27 March 2009

Familiarize yourself with Juniper

Here we are in the throws of Social Media, networking, and online everything and it seems a lot of you are unaware of Juniper's online presence. I want to take a minute to outline all the ways you can keep connected to our fabulous establishment< /my bias >.

First things first. We have three categories of blogs for all your reading enjoyment. We spent a great deal of time researching personas and the archetype groups that they fit into (more on that later). Most people are aware of strategic and technical archetypes since these are terms that are often thrown around in corporate conversation. Through our research, we discovered another archetype--bridge--that was frequently overlooked. This is the group that bridges the gap between strategic and technical. Fancy that, I know. Bridge personalities have any combination of strategic and technical tasks. The difference is, blogs that are too technical or too
strategic tend to be too saturated with certain content that acts to ostracize the group that
doesn’t fit entirely in one group or the other.

Juniper executives on topics from cloud computing to economics and green IT.

Business perspectives on the trends, solutions and driving networking innovation.

Technical: Networking Now
Technologists on network security, routing and switching products and solutions.

Next, we have our infallible J-Net community. J-Net was originally designed purely to support post-sales technical support and to help customers with product support issues. Today the
community still serves that purpose, but also allows members to get news about what is going on or about to happen, a place to receive media, like videos with engineers, executives, and members of our community. J-Net is always free, and doesn’t require a user name or password to view content. Signing up for J-Net will allow individuals to participate in the conversation, be entered for monthly drawings and events, and receive community recognition as industry experts.

Twitter is the topic of many conversations I have been a part of or have overheard around the office and on random elevators. We have a few twitters to make sure you have the information you are searching for.

@JuniperNetworks is the official news feed for Juniper. Here you will find the press releases, updates about new blogs posted, as well as links to what is being said about Juniper.

@JNetTawnee is my twitter. I post a lot of what @JuniperNetworks does, but this twitter is infused with my personality and the ability for you to ask questions and get answers. Here you will also get updates about J-Net, what new videos are available for viewing, and banter about what's going on with Juniper from my perspective.

@JUNOSJeff is Jeff Mattan's twitter stream. He is your go-to guy for all things concerning JUNOS. He will be able to keep you current with JUNOS information, as well as answer any questions you may have. Jeff is an excellent person to know in real life, but if you're not lucky enough to be in the office-- you may as well connect with him via Twitter.

Next post I'll shed light on our endeavors with Linked In and Facebook. Hopefully I'll see you on the forums and connect with you via twitter. Send me a tweet to say hello.

23 March 2009

My Take on Twitter: Useful or Addictive?

I came across this video about a young man struggling "against the pressure to Twitter his life away" thanks to Jeremiah Owyang. It is hilarious, to say the least.

I was recently asked by my friend Charlie how I felt about Twitter. He has his own dance company in SF and was curious how he could use social media to promote his company. I am a believer that Twitter can do many a good thing when used for business purposes.

First of all, it's a great way for me to connect with people who use Juniper, love Juniper or have yet to figure out how much they love Juniper. Twitter allows me to be a quick reference point for everyone. By finding people who are interested in Juniper specifically, or just want to talk about expanding their network, find information about the data center, or switch technology, I am able to get information to them that they wouldn't ordinarily know to seek out for themselves. I may not know the answers for their questions, but I have access to the people inside the company. I know where to ask, and it's a great way to connect to someone who actually has a personality rather than filling out a support form or sending an email without knowing if you'll ever get an answer.

This video is hilarious because of the parody it makes of our social reliance on Twitter. I laughed at the desperate screaming of the people when the twitter whale came and shut them out. I remember the first time Twitter went down on me-- wondering what I was going to do with this thought I wanted to import. Apparently, "waiting" is not an option. My thoughts stream through my head at an alarming rate. How can I be expected to hang on to a thought for longer than the moment I am thinking it? What absurdity! Not to mention, by the time Twitter does come back up-- my thought will already be irrelevant. I NEED IMMEDIACY!

I have the benefit of having two Twitters: one for personal and one for work [@JNetTawnee]. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that my personal twitter serves no purpose, and more than likely does not better the world in any way. It does serve to be a way for me to track my silly train of thoughts, pictures, and responses to friends. Being someone who has journaled from the ripe age of 10, micro-blogging is near and dear to my heart. When I was 10, I had the time to write pages describing what I did that day-- but for my fast paced life, Twitter is a great substitute until I can actually sit down on LiveJournal or--who knows--maybe even an actual journal and transcribe my thoughts on the day, the world, and what's to come.

So what do you think? Is Twitter as mindless and nonsensical when used in moderation and for appropriate uses? Or are we just insane addicts who take too much and freak out when we can't get our next fix?

By the way, when I finish this post, I will be twittering about it. Perhaps that's how you got here. If so, I guess it served me well. Thanks Twitter, and thanks to you for clicking.

19 March 2009

Sometimes the best connection is a real connection

I recently interviewed Dave Hawley, Director of Product Management for the EX 8208 at Juniper Networks. We talked about what the EX8208 is and what makes it so remarkable and relevant to the market. Dave and the whole EX8208 crew worked incredibly hard for the past 2 years (you can read his blog about it) so it was a great pleasure to sit down and discuss the final result.
I also talked to another member of the EX 8208 crew, Bobby Guhasarkar, Senior Manager for Product Marketing in the Ethernet Platforms Business Group. He and I discussed how the project evolved from a start-up in 2006. After the start-up was picked up by Juniper, their group of merely 4 people blossomed into 300 throughout Sunnyvale, California and Bangalore, India.

Rather than work to re-do existing platforms, the EX 8208 team started from scratch. Bobby said this was "easier to do," and the fact that they had big-company funding while functioning like a small company definitely helped.

Of course, being a social-media minded girl in a high tech industry, I am always looking to find the human elements in all the so-called "techs and specs". A big part of the job for Bobby is talking to customers. He is frequently on the road--about one week per month. These travels allow Bobby to give presentation to channel partners and act as a human barometer. Product marketing pivots on customer feedback and interaction.

When I asked Bobby if he used social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Linked-In (these three are becoming the professional holy trinity for most of us these days), he promptly shrugged off the platforms as being helpful aids for his job. Outside of work, Bobby uses Facebook to stay connected to past and current friends, but professionally Facebook and Twitter are of no use to him.

When talking to Bobby, it became clearer how social media might "connect" us to an endless amount of people, but it has yet to master how to make those connections natural and 'human'. Intonation, emphasis and tone are impossible to convey on Facebook and Twitter. We must rely on those we have befriended to assume what our tone of voice is.

I enjoyed the fact that social media was irrelevant for Bobby's job. It proved to me that although social media is 'all the rage' and 'on the rise'--nothing beats having a conversation face to face, developing a rapport, and being able to read a person's reactions.

I greatly enjoyed speaking with Dave and Bobby and, although I don't understand the depth of the technology 100% of the time, it is easy to see how impressive and powerful this technology is. I give a very enthusiastic congratulations to Dave, Bobby and the entire EX 8208 team. And if you have been living only online for too long, let me translate that: I digg them, I clicked "KUDOS" or "thumbs up" and I rated their work 5 stars.

If you would like to see my video interview with Dave Hawley, head over to JuniperMediaCenter's YouTube Channel.