Monthly Archive for May, 2007

Linux Suffers Crushing Defeat Due to Driver Errors

Today Linux suffered a crushing defeat as the Linux car crashed and placed last in the Indy 500.

The concept was very cool.  I love these community efforts where geeks pull together to do something fun outside of writing code.  In this case, the Tux 500 campaign raised just over $18,000 from people in the Linux community to sponsor a car and get Linux with the Tux logo placed on an Indy Car.

Props to commenters on the Engadget post for the driver error comment.

Putting Collaboration to Work Conference

For those of you who attended our recent BarCamp Portland and are eager to attend another open space event, you might be interested in Putting Collaboration to Work on June 8th. It is a mix of traditional conference and unconference with a traditional, scheduled conference session format in the morning, while the afternoon is an open spaces agenda (similar to BarCamp Portland and Recent Changes Camp).

A few details:

I don’t think that I will attend this one. With BarCamp Portland, OSBC, and other events in the past month, I am a bit “conferenced out” right now.

Technology Community Leader Meetup

Since we had a bunch of people coming into San Francisco for OSBC, and quite a few community managers already living in the Bay Area, I thought that a meetup of community leaders would be a fun idea for the evening prior to OSBC. Initially, I thought we’d have maybe 10 people hanging out in the hotel bar, but we ended up with 20-25 people, and The 451 generously offered their space to host my get together.

It was a nice opportunity to network with other people in similar roles while having some very interesting discussions about various aspects of community management. It got me thinking about a few things. Kingsley from Salesforce.com does an incredible amount of personal outreach including searches on MySpace and Facebook for people listing Salesforce as interests. I need to think about ways that I can encourage people to participate as I build Jive Software’s developer community around products like Clearspace. Getting a few influential, community savvy, early adopters during the initial stages of the new community can also help build momentum.

Whurley also made a really good point about how each community competes with other similar communities for developers. New communities have to be interesting, compelling, and highly relevant if you want developers to take time away from other communities to spend time interacting in your community.

I definitely need to keep doing these types of events. We can learn so much from each other when we take the time to talk and share ideas about building communities. We’ll do another one of these around OSCON in Portland!

At OSBC This Week

I wanted to let everyone know that I will be at OSBC May 21st (evening) through Wed., May 23rd. Please look me up if you want to chat about community building or if you want to talk about Jive Software’s community collaboration tools (Clearspace). I can also give these tools away for free for non-commercial (open source) software development usage – talk to me for details.

It would also be great to see some familiar faces attending my panel on Wednesday from 2pm – 3pm on Community Development: Business Development for the 21st Century.

Other places you can find me this week:

  • Organizing a meetup for community managers (Mon. 8-10pm)
  • At The 451 VIP Open Source Reception (Tues. 7-9pm)
  • Community Panel (Wed. 2-3pm)
  • On Twitter
  • Attending various panels, hanging out in the hallways, and sneaking off to Chinatown for good food!

BarCamp Portland Informal Tech Meetup May 24th

Our next informal Portland BarCamp Meetup will be on May 24th! We have also settled on the fourth Thursday of every month as a regular date for the event. Any local techies are welcome to attend.

When: Thursday, May 24th
Time: 5:30pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Jive Software Office (317 SW Alder St Ste 500)
Sponsored by: Jive Software

Jive Software

Jive Software is located on Alder near 3rd. Parking is available in a nearby parking garage, and it is short walk from the Max / Bus (directions to Jive Software).

If you plan to attend, please RSVP on the Portland BarCamp Meetup wiki (RSVP required):

The meetup will be very informal and similar in format to previous meetings. We’ll do a few introductions, talk for a few minutes about organizing the BarCamp, and then see where the discussion goes.

If you would like to receive notifications about any last minute changes, future meetups, and other PortlandBarCamp communications, please join our Google Group to receive email announcements.

Google Groups

Subscribe to BarCampPortland
Email:Browse Archives at groups.google.com

 

 

We have also created a BarCamp Portland Google Calendar for upcoming events and posted the event to Upcoming.org.We are also trying to gain support for a real BarCamp event in Portland. We will start the planning process when we get enough people signed up on the Wiki, so please add yourself to the wiki if you want to attend a Portland BarCamp event!

Clearspace X Community Software

Yesterday, we issued a press release about Jive Software’s new Clearspace X product. Clearspace X is:

a special edition of Clearspace for companies interested in creating productive and engaging online communities for their customers and partners. In the past, companies have had to “glue together” separate applications for blogs, wikis, documents and forums, resulting in disconnected people and content, and low participation rates. Clearspace X unifies these collaboration tools into one system, bringing them together through a clean, user-friendly interface and integrated incentive system.

Using Clearspace X, companies can quickly and easily create compelling public-facing communities, enabling users to share information and ideas with each other via discussions, structured wiki documents, moderated blogs and even files (like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF). Users can keep abreast of recent activity in the community through email notifications, instant message alerts and RSS feeds. (quoted from the Press Release)

We use Clearspace internally to manage our company as a community with constant interactions using discussion forums, document sharing, wiki editing of documents, internal blogging, tagging, and much more. This software is the main reason that I was able to be so productive my first week on the job. Clearspace X is similar to our Clearspace product, but tailored to the needs of an external community.

