This is the first Lotusphere (that is what a very yellow clad IBMer proclaimed) in years I did not do any blogging. Not a daily, no recaps, no massive posting. Just one posting, my SpeedGeeking session slide deck.
Why the silence? I chose to follow IBMs lead.
No fanfare, no big PR team push, no daily main tent sessions, no branding on stage. IBM hit the target, they wanted it to feel like a LUG and it did. Friends gathered, speakers presented, SpeedGeeking rocked, as usual, and somewhere in between it all, I, for one, found myself happy throughout the few days.
Happy. Been a few years since I was this happy.
Not sales happy, but maybe it was the premise that this may be was the final swan song for a brand previously known as Lotus. We wanted to see friends, IBMers and our Kimono’s and Dolphin bar waitresses one last time. Carpe Diem did not exactly happen but there were many nights in a mostly quiet Dolphin Rotunda just talking about life and things that were beyond the Yellow universe. No late night meetings at 2am with IBM execs, well, the usual ones, and we even got kicked out of Kimono’s early , for us, on the last night. Yes it was different.
Kind of like the ending of St. Elmo’s Fire.
Did IBM hit the technical mark for sessions? Debatable, but I am not the target audience and neither are most of the bloggers and Champions.
The newbies and first years said ”it was mind blowing”, “amazing”, “too much to take in at once”. Really, they loved it. And, believe it or not, there were quite a few newbies. Some even thanked me for my blog post from before the event. I got to meet some more readers and Twitter followers too.
Sadly, they also realized what they had been missing out on all these years and most likely will not get to be a part of in the future. LUG events are great and will provide that needed adrenalin that keeps developers and administrators crushing their work and deadlines. But they can’t replace having 80 or so IBM Champions, dozens of bloggers and people that have shaped this universe, in one way or another all in one place.
I would ask IBM to reconsider dropping Lotusphere, but maybe we overstayed our welcome. It was a great run, but the new kids in town deserve to have their fun too. Maybe Watson should get its own conference, or maybe IBM Connections should since both of these are the next generation of front facing solutions that people can touch see and feel in some way that they will never do for Rational, Tivoli or Websphere.
The meetings I had with IBMers were interesting and led to some more discussions that will pan out further this year. I did not get to many sessions, but did get to some friends sessions to wish them well and rock their sessions. I could not be there for all of them, but I know from my past sessions, it provides that extra push when your friends are with you.
Hope you all aced your sessions! Based on the Twitter feeds it sounded that way.
Sure things were odd this year compared to previous years, change is hard for some of us dinosaurs. We can’t go back. Neither can IBM. It must go forward and try to bring everyone along with them.
Did a case study, did a video, roamed around the show case floor, possibly walked more than previous years. I got to meet some people, way too many to list, that only existed as Ids on my computer with avatars that did not always show their faces. Evidently I am now part of the Italian team, thanks Matteo and Andrea but we missed Giuseppe and I am always happy to come to Italy if you need me.
Thanked other Champions that really helped me in times of need and found some friends that while outside of the usual suspects, fit right in with everyone. It is great when your worlds collide and nothing explodes beyond your fresh beer being opened.
Seeing and hearing from some of you that were unofficially hanging out with us because you also just wanted one last hurrah made it all the more special. Since I am now overseas, for me especially, I am less likely to come over as often for different events.
This was not the end, it is just a new beginning.
One which may not include many of us, but we will always have these moments and we are all just a Skype chat away from each other.
May you all live long and prosper, seems an appropriate way to end this post.