Cool Solutions

Cool Blogs: What Next?


June 9, 2006 6:03 am





Now that Cool Blogs has been up for a few months, Martin Buckley and I are looking to make some improvements.


First, there are some interface upgrades that we’ll be making. We’re currently staging a ratings system to let Cool Blog readers rate each post. I’m hoping that we can steer this feature toward content relevancy rather than have it be an indicator of how much readers agree or disagree with assertions made. For example, Bill Street and Volker Sheuber recently got a lot of controversy over their posts on management consoles. The amount of comments they got showed that the subject was extremely relevant–which I would hope would earn high ratings, despite that a lot of comments took issue with the actual message.

Second new feature is that we’re looking to incorporate threaded comments in order to make comment dialogs a little more readable. We’re testing out some WordPress plugins over the next couple weeks.

We have some other interface enhancements like those in the works, too.


We know that a few of our Cool Bloggers are a bit behind on putting up some posts. Martin and I have done some polite cajoling. I’m now stepping it up to coercion. (It’s not that most of these people don’t want to post. I think it’s just a combination of being busy trying to make great products and perhaps overthinking how much has to go into a blog post.

Here’s how you can help: What other content do you want to see on Cool Blogs? Is there a product that you want to see better represented here?
Let us know with suggestions in the comments for this post.


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  1. How about iChain 2.x soon to be Novell Access Manager 3? I think there are several Novell customers that have overlooked the product for years because they don’t understand what it has to offer. Yes there are nice new features that are being added with Access Manager but the “basic” features I think are still the real selling point. Rather than a customer having to build security into their web applications they can front them with an iChain/NAM server and in so doing they’ll also address certain security shortcomings inherent in certain web platforms. I have websites that have been fronted by an iChain server for almost four years now. I think a lot of folks don’t realize how mature iChain/NAM really is considering it was originally spun off from BorderManager years ago.

  2. By:Tadd Moore

    I’d love to see more Novell product managers and executives weigh in on the issues facing Novell from their perspectives, and what plans they have to address them. Everyone has a limited realm of influence – it would be very interesting to see what each person has planned for theirs. I’m not interested in trade secrets, but knowing which problems Novell execs see within the company, and which ones that they feel should be addressed, would go a long way toward helping us customers re-build our shaken/shattered faith. Plus, hopefully our feedback would help the posters confirm that they’re on the right track, or bring to light more important issues that your customers may be facing. I’ll say again that Novell is blessed to have so many customers that are so deeply, emotionally invested in the success of the company. Somewhere out here there are in fact valid ideas and suggestions, free for the taking.

  3. By:Alex

    I wouldn’t mind seeing more posts about Cluster Services, especially after being teased at BrainShare with all the cool new features they are working on…

  4. OES may be one of the blogs listed, but we haven’t had an update in a while. Perhaps these folk are on the ‘to be kicked’ list? Though with SLED coming out Real Soon Now, with SLES right around the corner, the OES folk I’m sure are pretty busy working up the “NetWare Services” for the later OES release on the SLES base.

  5. Alex brings up a very good point. More on Cluster Services would be very nice to hear. Either the Linux stuff with Heartbeat and such, or the OES stuff that I’m running. Yes, a little self interest there. But these sorts of ‘large shop’ technologies are very interesting, and show that Novell can handle the big stuff.

  6. Tadd – take a look at Jeff Jaffe’s CTO Blog –; and John Dragoon’s CMO blog –

    It is certainly refreshing to see Novell’s Chief Technology Officer and Chief Marketing Officer blogging like this.

    As for the rest of us – I’ll certainly start adding a ‘from the trenches’ view of life inside Novell to my posts.

  7. Alex, Jon,

    Yes – we plan to expand our coverage. iChain and Novell Access Manager is an area of coverage we need to add; Open Enterprise Server, Clustering, High Availability and all of these other key areas are all needing some additional posts.

    I think Ted is lighting a few fires under people in the next week.

  8. By:Grant

    As we move away from Novell NOS to Microsoft, I’d be intersested in any comparisons of Novell products that are typically still needed in a Microsoft environment. ZENworks is the most prominent one that I know of.

  9. […] The people have spoken, and we’re now working to bring on some more experts. […]

  10. By:Alex

    I was thinking about this a little more, and realized that there are a ton of, for lack of a better term, “voiceless” employees at Novell whom I’d like to hear from. I’m talking about:

    -Those who work on the documentation for all the different products Novell offers

    -Support techs who could blog about interesting/funny/scary support cases they’ve handled

    -The team that manages the site

    -There’s probably more areas that I am not able to think about at the moment, but I think you get the picture…

  11. Alex:
    Most of the voiceless employees choose to be voiceless. Cool Blogs is not intended to be the blogs of all Novell employees. It is intended to be the blogs of select employees. We’re still hoping to create a new “Planet-N” aggregator for all Novell employees. Cool Blogs, however, will continue to be the showcase for product leaders. That’s why I blog very seldomly on Cool Blogs, and what I do upload is usually related to Cool Blogs or Novell products on Novell Open Audio.