Category Archives: jive software

Clearspace 2.0, Acquisition of Jotlet, Openfire Enterprise Goes Open Source and more

This weekend, we announced a bunch of changes at Jive.

We released Clearspace 2.0, including a renaming of Clearspace X to Clearspace Community. We also upgraded Jivespace to Clearspace Community 2.0 with an update to the look and feel, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time yesterday and today doing lots of testing and some tweaking.

Jive announced our acquisition of Jotlet. While I love to see Jive acquiring cool technology, I am even more excited that Adam Wulf relocated from Texas to Portland as part of the acquisition. Make sure you give @adamwulf a big Portland tech community welcome.

While Openfire has been open source for a long time, Openfire Enterprise had been a proprietary add-on to the open source version … until now. Openfire Enterprise is also being released under an opn source license.

The press has also been writing about the changes (search Google News if you don’t believe me). I won’t go into too much detail here, since the blog posts linked above have a bunch of details, but I am excited about the changes!

Jive Software Moving to Club Fed

Jive finally signed the lease to take over several floors in the Federal Reserve building on 9th and Stark with a move in date happening sometime this summer. The new building has already been nicknamed Club Fed by my fellow Jivers. Right now, we are sitting on top of each other in the current space. We have people at tables pushed up against walls and windows wherever we can find enough space for a computer & chair, so we are really looking forward to having some more room.

The article in the Daily Journal of Commerce had a pretty interesting description of what Jive Software is all about:

The Portland-based company specializes in flexible-source and web-forum software – programs that users can tweak and manipulate to suit their needs, and which are easy to configure with existing operating systems like Firefox. The company’s Clearspace software, for example, helps companies manage the flow of information between members of a team, in much the same way as a wiki.

Despite the minor faux pas of calling Firefox an operating system, the details of the move look good. And you can even see the top of my head in the second cubicle in the tiny picture at the top of the article 🙂

Clearspace: Best Community Software Award from InfoWorld!

w00t! Jive Software’s Clearspace X just won the Best Community Platform award from InfoWorld! You can read their full review on the InfoWorld site. This is no surprise to me. We power the 2 communities that I manage, Jivespace and Ignite Realtime, on Clearspace X.

Did you know that you can get a free license for Clearspace X if you are a non-commercial open source project or developer group? This is one of the cool parts of my of my job … I get to give people free software 🙂

How to Structure a Community

Last week, I posted a piece on the Jive Talks blog with ideas for how to structure a community:

If you want a community (internal or external) where social productivity can be optimized, you need to put quite a bit of thought into how the community will be structured. In addition to productivity concerns, this initial structure can also impact the adoption of your new community. The challenges include how much or how little structure should be provided and then what kind of promotion/coaching/training should follow the initial implementation. The amount of structure falls into three main categories: emergent, highly structured, and adaptive.

In the post, I go into more detail about the pros and cons of each of the three types of structures (emergent, highly structured, and adaptive). I thought some of the Fast Wonder readers might also be interested in reading it. The full content of the post is on the Jive Talks blog.

I also have a Fast Wonder podcast on the topic of community structure that should go out sometime this weekend.

Related Fast Wonder blog posts:

Community Roles: Manager, Moderator, and Administrator

I was asked an interesting question last week about the best ways to divide the community manager role into separate manager, moderator, and administrator roles. In my role as community manager at Jive, I act in all three roles under the broader title of community manager with plenty of help from the web development team on the administrative side and participation from development and product management with answers to questions.

In small to medium sized communities, I suspect that a single person typically performs all three roles. In most cases, and in my case, the community manager also performs the moderation functions. If the community gets enough traffic, it would probably make sense to have a separate moderator role to handle the load. This question got me thinking about how the roles might be divided for very large communities.

If you were going to break them out into separate positions, I have two scenarios (although there are probably many more):

Scenario 1: The Enormous Community

In reality, I suspect that these would only be full time jobs for 3+ people in a large community.

  • Community Moderator: The moderator or moderators would focus on day to day responsibilities for the community. Reading the threads, making sure that the right people are answering questions, moving threads when posted in the wrong place, dealing with spammers, and other day to day maintenance in the community.
  • Community Manager: This person would be responsible for the overall direction of the community. They would be responsible for content plans, content creation, determining new functionality, and evolving the community.
  • Community Administrator: This person (or team) would be responsible for the software and other technical aspects on the community (maintenance, upgrades, implementing new features, etc.)

Scenario 2: The Medium to Large Community

For most medium sized communities and for new communities, I would start with this approach and then further separate the roles as community growth required more focused time commitments.

  • Community Moderators: Subject matter experts responsible for a specific area within the community as part of their regular job. For example, the product manager might be responsible for the feature requests area within the community. Moderation would be a small part of several people’s jobs. In this role of community moderator as expert, they would stimulate discussion by responding thoughtfully to posts and starting new discussions to get feedback on ideas or get the community thinking about a specific topic. It would also be good to have them blogging in the community within their areas of expertise.
  • Community Manager: This person would be responsible for the overall direction of the community – probably a full-time job. They would be responsible for content plans, content creation, determining new functionality, and evolving the community, but would also be focused on day to day responsibilities for the community. Reading the threads, making sure that the right people are answering questions, moving threads when posted in the wrong place, dealing with spammers, and other day to day maintenance in the community. The community manager would make sure that the community moderators are keeping up with their assigned areas.
  • Web developer / administrator: Unless your software is an extremely complex or custom solution, it probably makes sense to have one of your web developers or admins also administer the community software.

