Monday Apr 27, 2009

5

Linda tells us that BSC is 5 today. That`s amazing. I had no idea. I totally lost track. Well, the truth is I can`t remember my own birthday let alone anyone else`s, so no one should be surprised. I think I take BSC for granted now. It`s just there. It just works. But I shouldn`t take it for granted at all. The application transformed my work life and enabled me to communicate with people all over the world. For that I am most grateful. We even launched OpenSolaris on BSC, and at the time that was a bold and controversial move for Sun -- and it caused a few arguments as I recall as well. Back then many of us were new to blogging and communicating in the open, but BSC provided an excellent platform for those involved in OpenSolaris to tell their stories. Directly. No filters.

My first post was a on the 30th of April 2004, just a couple of days after the so-called opening. Initially, I didn`t even know the damn thing was turned on. I followed Danese into a conference room one day and it turned out to be some blogging meeting. I heard rumors but didn`t know anything. I just sat down. I met Tim Bray for the first time in that meeting. Simon was there. Will. And some others but I can`t remember everyone. Half way though, I leaned over and looked at Will`s laptop and he was poking around on BSC. I looked at the URL and said something like "Is that thing on? That`s outside? You didn`t tell anyone?" And he responded (casually, of course) with something like "Yah, it`s live. I just turned it on." You have to realize how revolutionary that "just turning it on" bit was for Sun five years ago. But that`s pretty much what they did. People found out soon enough, though, eh?

Anyway, Linda Skrocki has been one of the leaders of the BSC effort, and many of the founding members of the platform are still around and still helping guide us all. BSC helped liberate many of the voices we so freely read today because the community is based on trust. I don`t think OpenSolaris would have been quite the same without BSC. I wouldn`t either, actually. I`d be getting a lot more sleep. Like now. It`s 2:30 in the morning and where am I? On BSC.

Thursday May 15, 2008

Community First

Why Twitter Matters: "How could tiny Twitter ever become such a titan? It's not the core technology, which is simple, but instead the community." -- Stephen Baker, BusinessWeek

Monday May 12, 2008

Sun Guidelines on Public Discourse

It's really nice to see the Sun Guidelines on Public Discourse evolving. Linda Skrocki has all the details. With thousands of Sun employees blogging and participating in a variety of open communities around the world, it's amazing to see the quality and standards remaining so high. We have built a thriving communications community at Sun (blogs, wikis, open source communities, forums,  and it is based on trust and mutual respect between the employees and the company. We also have some really excellent documents to set the context for building this community.

Some important BSC links: Apache Roller, Dave Johnson, The Founders of BSC, BSC FAQ, Original Policy from Tim Bray, The Making of the Policy from Tim Bray, Sun Blogger License Agreement 1.1 (and an explanation from Simon Phipps), and Will Snow.

Sun Guidelines on Public Discourse

Many of us at Sun are doing work that could change the world. Contributing to online communities by blogging, wiki posting, participating in forums, etc., is a good way to do this. You are encouraged to tell the world about your work, without asking permission first, but we expect you to read and follow the advice in this note.

Advice

By speaking directly to the world, without prior management approval, we are accepting higher risks in the interest of higher rewards. We don't want to micro-manage, but here is some advice that we expect you to follow to help you manage that risk.

It's a Two-Way Street

The goal isn't to get everyone at Sun contributing online, it's to become part of the industry conversation. So, if you are going to write, look around and do some reading first, so you learn where the conversation is and what people are saying. Remember the Web is all about links; when you see something interesting and relevant, link to it; you'll be doing your readers a service, and you'll also generate links back to you; a win-win.

Don't Tell Secrets

Anything you post is accessible to anyone with a browser. Some sites have a restricted content feature, but keep in mind that external content is NOT as secure as content that resides on a protected intranet — you are responsible for the content you post and the restricted spaces you manage. Common sense at work here; it's perfectly OK to talk about your work and have a dialog with the community, but it's not OK to publish the recipe for one of our secret sauces. Content requiring a non-disclosure agreement or considered Sun Proprietary should NOT be published on Sun's community sites — even in spaces set up to restrict access to Sun employees only. If the judgment call is tough, on secrets or other issues discussed here, it's never a bad idea to get management or Sun legal help before you publish.

No Comment

Do not comment on work-related legal matters unless you are Sun's official spokesperson for the matter, and have Sun legal and management approval to do so.

Policies Apply

Sun's Standards of Business Conduct and other Sun Policies (including export compliance, trademark guidelines, privacy requirements, proprietary and confidential information protection, and anti-discrimination) continue to apply.

