Then, Now, Next...

Posted by MTorok Mar 26, 2012

Greetings everyone,

I hope you all had a great weekend.

As you all know, we've been hard at work transitioning and running migration tests for thwack. I thought I would write a bit about how that is going and where we are and what you can expect to see this weekend and Monday. If all goes well, it is the weekend of change.

Some of you actually know this incarnation of thwack:

You remember, we were cool, dark, edgy, stayed up too late, smoked too much and got in trouble with our parents for looking way too much like a hacker site while you were browsing us.


Then we started feeling better about ourselves and it showed. We cleaned up, put on some nicer clothes... got respectable...


After a number of years of looking clean cut... we started to look a little dated. Cool hipster before it was cool to be a hipster.

So, we're keeping the cool and changing again.

We are creating Spaces in our new community. In a Space, you will find all the discussions, the content, and the blogs related to the focus of the space. So, in the Network Performance Manager space, you will find the blogs, the discussions (including the feature requests), and the content you want. You will be able to "like" content/requests/discussion. You will be able to follow content, so that you are notified in the community and/or via email when updates occur. You will find a community focused on you and organized around the broadening focus. You will find large lobbies, like Network Management, that contain not only products but general industry discussion. Our Ambassadors will continue to post thought-provoking content in these location, as will our employees, and, we hope, so will you.

It is coming and I look forward to your comments and feedback. It may be a bit of a choppy ride at first... change can be difficult to navigate. But, I am confident you will find the payoff at the end well worth it.

I'm asking you to row with me. Rowing a boat with company can be highly enjoyable and very efficient. On the other hand, if your fellow shipmate would rather let their oar drag in the water and fight your attempt to paddle in a direction safe from oncoming boats, well... nothing good comes from that.

See you on the boards,


Hi all,

So, I've been spending a lot of time working with our new platform... in many ways. I'm seeing where functions we have now map in a new paradigm (and, yes, I know that word is over used and often misapplied, but it really does work here); I've been working closely with our platform and design folks; I've been playing in the site and trying to capture how-to videos, not the easiest thing to do when the site changes daily in both stability and design. I know there are a lot of people out there that would struggle with the earth shifting under their feet. I can be one of them. But, I'm encouraged as much as I'm made nervous by the ebb and flow. I am watching teams of people pull together to get everything done... and after building a community for 6 plus years, everything is a whole heck of a lot of data to organize.

I thought it was interesting that Friends is not a very highly utilized function in our community. I'm not amazed, but I am hoping that will change in the new community. We are working on building a site that encourages groups of like-minded individuals to communicate and share ideas, not only SolarWinds product ideas. That said, we are bringing over years of product-centered information, support, and helpful data. What I'm really hoping I can count on you to help us do is build the larger general site info. We are no longer the little company I joined focused on router and switch health. We have burst well outside of those constraints. What has never changed is the energy here. We are engaged. We are focused on you. So, it seems logical to me to continue focusing our energies on our products and making them better, but to also engage wholly in our Ambassador program, where you'll see more general discussions started and general questions addressed. Come check out our current Ambassadors, Bill Hill (Hyper-V Stepping Up To The Plate) and Bob Plankers (Is it possible to have too much monitoring?). Ask your questions. Express your opinions. We know you have both.

I have a few questions. Are any of you using the Facebook BranchOut app? I know I'm very comfortable on LinkedIn. What do you think about connecting Facebook with LinkedIn functionality? Are Facebook/BranchOut permissions granular enough to keep the two separate if you want to? Are you going to create a separate Facebook account for BranchOut?

I hope you all had a great weekend. And for those of you who turned their clocks forward on Saturday, the conspiracy theorist in me believes that tradition is still upheld to boost coffee sales. I know I'm missing that extra hour.

On another note, my son and I went to see Young Frankenstein yesterday. I guess I see a number of parallels in porting our community over and I'm hoping that you all stick with us as we move from a stumbling monster screaming "Puttin' on the Ritz" to the inevitable brilliant monster who saves his creator.

See you on the boards,


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