2010 in review

December 29 2010

Yes, it's time once again for a look back at the year that was.  I really enjoy this annual exercise, not just because it helps me with my self-review of my professional results, but also because it has become a barometer to measure each year against the past and sense how much I've grown professionally and personally.

2010 was an exciting year professionally and personally.  This is definitely one of those "time flies" years -- it's hard to believe how fast it all went by.

On the business side, my team launched LotusLive Notes this year, bringing Notes and Domino to the SaaS market as part of the most-complete cloud collaboration offering, LotusLive; it was exciting to create, conceive, and manage this startup business in the framework of the overall messaging and collaboration market.  We also shipped two key updates to Lotus Notes Traveler (including Android support and a Linux server), the Notes/Domino 8.5.2 release, Symphony 3.0, and added new products like Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption.  If a product manager's motto is to "always be shipping", we accomplished that in spades, even while simultaneously doing significant planning and development work for the next releases of Notes/Domino, LotusLive, and other new offerings coming in 2011 or 2012.

During the course of 2010, I spoke at 26 physical or virtual conferences and events that reached a total of 5300 people directly.  Additionally, I participated in 30 formal customer meetings throughout the year, about 2/3 face to face and 1/3 online.  Of course, those numbers -- while they feel reasonably good to me -- demonstrate why social media continues to be so important in reaching a broader segment of the market.  One highlight during the year was presenting the oral history of Lotus Notes - first 20 years at Lotusphere 2010 with Scott Souder.  As much as I need to keep both eyes on the road head, sometimes looking in the rear-view mirror is fun for all.

On the personal side, the year can be measured mainly in Chloe's exciting progression from 3-month old infant circa Lotusphere (and the somewhat-harrowing emergency room trip that punctuated the conference) to 14-month old talker and (nearly) walker.  Chloe, mom, and sometimes big sister Megan all earned their wings this year, with several trips including two west coast US vacations and frequent extended family visits.  One of the coolest aspects of our travel this year -- almost never a bad meal, and almost always a great hotel.  Social media has clearly become the most-important tool for me in travel decision-making, and the rewards were numerous.  It's not always perfect, though -- our long weekend in Cancun, Mexico, both had one of the two-best hotel stays this year (the other in Monterey California) and two of the worst restaurant experiences (I think this may say more about Cancun than about social media, not sure yet).

In the last few days, I've been reflective of not just the last year, but the last decade.  Any ten years in one's life are filled with accomplishment, change, and learning.  As both catalyst and comfort, I went through most of my digital photos collected over that ten years and assembled them into a set of 100 that represent the decade to me.  They're not always meant to be the most artistic, the most astonishing, the best technique...just things, places, and faces that represent the best memories of a decade.

Now, on to the statistics....


