Sunday Apr 26, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Sun Blogs!

It's been five amazingly successful years for blogs.sun.com as of today. The success of this site has often been the focal point of corporate blogging done well and while the physical site, statistics, and sensible guidelines are impressive works of art, it's the the less tangible accomplishments that matter most to me.

Similar to the sentiments attached to my childhood home address, "http://blogs.sun.com/lskrocki" is not only the cornerstone for my digital footprint and where I first blogged, but it's where I learned that protecting ones professional voice is worth fighting for. It's a place where I am encouraged not only to communicate openly with the market place and the world about my focus at Sun, but as stated on the front page of this site it's also a place where I'm welcomed to "write about anything". It's through many of us writing about "anything", that I've met people near and far whom I respect, admire, learn from and consider friends.

In my post one year ago today, I wrote "What's in store for Sun Blogs in the future? More great blogging, of course." Facing that same question today amidst micro-blogging and a pending acquisition, I can't really begin to venture a guess at what's next for this site, but what I do know is something I've said in many conversations when asked about providing social tools in the corporate space -- whether tools are conveniently placed in front of them or not, people will find a way to connect and communicate. It's in our DNA.

A million thanks to the Sun Blog founders and anyone who has contributed to this great conversation via a blog post, a comment, or even a leisurely read!

More posts on this topic.

Tuesday Apr 14, 2009

Wednesday Apr 08, 2009

Cloud Computing Basics and More

A collection of resources to help demystify cloud computing...

Cloud Computing in Plain English

About cloud computing as a utility -- much like electrical & water utility services where you pay only for the computing and storage that you use, as opposed to paying the overhead of creating & maintaining your own data center.


Data Center of the Future: Supernap by Switch

It's no longer a thing of the future -- it's a glimpse inside the brick walls that physically house cloud engines. Think of it as being a cloud compute and storage utility site equivalent to an electricity plant.



The Cloud, Virtualization, and All That

A webcast featuring Jonathan Eunice on why cloud computing is relevant -- an IT culture shift from "if we should use it" to "why wouldn't we use it". Comprehensive explanations of public vs private vs hybrid clouds, how virtualization is the grease that enables it all, and definitions of:

SaaS: Software as a Service
PaaS: Platform as a Service
DaaS: Data as a Service
HaaS: Hardware as a Service
IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service
XaaS: X as a Service, for whatever X


A Guide to Getting Started with Cloud Computing

A free pdf on why the cloud isn't just about inexpensive computing, cloud history & how to use, leverage, build and be the cloud, Sun's Open Source and Interoperable cloud philosophy, how to join the Sun cloud API community and sign up for Sun cloud public beta.




For me, as is the case with most end-users, I simply want my favorite websites to:

A) Always be available
B) Always be snappy (even during a major events that may cause unexpected traffic spikes); and
C) As Don with SmugMug puts it, I want owners of my favorite sites to focus on "writing great software".


“We really don’t want to operate datacenters anymore. We’d rather spend our time giving our customers great service and writing great software than managing physical hardware.”

— Don MacAskill, CEO, SmugMug

Friday Apr 03, 2009

Things that warm my heart...

  1. A colleague receiving well-deserved recognition for his amazing contributions, brilliance and eagerness to share it. Congratulations, Joe Mocker, for your latest title of Principal Engineer! Not only is Joe able to solve the toughest technology problems, but he does it with such a friendly, humble style.
  2. A boss who is willing to persevere through the industrial strength red tape and ridiculous volumes of work by taking the time to ensure his staff are taken care of and rewarded. See #1. Thanks Will.
  3. Celebrities who have a soul and genuinely care about others beyond themselves. Well handled, @MrsKutcher!
  4. People who are willing take the time to share tips based on their own challenging experiences. Thank you Katy, for your "After the RIF notice, before you leave" blog post.
  5. Corporations who get that community tools are for building authentic relationships with members -- real human beings that share commonality -- in the community. Kudos to @cbs4denver for getting this! One of my favorite tweets of yours: "cbs4denver Hello all, we're just sitting down for our afternoon editorial meeting. Please join us." Every day, via Twitter, they invite their fellow neighbors into the news room to pitch ideas on what the collective "we" want to talk about. I love that.
  6. This blog, and folks who follow it. Micro-blogging on Twitter is all well and good, but there's nothing like carving out un-rushed time to write down complete thoughts.
  7. And lastly, via my home girl, Mary's blog (you'll want to have your lighters ready and someone you love next to you before you click play):

Corporate Community Participation

Via a Girl Geek dinner connection, I had an engaging conversation about corporate use of community sites this morning with the CEO of InsideGOOD -- a very cool ratings site for nonprofit organizations. Following are a few resources that came up during the conversation that may help her drive awareness, site build out & participation. I figured these may be of interest to others in the community and small to medium business spaces, so I'm posting them here as well.

