Think 2018 – A new format

Two weeks ago I returned from Las Vegas and due to personal circumstances I wasn’t able to post my opinion on the event sooner. So a bit late but here are my two cents on a few days in Las Vegas!

This was the first time for IBM to combine the former Connect event, focused on IBM Collaboration solutions, with all the other events of other IBM brands into one massive 4 day event. With thousands of visitors (estimated numbers ranging from 23.000 to well over 30.000 according to various people I spoke), hundreds of sessions on a wide variety of topics, two impressive conference locations (MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay) and a showcase floor that could easily encompass several football pitches, it was indeed massive. Granted, that scale also caused some challenges and problems but overall I must say I really loved it!

Truth is that it was time for a change. After more then two decades of Lotusphere/Connect events the format was clearly due a refresh. Attendee numbers were dwindling and with the ‘how and why people attend events’ shifting it was simply no longer relevant. For decades large events like Lotusphere/Connect were used to announce the next big releases and developments as well as a way to quickly get educated on a variety of topics by technique & software experts. But with the shift to cloud in recent years most software is no longer released in large point releases but continuously being updated or fixed. New features come out and are announced all the time which means that “large” once a year release announcements are no longer there. In the educational corner large shifts have been taking place as well. With standards in documentation and online resources becoming higher and more training resources becoming available online (no longer requiring classroom attendance), the need for events that concentrate lots of training resources in one event is getting less too. And that was noticeable….

A shift was needed and a shift was made

IBM Think is clearly an event aimed at the strategic level. Instead of admins and developers forming the main body of attendees it’s now CxO level management, strategic architects and business representatives that make up the bulk of attendees. Many of the sessions no longer focus on the nitty gritty of installing, extending or maintaining the software, instead focussing on the how, why and what of building a future ready IT strategy. With a strong focus on vision, usability and applicability of new and revolutionary concepts. Ok, yes. This also means that the buzzword bingo is rife but still… These are the people who tend to make the end decision on where their organizations will go moving forward and who need the strategic information provided at a conference like IBM Think to do so. After all it is they that control the budgets.

Getting the big(ger) picture

The other big advantage of the large scale of this event is that it allows you to really expand your knowledge and expertise into areas you are normally not focused on. Following sessions on topics and having discussions about concepts that might be out of the scope of your daily work but can greatly help you in supporting your organizations and also your own future development.

So all in all I really look back at a valuable event and look forward to next year when IBM Think will be held in San Francisco on February 12-15.

 

Note: Please find below the slidedeck for my short 20min talk on: User engagement and how to communicate to – and engage your users, that  I delivered at IBM Think:

Document Management sessions at IBM Connect-o-sphere

People who know me know that I have two soft spots. One for  for everything relating to Document Management, another for Social Business. Managing information and document collaboration are topics that have been my focus for years so I’m really happy I’ll be getting to speak about this during my session “Taxonomy Versus Folksonomy: Document Management in a Social Age” at IBM Connect 2013 this year.

BP303: Taxonomy Versus Folksonomy: Document Management in a Social Age
“With the rise of social business and platforms like IBM Connections, many companies are re-evaluating their document strategies. Ideals of employee-driven sharing, tagging and folksonomies are desired, but is all documentation really suited for the freedom of ‘social’, or do some types require more structure, process and control? If so, how do you determine this and integrate it with your social ambitions? This session will cover the principles of document management and social file-sharing. You’ll learn how concepts like versioning, meta-data, retention, record and lifecycle management are important to you. We’ll show you how to identify key requirements for document management within your organization and teach you how to strategically plan your way forward.” 
Wed 30 Jan 04:14 PM – 05:15 PM, Swan SW 1-2

If you are, like me, interested in Document Management and ECM integration in Social Business then here’s a few other sessions you might be interested in too:

