Leaving for home

Well that, as they say, is it. I stayed on for an extra couple of days mainly because I couldn't get a flight organised for earlier, but it's been good to wind down slowly. Yesterday was supremely lazy, I went out to run a few shopping errands for people back home, mooched around Downtown Disney, got some dinner. In short I didn't walk a lot or drink heavily which is a welcome change from the last few days.

It really has been a great week, catching up with old friends, making new ones and getting really hyped up for Notes 8. The concensus is that we should be seeing the public beta in the next month or two which will be great on two fronts, to get my greedy little hands on it for myself but also to start the build up with colleagues, we need to get the message out to our users and, more importantly, IT management that Notes is back in a big way.

The challenge normally after Lotusphere is to get myself back into the real world, it's always a little depressing going home and finding that the cool new stuff you've just spent a week looking at is unlikely to be seen in the wild for a long time yet but this year the aim will be to get it out there as quickly as possible.

I have managed to spend a little time thinking about the big announcements of the week and where they leave us. Of course this is all personal opinion, I have nothing to base this on other than my own experience. Of the two new products I think Quickr is the most likely to succeed. My reasoning comes from two directions, firstly it's free and presumably will be available at the user's desktop rather than requiring central IT departments to do anything to roll it out. I would imagine it will take some time to filter out into the general population but the benefit to users is going to be so obvious that I can't see why it wouldn't be used. My suspicion is that actually it won't be used by teams to start with but by individuals as an electronic briefcase, but as it grows the paid-for version will be used for more formal teamwork. The thought of being able to ditch shared network drives alone should be enough to convince people.

Connections future I think is less certain. The IBM W3 site looks great, as does the Lotusphere Connections site which was put up mid-week and the concept of social software is great when there is a large ecosystem to support it. On the web, del.icio.us and Digg work because there are millions of users. Even on W3, IBM has hundreds of thousands of employees who, by their nature are going to be interested in this sort of thing. Even so, in both cases the actual percentage of the audience who use the sites is tiny, I may be wrong but I think I heard in a session this week that less than 10% of IBM people use Dogear and this in a dedicated high tech company. The whole point of these sites is that they reach a critical mass but if you scale down the user base I'm not sure that point can be reached. I'd love to be proved wrong because I think that sort of interactive intranet would be hugely beneficial to many companies, I just can't see there being enough of an initial push to get them going.

So another Lotusphere bites the dust. Of course Lotusphere 2008 is only 51 weeks away, it's running from January 20-24, I'm starting to save for my ticket right away!

Lotusphere2007 - Day 4 - Closing Session

So that's it, another Lotusphere over, still one major gathering to go with a bloggers dinner tonight at Shula's but the conference proper is over. And what a week it's been, no summary here yet, I need time to decompress and digest but a quick note about today's happenings.

The Gurupalooza session was a little slow, maybe next year Rocky needs to plant some questions in the audience to get things going. I guess everyone just had a heavy night last night and weren't up to the usual level of banter. Lunch seemed to fix everyone as the Meet the Developers was as good as always.

The highlight of the day for me was that Ed chose to use one of my blog entries on the loop of blogger comments on the big screen at the start of the closing session, very cool for me. What was very funny is that I was chatting to the person sat next to me and she was saying how one of the quotes on the screen was exactly what she thought, when it came around again she pointed it out, of course it was the huge screenshot of this blog with the quote next to it!

There was no comedian this year but the guy they got was excellent. Neil de Grasse Tyson is an astrophysicist who did an excellent "top ten" list of the coolest things in cosmology. Very well targeted at the geek community, he was so passionate about the subject you couldn't help liking him.

After the session the blogger croud managed to get up on stage for a group photo, I'm not sure who's camera was used but it will surface on Flickr pretty quickly no doubt.

Lotusphere2007 - Day 4 - The morning after...

Last night saw us at the inaugral Speedgeeking session. I have no idea how the presenter's managed it, the idea was that 12 presenters gave a 5 minute presentation to 12 different groups of people, then the groups moved to the next presenter. People like Paul and Bill were trying to get through 30 tips in 5 minutes and barely took a breath. Surprisingly there was even some good content but even where there wasn't it was still good fun.

Rocky had cleverly arranged for buses to run from the Yacht to the party so that we didn't have to rush back to the Dolphin, unfortunately it was not good weather, with constant rain all evening. In fact it's still raining this morning, I don't think I've ever seen this in Florida before. Oh well, we're inside most of the time anyway but by the time we left the park we were soaked through.

After going to my room to dry off it was back out to see who was around and rather than going down to the bar (again) I ended up in someone's room cleaning out their minibar. I thought it was helping the inevitable cold I picked up but this morning I'd say not! Not that I was the person in the worst shape in the Blogger's BOF which Ed had cruelly arranged for 7am. Paul and a whole gang of people just hadn't bothered going to bed at all. Even with that the discussion was lively as ever, nothing especially new but several people seem to be having the same experience as me of recruiters cold calling them on the basis of their blogs rather than references from co-workers etc. It's an interesting new development, long may it continue.

So we're into the last day, there's only a couple of normal sessions but from late this morning we have Gurupalooza followed by "Beat the Developers" both of which are always fun and then the closing session. Hopefully IBM have the nerve to hire a decent comedian like last year and to live with any criticism that may generate.