Saturday, December 13, 2014

Andy's Guide to (dis)ConnectED2015!

Every year about this time, I sit down in front of my computer and bang out my guide and tips for making your yearly journey to the holy land of collaborative awesomeness, Lotusphere.  (You can click here to see all of the past years write-ups.)  Well, it used to be called Lotusphere, but over the past couple of years it's had a bit of an identity crisis.  This coming January it has once again had a change of name and is called ConnectED.  Okay, no problem. But this year for the first time since  I started going in 2003, I will not be able to attend.  There are many reasons why, but none of which I will get into here.  It's not from a lack of wanting to, I can assure you of that.  But, I will be dis-ConnectED.  See what I did there. 
Anyways, from what I am reading on the interwebs, this year's conference is going to be like no other held at the end of January in Orlando.  It's going to be a lot different.  It's going to be more technical and back on point to the ICS stack. That's a good thing.  But, it's going to be a whole lot smaller.  Ends Wednesday instead of Thursday.  Only going to be held in the Swan and not both the Swan and Dolphin.  No big Monday morning OGS production like in years past.  More like a user group then the grandiose event we've come to know.  Not even a big trip to a local theme park.
Like others have speculated and I have been thinking for some time, this will probably be the last time we see a January event in Orlando at the Swan and Dolphin.  Times and things change.  But it's been a good run, hasn't it?  I'm not going to beat my chest and cry foul at IBM over this.  A lot of organizations that have attended over the years have moved on, unfortunately, so the numbers are down and can't support the event like in the past.   So this year, there will be no official guide for this. But I will say this.  If you have a chance to go, drink in all the useful and awesome information that's available there.  Make connections with others.  The Yellowverse is such a dynamic group of individuals that have always been willing to help out without question.  It's a great thing.  I think Mrs. Davis put it VERY properly on a comment on her Facebook this week with regards to Lotusphere and it's attendees:
I think the strength in this community was in the love of the product and what it did - not the blind devotion to a brand.
I can't agree with that more.
So, if you're going, enjoy.  I'll be sitting in Ohio watching from afar and will hoist at least one for y'all during the week.
(But if IBM needs an event photographer and is willing to cover travel, food and lodging expenses, you know who to talk to.  Just sayin.)

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