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!
Influence made with social. Made with IBM
Fri, Apr 11th 2014 12:20a Stuart McIntyre IBM has just released a new series of video spots under the ‘Made with IBM‘ line:
What’s the world making today?
We live on a Smarter Planet, where data, mobile, social and cloud are transforming industries and allowing us to create value in new ways.
The evidence is abundant and it is everywhere. Watch it grow here.
This is the one on Social Business:
Taken independently, I’m a bit conflicted about the message to be honest. I’m not sure I agree with their defi [read] Keywords: ibm
Packt Publishing: Buy One, Get One Free!
Tue, Mar 25th 2014 3:22a Stuart McIntyre Congratulations to the good folks at Packt Publishing on reaching the impressive total of 2,000 published titles. That’s a lot of books!
To celebrate, Packt are giving all their customers a chance to enjoy their books by giving them a free e-book copy for every purchase – “Buy One, Get One Free”
The campaign runs until 26th March, 2014 – that’s tomorrow! The offer applies to an unlimited number of purchases, and is added automatically at checkout.
Get them whi [read] Keywords:
Speaking engagements this week
Mon, Mar 17th 2014 1:16a Stuart McIntyre This week I’ll be pretty busy with both ongoing work for my favourite customer in New York, and also travelling to, and presenting at, a series of user groups around Europe.
Here’s my schedule:
Engage (formerly BLUG), Breda, Netherlands – Monday/Tuesday
Social Sharing vs. Organized Structure (with Femke Goedhart), Tuesday, 1015-11:00
This Week in Lotus, Tuesday, 12:30-13:30
BCCON, Hamburg, Germany – Wednesday
Social Business: The Irresistible Force to Overcome Immovable [read] Keywords: collaboration
Amazon Prime Instant Video comes to the UK
Thu, Feb 20th 2014 11:20p Stuart McIntyre In 5 days will include unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes.
You will be able to stream exclusive movies such as The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Tower Heist, and TV shows such as Vikings and Downton Abbey.
Starting February 26th, you can watch Prime Instant Video on game consoles, streaming players, smart TVs, mobile devices and Kindle Fire HD.
I’ve been a huge fan of Amazon Prime for a good number of years now – free next-day delivery of a vast range of products from the A [read] Keywords: mobile
Twenty years from now…
Tue, Feb 11th 2014 6:20a Stuart McIntyre “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
- Mark Twain [read] Keywords:
Social Business: The Irresistible Force to Overcome Immovable Objections (IBM Connect 2014 BP310)
Tue, Feb 11th 2014 5:00a Stuart McIntyre Apologies for the delay, but here’s the deck for my session from IBM Connect 2014:
As those that have seen me present will probably vouch, my slides are almost bullet-free, are very graphical and there isn’t a huge amount of text, so it’s all in the delivery! Therefore the deck on it’s own may lack a bit of zing… I’ll rectify that by uploading a version of the presentation with audio very soon. Look out for an update in the next week or so. [read] Keywords: ibm
IBM Connect Day 0 – The Community One
Sun, Jan 26th 2014 12:20p Stuart McIntyre Saturday at IBM Connect. It’s all about the people, man…
The conference proper starts on Sunday, but there is no doubt that Saturday is one of the key days of the week for me, and the reason why I fly out on Friday (and thanks for allowing me do that, Philippa!). From soccer to Mai Tais, to BALD and the ESPN party, it’s a day that revolves around meeting, greeting, reminiscing, remembering, laughing and hugging. In short it’s what makes this less a business conference and more [read] Keywords: connections