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

Sunday Jan 25, 2009

Doodle & Sun

Via the Doodle Blog, this made me happy. Doodle, one of my favorite sites -- & one that I use at least once daily -- is a member of Sun's Start Up Essentials Program.

"The Sun Startup Essentials program is designed to help startups get off the ground fast, at lower cost, primed for rapid growth and success. Sun supports startups with hardware, software, training, and support. The partnership with Sun is an obvious step for Doodle because major components of our technical architecture are maintained by Sun: Java and MySQL."

If you haven't used Doodle to poll meeting/event participants for a meeting time that works for the majority, you must try it out at least once. It's super quick & easy to use.

Thursday Nov 20, 2008

Professing an even deeper love for Wikipedia

I love Wikipedia. I have since the moment I first set eyes on it. I use it everyday. I have it email me informational love notes. I even gave my grandmother a Wikimedia donation in her name for Christmas one year. Her reaction was unforgettable. "What is this? Why didn't you just give me the cash instead?!" So, she doesn't give a hoot about Wikipedia. That won't stop me from loving it. Ever. (Side note: I can talk like that because she doesn't read this blog, but if you run into her, let's keep the re-enactment on the down low.)

So, why the "even deeper love", you ask? Well, as Rafe Needleman so eloquently puts it, "Wikimedia is buying truckloads of Sun servers". Here's why:

"The new Sun platform will enable Wikipedia to enable users to seamlessly upload files up to 100MB. The free encyclopedia is one of the five most popular web properties in the world, with more than 250 million unique visitors each month and a 100,000-strong community of active volunteer editors. Wikipedia uses MySQL as its primary database software. The Wikimedia Foundation is also a Sun Startup Essentials program member, which has enabled it to get high-performance, enterprise-grade systems at attractive startup prices."

As Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, says "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge."

I'm glad Sun will have a part in enabling the delivery of that knowledge in rich media form.

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Monday Nov 10, 2008

A Pivital Change in the Storage World

I'm no storage expert, but when one of my favorite uber geeks (a term of endearment used to describe a guy who has run massive sites for decades) tells me "This is the greatest [bleeping] thing since sliced bread!", I know it's a big deal -- not the kind of "Oh, Sun released another new product" kind of deal, but more of a "This has never been done before and changes the whole ball game" kind of deal.

The beauty of the new Sun Storage 7000 Unified Storage Systems is it solves for major cost AND efficiency issues...the coolness factor is the icing on the cake.

Anywho, check out the video below for more info. If you're on Twitter, you saw that Hal is memorizing his notes to present at CEC, but if you're not there, you can join a discussion with him & the storage engineers on Blog Talk Radio at 5PM PT today.

For those bargain bin shoppers, like me, you can try the new storage systems for free for 60 days then, get a discount OR...check out the fine print on the Big Cheese's blog post for a chance to win one for F-R-E-E (as in no I.O.U...ever). Good luck!

Thursday Nov 06, 2008

New Design now L-I-V-E

The new look for just rolled out! Be sure to check out the "Community Voices" link in the upper left corner -- that's where the good stuff is (per my biased opinion :-)).

Huge props and congrats to the extended Team!

Friday Oct 17, 2008

Have you seen Tim Bray's "Getting Through the Tough Times" video?

By now, many of us have possibly met our saturation point on the topic of weathering the economic storm, but if you have room for one more perspective, this one is worth a look.

It's not all gloom and doom, but is a solid perspective with some practical ideas that individuals and companies (of various sizes) can do to find stability and perhaps prosperity in the current economic climate.

Tim has a few blog posts on the topic in case you are interested in joining the conversation.

Tuesday Sep 30, 2008

Cool Eco-friendly Messenger Bag

My new "every-one-is-unique" messenger bag made of recycled billboard material, with a wickedly cool seat belt strap, is getting a lot of ogling eyes here at the mother ship (props to Will for hooking me up!).

Thursday Sep 25, 2008

Pace and Delivery

It's always good to lift one's head up from the trenches, take a look back and soak in the glory of progress. That's what I did today on behalf of the amazing engineering team I get to work with and here's what I saw:

Over the last two quarters, between 4 Application Engineers, 1 Development Manager, 1 QA Engineer, 1 Program Manager (me!) & one part-time Search Program Manager, working on 6 applications, the team drove the following to fruition:

  • 30 application upgrades
  • 225 change requests
  • supported 6 of Sun's applications that saw ~60 million page views and 21.4 million search results

All while infusing respect and humor into our day-to-day activities. I consider myself lucky to be on a team with these guys. Congrats Allen, Igor, Matthew, Rama, Ramsci, Rob, Shawn and our leader who enables our pace and delivery, Will!

To see the goodness for yourself, check out Sun Forums, Wikis, Mediacast, Planets, Search and of course this very site Sun Blogs.

Tuesday Sep 23, 2008

Palo Alto Tweet-up Weds Oct 1st?

Who's up for a tweet-up in Palo Alto on Weds, October 1st? @DiTucci, @tehduh, @smaragdis, @chrisbl99 and I will be in the hood & it would be fun to sync up with our twitter friends in the bay area.

Interested? Any suggested locations? Does 5:30-ish work for everyone?

Update: The confirmed location is Blue Chalk in Palo Alto. Hope to see you there.

