engineeringIn an effort to more effectively communicate with our customers and partners, we have recently re-designed and upgraded the technology of the D-Tools blog. We understand that there are many issues surrounding our industry that can have a dramatic impact on our constituents, and that many of us prefer to receive our news and information in a number of different ways.

The D-Tools Blog has really been Adam Stone’s baby since it’s inception, and he has spearheaded this latest iteration. More about how this project came about here. The D-Tools blog is a dynamic, ever-changing environment where we will be commenting on topics that are significant and relevant to the residential and commercial AV, networking, and security integrator market.

As part of this re-engineering process we looked at the D-Tools Newsletter and the manual processes behind its publication every month. Since most of the content will be published via the blog, our monthly newsletter will now be  a monthly digest of the best of the blog. Our most recent newsletter can be found here. In addition to the monthly newsletter, there are a number of ways to get updates or stay up to date. We are utilizing many new technologies that have been collectively categorized as Web 2.0, including the ability to subscribe via automatic monthly newsletter, RSS, or follow us through Twitter.

For those of you new to Web 2.0, the term really refers to the collection of technologies, websites, wikis, and blogs that have made it easier for individuals to communicate, collaborate, and interact. Myspace, LinkedIn, and Facebook are a few examples of early pioneers of this growing trend. RSS is really a family of Web feed formats that are used to publish frequently published content – such as blog posts, news headlines, audio and video – in a standardized format. RSS “feeds” often include either an excerpt or the full text of an entry, and allows publishers an automated way to get their content out to as many people as possible. RSS content can be read via standard web browsers, specialized RSS readers (such as those provided by Google or Yahoo) or email applications such as Outlook. Our blog is fully RSS-enabled, so if you would like to be notified whenever there is a new post you can subscribe to the blog via RSS.

You can also follow us via Twitter. Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows you to send and read other users’ updates (which are text-based posts known as “tweets”). This service basically allows you to “follow” other like-minded users in the Twitter community and share a dialog on whatever topics you may be interested in. Adam Stone likens Twitter to a “Water cooler conversation with the world.” It is a great new way to get connected to others in our industry, and you can also keep in touch via your mobile device. For more info on Twitter please click here.

Other important industry information providers are using this new technology in order to better serve the industry. Here are some examples of industry-related blogs that may be of interest to you. You can sign up to follow any one of these via RSS.

CE Pro – http://feeds.feedburner.com/cepro/rss/recentlyfiled
Home Theater Magazine – http://feeds2.feedburner.com/HomeTheaterBlog
InfoCommBlog.org – http://infocommblog.org/communityserver/blogs/default.aspx
Pro AV Online – http://www.proavmagazine.com/blogs.asp?sectionID=1790
Stereophile – http://www.stereophile.com/rss/nonstandard_rss.xml
Security System News – http://securitysystemnews.blogspot.com/
Security Industry News – http://news.emergency24.com/blogs/industry_news/default.aspx

Stay tuned as we continue to build and re-develop our processes. We are on the verge of releasing SI5.5, which will be the strongest release in the company’s history, and the result of our engineering and product teams constantly evaluating and re-tooling their development processes. For a sneak peek please see this post. More to come very soon.