Let me start this with an important comment about tone -- In no way is this blog entry meant to be disrespectful.

I was in Louisville, Kentucky, for a few hours today, in a couple of different meetings.  The second was a "round table" format with half a dozen Lotus customers (15 people) from the region.  I gave a Lotus strategy update followed by a "Notes/Domino 7.0.x and beyond" presentation, similar to what I've been using at user groups and customer events for the last three months or so.  

Today, the rhythm was a little different.  In many cases, the concepts and technology I discussed was brand new to most or all of the people in the room.  One person knew what RSS was.  One person had visited wikipedia.  Nobody in the room was on LinkedIn.  Someone asked about the business value of blogging and real-time collaboration, seeing as how they are a manufacturing organization and everyone is in one building (I answered this simply: Do you need to collaborate with your customers or suppliers?).

This meeting was a very good reminder that a lot of the technologies IBM as a vendor are working on right now are still leading edge for a large percentage of the market.  Not everyone knows what RSS and feedreaders are or how to use them.  Not everyone knows what a wiki is (I showed DominoWiki on OpenNTF and then some IBM w3 stuff as examples).  

This group was great to work with -- they weren't shy about it at all.  I wonder now whether I left anyone bewildered in Denver last week, or in those customer meetings a few weeks ago, because I didn't do enough "basic education".  Heck, today I didn't even define SOA, other than to make the standard joke that I get a dollar every time I use this buzzword.

Again, this was a great meeting (other than the fact that I didn't get to finish the chocolate chip cookie that was as big as my head).  I believe that everyone walked away with a better understanding of where Lotus is going, and more importantly, where the market is going.  And for me, it was a huge timely and useful observation -- make no assumptions.  When Al Zollar was leading Lotus, he reminded the leadership team that you often have to be "relentlessly boring"...say something seven (or more) times until the message gets out.  I needed the reminder.

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