Gamers are abuzz about a new program from Microsoft Corporation coming out this fall that will integrate the Xbox 360® with Facebook and Twitter. It'll enable Xbox 360® users to post statuses, see friend updates, view photos as well as take and share pictures of their favorite gaming moments.
Arnold Blinn (CS'87), a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, is an architect at Microsoft Corporation and had a hand in its design.
"The new software we've created for Xbox LIVE gets these social networks out of the office and PC and into the living room," said Blinn. "Things like communication and viewing photos are often more natural in this environment and can be more fun. It also allows people to discover and connect with friends that they can play games with."
Driven by a passion for consumer software, as an architect Blinn designs products and solutions for customers with an in-depth knowledge of the implementation and how it will work and come together.
Blinn's current role is on the Xbox LIVE team, but prior to that he was the integration architect for Microsoft's Windows Live division — where a big part of his job was working with social networking sites and integrating Microsoft services with other Networks.
"Suffice it to say that I'm a geek who knows a little bit about social networking on the Internet," he joked.
"Since I've graduated I've seen the advent of e-mail, instant messaging, blogging, Twitter and social networks like Facebook," Blinn said. "All of these have a common theme: they allow people to connect with each other. Personally, I'm envious that these ways to connect didn't exist when I was younger."
Blinn enjoys enabling people to connect through new and meaningful ways, and feels he would not be in the position he's in today without his education.
"Carnegie Mellon certainly taught me a combination of software architecture and abstraction that allows me to design what I think are well built systems," he said. "More importantly, it taught me this in a way that was practical and not theoretical."
Blinn serves on the Carnegie Mellon Alumni Association Board of Advisors.
"I wanted to serve on the Alumni Board to help the university reconnect with alumni. What surprised me was how much this has given back to me," said Blinn. "Since I've joined the board I've seen firsthand how rewarding this type of reconnection has been both personally and professionally. My hope is that more alumni see this mutual value of having a lasting relationship with Carnegie Mellon."