IBM Connect-less… NOW WHAT?!?

A few years ago around this time I wrote a blog for those of us unlucky enough to not be going to IBM Connect (which was then still called Lotusphere) that year. It listed helpful links and tips on how to stay connected & informed for those not attending in person. As I won’t be going this year – and therefore will be clinging to the different online resources to keep connected myself – I figured it was time for an updated version.

After all, you might not be able to be there physically, you can still be there online!

  • Try and find a Live feed that allows you to follow what’s going on. Each year quite a few sessions and the OGS  are broadcasted live. It’s a great way to stay in the loop. The link for the livestream isn’t public yet but keep an eye on the Social Business Insights Blog and the IBM Connect twitter account as those usually are the first to post links to it.
  • Check out the #IBMConnect hashtag. Anything going on at or around IBM Connect will in general be tweeted with this hashtag. Even better, check out the IBM Social Aggregator for Connect site that lists tweets, videos & blog posts about Lotusphere all in one convenient web page with link backs to authors profiles and other blogs (this aggregator is also embedded on the IBM Connect site itself if you forget where to find it).
  • Listen to the podcasts that are around. There are several out there like IDoNotes and NotesIn9 for instance that are really worth listening to if you want to know what’s going on in the IBM collaboration community. Leading up to and during IBM Connect they tend to do lots of interviews and often also live recordings from the conference itself.
  • Check out PlanetLotus. The place to go for all blog’s in the IBM collaboration community and during IBM Connect the place to get the latest scoops. Or visit CollaborationToday for a curated and categorized list of blog articles.
  • Check out the IBM Connect Community on SocialBizUG. An online Connections community where people can connect, post pictures, links and video’s, search for information, post questions and get involved while at IBM Connect. But also open to anyone not there and therefore interesting to keep an eye on. And if IBM Connect is simply never going to be in the books for you this site also lists a lot of information on other user group events that are being held across the world. Check out your local one to see if they do a “Connect Comes to You” event in the months after IBM Connect.
  • Mobile? Little birds tell me Vivastream will most likely be used as an event tool this year (red. the event isn’t listed on it yet and therefore this is still speculation on my part). Vivastream is an event tool for Android & iOS that allows users to create a session schedule and interact with speakers & other participants. Why would this be interesting for you as a non-participant? Well, because it allows participants to not just create a schedule of sessions but also post updates, comment on sessions, ask questions and answer polls. Information that can be interesting even if you aren’t there.
  • But don’t just follow the official channels, the best (and often fastest) way to know what is really going on is to connect to actual attendees. So follow and connect with people on the different social streams that are there. Who to follow? Well there are lots and finding the right ones can be difficult if you’re new to this. But check out the “top Contributors” section on the social aggregator or search for users who often mention the hashtag #ibmConnect on twitter. Another good basic set of active IBM community tweeps is the IBM Champions twitter list. These are some of the most active members in the community and it’s an easy starting point to broaden your network. Don’t be afraid to interact with them either. These are people that were recognized by IBM for their active role in the Community so in general they are really open and willing to engage with you.

So although none of the above really replaces the actual ‘IBM Connect experience’ itself and you will most likely still pine away behind your desk while colleagues and friends enjoy the Orlando sun and IBM Connect vibe, there are still ways to stay in the loop. And let’s just take a little comfort out of the fact that with the freaky global weather we’re all experiencing right now it might actually be warmer where you are then it is in Orlando (it is here at least right now!).

So use these links to stay informed, keep connected  and -if you’re smart – use the information you gather to get arguments to convince your boss why he should let you go to IBM Connect next year!

I hope to meet you there 🙂

Red.: I’m sure this list is far from complete. Any more tips I might have forgotten? Add them to the comments!

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