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10 Cool Years: Cool Solutions Hits the Decade Mark

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Susan Salgy

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Posted: 19 Dec 2006
 

We here at Cool Solutions want to thank you for making it possible for us to keep this project going for ten (count 'em) years. Our experimental first site, GWMAG, launched exactly ten years ago today, on 15 December 1996, and we were actually not sure anyone would even read it. When we got the first email asking a question for us to answer on the site, it thrilled us like Marie Curie discovering radium. (See this article we wrote on our 8th anniversary for more about that.)

While a lot has changed in ten years, the core concept of Cool Solutions remains the same: let people share how they are using your products in the real world, and chances are it will help someone else. Over the years we've amassed incontrovertible validation that tells us we were right -- the best ideas about how to use a product are NOT in the heads of the engineers who coded it, but in the heads of the folks who use it.

This is not news anymore. In fact it is a basic element of what's now being called Web 2.0. But back in 1996, it was not being done by any other major software company, and it was quite a leap. Many of the things that we started out with way back then, including posting gotchas discovered by users (unheard of in traditional documentation or support), asking users for their pet peeves and then sharing them with the engineers so they could get solved in the next version, and awarding t-shirts and other prizes for creative applications of our technology, really boiled down to the central principle of Web 2.0: Trusting the Users.

We've always trusted you, and you've never let us down. You've helped improve products, you've helped Novell understand user needs, you've helped new users feel comfortable using our products, and 3,739 of you have shared your home-grown tools, bright ideas and brilliant innovations and helped each other up the learning curve. Bravo to you! You are the life blood of Cool Solutions -- and we hope you never get tired of sharing.

Coming Next

We are feverishly working on a brand-new infrastructure for Cool Solutions, that will make it much easier to share your ideas. Please take this short survey to let us know what you like and don't like about Cool Solutions as it is today (so we make sure we don't throw anything good away when we migrate), and if you're interested you can sign up to beta-test the new site when it's ready for testing. We're giving away three DiskGO U3 Smart Flash Drives (2GB) in a random drawing from among all survey takers, so go take the survey before you forget.

Take the survey now >

Here's the skinny on the prize: Utilizing U3TM Smart technology, the DiskGOTM U3 Smart Flash Drive enables users to carry U3TM software applications, PC settings, and personal preferences as well as photos, music, and documents. Any desktop or laptop can effortlessly provide a familiar computing experience, allowing users to email, play games, message friends, and employ software as they would on their personal computer. The DiskGO U3 Flash Drive is an auto-initiating device - simply plug the drive into your USB port and the Launchpad icon will appear on the Windows toolbar. The Launchpad provides access to six U3 software applications as well as user downloadable applications. The Explorer icon guides users to their password-protected files and data.

Hope to hear from you soon!


Novell Cool Solutions (corporate web communities) are produced by WebWise Solutions. www.webwiseone.com

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