The EMC Support Forums in its current incarnation under Powerlink will be no more after this weekend. As part of bringing the vast wealth of knowledge under the EMC Community Network, the Support Forums will be migrated to a secure section of ECN. Unfortunately, only current customers, partners and employees with Powerlink accounts will have access to this section of the ECN.
I believe the Support Forums was started back in 2002-2003. I remember going to first ever Documentum Developer’s conference and chatting with Nancy Garrity about the need to create an online community for us developers to exchange questions and answers. Sure enough, our voices were heard back then and the Documentum (before EMC acquisition) Support Forums were created. For me personally, this was a monumental event in that no longer were customers and developers required to contact Tech Support to get a simple question answered. While it took awhile for questions to get answered early on, today, a large majority of questions get responded to within a day or two. This can be directly attributed to the size of the community and their commitment to sharing their knowledge with others.
There was/is a Documentum discussion board on Yahoo Groups that people could post to, but I didnt feel that this was a true community. The Documentum Yahoo Group was not officially supported by Documentum, so rarely did any employee contribute. With the advent of the Support Forums, Documentum employees were encourage to contribute the community. With their involvement, the knowledge base grew with the addition of Support Notes and Technical Advisories. Obviously, as the amount of content grew, the need to find relevant information grew as well. The search engine powering the Support Forums was horrendous in the first few years. But, this issue has been fixed within the past few years. You can see this in the forums, but the amount of cross-referencing past posts to answer current questions.
The new home of the Support Forums in the ECN will be a welcome change. The ECN is powered by a new platform that supports tagging, RSS feeds, direct postings using smartphones, and many other Web 2.0 features. The change makes sense and the consolidation will reduce the confusion on where questions should be posted -> Support Forums or ECN/EDN.
BTW – … I Feel Fine and here’s my last tribute to Support Forums.