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Community Vibe

67 Posts authored by: MTorok
MTorok

π day ...

Posted by MTorok Mar 14, 2014

Hi everyone and happy π day.

 

It is not without regret that I also have to share with you my departure from the realms of thwack. I am off to wander new roads. Some of you know and have seen many of the twists and turns in my career of 7.5 years here at SolarWinds. Many of you have born witness to some of the greatest successes and some of the less than successful switchbacks... a 4 hour outage of thwack comes to mind as one of the later. Though, introducing ideation and gamification to the community I like to think of as some of the former.

 

There have been some incredible strides made here on thwack over the last few years and I am very proud of how the community has taken shape and the incredibly cool things you have done for us at SolarWinds. You have helped us with your feedback through polls, feature requests, and discussions to shape better product and give you what you want. I want to personally thank you for your contributions... so, Thank you. Thank you to all our MVPs, our Ambassadors, and our incredibly active internal folks, like aLTeReGo and that guy in the postscript below. Leon Adato, it was one of the highlights of my time at SolarWinds to meet such a genuine advocate and all-around great gentleman.

 

I leave you in the capable hands of DanielleH. She has proven herself more than capable in her role of community manager here on thwack. I have also heard a rumor that our head geek friend, patrick.hubbard is going to lend a hand in my absence. I know the future holds great things for the growth of thwack and a green field of opportunities for the community. I will watch, you can be sure.

 

Thank you for your interaction and your help. You make the community.

 

Keep in touch...I'll probably be on here often. It's a difficult habit to break.

 

Be careful out there and keep your knees in the wind.

 

Michael

 

PS

Here you go Bronx, I mentioned you.

It was a glorious and dangerous idea… integrate products with thwack they said. It’s going to be great, they said. And so, what can I say, we did it.

 

Now, you all know how integrations and custom code and custom-much-of-anything works out during an upgrade, never mind a migration. When things lived outside the cloud and my developer had access to all the integration points, this was when the idea was floated. And so, it was done with only minor pain and a thought toward a future where all was still on premise and able to be debugged. Oh, there were times, both in the distant and not so distant past, I was so jealous of my former self. I wanted to walk upstairs … wait this is my nostalgia… even better…

 

I wanted to walk over to my dev friends when I once shared their glorious home (now two floors above me). I wanted to tell them, “friends, the community has stated there is breakage on the Bifrost rainbow bridge twixt Asgard and Midgard.  I know this cannot be the case, so please lend eyes to correcting Loki’s meddling, and then we shall continue our tipping of drinking horn and feasting.” With Hermod’s speed this would spread and before hour done a fix would be implemented and the products would blaze again with glorious upload-to and download-from-community integration.  A mere wart to be found and removed from the sight (site?) of the ever-vigilant community.

yggdrasil.png

  (source: Map of Yggdrasil (Nine Worlds) by solaroid on deviantART)

 

Alas, such was not the case. Community came with fiery torch lit and shining Logi’s light down upon the error did gather and let it be known – “I want much to give you the content you desire, why vex my righteous intentions?” And to this, we turned to Odin asking, why have you caused such broken to occur? This, the glorious integration you promised us would always flawlessly flow twixt single pane of glass and community of network naiads, application nymphs, storage sylphs, database sprites, and IT giants? And soon, he spoke of new REST APIs, deliciously simple code transport, easy base64 encoding, and tagged content that would magic its way through the clouds… all these glorious things were promised.

 

The cloud was embraced, the heavens parted, carrying us away with said clouds into glorious future.

 

But the cloud sometimes comes with the hidden lightning of unknown change… and upon thundering feet, the proto giants – delayed and kept at bay for such short time, nary a year – did once again throw pitch fork with glee into well-wrought machinations, unleashing bent cogs and broken toothed gears. Again, the great integration, much coveted gem, object of envy, lay cracked upon the road.  But, Ragnarok was not upon us. With knowledge befitting Ull, and also a taste for the duel, our coder set himself to coding and not 48 hours from knowledge and time did we find fix.

 

And so, I want to thank you, the community – our Heimdallr – for once again keeping us aware and keen to the double-edged blade of change. We shall always heed your call, but hope also to get ahead of these issues.

 

** Upload from the product to thwack and download to the product from thwack (without leaving your products, if so-enabled) are both fixed. Bring on the next challenge, friends. **

 

And, yes... I got a little carried away.

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

MTorok

Bring on the job posts...

Posted by MTorok Feb 5, 2014

Hi everyone,

I'm not sure if this is actually true or not (Job Postings on Here?), that is, I don't ever remember seeing a consolidated job board here on thwack. It has taken some time, but I have not forgotten the request: Job Postings.

