Social Media, love it or hate it, can actually be very use even if you just useful it as a learning tool. Right now, from a VMware community perspective, Twitter is pretty much the center of universe. However getting started on twitter can be a bit overhwelming. If you search for the term vmware on Twitter and look at all the users, you will find a mix of VMware official accounts for various groups and influential, smart, and sharing people affiliated with VMware and virtualization. You can find that search here: https://twitter.com/search?q=vmware&src=typd&mode=users – giving it an eyeball test you couldn’t go wrong following roughtly the first couple hundred users in that search, though you may chose to ignore some of the vendors or VMware specific accounts that don’t apply to you…then again maybe you could learn something from those!
While you can likely rely pretty well on the native Twitter clients, I certainly prefer their mobile apps over any of the 3rd party apps, I do like to use TweetDeck which is a web app they acquired that allows a multi-column layout. In it I have a column for everyone I follow, people who have interacted with me so I can respond and engage easily, a search column for any “vmware” related tweets (that gets a little spammy but I’ve found some cool things) and columns for specific accounts such as the VMware official KB account (@VMwareKB) and the PowerCLIBot account (@PowerCLIbot) which sends out various PowerCLI commands.
Lists are useful for finding people with similar interests, for example here is a list I have created which includes all of the #vBrownBag crew: https://twitter.com/jfrappier/vbrownbagcrew/members. List are useful both for finding people and viewing their activity. For example, I follow a little over 1000 people so keeping up with that stream of activity can be quite challenging, however I can see all activity from people I have added to a list. I could then add that list to a TweetDeck column for easy access. You can also subscribe to other peoples lists, for instance I subscribe to a vExpert list from Maish Saidel-Keesin (
although he apparently forgot to add me! For shame apparently I am and can’t read! Sorry Maish!). One of my favorite vendors, ClearPathSG, also publishes and maintains several great lists.
On Twitter, you will also find several podcasts and recordings from various members of the community like the #vBrownBag podcasts of course. Some of my other favorites include:
- VMware Community Roundtable hosted by John Troyer
- Geek Whisperers with Amy Lewis, Matthew Brender and John Troyer
- AdaptingIT with Lauren Malhoit
- Veeam Whiteboard Fridays with Jose Mendoza and
- Podcastingforcancer which should launch their podcasts soon, and hopes to turn into a yearly event. This year the community raised over $10,000 for the American Cancer Society
- WahlNetwork and the associate YouTube channel by Chris Wahl
- VirtualDesignMaster by Eric Wright and Angelo Luciani
- vuPass by GS Khalsa, Chris Wahl, and Josh Atwell
There are also great local meetups to be found to connect in person with other geeks, err VMware enthusiast…lets be realistic we are geeks and nerds. For example there are local VMUG groups such as the Toronto VMUG and Boston VMUG, other groups such as the VTUG or even vBeers meetups. My last tip is to follow the vendors you work with on a daily basis, and branch out into new news to see what they might have to offer. Vendors like Veeam, Unitrends, PernixData and Infinio are all very active.
If you do nothing else to start with, just sit back, watch and learn. The people on the various lists share a great deal of knowledge. I’d be shocked if you didn’t learn a few new things every day just from watching.