Meet Salmon. Not the fish swimming upstream to spawn, lay eggs and die, but the protocol that defines how comments can link to resources being discussed across the Web. It's an open standard based on decentralized blogs; social networks like Google Buzz and Facebook; and sites like Twitter. The protocol can link these comments no matter where they post.
The goals of the code project include a reference implementation and library developed to prove protocol specification, demonstration and application to show how Salmon works, and tools to help implementers interoperate, according to Google.
Marketers will use it to monitor the chatter about their companies across the Web similar to the way Twitter allows them to monitor chatter from people (suppliers) or companies those managing supply chains might want to "follow" such as engineers. Yes, engineers and smart geeks like @cdibona, @jbqueru and @JohnMu, or engineering communities like @USCViterbi. (You can follow me at @lauriesullivan.)
Look at Twitter as a research tool. Engineers working on concepts can tweet a line or two on Twitter about a project or idea to gain feedback from followers or the follower's followers. The concept is to share ideas through social media links with a variety of people and platforms. When multiple platforms connect through a single platform such as TweetDeck, engineers can share one idea across Twitter, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Buzz, Foursquare, MySpace and other social sites. Links in the tweet can direct followers to other Web pages with information and videos.
Engineers also can find a few investors to follow on Twitter (@RonConwayFacts and @kraneland) to determine market trends before developing products or building out supply chains. Or find the entrepreneurs who have made successful companies, not once, but many times over: @mlevchin and @GuyKawasaki.
What set me off? I point to Hawk's comment to Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT) vice president Al Maag's blog post.
(See: To Tweet or Not To Tweet: That is the Question.) Hawk wrote: Twitter being "one of those services that make no products or engineer
anything" and "most engineers avoid it because of the mindless drivel that comes with it. I know it will fade away in
the near future but only to be replaced by a new variation of blah, blah, blah."
Those who don't tap into social media will miss the next evolution of the electronic supply chain. Engineers will begin to use social media as a means to not only share ideas and concepts with OEMs and potential consumers, but suppliers will follow supply chain gurus to determine trends, schedules and even introduce themselves to a new prospective client. It's called team building, partnering and building relationships.
I keep going back to a conversation I had in the early 2000s with Avnet chairman and CEO Roy Vallee. We sat face to face in his office at Avnet headquarters in Phoenix discussing how the electronics industry would pull out of its slump. We talked about mobile products, innovation and new technologies that didn't exist at the time, new technologies like Twitter that would forever change the supply chain.
Twitter's latest funding round led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers ,
placed a $3.7 billion valuation on the company. It sharply increased Twitter's value from $1 billion last year.
Founded in 2007, the San Francisco-based company in total has now raised about $360 million. A recent research report indicates 8 percent of Americans online use Twitter.
Engineers and supply chain professionals are a creative bunch. Have you rethought social media's role in the supply chain? How would you use Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, Buzz and others?