Ben Langhinrichs

February, 2011
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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Thu 17 Feb 2011, 12:37 PM
In Notes/Domino 8.5.2, what are the choices given in the dropdown list for rendering your rich text field on the web (no XPages, just regular database)?  What does each do in Internet Explorer 8 and in Firefox.

No peeking, trying it out or looking at other people's comments.  I'm just curious what level of awareness there is.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

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Wed 16 Feb 2011, 12:13 PM
Having avoid giving presentations for a while, I'm diving deep into the pool in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. I have two scheduled sessions already, and it appears that due to the illness of another speaker, I may do one or two more. The sessions I am definitely doing are:

Web Editors - CKEditor and Others
Montag, 21.02.2011 at 13.45-15.15 

A version of the CKEditor is now included with Domino 8.5.x. We will discuss how to use it in your applications, how to enhance it with custom settings, and when to use one of the other editors available. Related issues of Notes/Web coexistence will also be discussed. 


Spicing Up XPages with Classic Notes Development
Mittwoch, 23.02.2011 at 09.00-10.30 

In this session, we will explore ways to use the classic Notes development techniques and tools to enhance the Web 2.0 and XPages applications you are building today. Formula language, LotusScript and C API tricks and expertise don't have to be tossed out when you develop with the newer tools. Your will be given examples to take away as well as ideas to explore on your own. 

The sessions I might do are:

Putting Layers to the Test
Unknown date & time

This session will show a whole new array of techniques using layers, including techniques for building layers in DXL in Notes 8.5.x, and for using layers in any Notes version from Notes 6 onward. Discover tricks to create interactive layer techniques that will empower your applications in ways you didn't think possible.

Rich Text Tips, Tricks & Techniques
Unknown date & time

Explores many cool techniques available in Notes rich text that may surprise even experienced developers. From tips a user can perform to tricks and techniques for developers, these will open your eyes to the power of Notes Rich Text.

I'd be happy to see any of you there. I should note, there will be a special offer for Genii Software products to those who attend. Details at the conference.

Update: I'll be doing the Rich Text session and not the layers. Should be fun to update it a bit over next few days.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

Tue 15 Feb 2011, 11:11 AM
In my previous posts in this series, Look out the window rather than into a mirror and You should have learned it in preschool, I pointed out that when thinking about a social business, you need to remember that others are not just like you, and that not all attempts at social business will succeed.  In this post, I'll expand on that.

One of the reasons that becoming a social business is so difficult for a big company like IBM, as much as it believes and wants to take that route, is that being a social business entails a lot of risk. Encouraging your people to blog and tweet and respond in real-time means losing most of your control over what they say. How many times has Steve Mills be derided for referring to Lotus Notes as a "legacy" application? Letting your executives and product managers and developers out there into the wild means owning what they all say.

Even worse than the risk is the lack of immediate, measurable benefits. No matter how they try, your bean counters won't be able to measure the force of having Ed Brill work so well with the public. To take a non-IBM example, many businesses have taken to establishing Twitter account, not for the purpose of spewing propaganda, but for the purpose of taking complaints, publicly. SouthWest Airlines, for example, has a Twitter account at http://twitter.com/SouthWest.  A moment ago, I did a screen shot of the past few tweets mentioning that account. That first tweet shows the possible benefit to the social business, with a public, unsolicited compliment. The second is a minor complaint. The third and fifth are awareness-raising without any real positive or negative spin, and the fourth is a flat out, "You Suck!" complaint aired publicly.





The leap of faith is that being out there will benefit you more than not being out there. I have run a social business for years. I do almost no advertising, and never have, with all my business coming from word of mouth, plus relentless marketing and improvements.

Are the risks worth the benefit? Yes. IBM knows it, and is willing to take the risks along with the leap. Are you?

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

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Mon 14 Feb 2011, 07:39 AM
Happy Valentine's Day. To honor the spirit, let's spread a little love around to the wonderfully collaborative Lotus community...

For $35, you can't find much better value than IdoSphere. Perhaps you could buy a pass for your (geeky) Valentine.

I bought a pass myself, by the way, (and, yes, Chris offered me a freebie, but I turned him down), and am looking forward to the sessions.

Because there have been a few changes, and some additional archived sessions from Lotusphere, I've updated the IdoSphere Sessions database.  Be sure to replicate changes down from Tranquility, the public server so graciously hosted by The Turtle Partnership.

Golly, with all this cross-promotional effort and mutual support and traffic from Twitter and Facebook, you'd almost thing we were a social business.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

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Sun 13 Feb 2011, 08:52 AM
The Lotusphere Sessions db is taking on its traditional role of storing links to blogs, slideshare, websites and anywhere else that people have chosen to share their presentations and other resources with the wide world. Just replicate and go to the Resource Links view.

