As many have predicted, this year IBM has completed the task of renaming Lotusphere as IBM Connect.  

Connect 2013

From being a small sub-conference for business leaders in 2011 to much larger set of tracks in 2012, Connect is now the main brand for the event in 2013.  Many of the favourite elements of Lotuspheres past will of course still be present, and IBM is making great efforts to ensure that the technical focus of so many of the tracks remains strong.  Lotusphere has had a terrific history, and whilst the name has changed, the values that have been exhibited over the past 20 years will hopefully carry through into many more events in the future.

However the name change means that this site gets a chance to re-evaluate its existence.  When it started back in 2008/9 there was little support from IBM for the event on social channels - whilst Ed and others blogged, there were few tweets, few LinkedIn posts and very little aggregation of the content that was shared.  Over the past four years and through IBM's shift to Social Business, that is most definitely no longer the case!  On that basis, I'm very happy to stand aside and allow others to take on this role - this site will be left dormant for a while as a resource and then shut down at some stage in 2013.

Lotusphere is dead, long live IBM Connect!

All the best, Stuart.
Registration is required, but after that, replay stream works well:

IBM Lotusphere 2012 2012/01/23 07:31:09

Link: Lotusphere 2012 Opening General Session
Great wrapup of the highlights from the Lotusphere 2012 OGS:

Guest post by Arne Nielson of MyNotesBlog:

NORWAY: - This is the second year in a row that I don't participate at Lotusphere. Being a guy who breeds and bleeds yellow and have been working for Lotus for 15 years, I have to admit: It feels like being a small boy who has been left alone at home when the rest of the family goes on holiday. It feels lonely, it feels heartbreaking. But, someone has to stay at home and take care of the house, watering the flowers and feed the cat. And someone has to stay at home defending the fortress! 

Lotusphere is a nation
Lotusphere is a fantastic event. Thousands and thousands of people from all over the world gathers around one common interest; social collaboration. Not only are they interested in the technology - they are practically performing social collaboration live! They mingle, talk, laugh, change information, teach and learn, build new skills, meet new friends, meet old friends. People from all over the world, of all colors, all religions, all political standpoints, all cultures, all food preferences - they are all different, but they are all alike in some way - they are positive, peaceful, friendly and open! Lotusphere is a great place to be. Sometimes I think that the rest of the troubled world could learn something from the "Lotusphere Nation" - that collaborating socially makes the world a better place. 

Stay close to the source
In january 2010 i participated at Lotusphere registered on IBM's blogger quota. I blogged heavily during the Opening General Session, simultaneously. After three days I had posted nearly 50 articles from the event. Not only short news bits and comments, but interviews and full reports with pictures - like any web based news agency. That got me more than 7.000 readers - not bad when writing in Norwegian only with only 4,5 million Norwegians. 

The year after I was not there, but blogged from my home office, following OGS especially and Lotusphere in general via the internet. I can assure you the result was not the same. The number of readers fell to 4.500 people. This tells me one thing, that I learned in my earlier days as a professional journalist - you have to stay close to the source!

Watching the streaming - often with technical problems and bad sound - will never be as good as being there. You never get the same feeling of togetherness as you do in that people packed conference hall. You never hear the summing, the comments, the intense nerve that is in the air. You never get the same inspiration via the internet. Being there is what rules.

Seeing is believing!
Especially I will miss all the demo's. Seeing is believing! I have more than a hunch on what will be announced, what the trend and the roadmap will be. If you are more than interested you will understand what has to come, without knowing all the facts in detail. You know that integration of social abilities and functions will be everywhere. You know that there will be more open technology. These are all technical stuff that many traditional Lotusphere-geeks are looking forward to. But for me, who is not a techie and has been working as a journalist and personal productivity adviser in my earlier career - the most interesting thing will be to see the new way of working!

You will see that the old way of working in silo's will slowly disappear and transformed into a horizontal way of working. And the possibility to connect to other people will be integrated everywhere. We will see that everything is connected, people, documents, places - and there will be many ways to connect.

