PLM beyond Twitter

I wanted to get back to micro-blogs, and more specifically, to Twitter.  In one of my previous posts, I discussed the potential of micro-blogging as a tool for collaboration. I’d like to take it even further, using Twitter as an example.

My observation is that Twitter can be a good example of how to create a collaboration tool for people who dislike managing their work, by definition. I’m referring to designers and engineers…

Why do I think that Twitter, in particular, and micro-blogging, in general, will make designers and engineers happy?  I think that the main point is that tools like these will free their mind while keeping a record of their work at the same time. A Twitter-like collaboration tool will allow them to communicate openly. However, on the other hand, Twitter provides very good notification and search capabilities (take a look at http://search.twitter.com  or http://www.tweetfeed.com  for example).

So, here is my basic proposal for Twitter as a collaboration tool for designers/engineers:

1.       CAD/PLM content can be placed or referenced in twitts (by reference, 3D or picture)

2.       Allow designers and engineers to manage conversations (following, direct messages, notifications).

3.       Keep record of activities and changes

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  • Hi Oleg,

    How do you see this functioning inside the PLM tools? Would it be similar to what Chris is doing at Vuuch? I can also see automating it by having a url to the plm object converted to a tinyurl, then posted to twitter.

    Are there alternative twitter servers available? My understanding is it all must go through twitter.com.

    Best Regards

    Tom

  • We’ve been trying to get something like this going with Yammer, but the toughest thing is getting everyone to use it.

    Like Tom says it would be better through a system like Vuuch. In fact probably exactly like it.

    But it seems, for some reason, that the hardest part is to get people to use it. We’re complacent in our outlook/word/excel world. so hoping that changes.

  • Oleg,

    The one thing missing from Twitter that needs to be addressed before this can work is some sort of message identification that would permit threading. Without it, there is too much confusion.

    Brad

  • Tom, I don’t think about PLM as tool with specific boundary. I see it belongs to space that fuzzy defined today as Product Development and Manufacturing. I cannot talk about similarity with Vuuch, since I’m not developing product… :). From my standpoint, when I thought about micro-blogging, I interested how people can produce content that can be consumed by other people. For me, main difference between Twitter and other collaboration tools is that is considered as in the same way as other information in the system.
    Regards, Oleg

  • Josh, Thanks! I see you comment is very important and interesting. I understood you piloted Vuuch and you liked it, right? But you got trouble to ask people to learn one more system in addition to all office tools… is it correct?
    -Oleg

  • Brad, sounds like you are trying to structure messages in Twitter… right? Actually, I’ve see that Twitter allow you to get to right content without “placement” – structure of messages. You can subscribe and search… is it good enough?
    Regards, Oleg

  • My thought was to use twitter as a protocol to notify someone about a PLM event. The event may or may not have human entered text. This is redundant, as most systems already do this with email, but having the capability may enable other opportunities. Or, it’s a solution looking for a problem :).

    Josh, is right, any additional effort requirements will be resisted.

    Tom

  • Tom,

    For me twitter is social net. From technological standpoint this is global IM with persistent storage for all messages (actually this is what twitter is doing). So, if you wanted to leverage this net as protocol, I’m almost with you. Why almost? Because ability of Twitter to create content and distribute it via social end-points is the most strong characteristic in my view. Therefore my proposal was to connect PLM content to Twitter.

    But, yes Josh is right. If it will be another system user have to learn in addition to mail, it will not be good and users will not be happy.

    -Oleg

  • Oleg, How are you following Twitter posts? So far, I’ve just been going to the web site. If twitter messages can be sent to an existing “message monitoring” tool, already being used it may have a better chance of adoption.

    Tom

  • Tom,

    I’m monitoring Twitter with RSS. Back to my post about RSS – http://plmtwine.com/2009/01/23/how-to-improve-plm-collaboration-and-information-delivery-with-rss/
    You can use http://www.tweetfeed.com/ or http://www.tweetfeed.com/.
    In addition, I’m using http://search.twitter.com which also have RSS support.

    Best -Oleg.