Sun's Guidelines on Public Discourse: Brief, conversational read that offers Sun employees sensible advice when participating in social sites

Sun Forums Moderator Program: Guidelines and summary about our volunteer community moderators program. The value add has help drive a remarkable improvement in setting a positive tone on the Sun Forums.

Why Your Brand Needs a Managed Community: "The survey included results from over 112,000 people - or about 11% of the total 1 million people represented in the population of the 22 communities surveyed. Social marketing programs achieved nearly 5x the ROI of direct marketing programs and 30x the ROI of traditional media advertising programs." Holy cow!

Sun's Startup Essentials Program: "...designed to help startups get their business off the ground FAST with the right IT infrastructure at the LOWEST COST possible."

Sun's Small to Medium Business Program: Useful SMB information sharing, cost-effective solutions, success stories, SMB offers, etc.

Via Barton's blog, Scott Monty on a couple interesting new media initiatives at Ford (I love the Ford Fiesta initiative -- 100 digital influencers in 100 Ford Fiestas providing unfiltered public digital perspectives):


(For Burlington, MA Peeps) Shout out to Dan Ditucci, Selectman Nominee

If you are a Burlington, MA resident, you have an opportunity to vote for Dan Ditucci as Selectman tomorrow. Here's how.

In addition to Dan being an integral part of the Burlington community since before there were paved roads (seriously), he's a family man, a Burlington small business owner, passionate about the direction of his community, and the father-in-law of Liz DiTucci (one of Sun's strongest program managers).

All the best, Dan! :-)

UPDATE: Via @ditucci"He won!" Congratulations, Selectman Ditucci!!! :-D

Wednesday Mar 18, 2009

The Sun Cloud Cohesion

Yesterday was a great day for Sun. Dave Douglas, Senior Vice President of Cloud Computing and Lew Tucker, Vice President and CTO of Cloud Computing unveiled the Sun Cloud. From an internal view, it feels good to see Sun's power players from various levels and organizations within the company huddled around this effort -- the traction is obvious.

In case you missed it, you can replay the webcast -- following is the portion of the general session where Lew demonstrates the virtual data center:

Via his video blog, Jonathan comprehensively discusses how the Sun Cloud offers storage, compute and bandwidth by cohesively weaving together the use of Sun's open source assets for the entire free software community -- including deployments behind corporate firewalls.

The open cloud API is under a creative commons license -- API info is posted on The Sun Cloud API wiki.

For early cloud access and updates, sign up here.

Monday Mar 16, 2009

Cloud Privacy Governance Alliance

David Berlind with InformationWeek has an excellent podcast where he interviews Michelle Dennedy, Sun's newly appointed Chief Governance Officer in the Cloud Computing Organization.

Michelle is spearheading an effort to organize a collaborative cloud privacy governance alliance to define a cloud governance framework (What is it? What needs to be regulated?) in the short term with a long term goal of building cloud trust via transparency, open standards & interoperability that is regulated by the cloud governance framework & governments/legislators around the world.

Well worth a listen...

Podcast: Sun Looks To Start Privacy And Governance Alliance For Cloud Computing Industry

Effective Workout Buddy Plan

I'm not the athletic type. Not even close. Even tho' I am physically active, getting and staying in shape via routine workouts is a tall order.

Last week, I paired up with Thin Guy on a workout routine that seems to be working. Here's the gist of it:

  1. Both workout buddies need to complete and report a workout every 24 hours
  2. If one doesn't report a workout by that evening, the other has to complete their buddy's workout that evening (ick!)
  3. No early banking or making-ups of missed workouts
See how that works? For most of us, it's easy to not take time to take care of ourselves. It's easy to let ourselves down, but not so easy to let others down.