I think that what I have said above is probably more applicable to corporate communities; however, I think that these roles are similar in other types of communities. For example, in open source communities, community members typically pick up most of the moderation role in an informal capacity. This is certainly the case with the Ignite Realtime community – most of the moderation is really done by the community, and I usually only step in for any larger issues. I suspect that this is also true for social communities as well.

In general, there is probably quite a bit of overlap between community administrator, manager, and moderator. I would be curious to hear about how other people have successfully (or not so successfully) broken out the role of community manager.

Related Fast Wonder Blog Posts:

Want to Play with Clearspace & Win up to $5000 or an iPhone?

Have you been looking for an excuse to play around with Clearspace? Now is your chance!

You can download Clearspace and get a free 5 user evaluation license to use to develop a kick-ass plugin by Oct. 25th to win all sorts of cool stuff including:

  • iPhone
  • Cash prizes up to $5000
  • Free 25 user license of Clearspace
  • Jivespace T-shirt

More information about the contest is available on Jivespace.


I attended the LUNARR dinner last evening where they launched the alpha version of their product. It is always nice to see another Portland tech company launch a product!

The answer to the question on everyone’s mind: “Do they compete with Jive Software” is No. We have a large, open collaboration platform, while LUNARR is laser focused on document collaboration, but with a different spin. In Clearspace, people collaborate on documents openly with everyone viewing everyone else’s comments. The LUNARR model is to make the document available to select people, but the discussions / comments on the document are more private (like an email back channel for every document.) What they have is pretty cool, but it is a very different model.

I was talking about them with Selena over lunch, and she thought it would be great for the education market. Because you control the document and the email back channel associated with it, I could see students and teachers using it for assignments. For example, a student completes the first draft of a paper, uploads it to LUNARR, gets feedback from the teacher, makes revisions, gets more feedback and eventually a grade. Later, the students can share the final paper with the rest of the class while the back channel with the teacher feedback / grades stays private.

I also think this is a great solution as a light weight way to share a few documents with friends, co-workers, contractors, etc. If you do not want discussions, blogs, and other features that come with a full collaboration platform (like Clearspace), the LUNARR solution would be an easy way to collaborate on documents.

You can learn more about them on their site or in this article

I also have a few invites – drop a comment here with your email address if you want an invite to play with their application.

BarCamp Portland Informal Tech Meetup

Want to hang out with other Portland techies? Join us at the BarCamp Portland Informal Tech Meetup.

Thursday, September 27, 2007
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
At Jive Software

The Portland meetups are intended to be a little less intense and more frequent than a full BarCamp Portland event. The intent is to get a group of cool people interested in technology together to chat over drinks on the fourth Thursday of every month. Anyone working in high-tech is welcome to attend. Conversations usually range from wikis to open source to blogs to who knows what!

Note: We have moved the signups for this event from the wiki to upcoming. Please RSVP on Upcoming to help us get a count for the event.

You can visit for more information.

Also, Please add yourself to the Google Group so that we can let you know if there are any last minute changes (we will send a note to the Google Group along with posting an update here).

LUNARR Coming out of Stealth Mode on September 17

Another local Portland collaboration company, LUNARR, is coming out of stealth mode with a product demo / networking event on September 17th at CubeSpace. The Japanese founders have promised to have Japanese food and drinks at this free event. If you want to attend, you can RSVP on Upcoming.

I hear you asking the question, “Hmmmm, another Portland collaboration company; wouldn’t they compete with Jive?” To be honest, I’m not sure yet, but I think that the competition between the two companies is minimal, since we seem to be focused on slightly different aspects of collaboration. From the minimal pre-launch information on the Lunarr website, they seem to be focused on document collaboration and projects, while Jive’s focus is on providing a broad collaboration suite with forums / discussions, wikis, and blogs along with our realtime collaboration (XMPP-based instant messaging) platform. While Jive provides a broad collaboration suite, LUNARR seems to be laser focused on serving a specific niche, and I suspect that there is plenty of room in this market for both solutions!

Please keep in mind that I am working with limited information, so most or all of the above could be incorrect. Anyway, I will be there on the 17th to learn more!

You are Invited: Jive Show and Tell Dinner

Jive is releasing a new version of Clearspace with what we think are some really cool improvements on September 13th. We thought it might be fun to invite the Portland blogging, podcasting, and influencer community in for a sneak peak on Tuesday, September 11th. Everyone is welcome to attend!

The Details:

Date: Tuesday, Sept. 11
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Where: Jive Software 317 SW Alder St Suite 500 (5th floor)

You can RSVP on Upcoming if you are interested in attending.

Jive’s Agenda:

  • We get to do a demo of our new Clearspace release
  • We’re happy to answer questions about our new VC investment from Sequoia, about our job openings, or any other topics.

What You Get:

  • Free food & drinks
  • The ability to blog, podcast, etc. about these new features 2 days before the official release
  • Time to ask questions about Jive Software

How to Get Here:

The Jive Software Office is on SW Alder between 3rd & 4th. Parking is available in a nearby parking garage, and it is short walk from the Max / bus lines (Directions).