Inside each presentation, you will find links. While there, look at the Additional Resources below for books, courses, webcasts and other items that might be relevant to you. Click on any one for more information. 

Note: Chris Miller made the excellent point that the Lotusphere-2011 Slideshare group is doing well. The reason I am continuing to add these in the Sessions database is that not everybody puts their slides on Slideshare, as evidenced by the 31 presentations in that group and the 48 I have listed. That said, I encourage people to add their slides to the Slideshare group, as not everybody is going to replicate and check the Sessions db.

Also, note that all of these sessions are treated as "archived sessions" for the IdoSphere Sessions database, as well as the upcoming EnwicklerCamp Sessions db.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

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Fri 11 Feb 2011, 10:08 AM
In my previous post, Look out the window rather than into a mirror, I pointed out that when thinking about a social business, you need to remember that others are not just like you. I have some ideas about how to deal with that, but first I thought I'd point out two basic reminders, based on the life lessons I try to teach my preschoolers in Sunday school (yes, I teach Sunday school).

1) Treat others the way you want to be treated.

Whether you call it the Golden Rule or something else, this is one of those critical reminders that people forget again and again and again. It also means more than "Don't flame others unless you want to be flamed." Many, although not all, business professionals seem to remember than most, though not all, of the time. If you would hesitate to say something to a person's face in a private office, why on earth would it seem appropriate in public on the never-forget-your-failings internet?

But there is more to this. For example, would you want a vendor to squeeze into a conversation you were having with an old friend to aggressively sell their product to the two of you? Why would you imagine they would want the same from you? Would you want a friend to grab your contacts list and spam people, saying they were sent by you? Why would you then tweet to the people somebody else knows, referring to them and acting as if they were friends?

Be civil. Be calm. Be circumspect. I am not going to bother linking to numerous examples of this done wrong, because I'd rather people identify their own examples.


2) Clean up after yourself.

This is not exactly the same thing as hiding your mistakes. It is more like a four-year-old thinking, That red truck looks like fun, but then losing interest and picking up the doll with the polka dot dress instead. I ask them to put away the red truck first, and sometimes they even listen.

Similarly, you are going to try and fail at a lot of social media. Nobody can do everything, and there's no shame in finding out that Facebook speaks to you, but Twitter doesn't, or vice-versa. Sometimes it is not even the medium, it is the instance in the medium.  Let me show you an example. In the Virtual Bookstore, I list a book which looks pretty intriguing, Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World 

This book has two authors, Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta, who both appear to be very bright individuals with a lot to say on the subject of social networking. If I look at Matthew Fraser's twitter account, http://twitter.com/frasermatthew, it is clear that he is the real deal and understand social networking reasonably well.




Unfortunately, Matthew and his co-author have left a couple of nasty red trucks lying about.  Soumitra Dutta clearly decided to start a Twitter account, at http://twitter.com/soumitradutta, but lost interest.  Imagine the following account found by somebody looking up these two authors before buying the book:





One tweet by a guy who wrote a book on Social Networking?  One tweet left Feb 22, 2010?  Of course, it may well be that Soumitra does wonderful social networking, but didn't find Twitter to his liking.

Put away the red truck! Delete the account.

Of course, you can't blame Matthew for his co-author's mistake, but what about the joint Twitter account they created for the book at http://twitter.com/throwingsheep? 





In some ways, that is more embarrassing, although this account has a whopping fifty-nine tweets. What makes it embarrassing is the 1,098 followers. If they use Tweepi or something like that, they'll notice that the account hasn't been updated since July 2009, even if they don't ever visit it. Also, it is ugly since the authors have clearly never visited the account with the new Twitter, where their book cover bleeds through. Again, mighty ugly for a book about social networking.

Put away your toys! Delete the account that didn't work. Remember that Second Life account you haven't touched in two years. Put it away. Remember when you swore you'd start a blog, but couldn't find anything to say. It is probably still hanging out there with your name attached.

At the risk of calling out people who might even read this (or at least be told about it), I will mention just a few examples connected to Lotusphere (and there are more). In return, please feel free to let me know if you see an account, a blog, a trace of mine which I have forgotten. 

Jeff Eisen, IBM, http://twitter.com/jnema -> 38 tweets, last in January 2009

Kevin Cavanaugh, IBM, http://twitter.com/kevincavanaugh -> 29 tweets, last in November 2009

Kristin Keene, IBM, http://twitter.com/KristinKeene -> 3 tweets, last in March 2009

Clean up your toys if you want to be a social business.

Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.

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