What is a BOF and why should I attend one?

A Lotusphere BOF – is a Birds of a Feather Session

“Ok” I hear you say “What is all that about”

Well, a birds of a feather session or BOF as they are most commonly referred to – are sessions that have no presentations, slides or hand outs.

These sessions are informal, interactive discussion groups for like-minded attendees to share ideas and experiences in a small group, open forum setting.

The usual tools involved (other than the attendees) is coffee, a white board / flip chart, some marker pens and some enthusiasm for the topic, for the early morning ones – there is even sometimes breakfast (if not some kind sole may scuttle up to the breakfast room and fetch some ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

The sessions run for an hour either early morning or early evening – and the early ones really are early (7 – 8am) but they will get you fired up and ready for the day. The evening ones tend to be one of the last sessions of the day and are a nice way to wind down with a bit of discussion before you have to force yourself to eat canapes, drink and socialize or have that dinner with your customer / supplier / business partner / IBM rep (delete not applicable)ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Basically everyone should try to get to at least one BOF.

The BOF schedule is currently listed on the ideation blog on the Lotusphere greenhouse community – this is to allow you to vote on the ones you are most interested in, or would be likely to attend. All the BOFs listed are scheduled and the voting is purely to see how popular the topics are and there are a wide range of topics – take a look and see if there is something that you fancy having some input on.

You will need a greenhouse account to access the Lotusphere Community – it takes approximately 5 mins to sign up for one and it is well worth the effort – hope to see you either at Lotusphere or on the Community ๐Ÿ™‚

Pre LS12 fun

No ICS / Lotus Community members were harmed during the production of this video ๐Ÿ™‚


Although – Cole was reduced to tears


Thanks to all involved for being good sports .. enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚


Well it is official … I am off to LS12

It’s official now – I am possibly to be the sole representative of Applicable at Lotusphere 2012 (watch this space for more news on that)ย  – so no pressure on gathering information then !!!

Hotel and Flight are all booked, just waiting for the session announcements comingย  early December to see if I will be presenting or not.

I would love to present to give back some of the knowledge I have back to the community – but if I don’t get a session I think I will cope ๐Ÿ™‚

I am planning on attending as many sessions as possible, to interview as many people as possible too as when I am back from LS12 I will be presenting to my colleges at Applicableย  and later on in the month to customers in our own mini LS comes to you session.

If you would be happy for me to interview at LS12 can you let me know ?

I am very excited – Lotusphere was fantastic last year – and if the grape vine is to be believed this year is going to be awesome..

So if you see little ole Social shazza wandering around – come and say hi ๐Ÿ™‚


I made the Lotusphere podcast

Today I was asked by Mr Stuart McIntyre to record an episode of the Lotusphere Podcast, which I was more than happy to do.

In episode 27, Stuart McIntyre speaks with Sharon Bellamy of Applicable Limited(a British IBM partner), about her experiences of Lotusphere 2011, her tips for newcomers, hopes for this year and more…


Download as an MP3 or OGG file.

If you would like to share your Lotusphere story – please drop the Lotusphere podcast a note – they would love to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚

lotusphere tips site

All the talk of Lotusphere got me thinking (dangerous I know)

Last year I was a Lotusphere virgin – 2011 was my very first Lotusphere and I had no idea what to expect – other than what my good friend Mr Stuart McIntyre had told me and some of the lovely people I follow on twitter.

I,  of course, thought they were exaggerating the long days, the walking, the late nights, the social aspect of it – after all it’s just a tech conference – right ?

O my how I was wrong … It was like no other conference I have ever been to – and it was amazing.

So last year I did a bit of research into Lotusphere before I went. I found a few guides and some tips on the interwebs, but it was all over the place – so this year I have decided to attempt to pull some of that information into one place.

I have made a very simple (so simple it is just flat html) site of  Lotusphere Tips  – which I have put up for the time being on my web space. It may not stay here, but I am all for creating a lotusphere tips and guides place for people to go when they want information about non-technical conference stuff like :

I need to share a cab (Use the @lotuscab twitter account)
Come on why does everyone say get comfortable shoes?
how do I get to Disney from the airport?
what is this Kimono’s place anyway?