Be Respectful

Whether in the actual or a virtual world, your interactions and discourse should be respectful. For example, when you are in a virtual world as a Sun representative, your avatar should dress and speak professionally. We all appreciate actual respect.

Be Interesting, but Be Honest

Writing is hard work. There's no point doing it if people don't read it. Fortunately, if you're writing about a product that a lot of people are using, or are waiting for, and you know what you're talking about, you're probably going to be interesting. And because of the magic of linking and the Web, if you're interesting, you're going to be popular, at least among the people who understand your specialty. Another way to be interesting is to expose your personality; almost all of the successful online voices write about themselves, about families or movies or books or games; or they post pictures. People like to know what kind of a person is writing what they're reading. Once again, balance is called for; a community site is a public place and you should avoid embarrassing the company and community members. One of Sun's core values is integrity, so review and follow Sun's Standards of Business Conduct in your online community contributions.

Write What You Know

The best way to be interesting, stay out of trouble, and have fun is to write about what you know. If you have a deep understanding of some chunk of Solaris or a hot JSR, it's hard to be boring or get into too much trouble writing about that. On the other hand, a Solaris architect who publishes rants on marketing strategy or tax policy has a good chance of being embarrassed by a real expert, or of being boring.

Don't Write Anonymously

If you comment publicly about any issue in which you are engaged in your capacity as a Sun employee, even loosely, you must make your status as a Sun employee clear. You should also be clear about whether, in such commentary, you are speaking for yourself (presumably the normal case) or for Sun.

Business Outlook Rules

There are all sorts of laws about what we can and can't say business-wise. Talking about revenue, future product ship dates, pricing decisions, roadmaps, unannounced financial results, our share price or similar matters is apt to get you, the company, or both, into serious legal trouble. Stay away from financial topics and predictions of future performance.

Quality Matters

Use a spell-checker. If you're not design-oriented, ask someone who is and take their advice on how to improve. You don't have to be a great or even a good writer to succeed at this, but you do have to make an effort to be clear, complete, and concise. Of course, "complete" and "concise" are to some degree in conflict; that's just the way life is. There are very few first drafts that can't be shortened, and improved in the process.

Think About Consequences

The worst thing that can happen is a Sun sales pro is in a meeting with a hot prospect, and someone on the customer's side pulls out a print-out of something you've posted and says "This person at Sun says that product sucks." In general, "XXX sucks" is not only risky but unsubtle. Saying "Netbeans needs to have an easier learning curve for the first-time user" is fine; saying "Visual Development Environments for Java suck" is just amateurish. Once again, it's all about judgment. Using your public voice to trash or embarrass the company, our customers, your co-workers, or yourself is not only dangerous, but not very smart.

Moderating

Some community sites, such as wikis, require a Sun employee moderator. Optional moderation on other sites such as a group blog and forum can add value by maintaining content organization and responding to ongoing decisions and questions. The goal of moderating is to "guide and nurture" not "command and control."

Other People's Information

It's simple — other people's information belongs to them (be it Intellectual Property or Personal Information). It's their choice whether to share their material with the world, not yours. So, before posting someone else's material, check with the owner for permission to do this. If you're unsure, Sun's copyright experts or Sun's privacy experts can offer guidance.

Disclaimers

Many employees put a disclaimer on their front page saying who they work for, but that they're not speaking officially. This is good practice, but don't count on it to avoid trouble; it may not have much legal effect. Community sites contain material written by Sun employees and are governed by company policies. When employees leave Sun, material written during their employment normally remains in place and is subject to the same policies. Sun Alumni are invited to have their non-Sun blog syndicated on our Alumni Blogs site and may continue to contribute material to wikis and forums, where additional terms and conditions apply.

Rev 2.0, Updated May, 2008
Rev 1.0



Sun Blogger License Agreement 1.1

By signing below, you agree to the following:

1. Definitions:

“Intellectual Property:” worldwide common law or statutory (a) patents, patent applications, and patent
rights; (b) rights associated with original works, authorship, moral rights, copyrights, and all its
exclusive rights; (c) rights relating to the protection of trade secrets and confidential information; (d)
rights associated with designs, industrial designs, and semiconductor design; (e) trademarks, service
marks, trade names, and trade dress; (f) rights analogous to those set forth above and any and all
other industrial or intellectual property rights; and (g) registrations, divisionals, continuations,
continuations-in-part, renewals, reissues, reexaminations, and extensions of the foregoing (as
applicable) now existing or hereafter filed, issued or acquired.

