Posts Tagged ‘Social’

Friendfeed Sysadmin Room, Twhirl FF support, and Pretend-Sysadmins

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

So not long after I complained that there where so few System Administerors on the social media scene, Friendfeed introduces “Rooms” and immediately Adnan takes the initiative and makes a Sysadmin Room.

The uptake was pretty damn fast, probably partly due to Adnans blog being part of the Planetsysadmin collective. (why am I not on there yet?! )

So, lets hope admins posts “adminy” and interesting there. Adnan and me are off to a good start, at least.

Meanwhile, I realised I now had a treasure trove of Sysadmins to add to Twitter, which has been a really succesfull strategy so far.

I was immediately struck my a number of things though. Why is it, that I wanted to follow these guys on Twitter, and not just solely on Friendfeed, where they already where?

Well the awnser to that is very very simple: Twhirl. Or more to the point, their completely crappy implementation of Friendfreed support, at least at the moment.

I am reffering mostly to the lack of any kind of filtering, the fact that FF and Twitter are still two seperate streams, double Twitter posts, and the lack of FF comment collapsing/expanding.

But to get back to my original action, the adding of the Sysadmins, as it turns out, many people that added themselves to the Sysadmin Room, turn out not to be Sysadmins at all. Rather any are developers, or web-entrepeneurs. At least that is how they discribe themselves on Twitter. I have filtered who I add to Twitter accordingly 😉

Where are all the Sysadmins?

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

I posted the following post on The Server Room forum at Ars Technica

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Hi all,

Maybe I just haven’t looked hard enough, but I get the distinct impression that sysadmins, for some reason, are not very community-oriented.

If you look online for developer communities, you find a fantastic amount of forums, websites, and blogging communities.

When I wanted to start blogging about my sysadmin adventures, I looked for communities similar to developer sites like geekswithblogs.net, Channel9, asp.net. However, I couldn’t find any kind of hub that revolved around systems administration in a similar way.

We just seem a bit under-represented online, imo.

I want to find places I can converse and chat with fellow sysadmins, besides, obviously forums like these (which rock, btw).

For example, I did a search on Twitter and found a whole bunch of people that described themselves as sysadmins. Now those are exactly the kind of people I would like to follow on Twitter.

Similarly with Flickr, there are a number of small groups that deal with sysadmin and datacenter stuff, and I regularly contribute to those groups, but there are not many people there.

Another thing I would really love to see, is a good IRC community in this space. Again, perhaps there already is one that people here know of, I just haven’t found it yet.

What constantly suprises me, is how, whenever I find some kind of sysadmin community “hub”, the way collaboration is encouraged is incredibly old-school. For example mailing lists, or usenet groups. Now I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but I hardly find anything in the web2.0 scene at all. Have a look on Facebook, how many large sysadmin groups do you find there for example? Twitter? Friendfeed? I would really love to have a few more sysadmins on Friendfeed! We appear to be under-represented online, and very fragmented.

So lets get connected! I will list some of the resources/communities I have found, I hope you will add your own. What I am trying to collect is a list of active community hubs. I will update this post with the links people add.

Forums:
Ars Technica – The Server Room
Sysadmin Talk Forums

Social Networks:
Flickr – Systems Administrators Pool
Flickr – Rackmonkeys Pool

Clubs/Organisations/Conferences
LOPSA – the League of professional system administrators
SAGE – The Usenix Special Interest Group for Sysadmins
LISA – ( Large Installation System Administration ) Conference, organised anually by Usenix/SAGE

Podcasts/Vidcasts/Screencasts
Podcast – Casting from the Server Room

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I am secretly hoping the post will get stickied or something. Regardless, it gave me the idea to build it out more. I can add these links to my sysadmin blog. But it also reminded me I really need a Wiki or something, that would be even better.

Damnit, time to start migrated jemimus.net over to some proper hosting. Come to think of it, I need a new WordPress theme too!

Will managers ever understand us Geeks?

Friday, August 20th, 2004

This book is great!

I have not even read a single page, but I am already convinced of the superiority of this book.. genious.

Microsoft’s FretDFire weblog alerted me to this title, and I can just imagine myself getting this book for an IT-managers birthday or something! lol!

But seriously.. the rift between managers and Geeks, is something I can really relate to, and something that kinda hits home with me.

My experiance with companies, and in paricular how they relate to their IT staff, has overall not been very good.

Though I am increasingly positive over the direction my  IT services company is taking, I am still very dissapointed in how they treat their own people, but I have run into this with client companies awell.
A lot of this has to do with the cultural gap that exists between managers and the average IT proffesional. Its just two very different worlds, and very different people, that dont seem to be able to relate to eachother.

Glen does a tremendous job of detailing the nature of IT personnel, and I certainly recognize myself in this list. They:

  • Are highly intellectual people who have been rewarded since a young age for individual achievements.
  • Value other persons of similar knowledge and can be intolerant of others not so.
  • Are attracted to this business solely by the technology and tend to work on technology for technology’s sake, not necessarily for business’ sake.
  • Can tend to view data centers and networks as their own personal toy boxes and/or creations of their own artwork.
  • Are introverted by nature, choosing machines over humans and facing challenges in effective day-to-day formal and informal communications.
  • View the business world through what I call the Dilbert filter, which from a certain point of view is a sarcastic view of business, its objectives, drivers, and more importantly, the people who make up the business units.

IT stereotype: The geek The business IT supports
Is highly intellectual and intolerant of those who do not share the same knowledge. Does not share the same knowledge and requires tolerance.
Likes technology for technology’s sake—Often views the technology as one’s own artwork and toy box. Do not care. Has business needs that technology is to solve—accompanied by statements like, “Can’t you just fix this thing?”
Is introverted by nature—a poor communicator. Is extroverted by nature—in desperate need of effective communication from IT.
Views the business through the Dilbert filter. Views the business through profits and losses—accompanied by statements like, “If we don’t make any money, you don’t have a toy box.”

Read more at this great Techrepulbic acticle

What really gets me is that companies like the one I work for, try to mold their IT staff into something more marketable. My own personal manager likes seems to really want to push my own development of ‘soft’ -or ‘people’ skills. Now I feel I am not the most communicative person in the world, but I am certainly not the worst, so I am always willing to keep her happy, and go to communications training if she wants me to, but quite honestly, I really couln’t care less. I really have no need to want to communicate with people better..  after all, I can communicate just fine with other geeks, sometimes you dont even need words, just the right T-shirt..  But these soft-skills are of course means to facilitate in communicating with the rest of the world.. managers, users, etc.

I have tried to explain geek culture to her, tried to explain that you cant really change the intrinsic nature of geeks, and tried to make her understand that culture gap, and how she must bare that in mind, always, when dealing with the average IT proffesional..  But she doesnt understand, its simply beyond her world view, and this applies to every other manager in our company.