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Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?

By Andrew Pollack on 11/16/2008 at 10:51 PM EST

I have to admit that I'm swept up in the hysterical wave of idealistic hope around this newly elected President.

I'm not foolish enough to think that's going to last. He'll make mistakes -- he may already be making a big one -- and his administration will do things I don't like. They may even do things I detest, though I hope not. For now though, I'm hopeful that we've made the choice to put a man who is capable and well meaning into a position with the power to do great things.

On Tuesday, January 20th 2009, I will be at Lotusphere in Orlando with a great many of you. In fact, I expect that all six of my readers (well, all 5 of my readers who are not my mom) will be there with me. Will there be an opportunity for those of us who are unreasonably hopeful to watch the Inauguration? If I'm not speaking, I plan to hole up somewhere with laptop using Slingbox, or live coverage from a network site -- or maybe at ESPN if they're showing it on the big screen. If I'm speaking, I'll have to watch it later (Slingbox + DVR). Will you be watching?

Will Lotus set up some kind of a venue for this? It is an American event, that's true, but that's far from the whole story. Those of you who were on-line chatting with us from all over the world as the results came in proved that interest in this election is truly global. It is political, that's also true. At a technology conference is there a place for this? Maybe, maybe not. Demographically, something like 40% of Americans who will be at Lotusphere were not supporters. Will it offend those people? Probably some portion of them may. Others may resent it if session time is lost to this. I understand that.

I hope a good compromise can be found. I think this is going to be one of those events where for the rest of your life you remember where you were when you saw it, watched it, or found out about it.


There are  - loading -  comments....

re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Vitor Pereira on 11/17/2008 at 04:47 AM EST
I am not going to LS but I wouldn't like to see any amount of my $2000 fee
spent on "setting up a venue for this", I would be really pissed. I wouldn't
also like to see any changes on the conference schedule either. Yes, this might
change the world, if you really need to watch it live just skip whatever
sessions are going on at the same time and find yourself a way to watch it.
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Tim Tripcony on 11/17/2008 at 06:15 AM EST
I've had mixed emotions about this: a part of me wants to watch it happen while
it's happening... feel like I'm a witness to history, in my own small way. The
rest of me is ecstatic that I won't have to: that even if I don't personally
DVR it, the event is certain to be archived on the Internet in some format
where I can download it later, store it on my NAS, and sync it to my iPod.

Something oft-overlooked during the campaign (but mentioned recently by Rob
McDonagh) is that, for the first time, we'll have a President who's not only
tech-savvy, but believes strongly in the democratizing effect of technology,
particularly the Internet. One of the first bills he was instrumental in
getting passed as a senator was what he calls "Google for government", which
attempts to make more of the federal government's (declassified) records
publicly indexed so that anyone can see how Americans are being represented by
their elected officials. His version of FDR's "fireside chats" will be posted
as clips on YouTube. He's stated that he wants to hire the first national CTO,
because he believes that all the challenges we face can be addressed in part by
better leveraging available technology or inventing something new. This can be
an exciting time for geeks everywhere, if we can look beyond some of the wedge
rhetoric of the past and bask in an increased awareness by the federal
government of the value of what it is we do for a living. Heck, maybe we can
even find little ways of our own to prove Barack right, at least in this
portion of his platform.
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Andy Donaldson on 11/17/2008 at 10:27 AM EST
Doesn't it happen around noon? Since it's lunchtime, they could set up a
projector in the dining hall so people that want to see it could. But as for
making a special venue for it, I have a feeling that it may make some of the
overseas guests feel a little like they did when Costas came out for the OGS
last year. But then again, it is a truly historic moment in time, so it's a
tough call.
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Danny Lawrence on 11/17/2008 at 11:20 AM EST
I'm still unsure If I'm going to LS (the money is "sort of " there, but I don't
see anything coming down the pike, and want to keep my powder dry (remember,
avoid cliches like the plague).

I'd like to hear Obama's speech, after the expectations he raised with his
acceptance and victory speeches, he set the bar pretty high. Like Andy says,
if they just bring the video feed in one of the rooms near the dining hall,
people could see it or not as they wish.
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Joe Litton on 11/17/2008 at 11:47 AM EST
My responsibility during Lotusphere is to make the best use of my employer's
money, so the sessions have to come first.

But I am a definite Obama fan and I do have high hopes. I have confidence that
the inauguration will be on YouTube and other sites fairly quickly, and will
also ensure that the DVR at home is set to record. Yes, I'd like to see it
live, and if the inauguration is at lunchtime and there's an available place to
view, then that would be wonderful.
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Jo Grant on 11/17/2008 at 01:02 PM EST
Argh. I bet my talk is scheduled to conflict with his talk.
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Alan Bell on 11/18/2008 at 11:37 AM EST
What will Obama do if there is a scheduling conflict?
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Rob McDonagh on 11/17/2008 at 01:14 PM EST
I intend to watch it as close to live as possible. If there's a way to do that
within the context of Lotusphere, I'll take advantage. If there's a way to do
it outside of Lotusphere, I'll do that. I'd watch it in my hotel room if I had
to. If worse comes to worst, I'll just watch the YouTube versions (you know
Obama will have it posted immediately) later when I have some free minutes.

As far as some people being annoyed by it, aren't some people always annoyed by
the overwhelming presence of the SuperBowl on Sunday night (when it
coincides)? I've never heard anyone seriously suggest IBM can't set up TVs to
show a sporting event that is so heavily US-focused.
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Devin Olson on 11/18/2008 at 11:48 AM EST
As I've stated elsewhere (
http://www.devinolson.net/devin/SpankysPlace.nsf/d6plinks/DOLN-7L4HHC ), I did
not vote for Mr. Obama. However, on January 20th he will become the President
of MY country. You can bet your....well, whatever it is you do bet.... that
I'll be watching.

My guess is that IBM will show a recorded version of the Inauguration in one of
the Hemisphere ballrooms that evening. Barring that, I'm willing to bet that
ESPN will show it live.

Barring either one of those (or if I'm working the booth), I'll watch it on my
laptop.
re: Lotusphere is January 18-22. President Elect Barak Obama's Inauguration is January 20th. Will it matter to you?By Bob Balaban on 11/19/2008 at 08:58 AM EST
Heck, they used to put the SuperBowl on big-screen tv when that event coincided
with Lotusphere.

I suppose I could just run back to my hotel room and watch it on tv, but a
"community" gathering would be nicer.


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