  • ID501 : Come One, Come All! Integrations for a Next-Gen Social Organization – Mark Neumann (IBM) Tue, 29 Jan 08:15 AM – 09:15 AM, Dolphin S. Hem IV-V
  • AD106 : Customizing Your Document Management System in a Social Environment – Jessica Forrester&Jonathan Brunn (IBM) Tue, 29 Jan 11:15 AM – 12:15 PM, Dolphin S. Hem I
  • ID502 : What’s New in IBM Docs — Everything! And You Need to Know About It – Sean Brown (IBM) Wed, 30 Jan 08:15 AM – 09:15 AM, Dolphin S. Hem II
  • ID308 : Social Content Management Solutions for IBM Connections – Diane Loomis & Jonathan Brunn (IBM) Wed, 30 Jan 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Dolphin N. Hem E
  • SPN105 : Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Corporate Content! – Margeret Worel (IBM) Wed, 30 Jan 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Swan 3-4

To see details on these and all other sessions please visit the IBM Connect 2013 Session preview tool. I look forward to seeing you at IBM Connect!

 

uploaded Lotusphere Comes To You presentation [Dutch]

Great Lotuspehere Comes To You today with Keynote speaker Brian Cheng showing the IBM roadmap and doing demo’s and sessions on TDI, Sametime Unified Telephony, Document Management (Docova) and of course IBM Connections & Social Business.

For those interested I’m attaching my presentation (in Dutch) on Social Business & IBM Connections below.

 

Lotusphere Comes To You – February 22nd Silverside

It’s time for the annual Lotusphere Comes to You events! This year Silverside will be hosting one in Houten, The Netherlands on the 22nd of February. KeyNote speakers include Brian Cheng from IBM and Daan Quakernaat who will be speaking on building cathedrals.How that relates to Social Business? Come find out!

To see the program or to register visit our site at: http://silverside.nl/lotusphere/

Lotusphere…. what Social is about!

Just home after a very long day/night of traveling it’s finally time to do some reflecting on the past week. It’s hard to put into words what it is I’ve been experiencing this week and while writing this blog post thousands of images, experiences and faces shoot through my head that made this week so special. It was only my second Lotusphere but I felt at home there as if I had been there for at least 20 years. And most of that is due to the incredible community.

How strong that community is was probably best shown in the “NERD101 Spark ideas” session. A very a-typical session as it wasn’t about software or business, it was about life and life’s lessons. With 6 speakers chosen from the community talking about items that inspired them hoping to inspire others. The room was packed and it was a fantastic session. With some very personal stories.

Now what made it extra special to me was that on Wednesday I happened to find myself in the elevator with one of the outside press analysts specially invited. He was on his way out and we got talking (shortly). When I asked him how he’d found the Lotusphere experience and what had surprised him most he mentioned the Sparks session. He’d seen it in the schedule and visited it, not knowing what to expect. He loved the topics and the fact that there was a group of NerdGirls organizing it. But most importantly he was surprised to see how close a community we really are.

@CuriousMitch talking about ‘Get cancer, get social’

So although I’m sure that didn’t make it into his article I can’t help but feel proud of this. Social business is about getting people to work together and connecting in ways they haven’t tried before. Sometimes that means going off the beaten track and exploring new grounds. Having an purely inspirational session at a Tech conference, lead by the community and presented by the community is, in my eyes, definitely going off the beaten track. And I couldn’t think of a better community then the Lotus community to embrace it!

Lotusphere 2012 wasn’t just Social, it showed what Social is about!

Video's!

Just two of dozens of video’s popping up around the web that really caught my eye. Love how they give a sense of the great atmosphere around Lotusphere!

Lotusphere Arrivals

Lotusphere Closer

ps. Still searching for a video of the ‘PretzelCookie’  incident at CGS so if you got some video….post it!

UX Labs

I spent a good hour yesterday in the User Experience lab. Talking to UX specialists about Social Software and how I think it could improve. Now why is that important? Well it’s not and it is… My opinion on it’s own isn’t important at all but by being one of those thousands that is actually sharing it I might be able to make a tiny difference in how the products I work with, and my customers work with are build. And isn’t that what ‘being social’ is all about? Making a difference together…?
Now apart from it being good it’s also a lot of fun. People who know me know that I can be a very opinionated person who will not shy away from speaking her mind. And if there’s one thing that is really…. correction: REALLY close to my heart it is usability and UI logic. So being able to sit there and just tell about all the pet peeves, ideas and possible improvements I’ve got swimming around in my head with someone who is not just politely nodding but actually taking notes is just fantastic. Ofcourse there is no guarantee that any of it will be used but at least you get a chance to talk to the people who do have the ability to make a difference.
So if you haven’t done so yet get your butt down there and start talking! They will ask you questions if you don’t have any direct ideas and you’ll be surprised how much you actually have to add!