Monday Sep 22, 2008

CEO's Who Tweet

In case you missed it, BusinessWeek ran a story on 18 CEO's who use twitter. Sun's CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, was among the 18 -- in addition to a couple of my favorite twitter users, Tony Hsieh, CEO, and Loic Lemur, Seesmic CEO.

Jonathan's response to how Twitter helps him run Sun:

"Communication is a key part of leadership—as CEO, I need to engage the market, inside and outside Sun, with whatever technology affords me the greatest possible reach. Through blogs, online news, social networking sites, or Twitter, the Internet has fundamentally changed how we communicate with one another. Today, we have thousands of employees participating, engaging customers and developers across the world, 24 hours a day. And whether it's via a half-hour streaming video or a 140-character Tweet, we need to reach everyone in the forum and format they choose—not what we choose."

There's obviously a style difference between how the the 18 CEO's profiled leverage Twitter -- some use it to emote, others use it to inform, and yet others use it as a combination of the two+. Jeremiah Owyang asks:

"@SunCEOBlog twitter account is so unpersonal, for a company that preaches being so open, this isn't living the brand, agree or disagree?"

Jerimiah is one of the most interesting and informational Twitter users that I follow, but I had to disagree with him on this one:

"@jowyang -1 on this one. :-) @SunCEOBlog (not @SunCEO) simply tweets his new blog posts. His blog is his general communications channel."

I think it would be odd and unnecessary to expect all/any fortune 500 CEOs to maintain multiple social media profiles while effectively driving the success of their companies. It's also not necessary if they have at least one channel where they can hold open conversations and syndicate those conversations for ease of engagement -- as is done by Jonathan using his blog for widely distributed conversations then having posts syndicated via Twitter.

Similar to Lee LeFever, thanks to Twitter, I use it as a combination of a chat, micro-blogging, and feed reading tool. The few feeds that are most important to me are fortunately syndicated on Twitter. So, I rarely check my full feed reader anymore.

Setting up a feed for syndication on Twitter, is super simple. Check out Twitterfeed for the details.

Thursday Sep 18, 2008 Better, stronger, faster, & cooler has gotten a lot of love in the form of new hardware, a database upgrade, and today it will receive a new look and new highly demanded features -- my favorite is the embed code feature that enables users to easily copy code for embedding mediacast-hosted media into their blogs, websites, etc. Full release notes are posted on the wiki, but here's a before (top) and after (bottom) glimpse:

Wednesday Sep 10, 2008

Congrats Mark Bristow, Gold Medalist & Sun Employee

Via @brianherman, Mark Bristow claimed the gold and a new world record time of one minute 8.873 seconds in the LC1 1km event this week in the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games. More details here and here.

Congrats Mark!!! :-D

Tuesday Sep 09, 2008

HIRING: Sun Community Sites Engineer

Oooooo...Rama just posted a job opening for some lucky soul who is passionate/knowledgeable about the community/social networking space and is a stellar engineer who will get to work on Sun sites like this, this, this, this and/or this. The job description is somehow missing the super cool benefit of having me as your program manager, but I'm sure that was just caused by some formatting fluke. ;-)

Interested? If you, or someone you know, meet the qualifications, but may not have the listed 12 years of experience, you/they are still encouraged to apply.


Exciting opportunity for a talented Java Developer to join Sun's experienced, high-energy Web Engineering Team. We value great design, speed, passion for Web applications, critical thinking, flexibility, and effective communication. Primary Responsibilities:
  • Design, develop and implement enhancements to Web applications including, but not limited to blogs, wikis, forums, and other "community" driven applications
  • Test, troubleshoot and debug software issues
  • Define concrete project proposals and solutions
  • Fluent in emerging technologies
  • Exhibit strong leadership skills Secondary Responsibilities
  • Document all new development output
  • Work with PM to effectively scope deliverables and timelines
  • Java/Java Servlet/JSP
  • Web technologies (XML, HTML, JavaScript, CSS)
  • Experience working with relational databases (MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, PostgreSQL)
  • Strong familiarity with UNIX
  • Good understanding of high-performance, high-availability, scalable servers and systems
  • Exceptional problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Ability to deliver under pressure
  • Experience in Webservices development
  • Familiarity with Web 2.0 and emerging technologies
  • Solaris System Administration
  • Ability to write comprehensive, clear system documentation

Tuesday Aug 26, 2008

A must watch Sun Ray video

I was just chatting with ThinGuy about the following video. Truth be told, I'm turned off by many technology videos because I find them boring, but you have to watch this one. Scott McNealy (Sun Chairman) and Terry Matthews (Mitel Chairman) are such compelling communicators, they could be talking about dirt and the conversation would be worth a listen. But, that's not all. ;-) Following their intro, is an incredibly cool demo of the Sun Ray and Mitel telephony system solution -- I WANT ONE!

Which reminds me (apologies for the side note) of a conversation I had with another colleague today about how Sun and non Sun social networks have triggered me to have a deeper awareness of Sun initiatives (like this one) that are not directly related to the focus of my role. I got to know ThinGuy through his blog which triggered an opportunity to meet him and his lovely wife for dinner. Though we live in different states, my husband and I have become great friends with them...and I know more about Sun Rays than I ever expected. :-)

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.). :-)

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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