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.

Monday Oct 05, 2009

Checking off the "Be a guest blogger" box

Since my 1st official blog post 5+ years ago, I've been a sole blogger (only blogger contributing to a blog), a soul blogger ;-), a group blogger, a behind-the-scenes blog helper (for friends, interesting people & high profile people with a blogphobia), a blog trainer, a blog site admin, but never an invited guest blogger...until now!

Thanks to another "serendipitous connection via social networking", as I call it, I can now sport around the badge titled "Guest Blogger". It all started when @KylePLacy, Author of Twitter Marketing for Dummies, tweeted the following to me "I really think you should do a guest post on my blog. What do you think?" To which I responded "What if my neglected blog finds out? What did you have in mind?".

I went with a topic that is often discussed: Corporate Social Media Policies -- something Sun, specifically the Sun Blog Founders, nailed several years ago and continues to be a solid template for other companies social media policies. Have a look at the guest post "Do Tight Corporate Social Media Policies Help or Hinder?" & let me know what you think.

Wednesday Sep 16, 2009

Some "feel good" Outside Perspective

I just received a Tweet from @kbladow that made my day. It lead me to the following Technola blog post -- which means a lot coming from a non Sun person (not that kudos from Sun peeps aren't just as sweet, but we drink from the same Kool-aid fountain :-)). Thank you Kate and thank you @emzee for the tweeted advice. @emzee is my web design partner at Sun.

Friday Sep 11, 2009

You may own your digital footprint, but will it be there tomorrow?

You know the drill. You register for the next shiny social networking site and click the Terms of Use "Accept" button faster than the speed of light. Most of us never read a word of the lengthy legal foo because it's boring and it makes our eyes bleed and we're in a hurry to lifecast our next thought before the moment is lost, or we want in before the crowd shows up and ruins the novelty.

In our haste, are we giving up ownership of bits of our digital selves or blindly banking on the fact that those bits won't be monetised by the site owners? Or worse, making the assumption that our content won't go poof one day without warning?

I'm definitely guilty as charged in this regard, but have made a vow to at least read enough of the legalese on the sites I currently post content to so I know the rights that matter to me most:

  1. Do I own my content on this site?
  2. Does the site co-own my content?
  3. If they co-own my content, what can they do with it?

Most site's terms of use agreements lean far, far over to protecting the site owners, but some totally get that it's in their best interest to take care of their community members by granting them (co)ownership their content. Examples:

Twitter: "Twitter is allowed to "use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute" your tweets because that's what we do. However, they are your tweets and they belong to you."

Facebook: "You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook..." (it's worth reading the dots on this one).

Sun Blogs\*: "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" \*Side note: Note that this is a corporate blog site. Sun has always been a leader in defining sensible corporate social content guidelines, so it's not entirely surprising that they'd progressively cover this base as well. It's good to know your rights as an employee who contributes social media content to company sanctioned sites.

OK, so you own your content. Now what?

Ownership is just half the battle. Assuming you own a copy of your content, does any of that matter if you don't religiously back-up a local copy? Not really. Most sites have a sensible back-up strategy, but there's no guarantee that they'll restore missing or damaged content and there's definitely no guarantee that they'll perpetually host your content so your children's, children's, children can cherish your immortal and compelling lifecasts.

In addition to knowing your content ownership rights, before you decide on posting content to a site, be sure to know if there's a feature that enables exporting of your content. Alternatively, check-out services that make this process a bit more convenient, but all of the above applies to them too.

Thursday Sep 10, 2009

Community Moderation: A Success Story

Sun Forums is one of Sun's longest running community sites. It's been around for ~8 years. It's grown by leaps and bounds and continues to be one of our most active sites. There are currently more than 4 million messages posted by nearly 1 million contributors. The site see ~44 million page views annually (or 3.7 million/month) -- amazing traffic & volumes of rich community-driven content.

While the majority of contributions are positive, as with any community site, there are going to be occasional disruptions in the form of derailed conversations, abusive posts, etc. We struggled a bit with implementing a protocol that would scale to effectively manage this issue.

As a collaborative effort between the team that manages the Sun Forums, the Sun Legal team and the Sun Forums Community, a sensible Community Moderation Program was defined, then implemented on January 26th, 2007. Since then, via the same collaborative effort, the program has been fine-tuned.

