Ben Langhinrichs

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Are we ready for a Virtual Lotusphere Annex?

Fri 14 Nov 2008, 11:41 AM

by Ben Langhinrichs
Adam Gartenberg proposed an idea on his blog, and I wanted to take it one step further.  He suggested an UnLotusphere where people could post the sessions they had that were rejected to let people see them on slideshare or some such services.  Since I am in a rather unique position with my Lotusphere Sessions db, I suggested that I would be willing to list the "virtual sessions" along with the "real sessions", although listed as unscheduled.  I have been bouncing the idea of a few others, and decided I'd rather not focus on "rejected sessions" as much as "supplemental sessions".  Whether you have a session/presentation that you suggested, or one that you would never have suggested because you are shy or it is too narrow in focus, we could list it.  For example, I could do a presentation on LSX development that would be too specific for Lotusphere, but might be perfect for some who are or are not attending Lotusphere.  If you have a presentation, we could link to it.  If you want to go further and have samples or audio or even video, we could link to that.  You could then be listed as a "speaker" in the sessions database and your sessions would show up on a search for "SameTime" or "XPages" or "LSX" or whatever.

The idea is not to water down the impact of Lotusphere, but to add the power of the infinite slots that other track managers don't get.  I think of it as a Virtual Lotusphere Annex, adding the blogophere and web to the Swan and Dolphin and Yacht Club as potential venues.  Of course, I would not have to deal with the limitations of scheduling or fitting people into the room.    I haven't had a lot of time to think this true, but I'd be curious to hear your views/ideas.

Copyright 2008 Genii Software Ltd.

What has been said:

720.1. Keith Brooks
(11/14/2008 08:58 AM)

Ben, A great idea, but would need to be done in a way that it was very obvious which sessions were not official.

Otherwise you may have many people wandering around aimlessly trying to find the mythical Scotch or Lager Rooms.

720.2. Adam Gartenberg
(11/14/2008 09:14 AM)

Great suggestions, Ben, and thanks for extending the idea. I do like the "supplemental" take on things a lot more than "rejected," because I think it is a much fairer view of things. Having a little exposure to the other side of the session review process, far, far more "rejected" sessions would fall into a "I wish we had the space to include your session, but we don't" category than a "what were you thinking?!?" one. And, as you point out, there isn't a reason to exclude a presentation just because it was never submitted to Lotusphere in the first place.

720.3. Handly Cameron
(11/14/2008 11:17 AM)

We should definitely encourage people to get their content out to the community. For some, who may have the presentation already set up as slides, adding them as a virtual session would work well.

In my case, most of the work for my session on Enterprise Project Management with Connections would have been on building live examples I could share with the audience. My plan is to build this anyway and work on getting it out on to the wiki and maybe set up as a DeveloperWorks article.

The virtual session capability might get me to extend that to a video or podcast.

720.4. Yancy Lent
(11/14/2008 11:32 AM)

@Ben, Let me play something similar to devil's advocate here and assume you had done everything you're purposing above; 2 years ago. How would i track down that amazing LSX presentation you did now in 2008?

It would be great if the actual sessions (or the un-sessions) had a single, permanent, location on the web. One that could be cataloged for easy shopping. The page would have session details, for before the event, and then after, comments, downloads of examples used, slides, community photos take during the sessions; video. Essentially a permanent on-line version of your database(s) that is/are community enabled.

I wanted to do something similar to this for a while back but instead I tried to boil other smaller oceans ;).

720.5. Ben Langhinrichs
(11/14/2008 11:44 AM)

Yancy - Well, there are two parts to this answer. The first is that I can ask any previous year's session provider if their session is still relevant and keep it/include it again. I never really take down the Lotusphere Sessions database (you could go there now, but it would be last year's sessions). This would allow on on-going presence, and would even allow last year's "real" session to be this year's "virtual" session.

The second is that I don't want to become a repository for obsolete junk. We have the internet for that. I'd rather have the attrition obvious, so that once a year the content was cleaned out, and people would have a chance to update/revise/discard the obsolete stuff. Permanent repositories tend to accumulate mold. I don't want to be responsible for some moldy annex.

720.6. Yancy Lent
(11/14/2008 12:40 PM)

Ben, It may be that I view Lotusphere through a different lens in that 95% of my time is on the showcase floor and I'm only able to attend about 2 sessions on average per year. The ones I have seen with examples, always seem timeless, in that if i ever see myself having to write any LSX ODBC code, i want to start with that example database that I saw used last year, the name of the session, who presented it, i don't remember but if there were a repository to look through i might be able to find it.

One technologists obsolete junk is another's starting point.

720.7. Ben Langhinrichs
(11/14/2008 12:58 PM)

Yancy, This is probably one of the times when we are in violent agreement, but using different words. Part of the reason I like this idea is to do exactly what you propose, come up with sessions which would be available to people like you (and me for that matter) who do not make it to many sessions in person. I already work hard to preserve links to individual session presentations from Lotusphere to allow their use long after the conference has ended.