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Posts Tagged ‘EDA bloggers’

Turning the tables on Graham Bell

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

 

All of us in EDA know and know of Graham Bell, head honcho of EDA Café and notorious video chronicler of EDA. Liz and I often wonder, “who hasn’t Graham interviewed on video?”

Well, we were able to grab the microphone (after a little jostling for the mike) and camera and ask Graham what he thought was happening in EDA and with EDA media these days.

Here’s what he had to say.

So why comment on blogs?

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, a client asked, in essence, “why comment on articles or blogs?”

OK, so he didn’t say it exactly like that. But he did say that he’s

…struggling to figure out what really makes sense regarding the growing amount of posting by anybody and everybody….Is all this writing and blogging serving a real purpose? I’m not sure. Some blogs get recognition and response….I think most don’t.

He’s got a point. I think bloggers (indie, company and editorial) all feel, in our gut, that there’s value. But how do we measure that value? What do comments add to a blog or article? Tough one.

So I asked some of the bloggers what they thought. First off, I went to one of the longest running bloggers in EDA – Karen Bartleson. (Is it really three years, Karen? She’s at http://www.synopsys.com/blogs/thestandardsgame). She shed really insightful light on why EDA blogs get so few comments, if we compare them to consumer blogs like Yelp. And, she has her blog up on what she’s seen in the three years since she started her blog. So do take a look at Karen’s analysis of EDA blogging. I bet she’s got a take on the state of EDA blog comments.

Karen’s, along with a bunch of other bloggers’ comments on EDA blog comments gave me some trends to ponder. Some recurring points:

__the honeymoon infatuation period for EDA blogging has come…and is going. Now there needs to be some sense of longterm value.

My take…just what is “value” in terms of EDA blogs? Different from perspectives of the client, journalist and PR person.

__some indie bloggers say they see their blogs as diaries, written for themselves and interested people.

My take…everyone is aware of a larger cast of potential viewers, however. (By and large, they value comments but don’t use it as a metric of their blog’s value.)

__there are more eyeballs on the blogs than we can ascertain.

My take… however, these numbers are impossible to get for viewers and bloggers hosted by other sites. There’s no SRDS* in the EDA & IP social media world.

*SRDS was (is?) an organization that certified reader numbers for print publications so that they could charge advertising rates based on readership.

__engineers by and large are pretty quiet, shy types who rarely will comment or extend a discussion, even if they do read the blog, article and their accompanying comments.

My take…this came up a lot. I’m not sure…would their shyness prevent them from commenting? Probably. Would the relatively anonymous filter of the comment field encourage them to speak out? Potentially.

__by and large, the number of comments aren’t an accurate measure of eyeballs.

My take…lots of agreement that some sort of metric on value is reasonable, understandable. Less agreement on whether it’s needed now.

(One person compared the dilemma to the old attempt to measure column inches to value, which measures volume but doesn’t take into account perceptual, qualitative value.)

__commenting is a lot like getting a quote into an editorially-written article insofar as creating an authoritative voice that gets recognized, over time, as an industry voice to listen to…or not, depending on the content of the comment).

My take…one especially insightful editorial blogger felt that comments are a dynamic part of a living, breathing article that encompasses new perspectives with new comments and discussion.

One difference that I see is that the editor or author of the article hasn’t vetted the comment or incorporated it into his or her article. The comment is a response to the vetted article, which is the insightful editorial blogger’s point, I now see.

__the blog (and blogger) or article (and author) and its comments, to some degree, form a community onto each of themselves.

My take…this discussion got a bit abstract for me but I hear the notion. Help!

__this is a good time to talk about the expectations of each community (indie bloggers, editorial bloggers, company bloggers) and how to sync up each community so that there is value for everyone.

My take…but it’ll require the different goals and expectations of each community to somehow sync up so that each community’s efforts bring value to one another. How does that sync up with goals and expectations of customers, clients?

Of course, there’s no answer (yet) to the question about value here. The bloggers (indie, company and editorial) feel that there is value in commenting. Many of them agree that no one can measure value right now but that there ought to be some way to do so. Most everyone thinks that there is an existing, intangible value of being a voice of authority, an industry citizen.

And everyone thought we ought to keep talking about this issue.

Comments anyone?

