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!
Issue with Connections media widget timing out
Wed, Jul 23rd 2014 4:40a Stuart McIntyre Whilst building a new Connections environment for a customer we noticed a strange issue when uploading large files to the media gallery. Initially I thought it was related to the size of the file, but the same file will upload to the Connections files application without issue. There is very little errors in the SystemOut.log for the Connections server, so ...
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Ephox EditLive for IBM Connections updated
Tue, Jul 22nd 2014 12:20a Stuart McIntyre The powerful enhanced rich text editor for IBM Connections, Ephox EditLive, has just been updated to version 220.127.116.11 and is available from IBM FixCentral: Now bundled with IBM Connections for all organisations under active maintenance, Ephox adds significant value for users of the platform. Whilst this power doesn’t come free of some administrative complexity, deployment of EditLive should definitely be ...
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IBM Connections QuickSearch for Chrome updated
Mon, Jul 21st 2014 6:45a Stuart McIntyre I first blogged about the IBM Connections QuickSearch plugin for Google Chrome three weeks ago. Back then it was at version 1.8. Remarkably since then the author, Romain Lienard, has released four updated versions: I’m so impressed by this development effort, and by the rate that new features are being added. For example, the context-sensitive search: and ‘Share this URL’: ...
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IBM Sanity Validation Tool for IBM Connections 4.5
Mon, Jul 21st 2014 4:20a Stuart McIntyre A new and very neat IBM tool has been uploaded to the IBM Collaboration Solutions Catalog: You can download by clicking through from the Catalog, or by going direct to the ‘Lotus Business Solutions IBM Download site‘, logging in with your IBM ID and then searching for ‘Sanity’ to find the download in the very long list of tools on ...
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Watch out for quotes!
Thu, Jul 17th 2014 4:00a Stuart McIntyre Just a reminder to be watchful of non-standard characters in IBM Connections user names, and also to thoroughly review your IBM Connections TDI logs on a regular basis. This is a current APAR: I’m sure that this particular issue will get resolved in an upcoming fix, however these issues do crop up every so often, so be ready for them. [read] Keywords: connections
Greenhouse now running IBM Connections 5.0
Thu, Jul 17th 2014 3:08a Stuart McIntyre This was a pleasant surprise this morning: Yes, the IBM Greenhouse has been upgraded to IBM Connections 18.104.22.168. New features including External Collaboration (which isn’t strictly relevant to the Greenhouse), improvements to Files and file-sync (using the new mobile apps and desktop plugins), plus significant significant enhancements to the activity stream and @mentions should all now be visible on the ... [read] Keywords: collaboration
Free self-paced IBM Connections 5.0 Workshop
Wed, Jul 16th 2014 2:29a Stuart McIntyre More good news from IBM’s Paul Godby – this time discussing a new self-paced workshop, explicitly for IBM Connections 5.0: In the IBM Connections 5.0 Workshop, you will learn about the new and existing capabilities of IBM Connections and IBM Connections Mobile. You will learn how to implement external collaboration in your environments and gain an understanding of both the ... [read] Keywords: collaboration
Innovate + Impact + Pulse = ?
Tue, Jul 15th 2014 3:58a Stuart McIntyre Last week I ruminated on the future of IBM Connect, and mentioned that a number of the IBM software conferences had been consolidated for 2015…
IBM seems to be consolidating its software conferences across brands. We have seen Impact (the Websphere conference), Innovate (Rational) and Pulse (Tivoli) all announce that they will merge for 2015 for a very large conference in Las Vegas:
Mark your calendar for February 22 – 26, 2015. We’ll meet at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino and the M [read] Keywords: ibm