I am sure that most of this will end up on the Lotusphere podcast page and maybe in the Community site when we get one – a wiki would be good, then the whole community can add information.

But this is my first stab at it – as I am still a Lotusphere newbie it can be tough not knowing where to go for info and what to expect, just trying to help some fellow newbies out ๐Ÿ™‚

If anyone has any tips, guides or info that I can add – give me a shout and I will add it on

Thanks for being an awesome community

well the lotusphere abstracts are open then

Later than we were expecting the call for the Lotusphere 2012 abstracts are now open :

Lotusphere 2012 – Call for Abstracts

You only have until the application deadline: Sunday, November 6th 2011 so not long at all ..

This years tracks ย :

Jump Starts & Master Class Sessions:

Audience: Developers, system administrators and technologists, IT managers of all levels

Track 2: Technology for Collaboration Solutions : Infrastructure & Deployment:

Audience: System administrators, IT managers and integrators of all levels

Track 3: Technology for Collaboration Solutions : Application Development

Audience: Developers, system architects of all levels

Track 4: Best Practices:

Audience: Business leaders and IT managers, application developers, system administrators and integrator

Track 5: Customer case studies

Audience: Business leaders and IT managers

Show ‘n Tell:

Audience: Developers and administrators of all levels

Audience: Any and all Lotusphere attendees

Lotusphere IDOL:

Audience: Any and all Lotusphere attendees

Birds of a Feather Sessions:

Audience: Any and all Lotusphere attendees

The Lotus Evangelist Customer Panel
Audience: Any and all Lotusphere attendees

Business Development Day:

Audience: Business partners
Business Development Day is a one day track all its own exclusively for IBM Business Partners.

IBM Connect 2012
Audience: Business leaders & Busines-savvy technical leaders
This event is a separate conference that runs in parallel to Lotusphere for two days.

So thinking caps on people and I hope we get some great sessions this time around

What ever happens – Lotusphere is still the best name for the conference

I’ve been thinking ….

…… dangerous I know  – but with all the talk of the brands going away and the software group becoming a big happy mish-mash of products and solutions and the much chat around “if there is no Lotus what is Lotusphere going to be called” chat – to be it still makes perfect sense to call the Annual Conference – LOTUSPHERE

So the bit of IBM that was Lotus the brand is now IBM Collaboration Solutions – which kind of makes sense as we have Lotus Domino and Notes, The WebSphere based products like Connections and Portal/WCM and Quickr that can be either and Sametime that uses both – all very Collaborative .. but calling our Annual Conference any thing other than Lotusphere just seems dumb.

Just look at it for a minute … Lotus …. Sphere



Please IBM .. do what you must with Brands, Product names and marketing (ok may be not marketing but we can live in hope eh;) )
BUT the conference name is perfect  – everyone knows Lotusphere, what goes on at Lotusphere mostly stays at Lotusphere (and twitter and facebook and youtube) – if it ain’t broke don’t fix it

Wow – Lotusphere really is as cool as they say

Well I am into my 3rd day of being in Orlando and Lotusphere has really kicked off.

I arrived late Friday night – pulled a 25 hours day – so just ate then slept
Saturday was a great day .. after breakfast my friend (who isn’t a geek and has come for *the ride*) hit the Magic Kingdom – after 6 hoursof fun I headed back to arrive late for the BALD meet.

I have met up with some great people – old friends ๐Ÿ˜‰ and finally got to meet some of the fabulous community guys that put up with my ranting via twitter. I have checked out Kimonos and the jury is still out on saki – def not warm that is just SO wrong !! the ESPN bar is very cool and very busy but the burgers are great ..

I am currently sat in the Dolphin lobby in a hugely oversized chair (i feel about 12 as my feet don’t even come close to the floor) and the Lotusphere back pack makes a great footstool ๐Ÿ™‚ my *normal* size laptop wont fit in the LS bag so I will have to fall back on the old IBM common rucksack .. there are geeks everywhere – its only missing Dave Hay to be an รบbber geek fest ๐Ÿ™‚

the only bummer on the day so far is they are playing James bloody Blunt on the PA system