January 27 2005
As predicted, Wednesday was an intense day from start to finish. Let's go to the highlight film...
- STR106, "How to 'sell' Notes/Domino internally" turned out to be a very good session. Looked like about 300 in the main room, I heard there were another 30 or so in overflow. Libby Ingrassia and I first did this session at Lotusphere 2003, but at the time, it was specific to Notes/Domino 6. Now, without focusing on a release, we covered a more general line of thought on how to write business plans and proposals for Notes/Domino-related activity. Some good questions & comments after the session, including from a customer down the street from me at home where we've been talking about having me visit them for several months. The evaluations were very good; some were ego-boosting, some appreciative, and some looking for more information. For a change, none of my evaluations said I needed to slow down -- maybe I should have laryngitis more often. Declan Lynch wrote a real-time blog about STR106.
- Domino Bloggers birds-of-a-feather: Probably not the smartest decision vocal-wise to play host for this BOF, oh well. I think there were about 75-100 people. At one point, Chris Miller challenged me to see if I could go around the room and identify all the bloggers...that would have been pretty tough! Rocky, Bruce, Rich, Chris, and Duffbert all kept the discussion moving, and we had other contributions by everyone from Tom to Airplay, Jess to Jack, Sim' to "Two Fish". In fact Mr. Buchan bore gifts -- he brought a t-shirt from "Olaf", commemorating Lotusphere and blogging. Someone somewhere has a picture of this... Some of the attendees were not yet bloggers, evangelized into considering blogging both for internal and external uses by hearing about the concept during other sessions this week. That was cool, to bring some new voices into the community. We also discussed risks, content ideas, interactivity, and publishing/editorial vs. blogging (Libby, Mick, and David had thoughts on that).
- One interesting observation which Kathleen and Alan had after the BOF was that the topic of "domino blogging" is too broad for one BOF. We could have segmented it into technology, templates, content, issues and ethics, etc. Still, it was mostly a "community" BOF, and it was great to meet so many people face-to-face for the first time.
- STR109, "The Boss Loves Microsoft: Where does that leave Lotus?" To be honest, I sweated this session out. After two other sessions, my voice was nearing its limits, and I forgot to drink any hot tea at lunch. Oops. Still, it forced me to pace myself better than in previous years, and made the delivery a bit clearer. There are several reviews of this session up on the web already; I haven't had a chance to read the evaluations so this instant feedback is really useful. Jack Dausman captured the most important point: we're on offense, now, not defense. I structured the presentation into a couple of key thought sections, including a "year in review" where we discussed the value of analyst reports, some various press quotes and mis-quotes, and some experiences from the field. As I promised, I replaced the "Microsoft collaboration graveyard" with "Microsoft has a checkered history in collaboration"... a checkerboard featuring all the dead or stabilized MS collab efforts.
- The classic moment in the session was unscripted but really perfect. My colleague Michael Dudding had given me a new analogy to use when discussing the typical objection of "but Microsoft is free". He talked about how people buy bottled water, even though tap water is "free". So I had an audience interaction section where I asked, "how many are drinking bottled water?" followed by, "Why?" John Roling answered "'cause it's free!" Well, that's true at the conference, but not generally true, ... not the answer I was expecting. It took me a good two minutes to recover from this, but it was incredibly funny as his delivery was dead-on perfect. The correct answer is, people buy bottled water because it's safe, because it's clean, because it's portable, etc. So "free" isn't always the best option.