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Adventures at DesignCon – Twitter Logs and a Gold Stocking Woman

JohnCurious about the picture? All in good time. First, as promised, here is my summary of the inputs from all those brave participant who posted to the #DesignCon section on Twitter. Day 1 of Twitter posting were disappointing, since over half of them were press releases. Come-on, you PR and Marketing types! At least pretend that you understand what social media content is all about. Nobody is going to read a press release posted on Twitter – or Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, or any other social space.

There where also several tweets from folks who either pointed to press releases or asked if anyone was attending a particular panel. Both struck me as hidden attempts by company reps to direct traffic to press releases or upcoming panels. File both under “lame.”

And then there was the post from harrytheASICguy. Very refreshing. He asked a question that didn’t point to a press release. Instead, Harry directed readers to an impartial online poll about which verification methodology are most designers using? OVM? VMM? You can see the results at (expand). Nice job, harry! Here’s something of real value.

Secondly, I want to share my brief adventures at DesignCon. I had only enough time to quick walk of the floor, during which time I met with Mixel, Virtutech and Altium. Mixel wanted to talk with me about an upcoming article on MIPI Camera Serial Interface with a major customer – look for that piece in an upcoming Chip Design issue.

Concerning Virtutech, my main goal was to Michel Genard, VP of Marketing. Virtutech is promoting itself as a Virtual System Design (VSD) company, as opposed to a strictly SoC focused Electronic System Design (ESD) tool vendor. This subject of system-level design, be it at the SoC, package, board or beyond, is of particular interest to me. Look for my interview with Michel in an upcoming venue.

Now, concerning the picture above with (from left to right): myself, “Bunny,” and Jim Harrison. The shot was taken at Altium’s booth. Altium was an unplanned stop for me. But once I saw it, I had to stop and ask them what was going on. Their space looked more like the inside of a hunting lodge than a trade show booth. And the tall leggy woman in gold stockings caught my eye as well. Her name was Bunny (real name was Aaron) and she was part of a marketing campaign about the dangers of overworked engineers and dating. But the real message was about their tool’s capability to lay out circuit boards in 3D, program FPGAs and perform both mechanical and electrical CAD checks. Maybe not as sexy as Bunny, but still pretty impressive. Look for my interview with Altium in an upcoming issue.

Jim Harrison, editor for Hearst’s Electronic Products, joined me for a quick shot with Bunny. Since both Jim and I are former engineers, we were by nature more interested in our electronic gadgets than in talking with an attractive woman. Right….but it makes for a good camera shot.

Finally, as I was leaving the DesignCon floor, I bumped into my old friend Georgia Marzalik from ValleyPR. She was going to a panel on “New Media/New Marketing: Using On-Line Media to Gain a Competitive Edge.” I was afraid this would be about how best to post press releases on Twitter and Facebook. But it wasn’t. Instead, it covered the growth trends in social media followed about a panel discussion from various companies with a social presence, like blogs, etc. I could only stay to listen to the first panelist – Richard Goldman, VP, Corporate Marketing – talk about social media development at Synopsys. He highlighted the importance of having blogs and of not pitching products on your blogs. Or posting press releases on Twitter. Here’s another fellow that “gets it.” Good job, Rich.

(BTW: Mentor’s CEO Wally Rhine’s keynote at DesignCon was earlier in the day and will be covered by Ann Steffora Mutschler on our (Ed Sperling and my) System-Level Design portal community.)

This ends my coverage of DesignCon and review of postings on Twitter’s DesignCon. The former is still worth attending and the later needs some work. I’ll try it again at the next big conference – maybe Multicore or ESC. Nite all.

4 Responses to “Adventures at DesignCon – Twitter Logs and a Gold Stocking Woman”

  1. Harry Gries Says:

    Hi John,

    I appreciate the kind comments concerning my online verification poll.

    There was some malicious behavior that I detected today that has affected some of the results. I’m in the process of pulling that data out. I still encourage people to vote and use a real name so I know it’s not an EDA vendor or someone else “stacking the deck”.

    As for DesignCon, the best tweet I saw was “want to learn about pseudo differential vector signaling for noise reduction”? I haven’t heard that line in a long time :-)


  2. KarenB Says:

    Yeah, Harry had quite an experience! It prompted me to publish my 5th Commandment for Effective Standards.

  3. John Blyler Says:

    I’m been following Harry’s blog

    Amazing. Not surprising, tho. I remember the 802.11a and b “wars.” It’s never pretty.

  4. Paul Lindemann Says:

    Thanks for opening up this subject and writing about your Twitter experience. It’s very helpful to read this, since like many, I’m trying to figure out how best to use this stuff, for myself, and for clients (I’m a marcomm consultant).

    I timidly tried two #designcon tweets, but it seems you’ve put them both in the “lame” category! I’m trying to understand why.

    First, people always walk up to our booth and ask “what’s new?” So, I thought Twitter might be an efficient way to tell those attendees who cared exactly what news we had at the show, so they could stop by or not. This was a company-branded tweet so it was clear what was going on (i.e., it wasn’t pretending to be a fellow engineer making a suggestion).

    Is that sort of tweet not potentially useful to people at an event?

    Second, I wasn’t able to attend this year, but had a strong interest in how the new IP Summit programming went. I was especially interested in one of the business forums, so I tweeted asking for reports or reactions from anyone there, under my personal identity. One of the panelists was indeed my client, but I was actually hoping to get unbiased third-party appraisals, not trying to direct people to the panel. (Getting something like @jlgray’s stream of tweets on Peggy’s DVcon panel would have been really helpful.)

    Again, isn’t this a decent use of Twitter?

    I know as an editor you’re constantly bombarded by crappy PR stuff, and understandably sensitive about Twitter being misused like every other channel that reaches you. And I see you’ve since tweeted that Twittering at DesignCon was a “failure.”

    Besides things like Harry’s poll, how would you suggest we make better use Twitter at, say, DAC?

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