 

The job board/employment opportunity/job request board is here: GOT A JOB? NEED A JOB? GET A JOB. Please feel free to post openings in the IT realm and offer your services, also. As with all enterprises of this type, please show discretion. Don't share your private info with the world, message people directly when it gets to that point. But, we wanted you to have a new place to look and a new place to find like-minded talented people for your next IT project.

banner920x175_thwack_job_board.jpg

As I state in the overview, this is site we'd like to see you populate with your needs, be they for a DBA, a systems engineer, an applications engineer, a network engineer, a help desk person... whatever you need to get your IT infrastructure where you need it to be.

 

We put a feed of our job ops in the page... because that makes sense? But, I think it goes without saying, but please, do not post jobs outside the IT realm... no software engineering jobs. Please don't tempt our folks away .

 

Thank you for asking for this and let's make it a great place to help one another out, draw talent, and provide cool opportunities.

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

Hi everyone,

 

The new year is right around the corner here and we thought, well, a solid year of iPods Nanos was enough... at least for now. So, we're changing it up a bit for 2014.

 

The rules are the same, comment on an Ambassador's post and score 50 points for each comment. Each comment also enters you into the monthly drawing for a chance to win the prize. We thought we'd go for an auditory add-on for our bluetooth-enabled brothers and sisters out there (who isn't these days?). So, here goes, to kick out 2013 and bring in 2014 with some boom, to encourage your participation and interaction with our most excellent of blogger commentators, and just because we think they're rather cool and fun (and we could get them in our colors)...

 

We're giving away JAMBOXes:

12-26-2013 8-46-08 AM.png

These should solve that problem where your car tunes outblast your phone's GPS (or vice versa)... If the tunes and the GPS are both on the phone... we have synergy... Is this only my 1st world problem?

 

In any case, have a fantastic new year, start it off with a blast, and I look forward to seeing you on the boards.

 

Cheers!

 

Michael

 

P.S.

As with our previous year's contest, winners will be announced in the comments section of this blog.

Hey Everyone... Here’s the deal: we’re torn.

 

There are a bunch of us here that are embroiled in creating a new bracket for you to check out during Free Throws in March (or even instead?). But the gauntlet is about to be thrown and we want you to weigh in on the first and ultimate decision…

 

Hold everything, what's a bracket battle you ask? Take a look at last year's battle here:  Sci-Fi Bracket Battle.


Is it Gandalf versus Elric of Melnibone? Or, would you be more interested in a Noctis Lucis Caelum versus Hawke? A bracket with John Snow or one with Sergeant Logan Walker?

 

This is what is keeping us up at night right now… what do you want to see us put our heads together on? Do you want a Fantasy genre bracket or a video game driven bracket? Do you want to debate Kirby over Pac-Man or Shea Ohmsford over Ben Holiday?

 

Bring your opinion to the feast hall here: For the upcoming March 2014 Bracket Battle... what shall it be?

 

And may you walk with the Light Warriors, no matter your choice.

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

MTorok

Holidays come early...

Posted by MTorok Dec 16, 2013

We're on a mission

 

We have really not been slacking over here at thwack central, though I can't believe any of you would think so anyway. Our missions have really picked up traction through the year and we are thrilled at the participation and the response. Make sure you check out the 12 days of SolarWinds mission and bring your knowledge of the product to the table for the chance to score $500.

 

Ask Widgets

 

But... that's not really what I wanted to talk about. Okay, it must have been, since I spent a paragraph on it... but, again I digress.

 

If you look at the product forums, you'll see a new cool feature: Ask <forumNameHere> widgets. We've inserted them above the featured content.

When you start typing your question, this widget will search the forum for your answer and if it isn't located, you can immediately pose the question.

Check this out: 12-13-2013 4-52-07 PM.png

 

And...a video for the holiday

 

Okay... since the holidays are right around the corner, last but not least, here's a bit of a silly treat.

 

 

Happy Holidays and see you on the boards,

Michael

Hi everyone,

I wanted to point out a couple of changes that will arrive with the upgrade beginning in the wee hours tomorrow and continuing possibly until 10 or 11am CST.

 

First, I do apologize, but you have all been so active over the last year and a half that our database itself is taking 6 hours to port and upgrade... so, I'm not sorry, I'm thankful.

 

Thank you.

 

At the same time, I know this will cut into some work time for many of you and that just was not avoidable. We expect things to go smooth... okay, no we don't, but wouldn't it be great if it did go super smoothly? As any good software/hardware/tech guy, I expect things to break. But, I hope they go super smooth. I could then stand in awe and feel strangely touched by the FSM instead of feeling like I might have let down an FSM community member.

