Lotusphere-less… NOW WHAT?!?

If you are anything like me you probably had the dates for Lotusphere 2012 inscribed and blocked in your calendar as soon as they were announced last year and spend the last 11 months bugging your boss about letting you go (yes, I did). Still, not everyone gets to go….. 

DISASTER!, now what?!? How can you NOT be there where it is all happening!?!

Breath in…..ok, relax. I know it’s a disaster and I feel for you but in the incredible situation you’re actually not going, there are still ways to participate. So, to help you overcome this horrible scenario, some tips from someone who lived through it last year (and yes, that was hard!). Because 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. Last year I ended up watching the whole OGS through a LotusLive web meeting feed. With running commentary and a very active comments section with like minded people who weren’t there. It gave me the comfort of knowing I was not alone, pining behind my desk in a cold & rainy place far, far from sunny Orlando…
  • Check out the #ls12 hashtag. Anything going on at or around Lotusphere will in general be tweeted with this hashtag. Even better, check out the IBM Social Aggregator for Lotusphere site that lists tweets & blog posts about Lotusphere all in one convenient web page with link backs to authors profiles and other blogs.
  • Listen to the podcasts that are around. There are several out there like Taking Notes and This Week in Lotus for instance that are really worth listening to if you want to know what’s going on in the Lotus Community. Leading up to and during Lotusphere they tend to do lots of interviews and even live recordings from the conference itself.
  • Check out PlanetLotus. The place to go for all blog’s Lotus and during Lotusphere the place to get the latest scoops. 
  • Check out the Greenhouse Lotusphere Community (register for free with Greenhouse if you haven’t done so yet to get access). An online Connections community where people can connect, post pictures, links and video’s, search for information, post questions and get involved while at Lotusphere. But also open to anyone not there.
  • Follow and connect with people on twitter that are there. This is the best way of getting to know what’s going on. Who to follow? Well there are lot’s and finding the right ones can be difficult if you’re new to this. A good basic set of active Lotus community tweeps is to simply follow 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 ‘Lotusphere experience’ itself these could be tips to get a little bit of the feeling of being there. And, if you’re smart, you can use it to get the arguments to convince your boss why he should let you go next year…. 🙂

    This list is far from complete. Any more tips I might have forgotten? Add them to the comments!

    Lotusphere Sparks session!

    It’s getting close to Lotusphere. The excitement is building up with the session overview being announced today and less then a month to go till OGS! Busy times especially for the speakers who’s slides are due any day now.  

    Not selected as a speaker? There is still a chance for you too. The “NERD101: Spark Ideas, featured by the Nerd Girls” gives everyone that has an inspiring story to tell a chance to be on that Lotusphere stage!

    Courtesy of  NerdGirls

    There is a new type of session at Lotusphere this year and the speaker is….. you!

    Spark Ideas is session in which we bring together a group of people to discuss what inspires us. Lead by Kristen Lauria, Vice President Marketing for IBM Social Business, a group of speakers will share their experiences, inspiration, challenges, etc., during a compilation of five minute talks.

    Want to participate?  There’s still time to submit your abstract!  The topic can be anything that you feel is relevant from how you were inspired by your math teacher to go into computing, a unique personal experience or story, how you juggle your busy job and coaching little league soccer, or describing your hobby or family project.  Whatever you think would inspire your colleagues and friends in the room!

    So don’t hesitate if you feel you’ve got something to contribute.

    How?? To sign up, simply send your abstract (maximum 500 words) to info@nerdgirlgroup.com with a short bio telling us who you are.

    But be quick because time is running out!  Submit your abstract by December 19, 2011.  Final selection of abstracts will be made public in the beginning of January.  

    We hope to see you in January in Orlando, let’s Spark!

    This Week in Lotus 81 – yep I can't spell my own name

    Ok, so there’s a first time for everything and this week it was being a guest on the This Week In Lotus podcast discussing the Redbook Residency, abstracts and NerdGirl activities at Lotusphere 2012. It was nervewracking…. Lets say that some great editing by @StuartMcIntyre and @DarrenDuke eventually saved the day.  

    Still, had lot’s of fun doing it and it accounted for some great bloopers (included in the last 3 minutes of the podcast).

    and for those who wonder… Yes, in normal live I’m perfectly able to spell my own name🙂

    Spark Ideas – Brought to you by Nerd Girls

    Do you know how some stories can be really inspiring? Stories and ideas that you never heard or thought of before and that really hit you right in the heart? Ideas that spark…..

    Can you tell such a story?

    Then we are looking for you. We are proud to present the Sparks session. A Lotusphere session brought to you by Nerd Girls where up to 6 people will have a chance to share their awesome experience with the crowd in a short 5-6 min presentation.

    The topic? Anything you think is relevant, from how to inspire kids to go into ICT to how you managed to incorporate your cart racing addiction into your work. Anything goes as long as you can tell it in under 5-6 minutes and feel it could inspire the rest of us!

