Wednesday Nov 04, 2009

Exiting the Sun Ride

Today is my last day at Sun. It has been a thrilling ride and one that I would do all over again. I've learned a lot, worked with some of the most brilliant people on the planet, worked for the world's best management team who was more than willing to accommodate my requests to work on programs that most inspired me & happy to give me room to get my groove on, and now...I walk away with more experience and friends than I ever imagined I'd acquire through a job. I kicked butt & had fun! (I hope someone creates a tee-shirt for that McNealy-ism.)

Hands down, my favorite role (ever) is the one I am now exiting. Being your tour guide for Sun's community sites (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.) went beyond just a job -- it became an obsession. I was lucky enough to work directly with tens of thousands of Sun fans worldwide & Sun employees in every organization and in every rank in the company -- from interns to our CEO. I've enjoyed every minute & every conversation (well, minus the spammers, trolls, & an unnamed executive blogger who asked me to air brush his mustache off his profile picture).

While it makes me sad that this is my last blog post on this site, I welcome change and wish my Sun fellows well as they embark on the next incarnation of Sun. "Thank you" to each of you for such fond memories -- especially those who helped make the community sites such thriving & robust communities. It's no wonder Sun is seen as a pioneer in this space and a poster child for corporate social media done right.

The world is a whole lot more connected thanks to social sites, so there's no need to say good-bye -- I'm just right here, here, here & here. I have a few irons in the fire & will be sure to keep you posted on my next big thing. :-)

To new beginnings!

Note: Comments are closed on this blog, but we can chat over here.

Sunday Apr 26, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday Sun Blogs!

It's been five amazingly successful years for 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, "" 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.

Thursday Nov 06, 2008

How Roller Uses Email Data Elements

Roller, the open-sourced blog engine used on this site, collects email address settings in three different places. This causes some confusion and I hope the following offers some clarity.

Weblog Settings page

"Email address of weblog owner": Used by site admins to contact the blog owner.

"Default from e-mail address for notifications": Used as the from address for messages sent by the comments feature. For example, if a user posts a comment on a blog and checks "Notify me by email of new comments", the from address in those emails will show the email address specified in this field.

Your Profile page

"Email": The email address of the blog entry author who will receive email notifications of new comments left on the post they authored if the "Email notification of comments?" feature is enabled on the blog's settings page.

The Common Misunderstanding

Many users think the "Email address of weblog owner" is where comment notifications are sent -- when, in fact, email notifications about new comments posted on an individual blog entry are sent to the "Email" address defined on the "Your Profile" page of the blogger who authored the post.

Wednesday Jul 30, 2008

Has the vast number of social networks slowed down Sun blogging?

One would think that with all the Twittering, Facebooking, FriendFeeding, etc., the Sun blogging growth would have slowed, or at least plateaued. I'm happy to report that it hasn't for Sun.

The steady growth, in my opinion, is primarily due to Sun's culture of openness and transparency. Our team of 5,139 self-appointed bloggers is also a source of inspired growth as they help internally evangelize the value of open conversations in the market place -- specifically, via the use of blogs, wikis, forums, etc.

I'm really happy to report that my good friend, Sun fellow & neighbor, Shereen Fink, is our newest blogger and check out who was first to post a comment on her blog (hint: it wasn't me, but someone you probably know.). :-)

Monday Jun 23, 2008

5,000th Sun Blogger!

This is a great year for Sun blogging milestones. In March the site reached it's 100,000th comment, in April it turned four and reached it's 100,000th blog post, and today, we welcome our 5,000th blogger. That's ~15% of our employees/interns blogging directly on this site with many more blogging on their own non-Sun sites -- if they'd like, we syndicate their blogs too in the "Recent Posts" section of the main Sun Blogs page.

Please welcome to our 5,000th blogger, Alexey Ilyin, blogging from Russia at the Sun x64 - High Availability blog. Alexey tells me that the blog will have content in both Russian and English.

Congratulations to the 4,999 of you who led us to this milestone by initiating such rich conversation! :-D

Friday Jun 20, 2008

PSSST...yeah, YOU, the blog-less Sun employee...

We've seen you lingering around here for a while -- reading blogs, commenting on blogs, dreaming about being one of the cool kids on the "Popular Blogs" list, thinking about starting a blog, but never pulled the trigger.

Granted, blogging isn't for everyone, but if you have a desire to engage in conversation about your work, hobbies, thermometer collection, etc., why not click the Register link and be on your way already? It's not only good for Sun, but it can also be good for your career and a great contribution to your digital footprint -- the thing that some say is the new resume.

Here's the express route:

1. Register/Login
2. One the Main Menu click "Create new weblog"
3. Click on "New Entry"
4. Compose your first post
5. Click the "Post to Weblog" button and you're in the club!