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– end –

RICHARD GOERING: one year later

Monday, February 1st, 2010

(As we all know, Richard Goering is a longtime EDA editor who went to work for Cadence in March 2009, where he writes the Industry Insights blog and works on various writing projects. I recently had a chance to talk with Richard about his year on the corporate side of editorial writing and the state of EDA editorial: where it’s going and what it’ll look like, if it continue to exist. It will, but…BTW,  something’s different about Richard’s photo…)

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ED: It’s been about a year since you moved from editorial over to Cadence. What differences, if any, do you see?

RICHARD: First, there’s a difference between blogging and news reporting. A blog is shorter and more personal, and is written in a different style. After many years of conventional news reporting, blogging has taken some adjustment.

Also, writing a corporate-sponsored blog is different from writing for an independent publication that covers news from all vendors. With the Cadence Industry Insights blog , I’m writing about most of the same issues I would have covered for EE Times, but where appropriate I’ll include a Cadence perspective or product mention. I don’t generally write about developments from other companies, unless some sort of Cadence partnership is involved. I should note, however, that since I’m focusing on issues rather than products, I don’t often write blogs about new Cadence products.

ED: So it’s been a change to come over to the dark side…not that there’s much of a “light side” any more, huh? What did you perceive as the dark side and what does it look like now, to you?

RICHARD: I don’t really think of it in terms of a “dark side” and a “light side.” Independent publishers are not doing charity work – they’re in business to make money like everyone else, even if they don’t succeed!

For me, working for a major EDA company has certainly been an educational experience. I now have a much better idea of how EDA companies function. Before EDA companies were mysterious monolithic entities that spit out press releases and products. Now I see the “people” side of the industry – lots of creative and diverse people who have many different ideas, and somehow come together with a consistent message.

ED: You’ve covered EDA for over 20 years. Clearly the publication world has changed, is collapsing as we speak. What lies ahead for EDA publications and coverage?

RICHARD: A lot less coverage, as we’ve seen already. Still, publications like EE Times, EDN, Chip Design Magazine and Electronic Design do have some EDA coverage. But a lot of the coverage going forward will come from blogs, forums, and various social media outlets.

ED: Where EE Times is concerned, it seems that there has to be some connection with a chip design issue for there to be EDA coverage. Otherwise, it goes to EDA Design Line. I think that’s fine, but it sure says something about how that once-mighty publication has changed, huh? Well, don’t let me put words into your mouth. How is the change in EE Times emblematic of what’s happened to EDA editorial?

RICHARD: It’s not just EDA editorial – EE Times has a lot less editorial, period. There is still some EDA reporting once in a while, but there seems to be more of a semiconductor focus. That probably makes sense given the lack of EDA advertising and the greatly-reduced editorial resources.

ED: What role will the new era bloggers (indie, corporate, editorial, PR) play? How will those roles evolve?

RICHARD: Blogging provides a new information channel that’s hopefully written in an engaging style, by someone with expertise in a given area. Given that some EDA bloggers are chip designers or consultants, it can be a “peer to peer” communications channel. It can also be a two-way channel if a conversation develops.

Independent bloggers, I suppose, are those who are not paid by a company to blog, although many do have employers. While every blogger has her or his own biases and points of view – a point of view, after all, is what blogging is all about – independent bloggers have the potential to be on neutral ground with respect to EDA vendors.

Corporate bloggers will reflect the positioning of their companies, but they can also provide a good deal of useful, in-depth information that you won’t find elsewhere. With Industry Insights, I have been able to write some “inside look” kinds of blogs that it would have been difficult to write from the outside. For example, I wrote a series of blogs about what it takes to port EDA software to multicore platforms, drawing upon Cadence’s experiences in this area.

Due to the lack of editors, there are very few EDA editorial blogs. Those that exist are picking up some of the coverage that’s missing from the electronics trade press. An example is Ron Wilson’s Practical Chip Design. I haven’t seen much in the way of blogs from PR people, although yours is an exception.

ED: OK, since you bring it up, what role do EDA PR bloggers have in EDA blogging?

RICHARD: I think PR bloggers would do best to focus on issues like social media, PR, and advertising, as opposed to technology. With all the changes in the media, there’s plenty to write about.

ED: But blogging seems more opinionated than EDA editorial, which you covered for so long and so rigorously. I mean, clients were intimidated by the perceived “wrath of Goering” and would oftentimes minimize their hype when being interviewed by you. Thus, we got a comprehensive and objective overview of the technology area from you, even when you covered new products. Will we see objective reporting disappear?

RICHARD: No. As I noted, there is still some EDA reporting in the traditional media, and some bloggers do objective evaluations of major new products and announcements. But the days when every EDA announcement would receive coverage are long gone.