    But… You have to sell it in a short abstract to us.  Based on these abstracts a panel will decide which speakers will be allowed to tell their awesome story.  Do you need to be a NerdGirl?? No! This is open to everyone, both men and women. It’s not about gender it’s about inspiring your fellow Lotuspherians and Sparking your idea in their mind. Will it get me something? It isn’t a contest so there won’t be any prizes but it will give you the opportunity to climb on an official Lotusphere stage and tell your story to a captivated audience.

    So don’t hesitate if you feel you’ve got something to contribute. I’m sure there are more than enough people out there that have some story worth sharing. Spark your idea and sign up!

    How?? To sign up send your abstract (max 500 words) to info@nerdgirlgroup.com with a short bio telling us who you are. Final selection of abstracts will be made public in the beginning of January.
    And don’t hesitate to alert others to this if you know of people that have something worth telling.

    Let’s spark some ideas!

    LotusLive & Lotusphere

    So today was D-day. The Lotusphere 2012 abstract acceptation/rejection messages were being send out which meant lot’s of people (including me) got disappointed. At the same time it means others that really deserved it got really happy so I’m not to bummed out about it. I know I’ll be seeing lots of great sessions and I’m really looking forward to that. It also means I have more time to concentrate on all the good stuff Lotusphere has to offer so I’m just going to sit back and enjoy it!

    One of the session that I submitted with my co-worker Roland Driesen was on LotusLive. More specifically on how we, for the last year, have been actively using it at Silverside. Not just to collaborate internally but more importantly externally. Silverside really put the pedal to the metal by not just trying to get our customers to engage in LotusLive by using Guest accounts but by doing an experiment where we gave a large group of them (payed) accounts & training so they could fully collaborate with us in projects using activities, file sharing and IM. Not only did this allow for better project collaboration, it also allowed these customers to have the full LotusLive experience for themselves.

    The results were mixed. Some really got the idea and used it actively, others looked at it and dismissed it more or less right away.  

    The one thing that was really loved and turned out to have most ROI effect was the fact they now had Sametime access to us directly. The people we gave the accounts to in general were project owners, decision makers and IT managers. In stead of having to rely on mail or phone calls they could now easily and quickly connect to us….. and not just during office hours!
    Yes, it may sound weird but most revenue was gotten from informal Sametime chats outside of office hours, sometimes late at night or in the weekend where an IT Manager needed to know something quickly and used LotusLive Sametime. In more then one case those informal chats resulted in concrete projects or opportunities.

    So was it a successful project? Yes and No… It did help us connect better to our customers but there is still a lot to improve on LotusLive. For instance try explaining to a user that when he uses the search box in the right upper corner to search for a document he first has to switch to the Files section to actually find anything relevant…. If I get a search box, I expect it to be able to search through all of the content within my system (LotusLive), not just in the section I’m stuck in at that moment.
    On the up side the project certainly helped us connect more to an important group of our customers, becoming a better integrated partner to their organization.

    For now I’m just looking forward to announcements for LotusLive at Lotusphere. The one I really hope for is the addition of Sametime to the guest accounts as I really think IM/chats is what can open lot’s of organizations to the idea of Collaboration. So that could really be a big benefit when getting external partners on LotusLive….. and of course that search option, simply because it bugs the hell out of me!

    Nerdgirl Geekiness

    So I’m going to Lotusphere 2012…Yeah!!! Ok, I understand probably not very exciting to you but for me it is. And I’m looking forward to it!!!

    One of the things I’m particulary looking forward to is the Nerd Girls “Great Geek Challenge”. A battle of the Geeks and THE moment for the community to glorify it’s geekiness and have some fun.  Ok, yes, overdoing it a bit here but just love the geeky thing.

    Check out Gabriella Davis blog on Turleweb or the Great Geek Challenge site for more details. This is one ‘session’ you shouldn’t miss!

    Lotusphere 2011

    I’m not there….. Unfortunately but that’s live isn’t it?!

    Some of my colleagues are though and at the Business Development Day yesterday they got a really nice surprise when IBM used Forbo’s (one of our customers) Connections cases as an example in their presentation.

    Thanks to @marceldehoog for the picture!

    LCTY – Silverside

    For everyone interested in knowing what was said at Lotusphere 2010: The date and location of our Silverside LCTY session is set!

    Lotus Comes To You 
    with special speaker Douglas Spencer – IBM USA

    Date: 31 maart 2010
    Location: Expo, Houten starting at 13:00
    Sign in here

    With sessions on Xpages, Social Internet, Security, Document Management and of course Project Vulcan it is going to be an interesting day.

    Don’t miss it!

    Lotus Knows video

    Ok, it’s been a couple of weeks already but I still get the vibe when watching this video that was shown at the closing session of Lotusphere 2010…