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Lotusphere 2007 so far -- followup to the first post, plus up to date with how it's gone. Updated (1)

By Andrew Pollack on 01/24/2007 at 01:47 PM EST

First a few more notes from the opening general session:

The Band -- They rocked. They so completely rocked that I just had a great time. Lotus, IBM, stop looking. Make these guys a tradition. Make them part of the Lotusphere family. Bring them in for the opening session, as the band for the Wednesday night parties, and maybe even for the closing session. Let us get to know them, and them us. They're so much fun that they could very quickly become just one more thing to look forward to each year. I can't believe a single person at the OGS didn't enjoy the heck out of them. If so, I sure haven't heard from them. They also seemed like nice people -- I met them in the parking lot after the session while I was rushing back to my room to finish prepping for my sessions.

IBM is clearly trying to find a way not to use the term "Composite Applications" for things that use both Notes and portal to do their job. In keeping with their attempt at social coolness, they're tossing around the term "business mashups". I don't really care for it, but it's better than the alternatives I've heard so far.

The real fix isn't going to be changing the phrase, it's going to be changing the nature of the build. Once these designers finally merge we won't have to worry what to call them -- they'll just be "Applications".

My Sessions

That brings me to the next topic -- my sessions. The security jumpstart with Gab went swimmingly. She's a rockstar and a pleasure to present with. She completely carries me through the automation stuff -- CA, DDM, ADMINP, all that stuff. We had a very large room and it was packed. We repeated the next morning and that room was packed too. Next on my plate was my hands on session.

My hands on "Mail Routing Mastery" was the most terrible, horrible, awful thing to put together that I've ever done. I shouldn't have taken it on. At 1pm on Monday I still didn't have it working quite right. Fortunately, by 4:30 it did work and it went off properly for the session -- but it was a close thing. In the end, I had to disconnect the lotusphere network from the network in the room. That left the 25 laptops and the switch they are on connected only to my laptop for DHCP and DNS services, as well as two domino servers -- all running in a Linux vmware virtual machine. Having 25 laptops hit two Domino servers running in a Linux vm on your laptop all at once for their setup information was....challenging. 1 hour and 45 minutes is not sufficient time to do a hands on class about anything, let alone in a room full of people where only 25 have laptops and a hundred do not. It is also, by definition, going to be a basic level class. If you don't need basics, you don't need a hands on because you already know what the screens look like. I've seen the session reviews from the first time and they are good, but not great. I'm fairly sure the reviews of the repeat will be about the same. I'm gleeful that they're that good and feel that I've dodged a bullet on that session. At least it's over now.

This morning I did my final presentation -- on moving Domino to Linux. This may be the most fun presentation I've ever done, and a small but packed room laughed with me (or maybe at me) for the full hour. *Update: I've just been told we filled an overflow room as well. I've gotten a lot of great feedback on that one already from people who I'd have thought already new the material and I think it's going to go down as one of my best ever. I'm really happy with it.

Other People's sessions & stuff

I had a great talk with Maureen (Queen of the Designers) and if she's able to give us 1/3 of the things she's working on --just the stuff she calls "the easy part" I would personally kiss her feet on stage at the next opening general session. Most of the things I'm frustrated by in the current designer are on her plate as things she's working on.

This is the first session other than OGS that I've had a chance to see. I'm sitting in a session on the new Notes 8 mail, views, threads and calendar -- essentially the new UI stuff. It's more functional and better looking to be sure. You'll hear details from other people, I just wanted to say that it looks great and I am excited to see it.

IBM has really embraced blogging -- maybe more than they should, but it's interesting to watch. Mike Rhodin held a 'press-conference' style meeting with some of the known Domino bloggers. He ran into confirmation that bloggers are not press as one person lost their temper and behaved rather badly in trying to press a point. I won't dwell on it as I wasn't there, but I want to say that this acts as confirmation that executives need to be cautious about this community. I'm not sure it was an incorrect representation of the blogging community as a whole. It was mostly professional, mostly well behaved, but there are glaring and difficult exceptions. That's a fairly accurate representation of the bloggers, I think. For what it's worth, Mike's response was much better than mine would have been. I should also point out that the individual in question is deeply apologetic for his mistake and has sought my advice among others on how to apologize to all those involved. I hope he takes it.

Finally, my one criticism -- yeah, you knew it was going to be here...

Is IBM in a mid-life crisis or what? There seems to be an almost desperate attempt at cool. I'm surprised they haven't shown pictures of Steve Mills and Sam Palmissano wearing "those iTune music things all the kids are using". It's great that Lotus & IBM are looking at and trying out things like Flickr, Del-ico-us, wikis, blogs, and now Second Life. There are real nuggets of long term value that will come from those social experiments -- but lets keep some perspective and not go too far trying to be hip. Everyone knows the kid that tries too hard to be cool isn't at all.

There are  - loading -  comments....

when you're in a hole, don't dig deeper.By Ed Brill on 01/25/2007 at 12:19 AM EST
not you, Andrew, but the comment about the blogger Q&A. That the issue at hand
hasn't been dropped or postponed and instead even continued to be blogged about
after the Q&A, well, that horse is looking mighty dead right about now.

Otherwise, no, i don't think it's a midlife crisis -- in fact, much of the
innovation associated with the technologies you list is being driven by IBM's
new hires and recent college grads.
I think there is a broader point to make than a particular person's poor judgement.By Andrew Pollack on 01/25/2007 at 02:37 AM EST
In such a group, I think events like that are not just possible, but are
probable. Press members are in general held to standards and career
realities. Bloggers, freed from these, don't always feel obligated to play
nicely and that's going to continue to be an issue.

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