THWACK (Powered by SolarWinds) hits the interwebs | June 9thCarrying the moniker "High Impact-Network Management", the THWACK community was created in 2003 on an open-source platform, acting as a question board for SolarWinds' end-users. The name THWACK comes from our geeky fondness toward comic books and superheroes - you know, BAM! POW! WHAM!
THWACK is the sound of the onslaught of answers to your questions hitting you, quite literally, in the head.
THWACK is: The SolarWinds Community | JanuaryA milestone into integration with the long-term plans of SolarWInds, the "powered by SolarWinds" moniker became "The SolarWinds Community of IT Professionals".
Along with this, the community received a tidy little facelift. One or our favorite anecdotes is that this was partly due to feedback from customers getting questions from their bosses about spending so much time on a "gaming or hacker" website. We call it dark theme, but to each their own.
THWACK goes the way of gamificaiton | Early 2012Capitalizing on innovation in community platform technology, the THWACK community migrated to a leading community SaaS vendor. With the change came exciting new features, including gamification. You can Google the formal description, but THWACK has brought a new meaning to 'gamification' over the years. Not only are points the basis of your status within the community, but SolarWinds opened our very own swag store.
To date, our store ships to more than four markets and does so without any costs to our users. Yes! Event shipping is free!
The start of Ideation on THWACK | Mid-2012'Ideation' is just a fancy term for crowdsourced ideas. By this time, THWACK's user base grown to an astounding size. SolarWinds started taking note that, by listening to our customers, we delivered better products.
Ideation enabled users to submit feature requests the broader community could iterate and vote on. To date, the ideation feature has spawned almost 7,000 requests across 26 products, 451 delivered features, and 93 new ideas currently underway on our product roadmaps.
SolarWinds is keeping its ear to the ground and hearing what you have to say about trends, industry demands, and more.
SolarWinds launches the first-ever THWACKcamp | OctoberTHWACKcamp marked its first year in 2012. A free, annual, virtual IT event held by SolarWinds, each year THWACKcamp brings thousands of IT professionals together for two days of live sessions. Each session features some of the greatest experts in their fields. Keep on eye on thwackcamp.com for coming datails about THWACKcamp 2018, the seventh year of this live, interactive event.
The first annual Bracket Battle begins | MarchA battle of wits. A battle of strength. A battle of...geekdom. THWACK kicked off it's first ever Bracket Battle in 2013 to pit the greatest Sci-Fi universes together. Celebrating its sixth year in 2018, we've gone on to crown a total of three Star Wars characters, the DOOMiverse, Spock, and one extremely pleased dragon.
The premier of SolarWinds Lab | AprilOur live monthly web sersies, SolarWinds Lab, is hosted by our Head Geeks. The first episode, Virus in a Haystack, on April 3rd, 2013. Since then, the series has amassed 65 episodes, with 6 more coming in 2018.
The debut of THWACK's monthly missions | AugustOur monthly missions and challenges have become a signature of the THWACK community. Debuting in 2013 and getting a major overhaul in 2016 (automation amirite?!), these missions give our members the opportunity to test their knowledge and compete for some awesome prizes. Fast foward to 2018, and thousands of members now participate each month.
Be sure to follow our Community Announcements blog or keep an eye on the homepage rotator for alerts whenever new missions become available, typically the first Monday of every month.
THWACK goes user-centric | MarchDoubling down on our dedication to our users, the THWACK team puts their money where their mouth is. In response to the user demand for streamlined navigation, we developed an simplified user experience, making it easier for visitors to navigate the depths of content that lies beneath the homepage.
The first SolarWinds User Group (SWUG) | OctoberBuilding upon our tradition of enabling conversation between ourselves and customers, SolarWinds met fifteen attendees in Austin in the first-ever in-person community event. After our first ever SWUG, the news spread like wildfire. SolarWinds was not only investing in our relationship with customers, but also putting faces to usernames.
At that time, it wasn't uncommon to hear from folks who'd been using SolarWinds for 10+ years, and SWUGs were the first place they ever connected with other end-users and SolarWinds staff. To date, over 1,500 people have joined us in more than 25 cities around the globe. Curious where we are going next? Check out our SWUG Hub.
THWACK loses its marbles | AprilOk, maybe this isn't one of our largest value-adds, but it made a lot of people happy.
Bye bye marbled-texture, a staple of THWACK's design since 2009! The community begins the transition to minimalist web design with the elimination of a patterened-texture backdrop.
"We're trying to build a website, not a laminate counter top," said one concerned Web Product Manager.
The epic 2017 SolarWinds brand refresh | OctoberIn partnership with SolarWinds, we reimagined our branding, while staying true to our roots: #f99d1c and the SolarWinds flare. Implementing a shiny new logo, a new nav, reorganization of product forums and webmapping, and many visual changes throughout the website, we are now a THWACK for the 21st century. We think.
THWACK Doodles! | FebruaryMagical design elves on the SolarWinds team begin to take over THWACK and leave behind shiny new animations on a monthly basis. Don't worry, when we catch these elves, they will pay!