Managed to haul my ugly ass out of bed around 7:30am thanks to Paul Mooneys phone call, slung the kilt on, and headed to the Opening General Session. I got there after the doors had opened, and headed to my normal spot - front row, right hand side. (Thanks to George for saving me a seat). Just underneath the band. Lovely. I tracked down Paul, Dec and the others, and thanks to some door failure, they were stuck in the middle.
Wow. Good opening session. In fact, very good opening session.
The guest speaker was NEIL ARMSTRONG. Whilst a little older, and possibly a little more frail than most people remember him - WOW. A very amusing, self-deprecating speech about the lunar landings. The video has made it onto Youtube in two parts.
Its a common belief in the software world that only Microsoft can do pretty UI on the windows platform, and that IBM can only do stable server code. Well. IBM can do "pretty" too, and its pretty damn good. The new QuickR stuff is amazing - a web 2.0 consumer (and free) local version of Quickplace. Mid summer on this one.
I had to depart to the Swan hotel half-way through, and set up for Worst Practices. When I got over there, I found the swan ballrooms full of vendors and IBMmers - all watching the keynote on video. Last time this happened - back in the late 90's - it was normally the Europeans who got bunged off to watch it second-hand. I didnt realise just how many vendors and IBMmers attended the show - I saw three FULL rooms - over a thousand of them. An army of yellow-shirted canaries..
Nipped outside to calm my beating heart, and bumped into the product manager for Quickr. After a quick bit of feet kissing, he mentioned that yes - it was awesome, and that there was more go come. Nice work fellah!
Two years ago, Paul suggested we do this session. Last year, it was oversubscribed - we estimate about 2,500 people saw it, despite it being on first thing in the morning, Wednesday and Thursday. Two worse time-slots I couldnt possibly imagine. Well, this year we were on just after the opening general session, at a different hotel. As the OGS always runs late, and people always want to see the new stuff, we thought we'd be talking to ourselves... Ah.. .No.
I figure the room took a thousand at least, and we overflowed twice. Yikes.
Now bear in mind that up to the second we started, both our voices had been lost. Too much singing the previous night, etc. We sounded like the frog chorus after a heavy night on beer and fags. Which at least in my case, was very appropriate.. As usual - the luck of the Irish and the Scots - both voices came back. Phew.
For 2007, the Lotus content staff were very clear - all new content. If you were redoing a previous presentation - as we were - then its all new content. So we needed twelve new stories. Thankfully, the Worst Practices web site, and extensive networking, took care of that.. Its difficult to imagine, but we really worry about this stuff...
Again, Paul had done an amazing job preparing, and from my vantage point on stage, did an amazing job speaking. He's really good, you know, and *is* the driving force behind worst practices.
Phew. Thank god it went down well..
Lotusphere Q+A for Bloggers
The top layer of Lotus Management - led by Mike Rhodin - allowed an invitation-only team of bloggers to ask questions for 30 minutes. A very brave, and quite modern approach. Journalists (such as Volker) of course know the ground rules. Bloggers tend not to. So some randomness ensued. Hopefully they'll run this again. I think Chris Miller captured some audio from this.
After that, we headed across to see the Ed Brill/Julian "How to sell Notes" session. Fantastic stuff - Julian is a really natural speaker, and the material was presented by both of them with confidence and wit. I can see this double act continuing.
Monday evening - at the House of Blues, with Penumbra. A lovely informal supper for 70 or so folks. We had invited our oldest customers, our newest customers, and hopefully our soon-to-be customers (Clive). I also invited along Les and Carole Adams (pictured), and Jason Hook. Les used to run MICA consulting, till a horrific motorcycle crash almost killed him. 30 or so operations later, he's mins a leg, and has a lot of metalwork supporting his back. Jason, myself and Clive all worked for Les and have a huge amount of respect for him. Its good to see him again.
After the House of Blues, the Irish bar at Downtown disney, where we ended up sitting outside. Its *loud* in there. Back to bed around 2am..