Monday, February 21, 2011

In The News: Loosely coupled crowd development

Enterprise Irregulars - Phil Wainewright

...Last week saw the launch of an initiative that perhaps models the shape of this impending disruptive change. Cloud integrator Appirio [disclosure: a recent client] announced CloudSpokes, which aims to bring a crowdsourced, community approach to enterprise cloud development tasks. The idea is very similar to what 99Designs does for web design projects: organizations post specifications for tasks they want done and a price they’re willing to pay, and any community member is free to do the work in the hope of being selected as the contest winner and walking off with the money...


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Q&A with Alex Sutherland, a cloud computing architect and entrepreneur

Alex on LinkedIn:
Alex on Twitter:

Us: What prompted you to join?
Alex: I joined as an early member for two reasons - the first was the freedom to choose projects that were outside the scope of my “everyday” assignments as a consultant. Secondarily I was enticed by the chance to win real, valuable prizes for producing the best solutions. For the first time in my career I had the freedom to explore new technologies without the constraints of client project demands AND still have the opportunity to earn some financial/tangible reward! Why wouldn’t you sign up for that!?!

Us: How is CloudSpokes different from other communities?
Alex: All the other developer communities that I have interacted with are either focused primarily on troubleshooting and issue resolution, or they’re stuck in glorified “hello world” example mode because no one has an incentive to share real-world solutions. The few communities that do run occasional developer contests with decent prizes are either so open-ended that their contest submissions are rarely useful in the real world, or the requirements are so complicated that the investment of time and/or money to compete is just too great for most individual developers.

Besides the tangible rewards that developers can earn, CloudSpokes has done an excellent job of implementing “gamification” in every facet of the community. In my current role at Hoopla Software, we’re focused on building applications that enable game mechanics and public competition in any business process. We’re big fans of bringing game elements and competitive incentives to professional environments. The way the CloudSpokes community is oriented around Challenges and Member “stats” is exactly the kind of innovative approach to enhancing user achievement that we’re working to provide in the enterprise. Giving cloud computing developers public recognition of their achievements and enabling them to continually enhance their public profile should drive exponential growth and user engagement in the CloudSpokes community.

Us: Why is crowdsourcing the way to go with cloud development?
Alex: There is no way that any organization (of any size) can keep up with the frenetic pace of innovation in the information technology world today. The aggregate effect of the open source movement, extreme abundance of multi-media communication channels & tools, and the torrent of start-up companies generating technology innovation means that it is impossible for an organization to hire enough contract or full-time technology professionals to cover all of the disciplines and specialties necessary to stay competitive in the modern marketplace. Crowdsourcing is the only way to obtain the talent and energy required to capitalize on the opportunities in cloud computing, mobile computing, social web applications, rich media content, and a host of other exploding trends in technology.

Us: What motivates you to participate?
Alex: The support of Appirio is one of my primary motivations to participate in the CloudSpokes community, because I have first-hand knowledge of their commitment to cloud computing and technology innovation in the enterprise. The opportunity to interact and compete with some of the brightest minds in the cloud computing developer community is an equally strong motivation to participate.

Us: Why do you think others should join?
Alex: If you are a technology professional and you want to hone your skills for maximum potential in your career, this is the place to be! CloudSpokes makes it both fun and rewarding to develop innovative solutions with cloud computing technology. Competing in Challenges or just observing and interacting with the community members will expand your horizons and help you to stay relevant in our ever-evolving industry.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Welcome to CloudSpokes

Welcome to CloudSpokes and thanks for joining us in the clouds! We are excited about the possibilities and the future of CloudSpokes. First and foremost, CloudSpokes will be a neutral community focusing on public cloud platforms and on our members. This community will not accomplish any of it's goals with the support and participation of people like you.

The goals for CloudSpokes are simple and easy
  • Reward Members for great work
  • Recognize Members for contributions
  • Collaborate and educate ourselves and our members through working together.
  • Provide problems and work for the community

In order to accomplish our goals the site will feature
  • Collaboration tools - Forums, discussions, emails
  • Profiles -- Badges, recommendations, statistics and other information
  • Competitions -- Earn some money and recognition

If you don't know the cloud now is a time to hop in and work on some public cloud projects. Companies are adopting public cloud at record speed, it might be the fastest growing IT trend yet! They will need people who are experienced in the Cloud to help them realize the true potential.

See you in the Clouds,


Email the Cloudspokes Team

Million dollar pledge!

Looking for reasons to sign up or to have your friends sign up look no further! Appirio is the first company to pledge money to go straight to the CloudSpokes community and it is a lot of money! A million dollars will flow through CloudSpokes to our community members! The payouts will take many different forms, but it is all money that will go to our community.

One of our first challenges is to come up with more challenges! This is a great chance to drive the community towards platforms and problems that interest you and make $50 bucks while you are at it! Plus for signing up now you get a gift certificate to our Zazzle Store.

Now is a great time to hop into the community, learn, play around and help us shape it's future all while earning a little cash!


Email the Cloudspokes Team

Q&A with Wes Nolte, a London-based designer, cloud developer and author

Publications: Salesforce Handbook
Wes Nolte on Twitter:

Us: Why did you join CloudSpokes as an early member?
Wes: As a technology junkie I'm forward-focused looking for the next obvious step in a world with rapidly evolving technology needs. As I see it CloudSpokes is a creative and effective way of collaborating and solving technology problems quickly and efficiently.

I participate in developer communities largely for all that I learn from my peers. Even if you're the one answering the questions, or providing the solution, there's invariably something to be learned. I find that some of my drive also stems from a competitive streak, something that a lot of developers share; we love community kudos and we're never opposed to bragging rights :)

Us: How do you think CloudSpokes different than other communities?
Wes: There are many great sites that engage developers from various backgrounds but none that has had the foresight to target the rapidly expanding cloud arena across so many different providers.

Us: Why is crowdsourcing the way to go with cloud development?
Wes: Crowdsourcing has gained massive popularity since it's largely a self-administering, push-mechanism for getting information or achieving goals. With CloudSpokes all you need to do is ask a question in one place and the hive-mind goes to work weeding out the weak and pushing the best answer to the top. Imagine the expense and time involved in engaging hundreds - if not thousands - of people individually and then trying to gauge the value in their responses! This in itself is incredibly useful - now combine this with the power of the cloud and you'll find you have an army of experts distributed across the world working to solve the same problems, with the same tool set and without the hassle of trying to setup shop and coordinate them.

Us: Why do you think others should join?
Wes: Developers around the world will be lining up to join the CloudSpokes community because it offers an essential set of ingredients that promise to deliver an exciting experience i.e. the chance to learn, the chance to help others learn, the chance to compete and loads of swag - and every geek I know loves a bit of swag now and again.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Coming Soon!

The new CloudSpokes Community is coming soon - stay tuned for more...