The interest in Lotusphere 2009 is starting to edge up, even as we all get sad emails from some cow-orkers and friends that due to their workplace being buried in a big hole of dung by the economy, they won't be attending.
I had initially not planned on doing quite as big a Gonzo Lotusphere 2009 site as I've done in the past, for a couple of reasons. First, the world is not like it was in 1998, when I first started blabbering inside secrets and little-known tips about the biggest Notes/Domino conference of the year. Where back in 1998 there was, well, me, now literally hundreds of people offer information about the Sphere, more information than I could ever track down and coordinate. What's more, IBM/Lotus itself is far from the stony, mute monolith of ten years ago. Where back in the days, they offered essentially zero useful information other than how to get registered and when to show up, and most of that seemed to show up in paper mail (yes, they used to send mail on flat pieces of torn-up trees), they are now practically gushing with pre-conference information.
Second, I've been busy doing other things all fall, and it's pretty silly of me to think that I can offer information that's new. There are a lot fewer first-time Sphere attendees, whereas in 1998 there were many hundreds or even thousands of people who were about to be sent for their first Sphere and had no idea what they were getting into.
Well, scruit. I'm doing the site anyway. And what's more, we have some new things we'll be doing.
First, you may have noticed that some spammy bastard named "gonzolotusphere" is now following you on Twitter. Well, be sure and block the hell out of him! No, no, no, it's just me, cranking up a new account totally devoted to Lotusphere tips and news. Everything (should) be hashed with the magic #ls09 hash, for easy searching later, and that account will not include news about the cats, the wabbits, the house, or my wife.
Second, there will be some new things added to the Gonzo Lotusphere page at http://www.weightlessdog.com (just follow the links).
A JamFest Request page -- if you wanna join the band this year and there's a song you think we can do, but we might not know or have lead sheets for, let us know now and I will do my best to find tabs and chords and all that happy junk. Just don't wuss out on us and not show up, OK?
A hot news submission line -- if you hear about something and want to pass it along, post it there. You'll have an anonymous option. This will then get condensed and tweeted, emailed and blogged out to whoever has said they give a shit, probably faster than you can do it yourself.
The Gonzo Wiki -- contribute your knowledge and historical lore to the collective mind of Lotusphere. I've been putting articles in there as fast as I can, but I need your help.
SphereCam -- actually an adaptation of WabbitCam, this will be a live webcam that, as often as possible, will travel around and deliver a live, completely inscrutable raw feed from wherever I can get a WiFi signal (which is a lot of places these days). I am half-seriously considering mounting it on my head.
...and much more!
And last, there will be a truly amazing session on Sunday afternoon/evening just before the Sunday Night Party to give you a head start on what's hot, what's amusing, what's outrageous, and what to check out at Lotusphere 2009. Many thanks to the grand people at IBM Worldwide Events for making this possible and drafting me to help do it. Plan on attending it, nothing like it has ever been seen at Lotusphere before. And may never again, if I really screw it up.
So, yes, Gonzo Lotusphere lives. Stay tuned over the next few days and through this weekend, and there will be a buttload of information and amusement out here for you.