“License”: this agreement and the grants of rights in this agreement.

“Sun”: Sun Microsystems, Inc., its affiliates, and its successors in interest.

“Sun Portions of the Work”: the portions of the Work that are owned by Sun but not including any
Unlicensed Sun Intellectual Property.

“Unlicensed Sun Intellectual Property”: Sun's Intellectual Property that you are not permitted to use or
publish according to the Sun Guidelines on Public Discourse or other applicable agreements and
policies.

“Work”: all content in any form posted or otherwise published by you at http://blogs.sun.com or
http://www.java.net/blogfront and all blog content that you prepared within the scope of your
employment at Sun and published on the URL(s) you list below your signature; but excluding (i) all
third party materials and Intellectual Property and (ii) Unlicensed Sun Intellectual Property.

“You”: an individual current or former Sun employee who publishes or has published content at
http://blogs.sun.com during your employment at Sun.

“Your Portions of the Work”: the portions of the Work that are not Sun Portions of the Work

2. Sun retains the sole right to control the site at http://blogs.sun.com and any content posted thereon,
and may elect at any time to remove the Work or any portion of it from the site for any reason.

3. You grant to Sun, with respect to Your Portions of the Work, a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-free,
non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, modify, display, perform, sublicense, distribute and create
derivative works based on Your Portions of the Work.

4. You also grant to Sun the right to use your name, photograph, likeness, and biography solely in
connection with the Work for the purpose of identifying you as an author.

5. Sun grants to you (i) with respect to the Sun Portions of the Work, a perpetual, worldwide, royalty-
free, non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, modify, display, perform, sublicense, distribute, and create
derivative works based on, the Sun Portions of the Work, and (ii) the right to use the name “Sun” or
“Sun Microsystems” only to identify Sun as your place of work when you created the Work, but no
rights for any use of other Sun trademarks or logos.

6. You retain ownership of Your Portions of the Work created by you, and Sun retains ownership of
the Sun Portions of the Work and of all Unlicensed Sun Intellectual Property.

7. Each party may charge a third party fees to sublicense the Work and each party waives any right to
an accounting from the other for such fees or any right to share in any such fees received by the other.

8. To the extent permitted by applicable law and to the extent of this License grant, the parties waive
the “moral rights” of authors (or the equivalent) with respect to the Work.

9. A party's license to the other will terminate if the other party fails to comply with terms herein and
fails to cure this breach within 30 days of becoming aware of it. Provisions which, by their nature, must
remain in effect beyond the termination of this License will survive.

10. To the extent not prohibited by applicable law, this License will be governed by and interpreted
under California law without regard to or application of choice-of-law principles. If any term of this
License is found to be invalid under an applicable statute or rule of law, then that term will be deleted
and this License will remain in full force and effect.

11. You may assign this License to a third party, provided that you obtain Sun's prior written consent
to the assignment, which will not be unreasonably withheld. Sun may assign this License at its
discretion. This Agreement will be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the permitted successors
and assigns of each party.

12. THE PARTIES LICENSE THEIR RESPECTIVE PORTIONS OF THE WORK TO EACH OTHER
ON AN “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES THAT THE WORK IS MERCHANTABLE, FIT
FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR NON-INFRINGING, EXCEPT YOUR WARRANTY TO SUN
THAT YOUR PORTIONS OF THE WORK ARE ORIGINAL WORKS OF YOUR AUTHORSHIP OR
THAT YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO GRANT THIS LICENSE. THIS DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY IS
AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THIS LICENSE. NO USE OF THE WORK IS AUTHORIZED EXCEPT
UNDER THIS DISCLAIMER.

13. EXCEPT AS EXPRESSLY PROVIDED IN THIS AGREEMENT, IN NO EVENT WILL EITHER
PARTY BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR
PUNITIVE DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF PROFITS, USE, DATA OR
OTHER ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE), REGARDLESS OF THE THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING
FROM OR RELATED TO USE OF THE WORK UNDER THIS LICENSE, EVEN IF THE PARTY HAS
BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF THESE DAMAGES. FURTHER, LIABILITY FOR THESE
DAMAGES IS EXCLUDED, EVEN IF THE EXCLUSIVE REMEDIES PROVIDED FOR IN THIS
AGREEMENT FAIL OF THEIR ESSENTIAL PURPOSE.