Social collaboration makes the world better
My thoughts goes back to that fantastic event when CNN's founder, Ted Turner, set up a direct TV link between USA and USSR. He let ordinary americans talk to ordinary russians. For a young man like me at that time it became a learning for life. These people who has so very different lives and economic standards, suddenly understood that they all had the same worries and the same feelings about what life is all about. That TV show was imperative for my choose of a personal life agenda - and made me understand that social collaboration is what makes the world go forward.

Alone we are only popping champagne corks. Together we are dynamite!

Arne Sigurd Rognan Nielsen

IBM Lotus Education Office hours
Sunday, January 15th 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Location - Yacht & Beach Conference Center | Grand Harbor Salon I
Stop by during Lotus Education "Office Hours" to share your feedback on what training and exams you would like to see in 2012 ?  What tasks do you find most difficult? Where do you go to learn new skills? Is there a topic you'd like to see covered? Do you prefer classes, articles or eLearning ? What do you think about the exams we have developed in 2011 ? Are there any new job roles you'd like to see addressed ? We really value your feedback and appreciate the time you can give us !
Register in Lotus Greenhouse

Lotus Certified Instructor Meeting
Sunday, January 15th 3:45pm – 6:30pm
Location: Grand Salon 1 in the Yacht and Beach Conference Center
This annual event gives instructors the opportunity to network with their peers from around the world -- as well as with key players on the Global Lotus Education team. To register, send an email to in order to secure your space at the only face to face event hosted by Lotus Education devoted to the instructor community.

Lotus Certification Prep Lab
Monday, January 16th 11am - 6pm
Tuesday, January 17th 8am - 6pm
Wednesday, January 18th 8am - 6pm
Thursday, January 19th 8am - 1pm
Location : Swan Hotel  - Peacock Room
Take advantage of a variety of onsite learning resources to study for your IBM professional certification exams. Resources include FREE assessment tests and e-courseware available 24x7 for the duration of the conference.

Lotus Certification Testing Lab
Monday, January 16th 11am - 6pm
Tuesday, January 17th 8am - 6pm
Wednesday, January 18th 8am - 6pm
Thursday, January 19th 8am - 2pm
Location: Swan Hotel - Lark Room
The Certification Lab is an IBM testing facility that enables customers to fit certification exams into their Conference schedules with convenience and flexibility. Candidates are encouraged to take their exam(s) as early as possible during the conference in order to ensure seating, as the lab typically gets busier as the week progresses. Attendees can take unlimited exam at a heavily discounted price of $75 each.

Lotus Certification Lounge
Monday, January 16th 11am - 6pm
Tuesday, January 17th 9am - 6pm
Wednesday, January 18th 9am - 6pm
Thursday, January 19th 10am - 1pm
Location: Swan Hotel – Suite #706
For anyone who has been at Lotusphere before they know that it’s an exhausting few days. It’s tough to find a quiet spot when you can put your feet up and relax for a few minutes. As Certified Lotus Professionals we have made that easy for you. Come to the lounge to chat with someone at Lotus Education, or have a coffee or just take a quick cat nap !

IBM Education Showcase
Monday 11:00am  - 8:00 pm (Evening Opening Reception)
Tuesday, January 17th 9:30 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday, January 18th 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Dolphin Showcase Area - IBM Ped # 21
"What's next?” Now that you've learned about IBM's extensive social and collaboration capabilities, come see how ISSL's technical experts, trusted advisors, and education specialists have channeled these capabilities into real world solutions for thousands of organizations. Discover the benefits of social business with ISSL's unparalleled experience, guidance, and proven leadership.  

Training Opportunities with the Cloud
Monday, January 16th 4:00 pm
Location - Certification Lounge | Swan Suite 706
This session will explore how to best incorporate the Cloud into your learning environment to maximize your reach, decrease costs, and maintain the same quality of delivery. You will have the opportunity to hear the latest information on virtual delivery techniques and exchange ideas on how to provide a full range of learning experiences facilitated through the Cloud.

