The rise and rise of the user group has been one of the stories of the Lotus community over these past 4 or 5 years.
From DNUG to UKLUG, ILUG to IAMLUG, MWLUG to AUSLUG, BLUG to the (award-winning) DDive, community-organised events have been massively successful and have strengthened and sustained the community that forms around these collaboration products. From small monthly meetings (ATLUG), through to 3 day 400-attendee mega-LUGs, there is clearly a demand for these groups and events. Many community members put hundred of hours into organising them, sponsors pay thousands to exhibit and attendees travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to attend. It is hard to remember a time before they were so prevalent.
However, I've failed to mention the daddy of all user groups... DanNotes. Almost unbelievably, DanNotes was formed in 1993 (18 years!) and has just had its 46th event (yes 46!). Doesn't that put things into perspective? Whether we know it or not, we have a lot to thank DanNotes for...
Earlier this year I was honoured to be invited to speak at the latest DanNotes conference in Denmark, and took the trip out to attend last week.
Held in a rather lovely if remote hotel and conference centre in Korsor, approximately 60 miles west of Copenhagen, I joined Chris Connor, Ulrich Krause and Niklas Heidloff as the non-Danish speakers at this two-day conference.
With about 80 in attendance (a full house), the event had a busy feel to it - plenty of attendees but not so big that it wasn't possible to get round and speak to most folks that were there.
A few significant details made it a really interesting experience for me: 1. I have never been a particular fan of conference hotels, they can be a bit soulless. However this one had some character, and the whole conference being in the one remote hotel meant that attendees and organisers spent real quality time together. We ate proper sit down meals, had an excellent evening reception and could relax in each others company. The relatively small size of the event compared to an ILUG or IAMLUG obviously helped in that regard too. 2. The sessions themselves were held in an auditorium with excellent acoustics, full PA and mics on every desk. That meant that when an attendee asked a question, they could do so without moving or significantly interrupting the speaker, everyone heard it and there was a much more interactive vibe as a result. 3. The attendees really know each other. A lot of them have attended a large number of the DanNotes events (46 remember) and hence really are a community all of their own. That really came through in the relationships on show. That said, they were really friendly to outsiders such as myself - I felt really welcome. That is a tough balance to strike. 4. Attendees have to pay to be part of the user group and to attend the event. That tends to make those present really want to maximise the value they get from being there. Whilst free events are great in a lot of ways, I do wonder whether paid user group meetings are the way forward in the long run.
Whilst I wish I could have stayed a bit longer, I massively enjoyed my trip. I was hugely impressed by the organisation behind the event (Per Henrik Lausten and the rest of the team), by the content being shared and by the community that has been developed. I wish too that I could have seen more of Denmark on my first trip than just Copenhagen airport, the train and the hotel! Definitely an excuse for a return trip in future.
If you're wondering what I presented, I did two sessions which are both on Slideshare:
'IBM Connections - Bridging the Gap' (explaining Social Collaboration and IBM Connections for those from a Notes/Domino background):
(I know that as a result of my aversion to bullets and my preference for very image-heavy slides, these presentations need more context! I'll be uploading the audio for the presentations as soon as I have it!)
So huge thanks to all those behind DanNotes. If you are from Denmark and haven't attended, you really must - it is one of the best examples of a LUG anywhere in the world!
POODLE fixed within IBM Connections
Tue, Nov 18th 2014 3:10p Stuart McIntyre A few weeks back I had blogged about the POODLE bug which had hit IBM Connections quite hard. IBM delivered a fix today ! Thank you for that IBM as we really needed this for our customers. The IBM technote for this can be found here If you need help just comment here and I will try to help as ...
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Use and Adoption of IBM Connections – State of the Market 4Q2014
Tue, Nov 18th 2014 2:43a Stuart McIntyre Michael Sampson has just published the results of this year’s IBM Connections usage survey: A couple of months ago I kicked off a global survey on the use and adoption of IBM Connections. The survey garnered 58 valid responses, and the results are finally available. They are really fascinating results and statistics, and it’s going to take a while to ...
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IBM FileNet (CCM) and soccnx
Fri, Nov 14th 2014 3:00p Stuart McIntyre Last 2 days (13 & 14 November) the most important User Group for the IBM Connections world has been held in Stockholm in Sweden called “Social Connections”. I attended this event and it was a perfectly organized event once again ! On this event I meet several people who have asked me the following question, Can I easily change the ...
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Part 3: Stop sending me attachments, but how?
Mon, Nov 10th 2014 4:30a Stuart McIntyre So after exploring the reasons why users still send e-mail (part 1) and trying to analyse the reasons why people have not changed their ways and how products have not helped the people either (part 2). In this third and last part of the essay present six idea’s to fix the fact that people don’t just change easily. The ideas ...
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Stop sending me attachments!! Part 2: the analysis…
Fri, Nov 7th 2014 2:00a Stuart McIntyre So there are many reasons why people have their habits (part 1), not least in the product they use in their daily work life. So in part 2 I will explore the technology angle and look for causes why tools are the way they are and why a seamless integrated platform is harder then it looks. The idea of seamless and ...
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Stop sending me attachments!!
Tue, Nov 4th 2014 3:59p Stuart McIntyre Introduction Before I begin, let’s first introduce myself. My name is Robert van den Breemen. I am working as an Enterprise IT Architect for over 15 years in a large Dutch government department. I am passionate about technology and the effect it has on the way people work. As the lead in the Digital Workspace Initiative that tries to enable ...
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Getting social in Stockholm NEXT WEEK!
Mon, Nov 3rd 2014 9:56a Stuart McIntyre I’m just back from a very pleasant week’s vacation in Madrid with my family, and have stepped back into the maelstrom that is last minute planning for Social Connections VII!
Whilst I was away, the tremendous team (Brian, Martin, Wannes, Maria, Lars and Jan) have been pulling out all the stops to dot the Is and cross the Ts on details such as the event catering, prizes for speed sponsoring, late changes to the agenda, the two evening receptions and much more. As you’d expect, [read] Keywords: connections
Mon, Nov 3rd 2014 4:16a Stuart McIntyre Really enlightening post from Katryna Dow on Ello and the evidence for a major shift in the tech industry:
As Ello states, they don’t have an exit strategy. Maybe we are returning to the days when the journey can be as important as the destination? Were the great inventors and founders of the past only concerned with flipping everything they invented? Might changing the way society functioned, creating new forms of value or championing rights have motivated them? There is an amazing rewa [read] Keywords: connections
IBM’s Potemkin Prosperity
Mon, Nov 3rd 2014 1:24a Stuart McIntyre A mighty post from Steve Denning on Forbes.com, detailing his perspective on IBM’s current situation.
You need to read the full article, which is pretty damning in places. However, rather than pick on some of the negatives, I’ll take this more positive extract from the end of the piece:
IBM needs to build on its strengths. IBM was once a great company that respected and rewarded its employees and served its communities and society. It’s a company that still has the power to cha [read] Keywords: connections
An update on IBM Connections and the POODLE vulnerability
Sun, Nov 2nd 2014 11:55p Stuart McIntyre My fellow contributor, Sjaak Ursinus, created a detailed post a couple of weeks back detailing the impact that the POODLE vulnerability could have on your IBM Connections platform, and the steps required to code a route around the issue (though Sjaak himself noted that it wasn’t much of a workaround). If you haven’t heard of POODLE, then I suggest you go read ...
Social Business Strategist at Social 365
Stuart McIntyre is an independent [read] Keywords: connections