Finally, IBM's official Lotusphere 2009 site went live, after a dozen or more of my compatriots panted and fainted over their Twitter accounts this morning, waiting for the LS08 stuff to be cleared away and information for 2009 to get posted. Oddly, if you simply go to www.lotusphere.com, it still brings up the 2008 page. Just change "2008" to "2009" in the URL and you'll be fine. Eventually someone at IBM will remember to edit their virtual host document and it will be wonderful.
Yeah, it's a little later this year than last, but it appears to be worth it. Same tasty early-bird price as last year, $1895 until November, and the welcome return of the group discount (though it only applies if you bring a mob of people, so I guess it should be a "mob discount"). Swan/Dolphin have risen in price from $212 to $222 per night, but that's, like, what, ten euros or something?
Be aware that when you get to the housing reservation page, the buttons are either an eye-busting YELLOW or a bright purple. You won't initially be able to read the options on them, so just click and hope for the best.
Of note this year is that Rocky is no longer with IBM, but will still be heavily involved in Best Practices track planning. This has been a fan favorite in the past, with topics such as "Don't Put Your Server In The Path Of An Oncoming Commuter Train" and my personal recommendation, "Try Not To Get Your Tongue Caught In The DVD Tray," and this year promises to be even better.
Some interesting tidbits in the registration agreement:
BADGE SCANNING You may be asked to have your badge scanned at exhibit booths and/or session rooms; please note scanning of your badge is entirely optional.
RFID Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology may be deployed at some or all session rooms. Conference management will use data collected in this manner to plan for future conferences, and may use this data to provide attendees with targeted information based on their interests, post-Lotusphere.
Remember how amused we all were about the RFID labels on the back of last year's badges? I still think the idea is good to everybody peel those suckers off and stick them on Disney beverage carts, baggage carriers and maybe an Orange County Sheriff's deputy. Hilarity will result! Even better, we get about 300 of them, stick them all in a big stack on a block of wood and then randomly hand the block off to a stranger, so that instantly, the RFID counter register a human wave going past them into a session, and then leaving. And then coming back. And then going somewhere completely different.
So, where's Gonzo Lotusphere this year? Well, it'll be coming soon. I have resigned myself to throwing away most or all of the new code and implementing new stuff for discussions, a wiki (since all my "hot tips" date from the 1990s), and galleries of user-submitted links.
Things we won't be doing this year:
No uploading of pictures. Sorry, Flickr does it a lot better. Plus, as digital cameras have gone from my 500x400 Kodak circa 1997 to 15-megapixel monsters that would suck up all of my bandwidth 24 hours a day if you uploaded stuff to my server, it makes more sense to just link to stuff. Same thing with YouTube. Suggestions on other sites are welcome.
No grocery run. Sorry, with diesel over four bucks a gallon, and time ever shorter, you'll have to round up your own party supplies, prophylactics and oil for your chainsaw.
Registration exchange. We actually haven't needed to do this in years, but I'm just cautioning you now. Sure, if you need one or have one, post it in the to-be-launched forum, but I won't have a big formal deal about it.
Things I wanna try this year:
A "Gonzo Lotusphere" Twitter hash, so that anything you post with that hash will automatically get picked up by the server and made available to anybody who cares to look. I see this as particularly valuable for last-minute party plans or those pesky situations where giant rocks begin falling from the sky. The server will have its own account and I'll see what I can do about hooking it all into the Twitter API.
An ultra-lite version for mobile devices, so you don't have to waste your iPhone bandwidth looking at that cow all the time.
Suggestions all around are welcome.
Onward, you miscreants!
1. Turtle09/03/2008 09:07:56 PM
Well, then, someone will need to bring along an RFID reader so we can see what's on the things! And if all else fails, three seconds in the microwave will take care of any privacy concerns.
2. John Head09/03/2008 05:26:41 PM
i bet you they embed the RFID chips into the badges .. and if you rip yours open, invalidates it for the parties. That is what I would do. You agreed to it when you signed up :)
3. Keith Brooks09/03/2008 04:56:19 PM
and away we go...