While I'm not new to thwack and have been with SolarWinds for 5 years, I am new in my Community role. I have been in the dev organization and the support organization. I have been on the vision and creation side and the "dude, this is broken" side of the house. Most recently, I've been the Director of Information Development. I loved getting my writers out on thwack. There is nothing like thwack for a writer. You are exposed to everything and everyone. You can interact. You can learn. You can get the feedback you always wanted (and you rarely have to talk on the phone).
In my new role, I can't wait to get that same feedback. I know our community is one of the major differentiators for SolarWinds. We have a community of people who really care about our software, who voice their needs, who know our software well enough to help others with the products - and you do. Our community is also frustrated with our search functionality. I know. I'm frustrated with it. But, we also have a community that can be patient, and I am asking you to please exercise that patience now.
I ask that you be patient as I request feedback and start the projects rolling that build and bolster our community. Know that I will always be learning and will make mistakes. You will see moderators come and go on the boards. We are filling the moderator position, right now, with interns. Our interns get hired... good for them, but not always good for our consistency. I understand that. But, it really is a cool job to offer to an intern, a lot of exposure in a short period of time to a lot of great people posting about the technology that helps everyone enjoy being connected to everyone else. Please bear with us.
Over the next couple quarters, we are not only looking to alleviate our search woes, but we are also looking at bringing our community site up to the caliber of our users. I have reached out to some of our key players (past and present) to help me rank an upcoming feature set, and I've already heard some great feedback. I am not a fool, though. Change takes time and we've customized our platform quite a bit over the years. We know we need to continue providing all the services and sharing capabilities we provide now. We cannot break the direct interaction between our products and our community content. We need to be careful. And, we will be.
I will keep you posted on our progress, and, as always, I would love to hear from you about anything... heck, ACL is this weekend... we can talk smack about bands, if you want.