What can PLM Learn from Social Computing on TV?

What I learned this week … was sparked by a small article by Jennifer LeClaire at newsfactor.com. The article was short and sweet, and announced that Verizon Adds Social Networking To FiOS TV Service. So other than the fact that I like FIOS and this points to further consolidation between TV and multi-media computing (which I think is both cool and invetible), why did I care? It reminded me that social computing is a capability, and that how you apply it – and in what context – can turn it into something very unique. That is what Verizon is starting to do with their TV service, and exactly what the PLM community needs to do with social computing in product development.

What I Learned: Socially Developed Engineering and Product Documentation?

What I learned this week … came from two recent conversations with manufacturers about their use of social computing to support product innovation, product development, and engineering. I am exploring how companies are using these technologies to improve design and product development collaboration, but also trying to uncover ways they are going beyond collaboration on a specific product or design. Two of my recent conversations touched on the use of wikis and blogs to present information. To be more accurate, these manufacturers are using wikis and blogs to both collect and communicate engineering and product knowledge. Pretty interesting stuff, I think.

What I Learned: Flogging the “Facebook for Product Development” Horse

What I learned this week… is that it is really fun to pick on Facebook because it doesn’t have the capabilities to support product innovation, product development, and engineering. Of course, it was never intended to and that is probably not a market that they are really very interested in. But it is fun, and also helps to bring home some of the requirements that are important for social computing in PLM. This post started as a reply to Stan’s comment on my “not building an airplane on Facebook post,” and I realized after about 17 pages of comments that maybe I had better turn it into a blog post. Thank you Stan for bringing up a lot of very good questions.

What I Learned: We are not Going to Design an Airplane on Facebook!

What I learned this week … came from a participant at my session on Social Computing in PLM at COFES last month. A quote from the session has been haunting me since that time, and I haven’t been able to place my finger on why it has resonated in my head. I think because it is both meaningful to me and meaningless at the same time. The quote was “We are not going to build an airplane on Facebook!” The statement drew a lot of chuckles, and I have to believe it’s a true statement of fact. But I think why it haunts me is that people are willing to discount the value of a hugely important trend (the use of social computing technologies in business) because the examples they have don’t quite fit the way the currently work.

Why Social Networking in PLM is More than Just Collaboration

What I learned this week … came as the result of a conversation I had recently with some of the people I know who are passionate about the use of social computing to improve product development. The examples that we kept discussing were good, but to me I kept hearing about better collaboration. Important, but from my use of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. I kept feeling like there was more to it that I wasn’t able to articulate. In one of those “aha” moments (aided by one of my favorite innovation tools, the white board) I finally got it. I would like to share that with you if I can.