So as some of the astute readers of Twitter and blogs noted, IBM extended the submission deadline for Lotusphere 2010 abstracts to October 9.  This means you still have a few more days to get your proposals in for consideration.

I was looking through the database tonight (yes, it's a Saturday night and I'm surfing Lotusphere), and as of the moment, there is not yet a single submission for Lotusphere Idol! 2010.  This makes me sad.  I was quite excited to get Idol! added as an official abstract category this year, but apparently, that excitement has not yet spilled out into the community.  At the same time, I see a lot of names in the other tracks for people who have never spoken at Lotusphere before.

So, for those who don't know what Lotusphere Idol is -- it is a session I host where we have live auditions for Lotusphere "new talent" speakers.  Contestants have five minutes to give a presentation that is demonstrative of the topic and content that they would like to cover in a full Lotusphere session.  A panel of esteemed IBM and non-IBM judges review the presentations live and decide at the conclusion of 60 minutes who the winner will be.  The winner receives their own breakout session on the Lotusphere agenda, a few days later!  It's a great way to break into the speaking circuit and have some fun at the same time.

Now, I read the blogs and the tweets, and I know that in the current climate, it is proving tougher for some to be able to get to Lotusphere 2010.  As such, some rookies have submitted abstracts for "regular" Lotusphere breakout sessions in the hopes that one of their abstracts will be accepted, and thus, they will get a speaker pass to Lotusphere.  That's a high risk but high reward scenario.  But if you are certain you'll be at Lotusphere 2010, yet have never spoken at Lotusphere and want to, Lotusphere Idol! is a great way to break into the speaker circuit at the industry's biggest conference.  Like Lou Gerstner said (admittedly in a different context) at Lotusphere many years ago -- "I want you to win!"  So think of something to talk about and get those Lotusphere Idol! abstracts in!!!

By the way, Lotusphere 2010 registration officially opened a few days ago.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

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