14. You represent (i) that you have the authority to execute this License and (ii) that you are the sole
author of Your Portions of the Work or you have the right to license this material under the terms of
this License.

Please sign below, scan and return the complete document (not just the signature page) with
the subject line “Signed License” to blog_license@sun.com.

Signature: ________________________________________
Name (Printed or Typed):  ____________________________
Date: _____________________________________________
URL(s):  ___________________________________________
____________________________________________





Sun Blogger License Agreement 1.1


FAQ and PDF License for Manual Signature

You may have learned about the Sun Blogger License Agreement during a recent log-in to blogs.sun.com or from one of our blogs.  The introductory message to employee bloggers inviting you to enter the license is reprinted here for your convenience.

For technical reasons, we can't offer you another chance to click through and accept the agreement, but if you declined the agreement earlier, you can enter it by downloading, signing and returning a hard copy from this page.  A pdf version of the license is included as an attachment on this page. Bloggers that are former employees may also enter this license the same way.

Intro:  Clarification on Ownership of Blog Content

A number of bloggers have asked who owns the content of the Sun blogs and whether bloggers are allowed to copy the content to non-Sun blogs. We thought we would clarify these questions for the blogging community.

We think many of you would agree that blogs are most interesting when they include content from both your job at Sun and from your personal life outside Sun. This means that most employee blogs include some intellectual property that belongs to you and some that belongs to Sun. So by default, you would need to separate these strands if you wanted to move or copy portions of your blog.

To avoid the need and hassle to separate these two strands, we are inviting all Sun employee bloggers to enter into a cross license with Sun. Under the license, you will get to use and copy your blog in its entirety, and we can keep your entire blog in place at http://blogs.sun.com.

Once you enter this license, you will have the documented right to make complete backup copies of your blog and/or move it to another blogging platform. Sun can remove material from blogs.sun.com at any time so you may want to back up your hard work! You will also be able to syndicate your blog (so will we); we won't ask you to share fees. You can compile your blogs in book form or other formats.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I direct questions about the the license?

Contact us at blog_license@sun.com <mailto:blog_license@sun.com>

I am a former employee and the alias did not work for me.  Who can help?

Thank you for your patience.  We have resolved this technical issue and it should be working now.  Thanks to those of you who brought it to our attention and wrote to us individually.

Can I change my "Accept" or "Decline" response?

We wanted to deploy this quickly, so we do not have the technical functionality to change your response.  If you declined and want to accept the agreement, you can use the pdf attachment on this page.

Does this license only apply to blog content that currently resides on blogs.sun.com? What about existing Sun-related content I have on my blog on another platform?

We have updated the pdf license to version 1.1 to address blog content on java.net and other platforms.  We are updating the license here, but not at the blogs.sun.com, because we don't want to send bloggers who have accepted 1.0 through the process again, and we don't have the technical ability to exempt them.

Can I respond to the license agreement later?

We wanted to deploy this quickly, so we used an existing feature set that did not include an "I'll do it later" option by click-through.  If you declined, you can agree now by downloading and signing the pdf and returning it to our alias.

The license feature does not appear to be functioning properly for me. Who can help?

Please direct questions of this nature to Service Desk: Report a Problem -> eBusiness Applications -> blogs.sun.com

Can Sun Alumni be granted the license?

Former Sun employees can enter the agreement by downloading and signing the pdf and returning it to our alias.

What changes are in version 1.1 of the license?

We have updated the pdf license to version 1.1 to address blog content on java.net and other platforms.  We are updating the license here, but not at the blogs.sun.com log-in, because we don't want to send bloggers who have accepted 1.0 through the process again, and we don't have the technical ability to exempt them.

What if I entered version 1.0 and I want to enter version 1.1 now?

You are welcome to do that by signing version 1.1 manually and returning it to us.


Wednesday Apr 16, 2008

Congrats, Linda Skrocki

I know Melanie and Mary already bogged about this, but I couldn't resist. I'm a fan. Check out Linda Skrocki being profiled as a leader in corporate social media -- The New Robert Scobles: Seven Leading Corporate Social Media Evangelists Today. Very cool.

Monday Jun 28, 2004

JavaOne: Schwartz to Blog

According to the NY Times, Jonathan's going to blog .... now this is getting interesting, eh? "Mr. Schwartz will also announce that he plans to begin writing his own Web log on a regular basis. Several Sun employees maintain online dairies, known as blogs, at both official and unofficial Web sites. Mr. Schwartz said he was interested in reaching a computer industry audience directly, unfiltered by reporters."
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