Lotusphere as a conference celebrates a community, and from time to time, we have offered special sessions recognizing the Lotusphere "magic".  For Lotusphere 2010, we've created a session -- well, we've created the shell of the session at any rate -- called "An oral history of Lotus Notes: The first 20 years".

Now, if Ray Ozzie is still reading my blog, he'll probably get angry and defensive -- it's really been 25 years since the development of Lotus Notes began.  The first release, though, was December, 1989 -- two weeks shy of 20 years ago.  I don't pretend that I could tell the story of those first five years of development, thus, the session is conceived to start with when Notes first was released and move forward from there.  At any rate, this session is designed to be a celebration -- of where we've been, and where we are going.  If all goes right, we'll have a bit of fun along the way.

My personal involvement with Notes started in 1993.  I didn't join product management for Notes until 1998, though.  So, even though this is my Lotusphere session, I know I can't do this alone.  The first step to ensure the story is complete is that I've recruited a co-presenter -- Scott Souder.  Scott works for me in Notes product management.  More to the point, though, Scott was part of the original team of 12 that sold Notes/Domino starting with V1, twenty years ago.  

Scott and I are just two guys, though.  You all have lived the first twenty years of Notes as much as we have.  To make this session really special, I am going to open it up to audience submissions.  No, I don't want your well-worn Notes R4 "Release the Power" T-shirt (though you are welcome to wear it to the session!).  However, I'd love to get some graphics of Notes apps through the years, marketing materials, videos, quotes from reviews and white papers, and the like.  I'm not a professional editor, but a montage of all of this seems appropriate to include in the session.

Start thinking now about what you'd like to see in this history chapter.  No, I'm still not likely to talk on a public stage about why we killed "Garnet", or why we can't decide to use or stop using product names like iNotes, but there are clearly some anecdotes from over time that would be fun.  Also, I want to make sure the session has an eye to the future -- what are we doing now and what will Notes look like in 2030.

You're welcome to post comments on this blog, or mail me, or riff on this on your own blog.  Scott and I will be building our session over the next few weeks (using a Lotus Connections Activity, of course).  With the right input, this should be a great session -- and we're looking forward to it.

Oh -- as for the "regular" Notes/Domino roadmap session at Lotusphere 2010, Kevin Cavanaugh will be doing a mini-keynote during Lotusphere to cover Notes/Domino, Alloy, Symphony, Protector, Foundations strategy.  I'll be part of that session, too.

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