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.
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?
I am excited to announce that I will be joining Jive Software as their Director of Developer Relations as of May 3. I have really enjoyed my time at Compiere. I still believe that they have a great product and that they will do some really cool things in the ERP/CRM space. My reasons for leaving were purely cultural / logistical. While working remotely from my office in Portland worked really well when when the company was smaller and more distributed, as Compiere grew in size it became more and more difficult to do my job from Portland. The rest of the management team is now consolidated in Santa Clara, and I am the only member of the management team working remotely.
When working at Intel, location was largely irrelevant. At one point, I managed a team with members distributed across Oregon, Washington, and California. I also worked on a 3 person open source strategy team for a while with two of us in Oregon, one in Washington, and our manager located in Arizona. Working from home was also a weekly activity for me during much of my Intel career. I found that my productivity increased dramatically if I saved those tasks that required more concentration (strategy development, writing, presentation development) for my working at home day. Working remotely can be challenging, but it seems to work best in a corporate culture where remote workers are a common occurrence and not an exception.
I knew that I would eventually need to move on to a new gig based on the increasing number of issues related to working remotely within the Compiere culture, but I had not yet started looking for a new job. I regularly get email from people, either a result of this blog or from acquaintances in the industry, asking me if I am available or asking if I know of someone for a particular position. It was only because I got an email from Sam Lawrence at Jive software about looking for someone to manage Jive’s developer relations that I considered leaving Compiere. Jive has been a great sponsor of our monthly Portland BarCamp Meetups, and I have met quite a few of the people working there through various local technology-related activities.
I think that Jive will be a great fit for me, and I am really excited about working at Jive Software. Jive’s product line fits with my personal interests in online collaboration technology. They have managed to seamlessly integrate file collaboration, blogs, wikis, IM, and more into a recently launched enterprise 2.0 product called Clearspace. As Director of Developer Relations, I will be responsible for building a developer community program for developers with an initial focus on the new Clearspace product.
Jive is a cool company with great products. I am honored to be joining such a fantastic company!