An added benefit of my role as Director of Developer Relations at Jive is that I get to give the product away for free to non-commercial developer teams. This includes open source projects, student coding projects, and other non-commercial teams of software developers. I’ll have a simple web form for requests available on the Jive Software website in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, drop me an email if you qualify for a free license of Clearspace X: myfirstname at Jivesoftware dot com.

BarCamp Portland was Awesome

OK, as an organizer of the event, I am probably not the most neutral party; however, I do think the we managed to pull of a great BarCamp here in Portland. First of all, a huge thank you to Eva, David, and the rest of the crew at CubeSpace who generously gave us the run of the facility, were an amazing help, let us stay until 11pm both nights, and were extremely flexible when the registrations soared out of control the 3 days leading up to the event from our expected attendance of 125 to a final count of about 250 attendees. Also a huge thank you to Raven Zachary, co-organizer and partner in crime for the event, and the rest of the planning team: Carl Johnson, LaVonne Reimer, Audrey Eschright, Patrick Sullivan, Sioux Fleming, Kelly Mackin, and Rashid Ahmed. Each person on this list was a tremendous help. Todd was also an enormous help: staying up late to help draw the grid; bringing me bubble tea; getting last minute materials cut at Kinkos, putting up with my crap as my grouchiness escalated during final preparations, and much more.

During the initial planning of BarCamp Portland, we thought that would be really cool if we could get maybe 75-100 people at Portland’s first BarCamp. As people began signing up, we thought that 125 was a pretty realistic number (this is what we budgeted for). A week or two before the event, we had 125-150 people signed up, and we felt really good about that number. As we moved closer to the Friday start of BarCamp, the numbers escalated rapidly to 274. Based on signups at the registration desks, we think we had about 250 people physically present at the event. Our sponsors were very generous in making last minute increases in sponsorship funding to provide additional food for the extra people.

A few neat things about BarCamp Portland:

Thanks to everyone who attended. A BarCamp event is only successful if the people who attend make it successful. We had an amazing, geeky, smart, and fun crowd leading to an amazing, geeky, smart, and fun event!

Dogfood: aka Week 1 at Jive Software

My first week at Jive has been a whirlwind of activity, and I think that I have been super productive for the first 5 days on the job.  I’ve completed a first draft of how we might build Jive’s new developer community on our newly released Clearspace X infrastructure. I am re-working the process for how we give away free licenses of Jive’s Clearspace and Forum products to open source projects. I’ve put together a new demo script for our CEO to use at BarCamp – customized for what I think will be the audience at BarCamp. I was also able to get confirmed speaking engagements at Defrag and OSCON this week.  All this while being constantly distracted with last minute BarCamp details as the co-organizer of the BarCamp Portland event this weekend (note to self: next year, do NOT start a new job the week that you are holding BarCamp!)

How was I able to get all of this done while getting up to speed in a new company?  It comes down to dogfood, specifically, to eating our own dogfood at Jive.  We use the current Clearspace beta product for all of our documents, to hold discussions, for blogging, and more.  Most of the information that I needed was already in Clearspace.  For new information, I just started discussions in Clearspace where I asked other Jive employees about things like what to name the new developer community, how to promote our new developer community, and more.  I posted all of my work as wiki documents in Clearspace, and because everyone uses it, I was able to get feedback and information from across the company.

We are also avid users of our Openfire / Spark IM solution with every Jive employee already populated in our buddy lists from day 1 on the job. I worked with an employee in Canada over IM to help him reproduce an issue that I was seeing in our beta product, discussed our Ignite community with our CTO, negotiated with our web developer on resources to get some web forms completed, and much more.

I have to say that Jive seems to be a great fit for me.  I’m working with people who are just insanely smart, who live web 2.0 technologies, and we’re working on some really cool collaboration software.  Did I mention that we are hiring?

Speaking at Conferences

Part of my new gig at Jive is to be an evangelist for our products.  This means that I need to ramp up my speaking schedule at conferences.  Historically, my typical method of getting speaking engagements is to reactively respond to requests from friends, industry acquaintances, and other random people who invite me to speak on panels.  Now, I want to start taking a more proactive approach by submitting sessions to conferences focused on developers, web 2.0, collaboration, community, and open source.

Any suggestions for cool conferences that are currently accepting submissions?

Mobile Twitter

I’ve been using Twitter both on my computer on my and phone for a while, but the user experience of the phone has been a bit rough.  One option is to turn on text messages and be interrupted by your phone every time a friend Twitters.  Another option was the use the standard web interface, which required lots of scrolling and painfully slow load times.

Now Twitter has just released m.twitter.com.  It’s very simple, clean, and easy to read on the phone.  I think I’ll like using Twitter on my phone even more with this release.

Twitter is one of those services that people either love, hate, or can’t see the point.  I’m in the “love it” camp.  It’s a great way to keep up with friends.  I like knowing what new app or gadget Josh Bancroft or Chris Messina are testing. I also get great lunch suggestions from people like Raven Zachary.  The best use of Twitter is at big events where you can learn which session, party, speaker, etc. really stinks and which ones are a must see.  At sxsw, Chris Messina organized an OpenID meetup primarily over Twitter. News also spreads quickly via Twitter, and I frequently see breaking news on Twitter before other mainstream media sources. The best part is that you get this information quickly and easily from your community of friends, acquaintances, and coworkers.