August 30 2011

With Bill Geimer's comment on yesterday's posting about IBM social mobility, this blog now has received fifty thousand valid, non-spam comments over the course of eight years and eight months. It's impossible to identify the first comment, as we migrated the blog after a few months into Dominoblog.

Some of the posts that attracted the most comments include...

"If I could add ONE feature to Notes 7.x..." -- demonstrating the need for ideation and what became ideajam.net
"Difference between arigato gozimasu and arigato gozimashta" -- That page has always ranked highly on Google for some reason
"What Scoble did for Microsoft, and a similar effect at IBM" -- 2006, when I wanted to show the early signs of IBM becoming a social business
"Still a Domino developer" -- How to attract new developers to Notes/Domino in 2006
"Notes/Domino 8 public beta now available" -- "Hannover" was eagerly anticipated
"Redirect iPhone > /yes/i/know" -- The iPhone started with native support for my competitors before me. The ensuing hue and cry helped get us to where Traveler is on the iPhone today
"Notes/Domino 8.5.1 available" -- made a lot of changes in licensing and packaging with 8.5.1, so lots of feedback
"I've never been a developer" -- asking the same question as "Still a Domino developer" four years later
"Notes/Domino 8.5.2 available" -- another new release, lots of comments
"Now available - Traveler for Android" -- lots of end-user Google searches landing on that one

There were obviously other active threads where the quality of the comments meant more than the quantity (I'm looking at you, Keiot).

This feedback from the worldwide Lotus customer base and market is what has sustained the products, helped me make better decisions, and helped you extend and grow a community. Whether a post attracted few or many comments, I have always read every single comment and responded to as many as I can (either publicly or privately).

I'm also really pleased that the policy of "use your real name" has been respected 99% of the time, which I think has lead to a much higher-quality kind of interaction. There are plenty of other places and forums where I see people able to troll under pseudonyms, and it just doesn't provide as effective a level of discourse.

And while the spammers seem to have finally cracked the code as to how to get more of their comments to show up on this blog, I just check the view every few days and blow them away. It's not a significant volume, single digits per day at most. I find it surprising how many blogs I encounter where spam is accepted as an inevitable norm, not even cleaned up. It just makes the author look careless.

Anyway, thank you for making this much more than a monologue. I've recently had the opportunity to give a "social networking 101" kind of presentation a few times, and I am reminded of one of the core tenets that we established in the IBM blogging guidelines back in 2005 -- individual voice. I am sure that this feedback loop would have quickly closed if I treated it as some kind of broadcast from-upon-the-mountain medium. That we can all discuss things, professionally and openly, is why social business matters today. I am looking forward to the next 50,000 comments.

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