January 28 2004
This is a little bit of a weird feeling. Over
the last few days, I have met a number of people for the first time at
Lotusphere. Many of them kindly say "I read your blog"
and thank me for writing...this is much appreciated. I've learned
a lot about what kinds of content y'all read here, and why you do or don't
also read my lotus.com/weblog; all of that will feed into brain cycles
not yet available.
Anyway, the reason it's a weird feeling is that the second sentence is often "I'll be at your session on Wednesday." Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have supporters attend the session. But I'm going to be interested to see the show of hands to my traditional "why are you here?" questions at the outset of the session. I've said a number of times on the blog in the last year that it feels like we've had less need for this session's content over the last year -- the "boss" in many organizations actually doesn't love Microsoft as much as they used to; the messaging market is mature; the portfolio has expanded. So I guess my anticipation this morning, and one of the reasons I've had so little sleep overnight, is that this session is almost set up to be like watching a TV program -- watched for entertainment value as much as for actual content. Not that I mind that -- though the Microsoft delegates might -- but I hope that when 75 minutes have passed, that we walk out of that room not simply saying "wow that was fun" but also "wow, IBM Lotus really does have the best story here." See you at 10:30 for STR113.
Yesterday was incredibly busy, and I haven't had a chance to write my lotus.com/weblog daily update, nor to really blog much about it here. I had three press interviews. The first was with a couple of international journalists -- I've never had such a contrast in two reporters. It may have marked the first time that I've been interviewed by a reporter with what appeared to be a tongue piercing. Alrighty, then. The afternoon ones were more straightforward, with John Fontana from Network World and Libby Ingrassia Schwarz from e-Pro Magazine. Because of their close ties to the Lotus community, I have had a tendency to give e-Pro some, well, um, blunt but colorful quotes over the years. So when the interview started with, "Tell me about the competition?", my natural response was, "We rock and they suck. Any other questions?", which perhaps made my IBM communications colleague (whom I had never worked with for a press interview before) a wee bit uncomfortable ;) I actually said that because it was the working title for a webcast I'll do on e-Pro's site on February 10th -- we're now calling it Why Lotus Rocks the Collaboration Arena.
In addition to the press interviews, I did a brief stroll through the product showcase (more today), attended a couple of sessions, and facilitated a Birds-of-a-Feather on Microsoft Office integration, along with my twin brother Alan Lepofsky. We didn't execute this well, but I suggested we start the session by introducing ourselves -- as each other. So Alan said "Hi, I'm Ed Brill, I know many of you read my blog".... the room did bust up a bit in laughter, but I think there were a few who genuinely may have believed that shorty was in fact me. If there's one thing you can take away from that BoF session, it's how passionate Lotus customers are. Some really good discussion, and Alan took copious notes (as did I in terms of mental notes).
The evening's activity was the e-Pro appreciation dinner at the House of Blues. The reservation was for 8:30, but I don't think we sat until around 9:15 or so. Fourteen people? I think that's right. Good dinner, great conversation, and no fights about certification. We were out of there about 11 PM, and back at the Dolphin a short time later to try to put thoughts and slides together for what are shaping up to be two very very busy days.
Doing my blogwalk this morning, I was most interested in Henning Heinz's comments about the Lotusphere opening session. Heini is watching the webcast, so he is removed from the somewhat spiritual atmosphere in the rooms here in Orlando. Check his thoughts out.