th, 2008 · 4 Comments · Survey

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Social media can be broadly defined as "groups of people conversing and exchanging information online."

Signal integrity engineers started using social media — also known as Web 2.0 — long before it was ever called by those names: the signal integrity e-mail reflector ("si-list") fits the definition.

Ray Anderson, the founder of si-list, kindly let me post his history of the si-list:

I believe that si-list went "on the air" on May 16, 1994.

There was a short course on "Electrical Modeling, Simulation and Design of Electronic Packages" that was taught by Raj Mittra, Paul Franzon and Jose Schutt-Aine in San Jose, CA on May 9-12, 1994. During the last day of class we passed around a blank piece of paper collecting e-mail addresses from anyone who wanted to be included in a proposed signal integrity email list. When I returned to my office at Sun Microsystems the following Monday I put together the initial si-list with about 30 subscribers from the previous weeks short course. Now, about 14.5 years later we have somewhere around 3500-4000 subscribers.

(More info at Ray’s site)

So the si-list even predates that milestone moment of "Web 1.0": the IPO of Netscape on August 9, 1995.

But besides the si-list, which other social media sites do you and your colleagues use for work and pleasure? Take this fun, quick, informal, unscientific poll and get instant gratification of seeing the tally so far.

What is your usage of Facebook?

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What is your usage of LinkedIn?

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What is your usage of StumbleUpon?

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What is your usage of del.icio.us?

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What is your usage of Digg?

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What is your usage of Twitter?

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If you use site that is not listed below, please also leave a comment by clicking the link in this post. Also please add a comment if you have thoughts about this topic.

If you want more information on social media take a look at Social Media Overview by Gregory Go on About.com or the Wikipedia article on social media.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Don Lafferty

    It’s ironic that the very community whose daily toil creates the environment in which Social media flourishes is still so hesitant to take full advantage of this ubiquitous resource.

    In my personal campaign to bring my colleagues up to speed on the possibilities of a place like LinkedIn, for instance, I’ve run into tremendous lack of ability to grasp the potential of a well conceived networking strategy.

    But I think it’s an age thing.

    If you looked at the ages of your survey participants, I bet you’d see a correlation of higher usage among the population of younger respondents.

    Right now I think a combination of LinkedIn, Facebook and a blog provide a firm platform for development of a sound Social Media strategy. What you do with it once you have the platform built is where the real value has the potential to emerge.

  • Colin Warwick

    Thanks Don. I’m reminded of the interview Steve Jobs did with an ancient BBC interviewer who asked “What do you do about old people like me who would never touch a computer?” His response was something like “That’s the wonderful thing about death. Your generation is dying, and I only have to wait for the younger generation — my customer base — to grow in number.”

  • Nichole Mitchell

    I think Don made some very good points. Social networking is an interesting thing. I just read an article in Money on how not to act your age. I thought it was funny that the article presented social networking as a means of being hip for the “older” generation. I don’t think engineers really care about being hip, but maybe that’s just me.

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