  • 214 blog posts, 3431 comments -- 16.02 comments per post.  I appreciate the continued interaction here -- it is why I have a blog (and an iPhone, er, nevermind).  
  • 232,000 visitors, 518,000 visits, 730,000 pageviews.  The number of visitors is up year to year while the other two are down; then again 214 posts this year vs. 383 in 2009.
  • I think part of the reason for the improvements in numbers like number of comments per post and number of visitors is that the blog centers around interactivity, whereas Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn have become appropriate vehicles for sharing or connecting.  While it is sometimes challenging to keep up with all these channels, I think the segmentation is appropriate and useful.  For sure I do not feel the urge/pressure to blog every day like I used to; for the most part this means quality vs. quantity.  It also means I sometimes disappoint people who ask me "can you blog this", but there are plenty of other blogs for them to leverage anyway.
  • Top five blog entries: "Lotus Notes Traveler for Android - Some Clarifications" has had over 17,000 unique pageviews, followed by "Lotus Notes Traveler in 2010" (hmm, I see a trend).  Perennial favorite "Arigato Gozimasu" dropped to #3 this year, with #4 being "Lotus Notes Traveler on the iPad - Now Supported" and #5 being "Lotusphere 2010 - IBM Project Vulcan" (which, for a while, was pretty much the only source of anything about the project on the Internet anywhere).  #6, just to finish the theme, is "Update on Lotus Notes Traveler for Android".  I'm sure glad we shipped that in 2010 :-)
  • Busiest single day: Monday January 18, at Lotusphere 2010.  The 2nd busiest - the day we shipped the Notes Traveler for Android client (December 14).
  • Top five countries visiting in 2010: US, Germany, UK, Australia, Canada.  This doesn't seem to change much year to year.  22 countries had one visit only, including Namibia, Armenia, Cayman Islands, and Mali.
  • Search engines played a bigger part in sending hits to edbrill.com this year (perhaps a reason for the increase in raw number of visitors), with 45% of all hits coming from searches.  96% of those came from Google; 2% from Bing, 2% from Yahoo.  Doesn't look like Google has much to worry about in the search business.  The #1 referring site continued to be planetlotus.org, but it's down to 8.6% of all traffic.
  • And in the browser space, edbrill.com visitors prefer Firefox at 42% of visits, IE at 30%, Chrome at a surprising 14.2%, and Safari at 10%.  80% are Windows users, 10% Mac, 3.5% Linux, 3.5% iOS, etc.
  • I've picked up another 1000 followers over the course of the last year, with something like 4000 tweets during the year.  I'm still struggling, as I was a year ago, with having my professional and personal lives in one stream, but it doesn't feel right to bifurcate now as then.  I appreciate all the replies and DMs, and wish I could ack every one of them.  Thanks for everything you share.
2010 travel:
  • About 90 days on the road this year, though I was fortunate enough to bring some or all of my family along for a few of those business trips this year.
  • A total of 101,049 travel miles to 46 cities in 13 countries.  The majority of my travel was international this year, a first.
  • New countries: Chile and Liechtenstein.  I also visited Switzerland, Germany, UK, Denmark, Canada, Israel, Spain, Belgium, Mexico, and the Czech Republic.
  • New cities: Santiago, Valparaiso, Vaduz, St. Gallen, Paderborn, Augsburg, Saskatoon, Regina, and Monterey CA.
  • New airports: SCL, BUF, PAD, BHD, YXE, YQR
  • New airlines: LAN
  • Special memories: Driving through a snowstorm in the middle of nowhere, Saskatoon->Regina Canada; hablando en español por Lotusphere Comes to You en Madrid/Barcelona (and more Spanish in Chile and Mexico -- feels like it is slowly coming back to me); El Museo de Jamón con mis amigos;  meeting the CEO of a US$22 billion company in his private dining room; the beauty of the drive from Zürich to Vaduz, Liechtenstein on a sunny late summer-day; Currywurst and green beer at DNUG Berlin; Lunch overlooking the ocean on a perfect sunny day in Valparaiso, Chile, while Chile was playing in the World Cup -- the whole town cheered as one; Giant's Causeway in the wind; Tivoli Gardens at Christmas; airport meetups; crab on the pier in Monterery; seaplane tour of Seattle; dinner at Alinea.

Looking ahead to 2011

While we at IBM don't tend to broadcast organizational changes, the scope of my job is expanding a bit as we enter the new year.  I have been truly fortunate to have been set up for success through my first executive role at IBM as it morphs into the second.  What it means is that I'm going to be pushing more great ideas into reality, and fighting hard for continued success for Lotus Notes and Domino (and all the associated products), Symphony, Protector, and LotusLive Notes, in 2011 and beyond.  

One of my first professional objectives in the coming year is ensuring that you as customers and partners know more about our roadmap and direction, how the Project Vulcan vision is playing into "Notes 9", and what IBM is doing to help you win.  I will continue to engage in all aspects of this market -- good or bad.  I may not always agree with you, I may fight hard to assert or defend my professional position or strategy, but I will always listen.  Where it makes sense, I'll pursue great opportunities, but I'll also be applying a tighter filter to ensure that my team and I are maximizing our performance.

I want to continue to engage with user groups and conferences, as I find these are the best way to reach a variety of customers.  But I also want to get back to Asia or South America or spend more time in emerging markets, and am hopeful those opportunities will present themselves, too.  I want to develop my team -- I have some really strong product managers who deserve the opportunities to speak at conferences and webcasts and get out in front of you during 2011 -- and as a starting point, all of them will be on stage at Lotusphere.

Aside from business, my wife is working on a local mayoral campaign, with local politics being truly personal for the first time.  Maybe sometime this year the local Forest Preserve District will actually issue an RFP for the golf course they are legally obliged to operate in my neighborhood.  I'm still enjoying writing for the Chicago Tribune's TribLocal in Highland Park, though I'm watching as a competitor has emerged in patch.com; either way, the winner is my friends and neighbors, who are finally getting quality news coverage of suburban happenings.  Perhaps as the baby gets older, I can think about a few more flying lessons.  And we need to travel...always.

Thank you for reading, engaging, your continued support, and for those who are -- for being customers and partners.  You've helped make me successful, and if I have done the same for some among the 232,000 of you in even the tiniest way, then life is good.

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