BOF113 Take the Fast Lane and Accelerate with Proven Solutions for Successful Collaboration!
Monday 1/16, 6:15 pm – 7:15 pm
Location : Swan Parrot 1
Jump into the driver's seat and find out how organizations around the world are ensuring successful deployments of their social and collaboration software. A panel of IBM experts will guide you through an active discussion of strategies and solutions available in the areas of environment design, deployment, adoption, performance, and maintenance. Our depth of experience and expertise has proven that every environment is unique, with its own technical and business challenges. Join us to find out how your organization can take the lead with social and collaboration software and cross the finish line with the checkered flag!

IBM Training Partner Breakfast  By Invitation Only
Tuesday, January 17th 7:30 am
Blending Social Media Into Learning & Performance - Marcia Conner and Jeff Felice
The workplace is an ever increasing dynamic environment where processes and technology are continuously updated to accommodate the rapidly changing requirements to operate our businesses. This requires our people to continuously update their knowledge and skills and share information in an ever more distributed environment. Learn how social media combined with traditional learning methods and innovative support mechanisms can assist organizations in gaining and dispensing information as they work towards greater productivity.

Enabling End Users and Adoption Strategies
Tuesday, January 17th 4:00 pm
Location - Certification Lounge | Swan Suite 706
Are your end users as productive as they can be? Are you getting the most value out of your software investments? Enabling end users is a critical component to new software deployment, productivity, and reduction in support calls. Come join us as we hold a discussion on the best ways to support your environment, we'll examine end user enablement and support options that can increase productivity and save you time and money in your environment. We will be joined by Fred Doyle, Global Account Executive for Knowledge Accelerators, creators of the Multimedia Library for Lotus Software. Come share your experiences and learn how others have enabled end users and adopted software in their environment as we discuss best practices and tools you can utilize in your environment.

Why Certify? The Value of Lotus Certification
Tuesday, January 17th 10:30 am
Location - Certification Lounge  | Swan Suite 706
Certification enables companies to maximize the value of IT investments, increase productivity and reduce overhead cost. Join a round table discussion on the tangible impact certification has had, or can have, on your professional development. Learn how certification can help differentiate you from the competition, the current IBM Collaboration Solutions certifications available and how to best prepare for them

Using IBM Connections to Develop and Deliver Learning Assets
Wednesday January 18th Afternoon - Time 3pm
Location - Certification Lounge  | Swan Suite 706
Capabilities in IBM Connections, such as Activities and Ideation Blogs can help you to engage networks of people to work together and find new ways to create business value. In this discussion, learn how Connections can be used to support the training lifecycle from assessment through evaluation. You will hear how IBMers have used Connections to design, develop and deliver training, build Communities of Practice, and meet increasing demands for learning.

Find more about Lotus Education activities at #ls12 by following us on twitter @lotuseducation
 By Joyce Davis,  IBM Collaboration Solutions and Social Business community manager

We've got some exciting things planned to enhance your IBM Connectand Lotusphere experiences. Not attending? No problem. Even if you're holding the fort back at the office while your colleagues attend, you can keep up with the excitement and even participate in discussions online. We also have some on-site activities planned to make the most of those meeting IRL (which means "in real life" in case your teenager isn't nearby to translate). Here are some of the highlights of our social activities online and off....
  • Online communities - connect, share information and exchange ideas before, during and after the event. Even those who are unable to attend can benefit from the excitement and discussion generated from the conferences. The best way for you to keep track of all social activities, including the ones mentioned below, is to join the IBM Connect and Lotusphere communities. Also, after the event, conference content (presentations, etc.) will be shared via the communities. First register at Lotus Greenhouse, then join:

