Over the weekend I realized that I have violated one of the cardinal rules of blogging. It has been 2 months since our last blog post. That is an eternity in the era of social media where we're bombarded with tweets and Facebook updates continually. We're not going to go that long between posts again (actually I am going to do another post later today after this one). There are many interesting things going on here at Brocade when it comes to the mainframe connectivity part of our business, and there are many interesting things happening in the mainframe world in general that merit discussion. More on those later, back to the topic of this post: Mainframes and Social Media.
We started our efforts in Mainframe related Social Media here at Brocade with this blog. Thanks to you, our loyal readers and subscribers, this blog typically gets over 20,000 views per post within 2 weeks of a post "going live". This blog actually gets the most views of any of the blogs at Brocade. Thanks to you, this has led to bigger things. Two months ago we launched the Mainframe Solutions Community. Earlier this month we renamed it the Mainframe and FICON Solutions Community. Why the rename? We decided we did not want people to make the assumption that by Mainframe Solutions we meant only FICON products such as FICON directors and switches. Brocade also offers the best distance extension solutions for mainframe end users, such as the Brocade FX8-24 extension blade and the Brocade 7800 switch. Brocade also offers the highest performing network routing and switching products, such as the Brocade MLX, for your core networks, or for business continuity solutions such as the IBM TS7700 Grid.
The Mainframe and FICON Solutions Community contains our mainframe/FICON related documentation such as white papers, technical briefs, presentations, and manuals. It features a discussion forum, as well as the ability to create a poll. Have a question that's perplexing you? Start a discussion. Curious what your industry peers may have done or would do if they were in your shoes? Create a poll. Looking for one of our presentations you may have seen? It will be there in the Community site, even if it was at a Conference such as SHARE or CMG. In other words, the Brocade Mainframe and FICON Solutions Community is your 1 stop shop for all Brocade matters related to mainframe connectivity-be it FICON, distance extension, or IP/Ethernet.
Sounds great Steve you say, how does it work? Simple, go to this link and register.
And for you Facebook fans, we also started a Brocade Mainframe Solutions page on Facebook. That is more for social interaction with your peers as it does not contain the documentation/reference material that the Community site does.
Social media is a great tool for interaction and for knowledge sharing, and that is the reason we are doing this at Brocade. Mainframe professionals have really been a tight knit community for many years, thanks to organizations such as CMG, SHARE, and Guide-SHARE Europe who hold conferences and other events throughout the year. IBM has their IBM Destination z website and conferences as well. The zNextGen group has a great Facebook page. And lets not forget the good old IBM MAIN discussion list. Finally, there are some other great blogs out there. To name a few, but not all: Alan Radding's Dancing Dinosaur, Timothy Sipples' Mainframe Blog, Reg Harbeck's Mainframe Analytics blog, and last but not least, Bob Thomas' Mainframe Zone blog.
What's the bottom line? Social media can be a huge time sucking (game playing) vortex when used improperly. When used properly its a great tool for learning, networking with peers, and problem solving. Here at Brocade, its another way to make our customers'/partners' jobs easier, increase customer satisfaction, and allow you to make optimal use of your Brocade hardware and software.