Monthly Archives: May 2009

Community Manager Hits the Road

After much thought and contemplation (and lots of VISA paperwork), I have decided to take a 2 month break from the hot, humid summers of South Florida for the anticipated lovely weather in the UK. I will continue to update the xen-users and xen-devel messages on the Xen Weekly Wiki site and other activities but will now be done 5 hours earlier!

If you are in Europe or near Cambridge and would like to get together to discuss please feel free to contact me as I will have time over the next two months to meet with community members in Europe. For those of you in Paris, I will be spending a few days in July (23-26) and will be there at the finish line of the Tour de France.  I will also be at Xen Directions in Berlin on June 27, 2009 and look forward to meeting with everyone at our first technical/marketing event for

In August, I will be at the booth at CloudWorld in San Francisco and am considering attending LinuxCon in Portland, OR in September. Anyone going to LinuxCon?

Hopefully, I will get a chance to meet with more community members over the summer and fall to help promote the project!

Xen on Twitter

The recent community survey showed that 23.6% of you are aware of my Twitter feed on all things Xen. As I feel that Twitter is a valuable tool for the community, I thought I would present some more information on how I am using Twitter and what I have found from other Twitter users. NOTE – you don’t even have to join Twitter to take advantage of its information.

For Twitter newbies, twitter is a real-time system where anyone can post a message containing at most 140 characters. A basic overview of twitter is here or here.  People can select users to follow, thereby creating a stream of messages on topics you are interested in. Twitter also contains a hashtag tool that allows people to mark a particular post as being associated with a given topic – for example, I add the hashtag #xen to all my twitter messages associated with the Xen hypervisor or community.

So, what does this mean to me and how can I use Twitter?

Twitter Search
A great way to leverage the continuous stream of information on Twitter is to use the real-time search engine at  You can add any topic or hashtag you like and obtain the latest set of messages on that topic. For example, searching on #xen gave me the following:

This snapshot gives you the latest messages sent by anyone on Twitter who added the #xen hashtag to their message. As you can see, not only will you find myself posting information but other people from around the globe.

Event Promotion
I have also been using Twitter to promote our upcoming Xen Directions event in Berlin at LinuxTAG. I have created a new hashtag for the event, #xendirect09 and have also added the #linuxtag hashtag to ensure that all people interested in the LinuxTAG event are also aware of the Xen Directions event. Here is an example of a post from me:

xen_com_mgr: Xen Directions Europe 2009 – Speaker Profiles (expand) #xendirect09 #xen #linuxtag
13 days ago from TweetDeck · Reply · View Tweet

Another interesting way that Twitter expands your message reach is the use of Retweeting a message or RT for short. Many times, I will see a message from someone that I think the people following me will be interested in so I resend the message with a RT in front. For example, here is a message that I sent yesterday that smoeone else thought their followers would like to see so they RT:

ddeighton: RT @xen_com_mgr: Xen DomU Images for Everyone! (expand) #xen [Looks promising!]
about 18 hours ago from Spaz · Reply · View Tweet

This feature allows more people on the Twitter system to find me as well as ensure that more people are made aware of the content of my message. It is through this networking of people that I am able to expand my followers list and find new people to follow.

I have made the #xen twitter search available to the community directly on the home page on the right side of the screen where you can also sign up for the RSS feed and get all #xen messages delivered directly to you via

If you decide to join Twitter and become an active participant, please let me know your user-id so I can follow you and learn from your postings. To follow me, go to

Looking for DomU Images to try…

Thanks to Todd Deshane for linking me to Stacklet (, a repository for Xen DomU Images.  The site currently has images for CentOS 5.3, Debian (Lenny), Fedora 10, Gentoo, Mandriva, Slackware, and Ubuntu 9.04. There is also a forum associated with the site if you have any questions.

If you try any of these images, let the community know how they work so everyone can start leveraging the great efforts from the Stacklet team. Community Survey Results

Thanks to the 72 people who responded to the community survey over the past 2 weeks; the results of the survey are attached in a pdf file (minus the email addresses of anyone who wanted to have further discussions). Survey May 2009.pdf

The feedback has been incredibly useful and here are the 3 main takeaways from the results:

  • Documentation and Support
    • Better technical guides for current/future developers
    • Better user guides; emphasis for new users
  • Community Tools
    • High usage of Mailing Lists, Wiki, & Blog
    • Limited exposure to various Web 2.0 tools
  • Open Source Comfort
    • Familiar with various open source communities
    • Consistent to slightly better rating than other open source projects

I have several action items based on these takeaways and will be in touch with the survey respondents to ensure that I get their feedback and follow-up on all open issues they have. I plan to run a similar survey in 6 months to continuously monitor the project to ensure that everything you need from is available.

As is standard, feel free to contact me at any time with additional questions, comments, etc. I am always avaiable via email at