In addition to our community nominated volunteer moderators generously sharing useful information with their peers and helping to set a positive tone throughout the Sun Forums, they've also leveraged the site's community moderators features to take the following actions in response to content that violate site terms or are simply posted in the wrong forum:

  • Blocked 793 accounts
  • Blocked 2,391 messages
  • Quarantined 2,768 threads
  • Moved 941 threads to better align with various forums topics

Many thanks to the community members who helped define the Moderators Program and special thanks to the eight volunteer moderators (dcminter, kajbj, PhHein, yawmark, ejp, Darryl.Burke, sabre150, and cotton.m (alumni)) for giving so generously of your time and for making such an awesome difference to the site & the community in general!

Wednesday Aug 26, 2009

Free Cloud Webinar Sept 1st: "Protecting Your Services in the Cloud"

If cloud security is weighing heavily on your mind lately, you may find the following interesting:

Safety First: Protecting Your Services in the Cloud

Join us for a free webinar in which we'll explore one of the leading impediments to the widespread adoption of Cloud Computing -- security concerns. Given all of the hyped up claims and gross generalizations flowing across the Net, it's no wonder people are worried.

Cloud Computing and security both are multi-faceted areas, and it's high time we stopped thinking of them as a single entity. If you want to take a serious look at Cloud Computing, then it is time to inject a little sanity and context into the security discussion.

Join us for this free webinar to learn how to begin using Cloud Computing -- securely.

In this webinar, we will discuss:

  • Key questions to ask your cloud provider
  • Security issues to consider before moving to the cloud
  • Steps you can take today to protect yourself in the cloud
Event: Safety First: Protecting Your Services in the Cloud
Date: Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Time: 10:00 am PDT / 1:00 pm EDT / 19.00 CET

Speaker: Glenn Brunette, Distinguished Engineer and Chief Security Architect at Sun Microsystems

For over 15 years, Glenn has designed and delivered security architectures and solutions supporting a wide array of global customers. Currently, he has focused his efforts on improving security for cloud computing and other highly dynamic and scalable architectures.

  • Bring your questions to the live Q&A.
  • Even if you can't make the live event, sign up anyway so we can send you the replay information.


Friday Jul 17, 2009

The rare bedazzled geek tee!

@WillSnow (the well-connected Paris Hilton of the geek world -- seriously! He gets invited to invite-only geek parties with free fancy drinks & food!) hooked me up with the coolest chick's geek tee ever!

Props to the JavaFX folks for not only ditching the mens only tees approach, but taking it one step further and adding some sweet bling! With tees like this, you know they've gotta be doing something über cool.

Tuesday May 05, 2009


Sorry about having to play my annual all caps blog title card, but this is exciting. As a child, I would watch Wheel of Fortune not for the ridiculously easy puzzle solving, but to admire Vanna White's grace -- how she'd float across that floor and sweep her hand over those letters. It was magical, but I have something she doesn't -- a certified background in wheel spinning. That is correct. I spun the wheel at the church bazaar in front of 10s of people holding their raffle tickets filled with dreams of carrying a whole salami home with them! How much training did I require to be such a wheel spinning child prodigy, you ask? The answer may very well shock you.

None! That is correct. None.

And so, it makes perfect sense that I was selected from an abundant pool of people to be one of this year's JavaOne wheel spinners. Never mind that most of the people in the pool said "Pffft! I'm not doing that!" They, my friend, are crazy people. They don't get the whole wheel spinning lifestyle, but I do.

AND, that's not all!

My good buddy, whom many of you know as @ditucci will also be a wheel spinner. On the same day! At the same time! We'll be like Bob Barker's Babes, but different. More modern. More classy. More confident. More approachable. More je ne sais quoi...mysterious. We're kicking around ideas on matching evening gowns, but the people in the brand org might veto that, no promises there.

So, please join us at JavaOne. Our wheel spinner work schedule is as follows: Tuesday, June 2nd 11AM - 7:30PM


JavaOne June 2-5, 2009

And none of this "I can't afford to go" business. Here's how you can possibly have your pass and $1500 in travel expenses covered. Let me know if you submit a video and I'll obnoxiously state my opinion to the judges about how I think it rocks (not that that will help, but you never know -- persuasion is part of my job).

I hope to meet you then!

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

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):

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

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!


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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