In order to start this post I want to take a big step back first talk about communities.
Communities, at the base level, really boil down to social interactions of organisms with each other. These organisms coexist in a society. Societies can be thought of people that are related to each other, that share common expectations and/or authority.
Seems simple enough, right?
If we dig a bit deeper into the social interactions of organisms we can begin to get an idea that there are a variety of types of people – as defined by their behaviour. Typically there are 4 types that really stick out, at least for me.
- This is the biggest group of any community. Usually about 80% of the population.
- They are seeking light-weight, non-confrontational easy to reciprocate social interactions with other people.
- These folks go to great lengths to achieve rewards simple for the prestige of having it.
- They are involved in the community for the social credit of having discovered something. They love to discover an unknown glitch or a hidden Easter egg.
- These types thrive on competition with others in the community, in order to win and their expense.
Think of each community you belong to and what type of behaviour you typically exhibit. How your actions/interactions impact the overall state of the community. What is your typical tone within those communities. Also, are you typically a positive person or do you “bring the hammer” with negativity? Maybe your a realist?
No matter your behaviour type and the tone you use, you do impact the community.
So why all the preamble?
Its important to understand the nature of our community - DotNetNuke and the smaller/sub community of The Store. As, essentially, the “authority” for The Store we must keep our eyes and ears open to all input from the community. We must adapt and change with the “expectations” of our community. We must learn from each other. The very second we stop listening to the community (to you) we all lose.
While doing so we are sensitive to the fact that there will always be those people that are very positive – they are looking out for the community and want to see it foster and grow; and then there are the negative types. I would almost always agree that they too are looking out for the greater good of the community they just express themselves in a slightly different manner.
You must develop a pretty thick skin for those that exhibit a very high level of negativity about any change (good or bad) within the community – after we all cant put our biggest smile on every day, right?
Both of those types serve a huge purpose for the Community and do play an essential role to our collective success.
In this past week, since we launched what we are calling version 2 (v2.0) of The Store we have directly come into contact with pretty much every type of personality out there: Socializers, Achievers, Killers, Positive types, negative types, etc.. Everyone is coming out of the woodworks…
This is awesome!
The most encouraging thing for us right now is that feedback. Have confidence that we are tracking all items and triaging/fixing the high priority issues as soon as humanly possible. Gemini (bug tracker) and TFS (source control) are very active with frequent changes. We are doing our best to keep on top of the list and publishing to production as soon as it makes sense. Based on twitter there are many of you out there that have directly experienced the fast turn around we strive for, we will do our best to keep that pace going.
Right now, the best way for us to receive feedback is to either email us at store [at] dnncorp [dot] com, or by using our Help Desk.
We need you to communicate, no matter your style - keep it coming!
When we (DNNCorp) originally took ownership of SnowCovered.com from Brice Snow it was running on DotNetNuke 2.1.2 (Release date was June 14, 2004), v1.0 of the .NET Framework and on a low-end hosting provider. Looking back, I recall that we were lucky to get 80% to 90% uptime in any given month. It was on its last legs. We knew, the community knew, we HAD to take action.
Fast forward a little while, and just over a year ago we launched an internal “Upgrade” project for SnowCovered.com. Here is how that story played out…
Our first initiative was to upgrade from the low-end hosting to our own infrastructure which brought up our stability immediately to 99.9% uptime. This was a huge gain for us and the community as a whole. It was nice to be able to rely on solid infrastructure. All of the negativity around the amount of downtime simply fizzled.
Our first significant win!
The next step was to tackle the DNN 2.1.2 issue. For those of you that don’t recall the history of DNN, 2.1.2 was release before the ASP.NET Team release the (then) new Personalization and Membership pieces. The team here spent hours ensuring that every single user in the SnowCovered membership database was upgraded. Countless tests and dry runs were performed, and in the end we prevailed. All users can and will be upgraded fully.
Another win for the team.
The largest task was the actual code base itself. There was a significant amount of rework and simply replacing much of the codebase (VB.NET to C#) as we transitioned it all to the 6.x family of the core framework. At that time we had just hired Nathan Rover and put him on this challenge. He gladly accepted and took the lead. For those of you want have not yet met Nathan, he is a marathon runner – just the man suited for this marathon upgrade and release schedule.
Over the year they took inventory of the feature points, upgraded code, reviewed artwork & designs, cried/yelled/screamed, held design meetings, drank a few gallons of redbull/monster/beaver buzz, QA, upgrade meetings, daily scrums, Unit Tests, more QA, frequent vendor reviews & demos. Project plans were scraped, created and scraped again. We have had churn in almost every aspect of the project.
The team kept running.
There were a few points over the past year were we almost gave up. The stress was high; the light at the end of the tunnel was just barely visible. Nathan and the team pushed on. We persisted.
The team kept running.
Finally the light was blinding. We invited many (~100) of the vendors in for a private Beta; received well over 40 issues, all of which were addressed with great care and attention, and finally accepted the final list of bugs in for the initial RTM release. The team worked day and night nailing these issues down in order to meet our aggressive release schedule, without sacrificing the level of quality we demanded in this release.
As of 3:00AM PST February 9th, 2012 we crossed the finish line!
We are proud to announce that we have released initial public release of "DotNetNuke, The Store"
Congrats goes out to the entire team!
Here is a before screenshot, as of July 19, 2012:
..we are just getting started…