 

Okay, barring major issues, here are some of the more noticeable changes you'll see.

 

Where'd my bookmarks go?

 

Your bookmarks are safe.

They have moved from here:

bookmarksThen.png

To the spotlight search bar, here:

bookmarksNow.png

 

How does this affect content creation?

 

If anything, I think the upgrade will make it a bit more intuitive for you to create content. After selecting the type, you get to the editor. If you are already in the forum you want to post in, the new content editor defaults to post there. You can change it, but you don't have to pick a location after a content type anymore.

discussion.png

By the way, don't pick a blog. Right now, we are still only allowing employees to blog on thwack. If you select a blog, you'll need to cancel your content creation as there will be nowhere to post it.

 

What about my calendar? My inbox?

 

If you were using the calendar icon next to search to lead you to your calendar, no worries. We just moved it to the profile menu:

Inbox&Calendar.png

When you have a new item in your inbox, you'll see a clickable orange notification button next to your name:

Welcome   thwack.png

 

Need to use a quote in your reply?

 

Depending on the type of content you're replying to, you'll either see this:

Community Vibe  When we come back to our regula...   thwack.png

 

Or this:

Edit reply to  Re  Installed rule fails to eval...   thwack.png

 

Don't Let Anyone Else Edit Your Idea

As it spins, if you are signed in, you have the ability to create "ideas" in our feature request forums. These are used, as the name implies, for feature requests.

When you create your idea, please Restrict Authors under the Advanced Options. This will keep others from being able to edit your idea. Not sure why ideas/feature requests would be a collaboration content type, but it seems our platform folks think it should be. I'm asking about defaulting this to restricted, but meanwhile check that box:

Idea.PNG

Oh, Red Bar o' Death

We have another issue we are working on that involves our infamous Red Bar of Death...

RBoD.jpg

If you are receiving an error stating that your content cannot be save and you might possibly be logged out, please go to your profile and fill in a first and last name. The error comes from these fields not being filled out in your profile. You do not have to share these fields, but you do need them filled out. We are working on a fix to this that will copy your username into your first and last name fields... but you can fix this before we get there by supplying something in the first and last name fields.

 

Please feel free to reach out to me (Michael Torok) or DanielleH with any questions. I hope this is a smooth and easy transition.

 

Thanks!

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

MTorok

Spooktacular October

Posted by MTorok Oct 28, 2013

Hi everyone!

 

Only in October (my favorite month (Happy October... my favorite month for so many reasons)) can I ask you this question: is your boss from h*ll? No, I mean really... you never know.

 

No sales pitch... just fun.

 

There will be a new one daily all week. And, our friends behind the camera (incredibly talented peeps: Rene Lego, Jonathan Pfertner, Andrew Garibay, and Christopher Dirlam) have promised this player will contain each of them as they are released.

 

So, check out these fantastic Halloween- focused Noob's Cube videos, just for you.

 

Spooktacular 1

 

 

Spooktacular 2

 

 

Spooktacular 3

 

 

Happy Halloween!

 

***The survey is closed. Thank you to everyone for participating. Loving the lists...***

 

Hi everyone,

For those of you who don't deal with me walking around the office with Beastie Boys lyrics occasionally slipping into my conversations... I guess I thought I'd share?

 

It just seemed strangely appropriate for this blog on numerous levels... here's the deal. We want to know what you want for the holidays. Whatever holiday you celebrate through the winter solstice, most of y'all are going to embrace the germanic tree tradition in some way, and we are curious. What are you asking Roboclaus for? What are you saving up for or fighting the urge to buy now, so you can blame the holidays for splurging? Has the Xbox One caught your eye? Maybe it's the PlayStation 4? Or maybe it's a new GoPro cam? Let us know.

 

I'm currently fighting the urge to get this:

1381537_10152035212095934_1058446237_n.jpg

 

So, head on over to the survey, tell us what'cha want, and we'll give you 250 points. And, just when you thought you knew exactly where your desires were focused, we'll reveal the top picks in a few weeks... to add choices to the dilemma.

 

And yes, it is early... but it is never to early to figure out how you will avoid all brick and mortar stores during the next 2.5 months...

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

 

 



Hi everyone,

 

Well, here we are, October is here and you can almost make it to the end of your driveway here in Austin without the fear of heat stroke.

