Sunday, February 10, 2013

It might not have been called Lotusphere......

But it sure as hell felt like it.

I wanted some time to pass before I put my two cents in on this years event in Orlando that they used to call Lotusphere.  First off, it was an emotional time for many.  Many felt that this years conference would be their last either due to changing jobs or changing tides within their respective companies.  Unfortunately, this was the last conference for one poor soul that wanted nothing more then to enjoy a day out with friends on a motorcycle.  Change is always a force that as humans we love to hate.  There's nothing we can do about it, really.  Things can, do and will happen that we have no control over no matter how hard we try to resist. It overtakes us like a wave smashing into the side of a sand castle on a beach as the tide comes in.  But with the sadness aside, this to me, felt like one of the better technically sound Lotusphere I've been to in a while.  It was also the first time I brought my wife, Denise, along with me so that could get a taste of what the hype is all about.  It didn't take her more then a few minutes of meeting folks that I only see for one week a year for the most part for her to tell me, "Okay, I get it."  Also want to thank those that made her feel so incredibly welcome too.  It meant a lot to her and to me.  But that's the key to what has become so important to many of us in our "yellow bubble".  It's about people.  Yes, technology is important to us because for most all of us, that's what keeps the roof over our heads and the lights on.  People, not software, drive us.  Collaboration doesn't need to center around a piece of software.  Don't believe me?  Go back and read this post I did in September about how a group of artists collaborate and get social all at the same time.  On a blank canvas.
With regards to the conference as a whole, I really don't have much negative to critique about it.  Well, there is a couple things I can nitpick. One down side for me was the OGS.  As many other had said, the Notes client really didn't get any play during the two hour conference opener.   But, we get it.  The message moving forward is that of social and how to implement it within organizations.  Notes/Domino is no longer the central component of that necessarily.  Will every company, (including my own)*, make that move willingly?  Who knows.  For a lot of companies I'm sure there is a HUGE culture shift for something like that to take hold.  But then again, 10 years ago could you imagine not having to post your every thought for the world to read, 140 characters at a time?  I don't know if it was just me, but, the food this year seems to be lacking again.  Especially the breakfasts.  Again, nitpicking, I know.  And not getting a conference shirt at the end of the conference seemed a little weird to me also.
I felt the session content this year was spot on!  The right mix of speakers with the right technical content for us to take back and digest and figure out how to fit into our environments.  And while I was not an official speaker this year, (I did submit my session from last year on InstallShieldTuner for Notes, but wasn't accepted), I did take part in the Nerd Girls Spark session talking about what photography means to me.  Speaking of photography, I did drag my camera gear with me this year and SOOOOOO happy I did.  If you head over to my Flickr site, you can see the sets.  At the end of the show, we all got back up on stage, one more time, for the blogger picture.  Many faces that we've grown accustom to over the years were missing, but there were also a couple new ones.  Will my face be there next year?  Who knows.  I can't say.  Will I be sad if it's not?  Probably.  But some of those people on that stage have become important people in my life.  And in this case, technology keeps us together.  Either Skype or Twitter or Facebook, I know they are there.  But, whoever said that lightning can never strike twice in the same place was wrong.

So, if this was my last Lotusphere, I can go forward holding my head high knowing that I have been fortunate enough to have spent what totals to close to 3 months of my life learning and contributing to a community that I've become a part of.  And even with all it's flame wars on PlanetLotus at times, is still a great group of people to be associated with.
So onwards to the future.  Regardless of the technology in the day job takes me, I'll still have my friends I've made, a camera in my hand and a witty comeback to a Tweet war between Tom, Marie, Mitch and myself.  Onward to the future.

* Remember, the comments, views and opinions on this site are mine and in no way should be taken as, "Andy's company is doing X".  Because, well, I have no flipping clue what we are going to do.  Period.

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