ED: So what role will traditional press play?

RICHARD: I think there will be some continuing coverage of really big announcements or developments. But there will be a lot less product coverage and new company coverage than there used to be. Unfortunately, there are a lot of press release rewrites in the press these days. That doesn’t provide much useful information for the readers.

ED: How possible is it that an EDA press disappear? Why?

RICHARD: Very simple – lack of advertising. It’s part of the meltdown we’re seeing across the publishing world. Also, EDA stories don’t get tens of thousands of readers. There’s a very small, specialized audience, although they have big wallets.

ED: What’s there to keep EDA honest if there’s no longer an “industry press?”

RICHARD: There is an industry press – there’s just less of it. There are also a growing number of bloggers watching EDA developments. But more and more it will be up to the users to help keep EDA vendors on the right track. With the ability to start a blog or comment on blogs, join on-line forums, speak at user group conferences, and participate in Twitter groups like #EDA, EDA users now have a voice – and they will hopefully use it for the betterment of the industry.

ED: What’s your sense of pay for play in editorial? Good, bad or necessary?

RICHARD: I’m not going to say it’s bad, but if a company pays to have an article written, I think that should be made clear to the reader.

ED: Well, EDA’s benefited from your historic participation in the industry. Witness your DAC award a few years back. It’s been, what, over 20 years, starting at Computer Design? I’m not sure anyone can see an EDA industry without Richard Goering in place. Thanks for taking the time to catch up.

RICHARD: And thank you for the opportunity! After interviewing your clients for years, it’s an interesting turn of events to have you interview me.

– end –

DAC’10…capturing the WHOLE essence, revitalizing the role of the traditional press

Monday, October 12th, 2009

(Sean Murphy, Liz Massingill and I conclude our conversation about how DAC’10 could improve.)

Sean: There are two different trends at work here, one is that we are becoming more “real time” and connected, the other is that print media and traditional journalism is withering. I do think they   interact – and perhaps reinforce – one another.

Liz: Could the press be resisting? Sean, I’d like to see the press interact more with the bloggers.

Ed: Two years ago, reporters saw bloggers as a major threat, veritable Matt Drudges that sullied the sanctity of objective reporting. This year, the reporters see bloggers as opinion makers who work off the basic reporting that the few remaining reporters do. There’s a great potential interaction there.

Liz: True. And some reporters also blog.

Ed: That’s true, Liz. We are talking in big, broad strokes, and segregating reporters and bloggers into strictly defined camps. The reality is, reporters are also bloggers. So I think we’re talking more about the traditional reporting role. Not so much the evolving nature of the reporter/blogger. How many major reporters? In the US, I can count them on one hand. In the US and Japan? Maybe 6 or seven. US, Japan, Europe? Maybe 9, 10?

Sean: So compared to ten years ago one-third to one-quarter of the number of press attendees?

Ed: Easily a third. Probably a quarter. And the remaining press are getting older. One columnist has long noted that we have no new reporters coming into EDA. How come?

Liz: So with fewer and fewer traditional press, there has to be an acceptance of the bloggers.

Ed: You have that middle group who sees the need for change and are trying to form a hybrid reporter/blogger identity. We all need bloggers, but I’m not sure bloggers will be the foundation for basic reporting. So my question: will basic reporting go away?

Liz: I certainly hope not.

Sean: Liz, I think to your earlier point, bloggers are accepted. Look at Atrenta inviting them, Synopsys now invites several to their press functions. Cadence hired Goering to blog. Synopsys, Mentor, Cadence have all unleashed dozens of their employees to start blogging and are highlighting it from their home pages.

Liz: It is a trend. But I think we also still need the more objective reporting to balance out the bloggers.

Sean: I think the way that you are going to get objectivity is through multiple reports. I think there are probably at least two dozen bloggers who feel an obligation to their audience to be objective.

Ed: But the bloggers’ very nature is to render an opinion. By definition, the opinion, while legitimate, isn’t objective. One could argue that same point with reporters, but there’s a presumption that reporters try to report without injecting an opinion or slant into the article. At least, in the US.

So Sean, it’ll be up to the reader to digest many many blogs, articles, etc and then come up with his or her own interpretation? More or less, that’s what we do now and did before…except that there no longer is that authoritative editorial voice to point to any longer.

Liz: Well, for sure, bloggers don’t want press releases. It’s crazy that so many PR people do mail bloggers with what the bloggers have always said they do not want!

