Back in December, VMware upgraded their VMTN (VMware Technology Network) forum software Jive and introduced a completely new layout of the forums that would hopefully enhance the user experience. Though it brought many new features, it also brought on several new issues. The one bug that affected me was the incorrect conversion of the ghettoVCB document, because the conversion was unsuccessful it was decided to be left alone until the issue could be resolved. If you visited the document, it would display a "Forbidden" error message. Unfortunately due to the time it took to resolve, even Google cache started to get stale and stopped serving the cached contents.
Luckily, with the help of Alex Maier (VMTN Community Manager) and her team, she was able to get the ball rolling and got the fix tested and rolled out to production. The ghettoVCB document is once again alive and hopefully in no time it will be returned as the first search result on various search engines.
Going through the pain of receiving dozen of emails, private messages, tweets, etc. per week regarding the issue, I came to realize that VMTN document itself was not the right medium to host both content and user discussions. As it stands today, there are over 1,100+ comments which is pretty significant and managing and keeping up with the conversations is a pretty daunting task. I enjoy the feedback that community provides and the collaboration that takes place and I realize that this can be solved by using the new Groups feature.
To be honest, I did not spend much time looking at Groups when the VMTN software was upgraded, but now that the ghettoVCB document has been fixed, I realized this would fit this need perfectly. With the help of categories users can now post their feedback, discussions/issues and feature request and it can be easier consumed by both new users and myself. Starting today, I will have the following groups based on the top 5 most popular and active scripts:
I have also disabled any new comments on these VMTN documents and will ask that all new comments be re-directed to respective VMware Groups. I'm currently working with Alex to see if there is an easy way to convert the existing comments into a document and attached that as a download to help minimize the complexity of the document. In the worse case, the comments will be left alone as read-only as I think the discussion that currently exists are invaluable. All other VMTN documents that I maintain in the vGhetto Repository will continue to use comments and depending on how well the groups go, I may migrate those over as well.
I hope these new groups will be beneficial for everyone and I am looking forward to the collaboration. Thanks for your support and please help spread the word!
John Mark Troyer says
Very innovative use of the platform - you are certainly right that when you get 1000 comments it's time to find a different solution! I'll be watching what happens with the Groups but it sounds like a good use of this ad hoc community-forming function. I might have gone for one, but hey, at least this way the comments in each section will be focused!