January 29, 2006

Lotusphere - calling all guest bloggers!
Posted by Jess in Lotusphere2006

During Lotusphere, at the Blogging BOF (Birds-of-a-Feather), it was brought up that the Notes blogging community might be a bit closed-circuit, and it's hard for any new bloggers to get started.

Here's a few things, and here's what I can do to help this situation.

1. During a panel session on blogging with Libby, Ed, Chris Byrne, Jack Dausman and Volker, they were discussing what made a Notes blogger. Did you have to run on Domino/Notes software?
Did you have to talk about Notes/Domino?

The end verdict seemed to be that it was someone who talked about Notes.

Okay, so by THAT definition, I'm not a Notes/Domino blogger. Not that I MIND doing things differently, in fact, I'm seeming to embrace that style more and more lately.

So onto the other issue - how do we get more bloggers into the mix? I propose a "test drive". Libby let users all week long blog live on the LotusUserGroup.org site. Now that Lotusphere is over, I'm going to offer it on my site.

Tell everyone what you thought of Lotusphere. Tell everyone what you thought of your third grade teacher. Tell us anything you like. Just get a taste for writing online, and then watch some comments come in and know that you are being read. Make up your mind whether you want to keep lurking, or if this will make you change your mind and start your own blog.

If this sounds like something you'd like to do, drop me an email (you'll find it on the right side of the page) and I'll get you all set up for an entry.

EDITED/ADDED 1/30/06: Something else I wanted to offer... I did graduate with a degree in Communication Studies, so also please email or IM me with questions anytime. I have a lot of advice and information I can share. What makes a good blog? How do I get readers? More importantly, how do I *keep* readers? What are some fun things to talk about? How can I establish my credibility?

Things like that. Please, ask away!

Lotusphere - Our community is truly amazing
Posted by Jess in Lotusphere2006

It must be said, we have a truly amazing community of Notes/Domino people. This is not just a learn-fest for all of us, it's also our one week a year where we can see the people that we talk to all day long.

I think we can all say that we know some of these people more than we do some of the ones we see every day.

I've been thinking about the energy, sessions, and fun this week, and I think I've finally figured it out. I think I know why we all truly get along, and are family - we bring out the very best in each other. If you have a huge bunch of people bringing out the best in each other, that's an energy that's just simply unspeakable. And this energy is radiated all year long on the blogs, too.

Some misc. highlights, SO many others:
Greyhawk has dubbed Matt "White Chocolate" after seeing him perform karaoke of Rapper's Delight, Humpty Dance, and Ice, Ice, Baby. Awesome job, honey! The house was loving it as usual, if there is one thing that my husband is good at, it's working the crowd!

I had fun going to the front of the room for sessions and sitting in the first two rows with everyone. It's amazing the strength that's offered to the speakers, who are also our friends. While we all threaten to heckle, it's all good natured fun, and it really is a great source of strength to have people support you while you bare your professional integrity and speak in front of hundreds of people.

In addition to going to sessions to learn content, I also went to see various speaking styles, and learn from my friends. Everyone is such a great presenter, I gathered lots of valuable tips.

Deb Latter, who co-presented with Chris Byrne, is one of my new friends, and a true partner in crime for me! She does the same thing I do, when looking at Karaoke song lists, we both immediately turn to "C" looking for anything from The Commitments (of course then going to 't comma c'). Sadly, there never is, but finally I found someone else like that. So, we both got up there at JamFest to sing Mustang Sally, and in true Commitments backup style, sang "Royde, Sally Royde". I have this weird feeling that if Deb and I lived closer to each other, we'd don our punk rock gear and go sing together more often.

John Roling sang a few Barenaked Ladies songs, and one he co-sang with Ray. And we talked about name brand identity in a BOF session, which was once again called into play when the Karaoke lady said, "Hello, can I please have Greyhawk and The Lion King up on stage?" Awesome! The two rocked, they sang "If I Had a Million Dollars" and truly sung well together.

And then later on Greyhawk sang another BNL song in which again, he sounded just like the lead singer. When he was done, I said, "Man, you've got Barenaked Ladies NAILED! - Wait a minute, let me rephrase that..."

I was singing "Chain of Fools" in karaoke and all of a sudden, who should join me on stage but Debbie Lynd and Carilyn Daniel from
The View, the Notes and Domino technical journal. That was a great surprise, I hadn't seen Carilyn in awhile, and it was SO fun to have a group on stage with me dancing away.

The Wednesday night party at Seaworld was fun, hanging out with everyone. I managed to introduce Don McNally to the group, who I have been friends with since talking to him on Notes.net.

I had fun bouncing around hanging out with everyone, and managed to spend time with my "Notes Chickies" (I really do want that domain for us Notes girls) at dinners and Kimonos.

Finally wrapped it up with dinner at Shula's on Thursday night with about 20 other people...

More to come! I haven't even gone into the technical content of the sessions yet. I will. But it's amazing - there wasn't any sessions that were even just OK. They were all *fantastic*, with the type of information I can come home and use immediately.

Pictures will be up soon, I promise. I'm still recovering from no sleep and LOTS of caffeine to keep going.

