Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
Ellison says he learned that Sun's pony-tailed chief executive, Jonathan Schwartz, ignored problems as they escalated, made poor strategic decisions and spent too much time working on his blog, which Sun translated into 11 languages.
"The underlying engineering teams are so good, but the direction they got was so astonishingly bad that even they couldn't succeed," said Ellison. "Really great blogs do not take the place of great microprocessors. Great blogs do not replace great software. Lots and lots of blogs does not replace lots and lots of sales."
Ouch! I guess Ellison isn't going to be signing up for an account on blogs.sun.com anytime soon. At least he acknowledges the "really great blogs."
Linda Skrocki: I find it interesting that although trust is a two way street, the focus in the blogoshpere is often on companies going out on a limb by trusting employees to blog on a corporate sponsored site, but the fact is, employees also go out on a limb for companies when they contribute content to the company blog site (whether it's personal or not).Some wonderful insights from blogs.sun.com PM Linda Skrocki, read the whole post. She's writing about Sun's 2007 Corporate Responsbility Report.
Solaris back in the race: Last week, I wrote about us discarding Solaris for a new project. Most large companies will not care and not listen to their customers. Many of us have dealt with Verizon, Time Warner, Creative Labs, etc and know what I mean. After all, when you have so many customers, it is cheaper to lose a bunch of them and provide overall bad service than it is to fix real problems. After my short experience with Sun, I assumed it was the same:I WAS WRONG. They do listen!
That's my experience too. Folks at Sun are very tuned into the blogs, forums and other sites where our products might be discussed. We subscribe to RSS/Atom keyword search feeds so we can find out who is talking about our products, we join the conversations and we try our best to make things right when they go wrong. Critical blog posts about us almost always set off a flurry of activities on our internal bloggers mailing list. It's nice to see when those "inbound messaging" efforts pay off.
Anil Dash: The only tools that succeed in an enterprise situation are those which are so compelling that people choose to use them in their free time.
When I talk to companies about blogging, I ask them how their Knowledge Management or Enterprise Content Management deployments have succeeded. And they almost invariably mumble a bit about "it's sort of underperforming...". This is the dark outcome of people trying to draw a line between who we are at work and who we are at home. You end up with shoddy, compromised products like KM or groupware. And the folks in IT aren't unfeeling, tyrannical monsters; When I tell them "well, we'll give you LDAP integration, but it'll also have a UI that's easy enough that people choose to use these tools in their free time as a hobby", their eyes light up. They want to delight people, too.
A great post by Anil Dash, VP and chief evangelist at blog software vendor SixApart. There are counter examples. I mean, who really spends a delightful and inspiring Friday evening with SAP? But generally I agree. Those of us who make enterprise software have a lot to learn from the consumer market.
And it reminds me of my old Dave on software post.
Last week was deadline week for JavaOne and ApacheCon EU presentations, so I was busy. Fortunately for me, my other deadlines were postponed, I did some begging for time and I actually had time to take a short vacation; a family reunion at Stone Mountain park, Georgia. Here's some more information about my ApacheCon talk and an outline of the slides.[Read More]
Yes, definitely brilliant. No bias here.
Mike Swaine in Dr. Dobb's Journal: But employee blogs are turning out to be a good place to go to track what's really going on. When Sun partnered with the University of Kent on the NetBeans IDE/BlueJ Edition, Ian Utting of U Kent vlogged in Sun's blog space about this beginner's Java tool. Incensed by rumors that Java doesn't work on Windows Vista, Sun's Chet Haase blogged to the contrary. And, responding to a high-news-value development, CEO Jonathan Schwartz links to YouTube video of Jonathan and Sun's Chief Technologist Greg Papadopoulos on Oracle's decision to fork Linux. (Hey, that's Jonathan's choice of words, not mine.)
And maintaining a place for ex-employees to blog is either brilliant or loony. My guess is, brilliant.