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Lotusphere 2010 - Session Survey Results

By Andrew Pollack on 01/29/2010 at 04:16 PM EST

Session results are always a bit strange to go through. I want to share what they looked like for me this year. Nearly all the comments were outstanding - but there's always one that really leaves me scratching my head.

Like most speakers who take that part of their work seriously, I try to look at every survey, and pay extra attention to ones with written comments to see if there are things I can do better for next time. You have to grow a bit of a thick skin sometimes because there are always some outliers that don't mesh with the result of the results. You tell yourself to ignore those, but it doesn't always work.

It's also a bit disappointing how few surveys there were. I know in my own case, the online survey app didn't work so I guess a lot of other people had that same problem. I don't know if there are more yet to be entered, because usually there are more surveys than this -- but here's what I've got so far:

BOOT102BP 105BP 114BP 115
Content Quality
22 7 0
Content Quality
8 1 0
Content Quality
12 5 0
Content Quality
21 2 2
Impact on Purchase
19 8 1
Impact on Purchase
8 1 0
Impact on Purchase
11 3 2
Impact on Purchase
14 11 0
Speaker Effectiveness
22 7 0
Speaker Effectiveness
7 2 0
Speaker Effectiveness
13 4 0
Speaker Effectiveness
23 1 2

So here's where you have to scratch your head a bit -- This is the set of comments from "BP115 - Performing Your Own IBM Lotus Domino Security Review". I'm including all the comments as they were entered for both repeats in answer to the first question (the only place any negative comment showed up). I've merged the two repeats of the same session, but otherwise, not changed anything.

# How would you rate the quality and relevance of the information in the Session/BoF/Lab?
Excellent: 21 Good: 2 Fair: 2

* Excellent - Very important information, ideal for any admin concerned about "securing" their environment.
* - Very good points.
* Excellent - This was all good information. It provides the framework for an in depth look at our servers security.
* Excellent - An excellent session, with great content that I'll be downloading straight away.
* Excellent - great content. the real worl examples really help to reinforce the information.
* Fair - This session was total fluff, a total waste of time. This could have been a great session, however the speaker chose to waste people's time by providing zero technical details. This was a waste of a session slot.

So -- How much would YOU pay attention to that last statement? There were 25 responses total, and one person really felt like they didn't get what they wanted. I have no way to know what the other couple of hundred people who came thought, since they didn't fill out surveys (or at least not that I received).

Given that I started the session by saying that it was not a technical session, but a process one -- I guess I don't have a lot of sympathy. Am I way off base here? At least this year nobody down-graded the session and commented that the room was cold so I guess we're ahead on that count.

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Lotusphere 2010 - Session Survey ResultsBy Gregg Eldred on 01/29/2010 at 05:26 PM EST
Could be that the person wasn't there for your intro, so the expectation wasn't
met. Or, perhaps, the person just doesn't like you. :-) Out of all of the
responses you received from all of your sessions, I would throw this one out.
After I thought about it a while, which it looks like you did.
well...By Andrew Pollack on 01/29/2010 at 05:31 PM EST was Thursday morning at 08:30, so I suppose a bad mood is a distinct
re: Lotusphere 2010 - Session Survey ResultsBy Timothy Briley on 01/29/2010 at 06:49 PM EST
Here's the description:

"Learn how to objectively and methodically evaluate the security practices and
configuration in your Lotus Domino environment. Think like a penetration tester
and you'll lower support costs, reduce risk, and keep the audit department
happy. The session has technical, management, and business process-focused
details. Stop putting big new locks on rusty chains: learn to think about
security in a broad context from an expert."

Now that you've given the session, how would you now write the description?
Would you still have "technical...details" in there?

Based on this description, I can see how a guy who got out of bed for it might
be irked if once he got there, he found out it wasn't technical.

Or maybe he was just an ass.
re: Lotusphere 2010 - Session Survey ResultsBy Andrew Pollack on 01/29/2010 at 07:02 PM EST
It's hard to say, but I think it's got technical detail in it as well --just
not a magic checklist of security on/off settings to instantly make a site
secure. There is no such thing.

I will say that the presentation is loaded funny in that it progresses from
very process oriented at the beginning to more and more technical by about 3/4
through -- and then finishes back with process.
re: Lotusphere 2010 - Session Survey ResultsBy Mike Gray on 01/31/2010 at 01:23 PM EST
I too went back to the session abstract to see why the commenter's expectations
were so different and stumbled upon that one sentence that mentions "technical"
details. Another problem is that it is rated as a "3 dot" session, which is,
unless my memory is tricking me, rated as a highly technical session. So the
one thing I would walk away with from that comment is that you *might* need to
re-work the description (although I think it's fine). I think one has to take
into account the breadth of the topic being presented. I don't see how anyone
could expect to sit down at an hour's length presentation and get a deep dive
into step-by-step security reviews. When making decisions regarding which
sessions I attend, I like to review presentations that are posted to get a
better idea of what's actually going to be covered. Sometimes my expectations
are different due to my own reading comprehension.

Uh, long winded way of saying "me too" to Tim's comment, I guess.

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