Happy Holidays And Big Changes Ahead For IT Jungle In 2017
December 14, 2016 Timothy Prickett Morgan
If you can say one thing about the AS/400 through IBM i community, it is one that demonstrates the longevity of ideas that are ahead of their time. IT Jungle, which has been publishing since July 2001, is one of the whippersnappers in this market, although The Four Hundred in various forms has been publishing since July 1989. And still, we are young.
It is with this long history in mind, which is so much shorter than the System/3 machines that came out in 1969, when many of us here at IT Jungle were either unborn or (comically) had hair, and their progeny through the System/38 in 1979, the System/36 in 1983, the AS/400 in 1988, the AS/400e in 1995, the iSeries in 1999, the System i in 2005, and the Power Systems running IBM i in 2010. Thankfully, IBM has not rebranded the line in the past six years, and it seems uninclined to do so in 2017. We will continue to be The Four Hundred next year, and not just because we own the trademark on that, but because that has been the name of this newsletter from the beginning and because we are a form of continuity for the community as well.
That said, everyone must adapt to survive and try to thrive, as the IT Jungle logo has said for more than a decade and continues to aspire to. We have some big changes coming in 2017, including a move to a new content management system and email delivery platform that will make us more adaptable than our current homegrown systems, which admittedly are looking a bit long in the tooth. Like many IBM i shops, we are so busy doing the business, in this case reporting and analyzing what is happening in the IBM i community, that we don’t worry about the systems as much. Our product, which is the insight of the community, is much more important. But we also have to keep up with the times and build a better platform, just as IBM i shops must do to keep their own companies competitive.
We are getting a much more modern look and feel for The Four Hundred while remaining consistent with our heritage. Again, much like the AS/400 has evolved into the IBM i. We will be moving to an email as a service platform for distributing our emails, and doing more of a push through social media, too.
One of the things that we are also going to do as part of our redesign is to consolidate our IBM i newsletters down to one publication that has a more consistent publishing schedule. So henceforth, subscribers who have received our material separately through The Four Hundred, Four Hundred Guru, and Four Hundred Monitor will receive our news, analysis, and technical articles through a new and improved, unified issue of The Four Hundred. We will send out a notice shortly that tells you about how to whitelist the new email service we are using so you can receive the newsletter when we send it. We will be consolidating the email list on our end, so subscribers don’t have to do that.
We are also putting the finishing touches on some new products that we will bring to market in 2017 for the IBM i community, and we are also thinking of how we might serve the broader community of small and medium businesses that includes the vast majority of the IBM i installed base and millions of other customers. The problems that all midrange shops are trying to solve are not unique to any particular platform, and we think there are lessons to be learned, companies to help, and advertisers to help pay for this work. We do so enjoy what we do, and that was the original mission of IT Jungle. We never forgot that. We were too busy surviving to adapt, as often happens. But now we are adapting. We will see if thrive happens. . . .
No matter what, we are so very grateful to the readers and sponsors that we have. Without readers, there is no purpose, and without sponsors there is no means to serve them. It is now time for those of us at IT Jungle to take some well-deserved time with family and friends, to unwind a bit and restore our reserves to take on the tasks that 2017 will present us. We look forward to that challenge, and to serving you in the coming year. Happy holidays, everyone, and we will see you in that bright new year that awai