Technocrat for Partners

The Technocrat is an internal Sun newsletter primarily targeted to customer-facing engineers. The goal is to make them feel plugged in with respect to products, technology and tools. As of June, the Technocrat is available to Sun Partners.

Aren’t newsletters so 90s?
Yes and no. Newsletters certainly don’t offer the virtues of social networking and collaboration. What they do offer is a push mechanism that enables us to highlight current news, what’s working with our tools and communities, and snapshot summaries.

The most popular regular feature in the Technocrat is Interesting Stuff You Might Have Missed. It comprises interesting bits (white papers, feature articles, etc.) from various websites including and BigAdmin. The majority of items are links to good blog postings.

People are busy and it takes a long time to scan the latest and greatest on web sites, blogs, and wikis. The world is getting there with better search, feed readers, and the Semantic Web, but as of now there really isn’t a great substitute for having a human with similar interests do this for you.

Lightweight is Good
The Technocrat offers a lightweight mechanism to share content. The editorial review is quick; the main rule is that the content be relevant and interesting to customer-facing engineers. If a contributor wants to spend (substantially more) time on a more formalized vehicle, BluePrints, White Papers, or writing a book is the way to go. You can always do a blog posting, but unless you’ve spent the time to acquire an audience, not many people will see it.

Most articles are between 500 and 2000 words. Does anyone remember Jeff Goldblum’s character, Michael Gold, in the 1983 movieĀ  The Big Chill? Michael was a writer for People magazine. He stated that articles were never longer than you could read during the average bathroom stay.

The Brand Means Something
We’ve been publishing the Technocrat for seven years, and internally at Sun it is acknowledged as valuable. If your article is included, there is a good chance people will see it. To receive the Technocrat, you have to subscribe — we don’t spam mailing lists or aliases out of principle. The subscriber base is currently around 2000.

To Come Full Circle
My heart was warmed when I received an email from Trevor Pretty, a Partner SE in New Zealand. He was a Sun employee for years, and was regarded by many as a star. The Subject of the email was Technocrat for partners – Feels like I’ve never left :-). I’m truly excited to be able to provide a mechanism that helps our customer facing engineering community share their considerable knowledge and expertise with our partners.