Confumbled – Social Media breaking down language borders

So I’m Dutch and I’m in no way a native English speaker. I do ok, blog in English, get myself understood and can even be relatively ‘witty’ in my Social Media responses. It has allowed me to interact and connect to numerous people around the world and it has even given me some new friends. Ok, yes, I know. How can you call them friends without ever meeting them?!? But with some of them they really do feel like friends.

And in about 48 hours I’m flying out to Lotusphere to actually meet them….

I can’t wait! I look forward to really meeting these people but at the same time I’m a bit apprehensive too. Truth is that connecting over the internet really isn’t the same as connecting in real life. Apart from the obvious facts that Social Media allows you to filter out the less attractive and boring elements of your personality it also helps eliminate language borders.

Again, as a non-native English speaker I think I do pretty well, but I do mess up…. regularly…. This has lead to several funny (and embarrassing) instances and confusions where I tried to express something which actually came out as something totally different.

My Dutch colleagues would now argue I don’t just do that in English, bytheway…

Saving factor here though is that as Social Media is mostly a ‘written’ form of communication it has something of a grace period. Allowing you to at least think for two seconds and read back that post, tweet or chat message (as well as having a spelling control) before clicking the ‘send’ button. Believe me, I’ve become a regular speed-Googler over the last few months and have Urban Dictionary bookmarked as a favorite.  Problem is though, these don’t yet come as build in options for my mind and so I will have to do without my regular safety nets next week…

….So that’s why, even with all my enthusiasm about going to Lotusphere I’m also still feeling a bit apprehensive about talking to all of you with whom I’ve been chatting, Tweeting and Facebooking. Not knowing, whether I will be able to actually have the same kind of spontaneous interaction without having Google & spell checker at my fingertips is daunting….It almost feels like sitting my high school exams again.

Luckily for me I’m also pretty sure most of you guys will forgive me for my little language-mishaps. And if I do ‘confumble’ my English big time and mess up I can only hope you guys will look through it and have a laugh with me about it. It’s all in good spirit!

Instagram – Let's capture the LS12 mood!

I stumbled upon Instagram a while back. A nifty little iPhone app (I don’t have an iPhone but use it on my iPad) that lets you quickly share photo’s that portray your mood of the moment to the world. Not whole series but snapshots that really give others a quick glimpse of what you’re up to. The simple interface and the nice filters let you enhance the pictures before posting them and make it a joy to work with.

I love it! It’s just another form of social Media but in some cases a picture says more then a 1000 words and as it allows you to post the pictures to Twitter and Facebook as well it’s a great alternative if words fall short (or inspiration is lacking).

Last Week, after posting an Instagram picture, Bruce Elgort DM’ed me a link with the text “Working on this….“.
On opening the link I got a collection of Instagram pictures for Lotusphere and IBM Connect….. Now I didn’t realize immediately what I was looking at and as the pictures were from previous Lotusphere’s it took me a while to realize what he and Serdar Besegmez had been working on. A site that collects all the Instagram pictures (regardless of who’s posting it) that contain the #ls12 tag and shows them in one big photo album overview. Of course the current selection is very limited but come Jan 15…..

So I love this initiative. We’re all going to follow what is going on around Lotusphere on Twitter, on Facebook, on the communities but what better way to portray the mood and excitement of the community coming together then pictures!
So if you’ve got an iPhone or iPad then download instagram and start posting. And while at Lotusphere take a picture of what Lotusphere is to you and post it to Instagram with the #LS12 tag. It’ll be a great way of looking back on the event of the year!

Serdar & Bruce thanks for coming up with this!