 

October brings pumpkins, pumpkin pie, dark beer, autumn home brew... pumpkin spiced ale (yes, currently in the secondary fermentor in the beer closet). And, for once, I'm not digressing, because October has also brought us the SolarWinds thwack pint glass. I just got off the phone with our supplier and approved the coolness... and tonight it shall hold frothy goodness. Yours can too... Nothing makes the logo pop like a good porter background (though I guess you could make them work-friendly and fill it with some caramel-colored soft drink goodness).  Get yours now, friends, in the store.

 

Pints

pintglass[1].png

 

thwackPacks

We've added the thwackpacks, and you know you want one. They are well worth the 10k points. We tested over 5 different backpacks before signing off on these. Appropriately, these are made by Elleven and simply deliver that little bit more than 10 will allow... Nigel and his friends know exactly what I'm talking about. It has a side zip compartment for your laptop (up to 17") and unzips flat for easy scanning at the airport. That little board with the USBs strapped to it in the picture could only be better if it were black on black on black with black lettering. It keeps all your thumb drives, your phone (s), your ipod, what have you, all in one place... strapped in to a friction pad, so they won't move. No, the pictured stuff is not included. You don't want that flip phone.

backpack[1].jpg

 

We asked, we listened, we deliver....  If you could add an item to the Thwack Store what would it be

 

Hoodies

You wanted a hoodie... well, we've a limited quantity of these in the store... when they are gone, they are gone.

Hoodie-Full[1].jpg

T-shirts with Tude...

 

I've always liked the Geek shirts and they aren't going away, but there is so much attitude to share, no?

Tee-Replace-User-FULL[1].jpg Tee-Network-FULL[1].jpg Tee-Not-Babbling-FULL[1].jpg

 

And why not a mouse?

 

We dropped one of these in the store, too. You can never have too many, right? I know I never lost so many mice (or DVDs for that matter) until my son realized that the cordless mouse could be used as a hover craft, a replacement hot wheels, or any number of other vehicles his imagination concocted.

I've already ordered mine (it will be the one I hide and only take out when the others have all gone missing...)

mouse[1].png

 

 

thwackCamp Limited Edition Gear

 

We've got 2 limited edition thwackCamp options, too. The long sleeve

White-LS-FULL[1].jpg

and the thwackCamp combo (which is a sweet leather embossed notebook and messenger bag).

You can get the points required for these by simply attending thwackCamp and staying tuned for the intermission quizzes. Check out more here thwackCamp 2013... right around the October corner  and here thwackCamp 2013.

 

SolarWinds Lab Limited Edition Shirts

 

And, of course, we've restocked polos, and both of our cup styles, and we're waiting on pics for our other limited edition offering: The SolarWinds Lab shirt. It's a wihte shirt with the SolarWinds Lab logo on the front left and It's Technical on the back.

 

Meanwhile, sit back, enjoy the slightly cooler weather that seems to imply winter might show ups some day, and have an English Porter or an Irish Stout which doesn't care if it's served warm.

 

Cheers and see you on the boards,

Michael

Hey everyone,

It's that wonderful time of the year... no, not Black Friday or Cyber Monday (as if every day wasn't Cyber Monday and you'd catch any of us anywhere but online on Black Friday... but I digress).

 

It's time for thwackCamp 2013.

 

What is thwackCamp?

 

Well, thwackCamp 2013 will be a number of streamed sessions, 4 to 5 per day, given by SolarWinds Product Managers with a live chat option to get your questions answered. You will hear in depth discussion on everything from product features to the SWQL to SWIS.

4 days, 4 main topics, loads of info:

 

Not Enough? How Could That Be?

 

In true thwack style, you get points for participation. So, here's the break out:

  • Join the group to RSVP thwackCamp 2013 (earn 500 pts)
    • For 500 points, you can get a limited edition thwackCamp 2013 long sleeve shirt.
    • For 750 points, you can get a limited edition thwackCamp messenger bag and notebook.
  • During the lunch hour each day, we will open a 5 question quiz. You will have 24 hours to collect 50 points per correct answer... that's a total of 1000 points over the four (4) days. Don't you hate when people put numbers like four in parenthesis, as if you didn't know 4 was spelled four.
  • Every day there will be a drawing amongst quiz participants for a daily prize. Check out the prizes in the group: thwackCamp 2013.


What if I Miss It?


Okay, even though we spread the sessions over 4 days and we would really like to see our chat server nuke with all the activity, we also understand that you all have real day jobs. So, all the sessions will be made available after thwackCamp for viewing at your leisure. We don't want you to miss anything... okay, except the contests. Sorry, those you'll miss.


I think that covers it... If I missed something, I bet you can find it in the group.


See you on the boards and in camp!

