January 23 2012 Monday

The (somewhat clothed) LS12 review

I'll start backwards.....

With the explosion of Social Media and knowing "where to be", Kimono's was really only fun the last night and the first night. In between it was just too packed. Time to find another hang out for mid week me thinks. And with everyone and their dog having a 5MP camera on their phone, it is no longer "what happens as LS, stays at LS". Party accordingly.

The Blogger Open : my team won. So someone has really bad math skills! A valiant effort my Mike McGarel on "the scoring app". I feel for any family that comes to Fantasia Golf that day.

The CGS was a complete and utter train wreak. Whoever thought *not* to put a warning on screen and verbally before Zimmern did his stuff needs firing. Atrocious. And I'd have to say that most of the audience (especially non-US based folks) had no idea who he was. Then came out the blow torch......it was down hill the moment he hit the stage. When the pretzel cookie is the best part of the CGS you have missed your mark by many, many miles. Bring back the likes of the conductor. Now he was impressive.

Wifi : I think the same coffee nazis who kept stealing the coffee ran the wifi. IBM can measure how many purchases are made on mobile devices over Christmas, but not guesstimate that each attendee will have 3-4 wifi devices? A complete WTF all conference long. Social my arse. I wonder how many bloggers, tweeters and analysts gave up posting content about LS12 because of the LS12 wifi?

Blogger of the Year : rightly won by Stuart McIntyre.

Parties : invited to a few. Attended more that I wasn't invited to. The Ephox invite to Australia Day was there, but only if you gave them a closing Portal deal. And I thought I was egotistical! Needless to say I didn't go. But they can have all my portal deals for Q1 and Q2 if they like......or as it's more correctly called: none.

Sessions. I didn't attend that many. Most lost me at the length of the session title and if you were not there for Cloud, XPages or Connections you were shit out of luck. And having the keynotes early didn't help either ;) I pity any Domino Admin that turned up this year, and I think that, and the crappy scheduling will affect the numbers next year. There was no balance if you were there for XPages as you either had days of nothing or 5-6 sessions all at the same time you wanted to attend (ironic that I'm complaining about lack of content and at the same time, cluttered content. If you were there I think you get my meaning). This ain't IBM's first rodeo here so I'm not sure how they don't get this right. There were also a lot of IBMers presenting. I'm guessing IBM want *their* people out front as SME's when businesses realize social and cloud are just prefix words for "services". And where was Lotusphere Idol? I owe a hat tip to Scott Souder for his jibe at the Ask the PM's session. A classy comeback from a classy dude.

Rebranding/Renaming : As IBM bolts headlong away from the Lotus name IBM Docs got on the of the biggest cheers in Ask the PM's as the PM pointed out she had the shortest names product. I guess Lotus Knows not to name any product "Lotus". And Notes, Domino and Quickr are not being rebranded. Party accordingly.

Coffee : tumble weeds, like the coffee

Quickr : Again tumble weeds. In the customer evangelist panel (yes, the panels were actually good!!!) 4 of the 6 "customers" on stage mentioned that they used Quickr. IBM is missing a big opportunity here and will continue to miss it until it sees the need for something that IS NOT FileNet nor Sharepoint. And Connections Files ain't it. In my opinion Connections Files is about as useful as Quickr Entry was. And Quickr Entry was crap. These are your customer evangelists (your = IBM). Do you listen to them?

Capacity : I don't know the official number, but my gut was 4,500-ish. Vendors on the showcase floor did say that foot traffic was much the same as last year. My observation is that there were way more IBMers than before. The Blogger Open was packed, so registrations for that were up 40-50% :)

OGS : yes, I was watching it from my hotel room on the Dolphin, sans clothes. OGS product mentions usually go from flagship down to toilet paper in that order. Let's just say Domino and Notes was 1:40 in before it was even mentioned. Of a 2:00 show. But it was better than last year. And no animals were harmed in the making of the OGS (that should really be implied don't you think?).

Social : Before LS12 it was an overdone word if ever there was one. It's the new decades "e-commerce". Irksome and buzzy in all the wrong way. Like cloud.

Overall : I had fun. I always do when 100's of my favorite people are in the same place, but somehow (and I can't quite put my finger on it) LS12 seemed like it was done on the cheap this year. Maybe the recession is starting to bite even the titan-esque IBM or maybe I am wrong. Either way I had fun and look forward to a more balanced and less cluttered schedule next year.

Darren Duke   |   January 23 2012 09:37:35 AM   |    ls12    |  
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Comments (5)

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1 - Brad Hair       01/23/2012 11:16:46 AM

Too Much Information:

"OGS : yes, I was watching it from my hotel room on the Dolphin, sans clothes."

That's an image I did not really need.

Not Enough Information:

I was not there, and while everyone seems to agree it was bad, no one is saying who the CGS train wreck was. Who is Zimmermann?

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2 - Darren Duke       01/23/2012 11:43:38 AM

Typo on my part. Actually Andrew Zimmern. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Zimmern. Apparently he has a Travel Channel show and likes to kill live animals on stage at the CGS. With a blow torch. It will be interesting to see if IBM release the video of that closing......doubtful as I'll be on it too :)

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3 - Richard Schwartz    http://www.poweroftheschwartz.com    01/23/2012 2:58:49 PM

The conductor (Benjamin Zander) was just fired a few weeks ago for knowingly hiring a convicted sex offender to work with a youth orchestra.

BTW: Technically, he didn't kill the animal with the blow torch. He merely singed it enough to remove the membrane covering the siphon. It was the slicing and the eating that killed it. Not that that's any better.

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4 - Sam Sawatzky       01/23/2012 9:03:45 PM


Totally agree - someone suggested for next year:

1. Open abstracts much much earlier.

2. Include a space for speakers to "Tag" abstracts

3. Once abstracts are chosen, email the registered attendees and have them each select the 40 "top" ones they would like to see

4. Run the data all through Watson and have him/it generate the best possible schedule for everyone with as little overlap of tags as possible.

It seemed like the individual tracks were well managed - but there was little coordination between tracks. Maybe this is a result of the earlier Lotusphere/late call for abstracts?


It's IBM, for crying out loud. Come in and set up a decently managed/monitored service. Every access point should be accounted for and monitored for problems. If one is unplugged, then you would know, and could go plug it in. If IBM can't do it, perhaps there's a Business Partner who would like to show that they can....


Someone commented that there were more people falling asleep during the sessions. Perhaps this would not be a problem with more coffee.


I can see it both ways. Perhaps keeping Quickr as a separate product but having able to integrate/replace Connection Files would be an option....there are companies that don't need the functionality that Quickr provides, and there is something to be said for an easy to use/simple file component to Connections.

(full disclosure - some of these thoughts were cross commented on Mark M's blog as well)

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5 - Jason Hook       01/24/2012 1:13:15 AM

I wasn't there but thank goodness the CGS wasn't streamed.

Remember how uplifted we felt after Benjamin Zander's presentation? I hope IBM haven't reached the bottom of the speakers list "Zander, we had him, what about Zimmern? Well OK we've reached the bottom of the list."

Kudos for lightening the mood there though.

@Rich I hadn't heard that about Zander that's an awful lapse in judgement.