It's only day four for Team BWMB (@ditucci figured it out), but thus far we're winning 4-0. :-)

A couple tips:
  1. Twitter makes it easy to record your workouts. I do this by tweeting my status to @twitfit
  2. Pick a partner who knows your weaknesses that are likely to sabotage your cadence. Mine just effectively pulled me out of the vortex of distraction:

Monday Mar 09, 2009

A Successful 1st Colorado Girl Geek Dinner

A million thanks to Deirdré Straughan, Sun videoblogger extraordinaire for organizing a very successful 1st Colorado Front Range Girl Geek Dinner, held at Sun's Broomfield campus last week. Thanks also to my boss, Will Snow, Sr. Engineering Director, for helping to fund the event.

In case you missed it, Jodi Brooks with CBS Denver News and Deirdre have posted summaries.

Tuesday Mar 03, 2009

Colorado Front Range Girl Geeks Dinner This Thursday

If you are a woman in tech in the Denver metro area, please join @DeirdreS and me as we co-host a Girl Geek Dinner at the Sun Microsystems campus in Broomfield. Here are the deets:

Thursday, March 5, 2009
6:00pm - 9:00pm
Sun Microsystems Broomfield Campus
Sun Conference center, Building 1
500 Eldorado Blvd.

Please RSVP via the Facebook page or the wiki.

We look forward to seeing you!

My New Favorite Twitter Tool

If you haven't signed up for Twitter yet, do yourself a favor & do it now -- nobody wants to be the last adopter of a mainstream utility (as was done w/ electricity, indoor plumbing, television, etc.). You'll thank me later. ;-)

Anywho, have you noticed what a polling crazed species we've become? I have a feeling that twtpoll (a super simple Twitter polling tool that can be easily embedded) is going to be huge. Check it out:


<script src="http://twtpoll.com/js/badge.js" type="text/javascript"></script> <script src="http://twtpoll.com/badge/?twt=uaqvey" type="text/javascript"></script>

Sunday Feb 22, 2009

CommunityOne New York March 18-19

$200 bucks will get you into what Tim Bray calls "One heavyweight geek-fest." And if you're stuck in stimulas package limbo, you can "Access the main conference program, lunch, snacks, and all the ideas you want" for F-R-E-E. Details here.

I'm wishing I could see the opening general session -- my new VP (Dave Douglas) & my former VP (Lew Tucker) will discuss why Sun's Cloud is unique. If you haven't heard either of them speak, they're interesting & comprehensive communicators:


David Douglas
Senior Vice President of Cloud Computing and Chief Sustainability Officer



Lew Tucker, Ph.D.
Vice President and CTO, Cloud Computing



CommunityOne East: Free and Open
Join us March 18-19 in New York for a developer conference focused on open source innovation and implementation. » Register Today

Monday Feb 09, 2009

Four Million Messages on Sun Forums!

A notable milestone for Sun Forums was reached today in the form of seeing it's four millionth post.

I've been lucky enough to be a part of the team the last few years and as a result have engaged directly with the community -- it's been an invaluable education in the community space. If you're looking for a lesson in community dynamics, community policy building, community moderation, or just want to learn to be an effective community contributor, I recommend you find a forum that interests you and engage. You'll find the experience and the rewards are different from any other community site. For example, forums conversations are faster-flowing than blogs, yet more focused and organized than super fast flowing micro-blogging sites like Twitter.

In terms of annual page views and visits, Sun Forums is by far Sun busiest community site. To offer context, here's a quick glimpse of traffic for Sun forums, blogs, wikis for 2008:


 Views  Visits  Site Age
 Wikis  4.6M  1.3M  <2 yrs
 Blogs  21.8M  12.2M  <5 yrs
 Forums  66.4M  36.0M  <8 yrs






That's a lot of communication going on! If you are a Sun employee, chances are the project you are working on has a forum dedicated solely to that topic -- an excellent opportunity for you to engage with the folks who share that commonality. Let us know if you're interested in becoming a Sun Moderator of a particular forum or if you'd like to nurture a forum on a new topic.

I also want to give a shout-out to the Sun Forums Lead Engineer, who has been committed to the site since day one, always has a positive disposition and a "can do" attitude...Congrats & a million thanks Ramsci! :-D

Friday Feb 06, 2009

Doodle 4 Google Art Competition

Via @SaraD, there's still time for US teachers & K-12 students to register for "Doodle 4 Google" -- an art competition for students to design a Google logo & possibly win a $15k scholarship and $25k technology grant for their school's computer lab.

About

Sr. Community Engineering Program Manager/Acting Director for Sun's external social networking sites (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.). Skrocki's personal blog, LinkedIn.

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