Bloggers at Lotusphere 2009

November 26 2008

Vlad Tatarincevs asked an interesting question the other day:

Would it be nice if people who BLOG can participate in Lotusphere for free? IBM could do this step .
It is sad, that I am as a DUAL PCLP certified 5.x, 6. 7.x, no longer have discount on registration to Lotusphere.

If some people From IBM read this, can they comment what can be done, so more people who share their knowledge can meet not only on but also in Orlando.
Actually, IBM is having a selected group of bloggers participate in Lotusphere 2009, under a pilot bloggers@Lotusphere program.  We selected a small group of active Lotus community and non-community bloggers, based on a variety of criteria, to invite to this pilot program.  So far, response has been positive -- so positive that we absolutely can't add anyone else to the program for 2009, so, uh, don't ask. :-)  

What will these bloggers "do" at Lotusphere?  Some of the activities set up include executive meetings, a behind-the-scenes look at Lotus Awards voting, a lab tour, and other events.  It's a step up from the blogger Q&A we have done at Lotusphere the last couple of years, and recognition that the blogging community is an increasingly important voice in telling the Lotus story.  We want to do more -- I'll be watching what Apple does at Macworld for their invited bloggers -- but 2009 is certainly a step up from the past events.  I'm excited to see how this unfolds, and there will be surprises along the way!

I also wanted to note that nobody (myself included) submitted a Birds-of-a-Feather for Lotusphere 2009 for the Lotus Blogging Community.  This has been a great BoF at the last several Lotuspheres, but I think this actually pushes the message that blogging and participating in the blogs has become more mainstream.  Can we recruit more Lotus community members to participate?  Absolutely, yes.  One of the BoFs that was submitted (and will likely make the agenda) is "Getting Social in the Lotus Community",  This session is designed to help people outside the online community get involved in blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn, PlanetLotus etc.  I think this is the right body language for a BoF in 2009 -- the community within itself is established, but we need to bring in additional voices.  The BoF should be a great "recruiting" effort...but I would encourage the veterans and leaders in the community to participate, learn, and share in this BoF as well.

Obviously, part of the excitement of Lotusphere is networking with the community face-to-face.  I'm excited that there is a mix of opportunities for everyone -- blogger, commenter, reader, lurker -- to get more involved and build on the community success into 2009 and beyond.

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