Cheers,

Michael




Hi everyone,

 

So, thwack isn't really the place you'll see SolarWinds beat its chest and say how flippin great we are. We tend to be a bit more calm, into the game, down with the man... you know. We're the most social antisocial group we can be.

 

But this is just too cool not to write about... we scored. We hit the top 50 "must read IT blogs" and it is you we need to thank. You voted us up and you got us in.

 

Geek Speak Voted Must-Read IT Blog

Thank you!

 

Cheers and I'll see you on the boards,

 

Michael

 

P.S.

Hats off to some familiar faces:

 

 

Hi everyone,

When I'm not playing your friendly neighborhood IT psychologist, I make sure that your voice gets heard inside the walls here.

 

So, I need to hear from you to make sure you are getting something out of our programs and, heart be still, possibly enjoying them also. This brings me to my point: we want to hear how you're liking/disliking SolarWinds Labs. Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback: SolarWinds Lab - Tell Us What You Think Survey.

 

And, if you have other ideas on how we could reach out to you with educational content or with anything else to help, let me know. You can send me a direct message or @ me or DanielleH in a post.

 

Oh, we're giving away t-shirts, but we all know the restrictions there (Have an Opinion About SolarWinds Lab? We'll Reward Your Thoughts With a Shirt and Endless Gratitude)... so, I rather thought to leave that to the last. What we really need is your engagement so that we know if we've hit on a good thing. Should we continue... are you interested?

 

Thanks everyone.

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

Hi everyone,

 

It all started with a bit of badging... and then... well, we realized we really should be offering you all more.

SolarWinds is making folks aware of our affiliate program -- become our partner.

 

What It Is

 

Really? Okay, I'm pretty sure you know, but I'll go ahead spell some things out. As an affiliate, you will place banner either exclusively or in a rotation on your website. For each download the banner receives from your site... well... cash. That is, we will monitor the downloads and write you checks.

 

How Do I Sign Up?

 

Head on over to the SolarWinds Affiliate Program group and check it out. You'll want to review the docs (Affiliate Program Overview and the Affiliate Partner Application), as there are some restrictions and a minimal number of hoops.

 

So come on down and get paid for your traffic.

 

Skeptical? You're not alone, but you need not remain a skeptic:

I have been an affiliate of Solarwinds’ for 5 years.  Actually, I took a lot of persuading at the start; there are so many schemes out there that don’t deliver, or rip-off site owners, but joining turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made.  Aside from having products that techies like, what makes the difference is that you can always talk with 2 or 3 people at Solarwinds who ‘own’ the company’s affiliate program.

 

So, come on over and check out our new group. Reach out to anwaldmann and smckinney and get your questions answered.

 

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

I'm rather hoping very few of you were affected by the maintenance/upgrade outage we experienced on Wednesday at 3am CDT... We try to keep these windows outside of most people's use patterns. Of course, if you are in North America, I hope we succeed. If you are in India, I know we at least did this during lunch time? Apologies to those of you in Germany, France, and the UK if we caught you during the morning and early afternoon for our Turkish friends. It is getting harder and harder to find a globally acceptable time.

 

Events Calendar

 

So, apologies out of the way... I'm rather excited to introduce the calendaring functionality we plugged into our instance the other night. Calendaring will allow you to keep your SolarWinds specific events on your own calendar in your profile. You will get reminder and update notification in your Communication stream. Also, you can download event info to your desktop calendaring client and use it to remind you.

When you see an event on the calendar (head over to the Community Events, Webcasts & Training to check it out, by the way) just click it to get more information.

8-8-2013 1-13-11 PM.png

After clicking, you'll see detailed information about the event, including the description, location, type of event and the ability to RSVP.

8-8-2013 1-16-21 PM.png

 

And, as I mentioned, you can find the ability to download an event to your local calendar software on the right, under Actions.

8-8-2013 1-26-44 PM.png

I'm sure we will communicate our activities in many ways, but if you are looking for a consolidated calendar, that is what we're creating here.

Come on over and take a look.

 

Mobile?

 

We also added support for mobile devices. While I had the option to force mobile traffic to the mobile site, I know I like to decide on my experience. So, I left it to you. There's a big green button on the home page that will link you to the mobile site.

green_launch_button.png

 

Mobile lets you browse the different forums, check your followed activity and keep up with your communications.

IMG_00000112.png

If you like the full experience, feel free to keep using it on your tablets and phones. The mobile site is on its own URL (https://thwack.jive-mobile.com/), and, as I said, I did not force rerouting to it from your phone or tablet.

 

Thanks everyone.

 

See you on the boards,

Michael

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