Yesterday @eddieawad let the proverbial cat out of the bag about the new My Oracle Support community set to launch within the next few days. My Oracle Support will replace Metalink as the formal process channel for Oracle customers with support contracts.
I got a demo today, and it's pretty slick - nice UI, tagging, new forums built on WebCenter Interaction (formerly AquaLogic User Interaction), document sharing, etc. The community is also aligning with OTN in recognizing Oracle ACEs, and their reward points system is also identical to ours. The My Oracle Support team is very interested in collaboration with us, which is a good thing.
The question will surely arise though: Why YAC (Yet Another Community)?
Well, the simple answer is: because support customers want it. These features have been specifically requested by those folks. And it's plain common sense to accept that the community peer-support model can help defray support costs.
Confusion is sure to occur, however. People who are active OTN members may now be tempted to donate their precious time elsewhere, especially in a new community that is a blank slate - think of all the new community reputations to be built! And Oracle end-users who are unfamiliar with our Chinese menu of community offerings will wonder where to post their questions (if they don't already).
It could end up being a boon to OTN however - we will have to sharpen our commitment to evangelism, and make our differences with formal support even more stark. I would also like to think that people will tend be more active in and committed to a free and transparent community, vs. one behind a firewall. Time will tell on that subject.
What do you think we can and should do to make OTN and My Oracle Support as complementary as possible?