Part of the role of a Technical Marketing Manager at F5 is to get involved in communities and stay on top of what’s happening out there, “in the cloud”. Now obviously DevCentral, F5’s community, absolutely rocks. But admittedly our forums and blogs are pretty focused on technology that’s relevant to F5 (that’s everything about applications – from security and performance to availability and storage, in case you weren’t sure) and you aren’t really going to find a lot of information about databases or coding in C#/Java/Ruby or how to properly configure Active Directory forests.

So when I’m out reading the Internet (which I do every day – really, just ask someone on my team) I often run across community sites that are more generalized or more focused on other topics than DevCentral that pique my interest. So I thought I’d start sharing some of those sites in case you don’t get a chance to read the Internet every day and haven’t yet stumbled across them.



IT Knowledge Exchange (ITKE) is, like most community sites, focused on providing a site that’s rich in content but that also allows for quite a bit of interaction amongst its members. Like DevCentral, ITKE relies on its members to help each other out with the sometimes crazy technical questions we have on a daily basis.

Unlike some communities that are focused strictly on administration or development, ITKE has a pretty good mix of both. Just looking at the front page there are questions on database queries, group policy, RAID 5 performance, and – this is craziness – “converting a Nortel GSM S8000 frame from Europe from 3 phase power to single phase power.”

Answers to these questions are shared via an “Answer Wiki” and – this is the best part – it’s not as painful as most Wikis to edit. I know, right? Simple formatting and links can be added without having to speak “Wiki” and that’s just a beautiful thing because if you aren’t into Wikis you probably don’t know all the secret handshakes and codes that needs to be used just to format a simple answer.

ITKE features both editorial and member blogs across a wide variety of topics though you’ll have to wade through the list or search to find one on a topic you’re interested in. You can’t search both blogs and answers at the same time, which would be nice, but the browsing via tags option is much nicer for searching answers anyway.

I really like the “watchlist” feature, which lets you follow a question and its answers and keep track of them on the site (rather than somewhere in your inbox). You can also subscribe and receive e-mail/digests, but I really prefer the ability to keep track of which questions I’m tracking and not clutter up my inbox and this feature lets you do just that.

So if you haven’t yet been out to ITKE, check it out. It’s definitely on my “cool community” list.

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