January 25, 2006

Lotusphere - The Opening Session
Posted by Jess in Lotusphere2006

There's really not much I can say that others haven't already said better...but two things that I don't think have been mentioned yet.

Sametime 7.5 has a REALLY cool new feature that if all email/chat programs had, I really believe it would help create world peace.

You can crop a segment of a screenshot, and drag it into the Rich-text interface, and it sends it across the chat client. Does anyone have ANY idea how much time this is going to save us all on a daily basis? I'm already planning what I'm going to do with all that extra time.

Google desktop searches through your Notes mail file? Amazing. This will be extremely helpful when I need to find an attachment and I'm not sure if I've already saved it somewhere on my desktop, or if it's still in email. One search, and I'll have it.<

I do have to 'fess up about one thing with the opening session. They showed a 4-minute generic movie clip about "The Future", which included some hokey bits with this woman speaking in a sultry voice about "new technologies are making things possible we have only dreamed about" while simultaneously showing a father tucking his child into bed.

Did this remind anyone else of the little tongue-in-cheek movie you get to watch about Cyberdyne right before Terminator 3D at Universal Studios?

More to come while I still attend sessions...

January 24, 2006

I had so much fun at my Jumpstart session
Posted by Jess in Lotusphere2006

Well, it's Tuesday, and I'm taking some downtime to catch up on things.

I presented my Jumpstart, JMP101 - Administration for the Developer, Installing and Configuring your Own IBM Lotus Domino Server Playground on Sunday, and it went great. People came up to me afterwards and told me they enjoyed it, and I've gotten LOTS of requests for a repeat. Let's hope my trial version of VMWare holds out that long if need be.

Just kidding! Well, not really. It really is a trial version. I own MS Virtual PC, and had everything ready to go on my other laptop. At the last minute last Thursday, I decided that the installs were going a little too slow for my liking, and so decided to do the whole thing on my new fast lappy. Which, apparently is too fast for my old version of Virtual PC. Thus the trial of VMWare. Which so far, rocks.

But my install went great. I walked users through a complete install of a Domino server, starting with "take the CD and put it into the drive". After that, we setup and started the server, and then installed the Admin client. From there we configured and secured Domino, set up an SMTP and Web server, configured our firewall for external access, and then registered users from a text file.

If anyone from the session is reading this, the site I took the names from was the Fantasy-name generator found on www.rinkworks.com Fantasy Name Generator. Just keep hitting refresh to get new names, and these can be pasted into an Excel sheet. Instant first and last names.

The slides are available on the Lotusphere Online site, www.online2006.net. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post them here on my site, I'd love to. So please someone let me know if I can!

-Updated: Yup! Here they are, and here's a Wiki to get all the slides!
Download slides

Wiki for all slides

Sadly, Tom and Julian's session, JMP201 - Java Jumpstart for the Developer was at the same time as mine. So I'm sure someone would have noticed if I had skipped out to watch it. :-)
However, it was recorded, so hopefully I can get the DVD to see it. The session has gotten rave reviews, and Julian's lightsaber laser-pointer has earned him the nickname, "The Java Jedi".

We do think we have gotten to the bottom of why our sessions were going at the same time, even though they were both targeting developers. My session was listed in the Administration jumpstart track. Possibly a mistake, but most likely a logistics error because my session was installing a server, the conference producer did not realize it was targeted for developers, and assumed it was a jumpstart for Admins. A mistake that would be understandably very easy to make!

I have a "2 minutes with" podcast with Libby on Lotususergroup.org's Live from Lotus segment, you can find those and others here.
That was fun, thanks Libby!

Much more to come...

January 13, 2006

Taking Notes podcast, and working too hard.
Posted by Jess in Tech Talk

An episode of the Taking Notes podcasts with Bruce and Julian has our overseas Mini-driving Notes guy Bill Buchan talking about large-scale Notes deployments. Good stuff!

And, it also has a one-minute blurb from me talking about End User Power Tools. I've already gotten great feedback from people who have been looking for a mailing label solution. One suggestion was to add a feature to be able to save templates and configurations.

I've been hard at work practicing my Lotusphere presentation, and frantically getting ready for big changes with Solace. In fact, with all these "goings on", I'm fighting a nasty cold. Gotta be healthy for Lotusphere, so I can come home with the REAL illness. Actually, I just don't want to be blamed as the one to start it this year (cough Duffbert cough).

Matt has access to my iNotes web calendar, I showed him how so he'd always have a way to find out where I am (since I visit other people, this is a safety thing). Of course, I also gave him rights to ADD to my calendar. Forgetting I also sync with my PDA, it was kind of hard not to take the hint when the other day, my PDA alarm went off with the following appointment that I mysteriously don't remember setting:

5:45PM - Relax!
Location: Couch

He's too good to me.

January 06, 2006

Happy 30th Birthday, Matt (yesterday)
Posted by Jess in Announcements

Yesterday Matt turned 30. Sunday will be bringing a group trip up to 5-Wits in Boston, MA for some tomb puzzles. Should be interesting.

Here's to a new decade, honey!

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