Ed: Ok, So if we were to sum up our thoughts, we’d suggest to DAC that

1) they find a way to capture the essence of the conference…and that is NOT restricted to papers;

2) CC brought an energy and momentum to DAC that ought to be replicated;

3) the press room needs to become a place of activity, not of refuge;

4) the press engage those EDA folks who need to know what the press needs in order to do their reporting job.

Maybe that would help redefine the reporting job and possibly resurrect that very necessary function.

– end –

So what was the DAC’09 story?

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

(Sean Murphy, Liz Massingill and I FINALLY get together to talk about DAC’09. Sean was instrumental in the highly-successful programming at Conversation Central, the bloggers room. Liz attended, participated and jawboned with the bloggers with a view toward them being a new group of individual opinion makers who, as a collective, form a cadre of influencers that take on a permanent role in the EDA world.)

Liz: So what stood out for you two at DAC?

Ed: Not so much technology but the rise of social media in EDA, and especially the role of bloggers in EDA…whatever that role might be.

Sean: For me it was conversations at the Birds-of-a-Feather session on Project Health and Conversation Central. Both venues had CEOs – admittedly CEOs of small firms – wrestling with new issues: managing global teams, social collaboration, SaaS, and cloud computing. These events allowed them and others to compare notes, explore scenarios for what future companies and design teams will look like and how they will interact. Current tools, design flows, and methodologies are not going to scale. And in both the BoF and Conversation Central, we could explore the changing landscape together. CEOs met, exchanged information and will continue the dialogue after DAC.

Ed: Sean, interesting insight. What needs to be tossed and who needs to do the tossing?

Sean: The conference needs to return to its roots. DAC was formed as a community of practice among EDA practitioners, comparing notes face to face on design automation issues that they faced. I think the conference should organize around fostering face to face conversations, between practitioners, with vendors, with researchers, at both a management and engineering level. The second thing that used to be true was that key aspects of DAC’s output were persistent. Too much of the important content–like Doug Fairbairn’s Pavilion panel–is completely ephemeral. When I look back at earlier panels often all I can find is the description, no slides, no transcript.

Liz: What stood out at DAC for me was Conversation Central. I thought it brought a lot of people from various ranks together talking about what blogging meant to EDA……….and not just about blogging but also focusing on the other forms of new social media like Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sean: Why was Conversation Central significant?

Ed: For me, it was the first time the bloggers appeared as a force. And compared to the press room, it was alive – educational, on the cusp of a new constituency in EDA.

Sean: Accentuated by the disappearance of regular press. Karen Bartleson contacted me earlier this year and said “I want to run a press room for bloggers.” We talked about it and I suggested that Synopsys instead focus on fostering conversations between a variety of stakeholders: customers, competitors, partners, new media, legacy media.

Liz: I think the press room is in the midst of being re-defined. The question is…will the press and bloggers co-mingle and be a big happy family? And will others outside the media be welcome?

Sean: Clay Shirky wrote a great piece on ” Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable < http://www.shirky.com/weblog/2009/03/newspapers-and-thinking-the-unthinkable/ > ” which concluded “That is what real revolutions are like. The old stuff gets broken faster than the new stuff is put in its place.” I don’t think we know what is going to take the traditional publishing model’s place.

Ed: Conversation Central gave us a valuable program, invited all interested parties to attend and participate. The twitter feed made it seem like Times Square in buzz and activity.

Liz: There was a certain energy at Conversation Central. The room was alive with enthusiasm and the sharing of ideas.

Sean : And the tweeting was viral. Karen Bartleson worked diligently to let people know about the #46DAC hashtag, and it created a common channel: that’s what gave Conversation Central its buzz, the formation of a community.

Ed: Almost like creating a town on the old west frontier, where only isolated homesteads existed before.

Liz: I tweeted for one client’s event and was pleased by the reception.

Sean: Liz, you can only say so much in twitter and it can be hard to be succinct, so kudos to you.

Liz: Twitter has its place. And the EDA bloggers know how to make good use of it. And Karen did a marvelous job in Twitter for Beginners of showcasing the various features of Twitter. I think maybe the point is that there are various forms of media that one can make use of and that it’s probably a good idea to try to tap into as many avenues as possible.

Ed: So it sounds like we’re all saying that social media will somehow, some way fundamentally affect many aspects of how EDA operates. Clearly in customer service, inevitably in marketing and PR. Now the question is, “how?”

Liz: Yes, how? Anyone have any ideas?

Sean: Maybe your readers could chime in on that.




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