Shouldn’t Lotusphere be a growing and nurtured community? Not reborn every 12 months?

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Over the years, Lotusphere has taken the path of building an entire infrastructure to support the conference, most of the previous time with the servers onsite in the Dolphin.  The capabilities do grow annually, but we lost the past knowledge and contacts from the previous years.   The technology has changed in what seems like eras of time over the short years.   I know this brief outline is not perfect, but the path has looked somewhat like the following:

  • the annual website is always in place
  • while at Lotusphere we get a new email address we could use, (but never do anymore)
  • Early Lotusphere days had us using full Notes clients, we hacked and found ways to use our ID's and make connection docs home
  • Soon they had worked out a good roaming system
  • They launch Nomad to allow us to carry Notes on a stick.  We rejoice!  They block USB ports on machines there.  We shrug
  • Online awareness enters the picture into the kiosks; yet we are never at the kiosks
  • the Domino Web Access era (accounts we never use)
  • the Lotus Connections era
  • LotusLive and the cloud era
  • back to Lotus Connections and Domino for 2010

Lotus has made a decision here that could have changed some of the communication landscape between tens of thousands of customers, partners, employees, vendors and press.  A living breathing system that grew over the years and integrated more technology, connecting more people together.

In perfect timing Lotus sent an email this weekend opening Lotusphere and promptly closing it at 4pm EST on February 5th 2010.  So you get one whole month total and exactly fifteen (15) days to grab, save, download or whatever anything from the conference

One of the recent concerns has been access to the files from Lotusphere and the length of time it stays available.  People end up writing scripts and other tools to grab everything they can from the site like an after holiday sale.  Collaboration and sharing is not about making it a local resource and becoming a hermit for another 11 months.

My Proposal

Lotusphere should be a constant community with security wrapped around the resources by the the year I attend.  I would maintain an account that allowed me to chat, communicate and look up people.  Lotus would integrate new technologies of social networking tools (outside of Lotus Connections as we went along).  I would be able to access past files from all the years of content that was afforded to me for the years I attended.

Imagine I only go every other year.  Well I would never lose contact, I would jump right into the mix, have access to past slides, audio and more and be able reconnect.  Remember that not every presentation is given each year and not every new one is better than the previous.  Some of the best info on a topic might be three years ago.  A development session may cover some piece of technology that does not appear in this year's schedule.

Lotusphere should be a Sametime chat community that never closes, now with the zero download client found in Sametime 8.5.  Socialbookmarks should have kept growing.  Throw out Activities since I can only use one such plug-in in my client at work and use it already.  Streamline what communities are there.  

Keep the accounts active and make use of the population that wants to be part of Lotusphere and comes each year instead of making us go through a rebirth of connections, technology and sharing. I know I have talked about the number of silo and fragmented communities that pop up, but this would have been the oldest external one in existence (outside of forums on Notes Net)

It's only a thought.