This is one of the most interesting online ideas for European electronics engineers that we’ve seen for a long time. The new IET Discover system is a social network along the lines of Digg and that allows engineers to manage and share bookmarks. It’s clearly not a new idea, but to focus specifically on the electronics community might create a truly useful research tool that intelligently links information. In true Web 2.0 fashion, IET discover is labelled as still being in beta! Cool really has arrived at Savoy Place!

The big question is will it work? We really hope that it will, but can see difficulties. The two big problems with any social network are Metcalf’s law (with a small user bases the site will have limited value, so growing to a critical mass is tricky) and social spam (if the links are all provided by suppliers trying to promote products the value of the information is limited). At Napier, we’d love to see this solution become a valuable resource for European engineers. Currently it’s a long way from being the electronics industry resource, but we strongly recommend that you try it and let us know whether you think it will succeed.