P.S. My not-so-hidden agenda is to get just 3 more Sun employees/interns to start blogging so we reach our 5,000th blogger milestone. If you are our 5,000th blogger, I'll write a post about it and send some link love your way! I know, it's not the fanciest prize, but that's all I got. ;-)

Wednesday Jun 11, 2008

Thick vs Thin eco-tech debate streaming now

The guy on the far left (the sharpest dressed panelist) is ThinGuy.

Thursday May 22, 2008

Terry McKenzie, Employee Comms Director, on Blogging at Sun

Sunday Apr 27, 2008

Sun Blogs Turns Four! What's next?

Yup, Sun Blogs celebrates another birthday. Today, it's four. Looking at the stats on the front page, I'd say this site proves to be a wildly successful conduit for engaging in conversation:
  • Total weblogs: 4257
  • Total users: 4787
  • Total entries: 100824
  • Total comments: 104064

What's in store for Sun Blogs in the future? More great blogging, of course. Tho', according to a recent article by CNET, Jonathan, our CEO, "sees an end to blogging". I wasn't present at the Web 2.0 Expo keynote, but I'd wager the comment referenced was more about seeing an end to the common use of the term "blogging" since, in actuality, the purpose behind blogging really boils down to "communicating". Jonathan explains it best in this quote from a July 15th, 2007 blog post:

"I'd love it if we one day eliminated the term "blogging" from the web lexicon (and that we stopped pursuing "CEO's who blog."). CEO's who have cell phones aren't "cell-phoners," those who have email accounts arent "emailers," those who give interviews on television aren't "TV'ers" - they're all leaders using technology to communicate. Communication is central to leadership - using words, written or spoken, to articulate strategy, guide organizations, engage in dialog, and... lead. Leading two or 200,000, you can't do it without communicating. Using technology just leaves more time for everything else (I'm not saying stone tablets can't be effective, they just take way longer to distribute)."

Blogs, as well as countless other internet services, make that communication super simple -- much like the telephone. Had the telephone been called the "Social Machine", many companies may have blocked it's use much like they do social networking sites. It's not about meaningless socializing. It's about about building useful relationships that are conducive to fruitful collaboration and anything that enables easy information sharing is goodness in my book -- especially in the corporate world. Will blogging be around forever? Will anything be around forever? I hope we continue to see the box of information sharing tools continue to expand and I can't wait to see what's next.

On that note, here's to more great, I mean communicating!

Friday Apr 18, 2008

WOOHOO!!! Sun Blogs sees it's 100,000th blog post!!!

A few weeks ago, we hit our 100,000th comment and today we reached our 100,000th blog post! If you're curious, the first post on the site is here and it all started with these guys (not quite four years ago):

Next up? Reaching our 5,000th blogger milestone!

Here's to more great blogging! :-)

Wednesday Mar 26, 2008

Sun Blogs sees it's 100,000th comment isn't quite four years old yet (it turns four on April 27th), but it reached it's 100,000th comment this week (rejected spam comments not included, of course -- for the detailed thinkers out there). When you contrast the 100k comments against the 97,395 blog entries, that amounts to a whole lot of conversations happening.

And to this I say "W00t! Looking forward to the next hundred thousand conversations!"

Wednesday Jan 16, 2008

Busy News Day: Welcome MySQL

By now many of you have heard about Sun acquiring MySQL and a promising Q2. Details posted here:

The analysts are a flutter (via Twitter). Best read from the bottom up...

Sunday Jan 06, 2008

Freedom isn't free

Major Andrew Olmsted, based in Fort Carson - Colorado Springs, was killed in Iraq on Thursday, January 3rd. He had been blogging for the Rocky Mountain News about his experiences in training the Iraq Army.

He also had a personal blog where a friend posted a final entry that Major Olmsted wrote in the event he was killed. In his final post, he asks that people steer clear from raising political rants in relation to his death.

I appreciate the slices of transparency and insight Major Olmsted offered via his blogs about his daily experiences and challenges -- challenges related to the importance of understanding cultural differences and how there never seems to be enough time for training, a need for soccer ball air pumps, and of course, challenges of the all too frequent event of losing team mates.

Rest in peace Major.

Wednesday Nov 21, 2007

Cross pollination blogging: # of Sun blog entries that link to other Sun pages

Sun's Search feature is one of those services like running water that we tend to take for granted. Low Bit, Sun Search and Blogs Engineer, showed me this great search query:

Search for this on Sun blogs:

It'll tell you that, as of this moment, of the 85,238 blog posts, 34,909 of them have at least one link driving traffic back to another page (includes the main website, other Sun blogs, other sites like,, etc.). Some might say "big deal", but that's ~35k more cross pollination links that wouldn't exist if it weren't for Sun bloggers engaging in open conversations.

Sunday Nov 18, 2007

Poll: Is it still spam if the spammer is posting their own comments relevant to the topic?

Is it still spam if the spammer is posting their own comments relevant to the topic?
YES, their primary agenda is still to drive traffic to their site.
MAYBE NOT, most non-spam commenters also post a link to their site.
NO, as long as they are posting original thoughts relevant to the conversation. free polls

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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