Thank you to the hundreds of Lotus customers and partners (and a few competitors!) who tuned in to today's Lotus mid-year update web event.  This was a first try at something new for us, and it went very well from all perspectives.  Anyone concern that the event would just be "talking heads" ended precisely at :20 after the hour, when Mike Rhodin, Ken Bisconti, and Jeff Schick finished their prepared comments, leaving the bulk of the time for open Q&A.  We handled more than 20 questions in the remaining 40 minutes, with a mix of live audio, live chat, e-mail and pre-submitted questions utilized.  Still, there were 20 more we didn't get to -- even with Bisconti speedily typing away in the e-meeting, answering several more questions real-time.

It was great to see the interest in Lotus Connections and Quickr.  The bulk of the questions covered these two products.  Connections questions tended to be around cultural issues in introducing social networking into organizations, as well as expanding the market definition of what the product can do, APIs to do it with, and plans for the 2.0 version.  Quickr questions covered everything from pricing and packaging to data store architecture to competitive positioning.

We used Sametime to pull this event off.  Not only was the presentation delivered via e-meeting, but the bulk of the questions came in via the e-meeting group chat, speaker coodination behind-the-scenes was done through an internal group chat, and I imagine if I had published my new AOL/Yahoo IM gateway chat address, I would have taken some comments in that way (more on that soon).  It becomes simply impossible to imagine how we would have done a similar event five years ago.

Thanks to all for making today's event successful and enjoyable.  I can tell you that the Lotus executive team liked the format a lot, and I suspect we will do it again.

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