In addition to the online IBM Connect and Lotusphere communities, other social activities are planned for the conference include:
  • Social cafes - come by one of our 4 interactive lounges set up through out the conference! Each cafe will have:
    • Interactive touch screen monitors - view relevant videos, tweets, blog, photos and more. You can even post a tweet from the monitor and send social media content to your email address.
    • Topics of the hour - hear social media experts talk about various topics related to social business, and learn tips to get started.
    • Social hosts - talk to community builders who are standing by, ready to help you with your specific social business needs.
  • Tweet ups - watch the hashtag #LS12 on Twitter to find out where tweet ups will be happening on-site!
  • FourSquare - check into sessions and find other attendees using FourSquare on your mobile app!
  • Scavenger hunts - stay tuned for some fun scavenger hunts that will help you discover interesting people and places!
  • Photo sharing - share conference photos using Instagram, Flickr and the community media gallery!

You'll hear more details about these conference activities over the coming weeks, but I hope you'll take a moment to join the online communities NOW so you can jumpstart your social experience!

[Originally posted at the Social Business Insights blog - cross-posted with approval]
Paul Withers (@PaulSWithers) from Intec blogs:

Just before Christmas two new communities launched on Lotus Greenhouse for Lotusphere and Connect

The communities have a wealth of useful bookmarks, wiki articles and other content. IBMers and Champions have been adding content over the last few weeks and will continue to build in that in the lead up to Lotusphere and during the conference. The communities are intended as an ongoing resource for attendees to use to get the most out of the conference. (If you have any further questions, there’s also a forum in the communities.)

There is also an Ideation Blog in the Lotusphere community. Here you can vote on existing BoFs you want to atttend. Also, following feedback from IBMers and the community on making the Ideation Blog more powerful as an example of Connections functionality, you can now also suggest and vote on new BoF ideas, some of which will get selected. There is no confirmation yet on numbers, but there will at least be a few. The deadline for BOF ideas is Friday 6th January so join the community and act fast!

It’s great to see this nice idea from IBM to drive the community which a number of people have invested time in developing. You’ll be able to meet some of those involved in setting up the community at the Social Lounges at Lotusphere as well as find more information about all things social. There are also other plans in the pipeline, so look for us at Lotusphere as well as keeping an eye on the community (for example, using the Connections app for mobile or other tools like iWildfire).

There is only 2 days left to get those ideas in - so get on over to the Lotusphere Community now and get your ideas in.

A list of current BOFs is available in the Lotusphere Community ideation blog and via the LS Sessions DB and LS Mobile Application


The latest iteration of Lotusphere Online is now available, and it's been renamed as Social Business Online with a rather nifty URL of (kudos from me for that!):

Social Business Online 2012

If you are registered for either Lotusphere 2012 or Connect 2012 you should have received an email with user name/password details.

It's always interesting to see what IBM delivers in the online site, even more so now there are ongoing communities in the Greenhouse as well.
11 days to go!

At the other end of the Lotusphere week from the Blogger Open, the annual Lotusphere Hog Ride is back for its 3rd year...

Paul Mooney has the details:
It’s that time of year again.  The most important event of the year.  The Lotusphere Hog Ride!  Apparently there is another event just afterwards but let’s not bother with that.  This page is an attempt to organise some of the basic details into one place so that people that are thinking of going on the ride can organise themselves.  Read below and if you have questions, leave a comment and I will update.

The Dates

The plan is to ride out over two days.  Saturday 14th Jan and Sunday 15th Jan. You are more than welcome to join us for just one day.

The Routes

We don’t know yet, but there will be a different route each day.   We meet at the fountain in the Dolphin hotel at 9am sharp each morning.   On both days we will start and end at the Dolphin Hotel.  We expect to be back before nigtfall (but this is not guarenteed!).  On the Saturday, many of us will start with collecting the bike from the rental place, but we set out at 9am.

Bringing your own bikes

You are more than welcome to bring your own ride.

Going in a car

Again, more than welcome to join us in a car, if you just fancy the day out to see Florida.

There are more details over on Paul's blog.  As a non-rider, I'm sorely tempted to hire a convertible and join the gang this year.  It is always great fun - a tremendous way to see the sites of Florida and meet some great folks along the way.

Who's riding this year?

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