PermaLink In 17 Years, IamLUG Will Suck Ass08/05/2010 03:01 AM
...but by then, I will be dead

Do you remember Lotusphere?

I mean, do you remember Lotusphere?

Back in the early days, Before IBM. We're talking Mitch, we're talking Jeff, we're talking the days when we had to share Swan with a cosmetics convention and all these gorgeous (and very well-made-up) women crashed the legendary Reuters "Shrimp Bigger Than Your Package" hospitality suite?

Do you? Do you really?

Just like Woodstock, if you claim you remember -- unless you're RHS -- you weren't there.

This is what IamLUG is now. It was mostly like it last year, but now... holy fuck, it's there, baby!

Chris Reckling tweeted to me on Sunday or Monday of IamLUG 2010 (I can't remember which, and you will understand) sort of nodding his head and saying, "so, it's like a mini-Lotusphere!" At the time, I said, sure, it's like "Lotusphere Concentrate(tm)." Just add alcohol.

"just add water! Makes its own sauce!" - Frank Zappa, Joe's Garage, 1979t like dat

I fibbed to him a little.

IamLUG is the way us vets thought Lotusphere always was, except that for the enormous majority of attendees to the early Spheres, well, it wadn't like dat. I was one of those early attendees, but dammit, I toughed it out and those early years were the genesis of The Totally Unofficial Gonzo Lotusphere Page.

Well, the intertubes have basically shot the shit out of the original purpose for that page, since any information that anyone knows can magically be shared with anyone in the entire fucking world in about four seconds, even if it would be more expedient for us to yell down the hall at the Dolphin at 3am.

To give credit, IBM/Lotus itself understood this need, and started to provide all the cool information and "inside" tips that used to be my stock in trade. Really, that was the purpose of me doing the site in 1998-1999, which was to tase the elephant's ass and give newbies what they really needed as opposed to what Corporate Events thought they needed.

So, we move on. I am now a veteran of two IamLUGS. That is to say, two conferences of the "North American Lotus Users Group."

This organization does not, in fact, exist. We have Tweeted it into existence. And a substantial portion of the content and attendee base are not even from "North America." Realistically, if you don't get that the name of the conference itself is an inside joke, you should investigate .NET as a career path.


All I'm asking is, when you show up next August, don't lose your frickin' head. Yeah, you will be surrounded by those of us who knew Mitch Kapor and Jeff Papows and Ray Ozzie and Gary Devendorf and know all the inside jokes from Lotuspheres before your balls dropped. WE UNDERSTAND.

What we're saying is, the days of big, centralized "conferences" where 50% of the attendees never "confer" with anything more meaningful than a frosty Sam Adams are probably over, not because they don't serve a purpose, but because those of us who pioneered these in the Lotus world are getting old, we have wabbits to attend to, we can't stay up till 4am pounding cheap beer, and we're not all that interested in talking to people who won't make us money.

You young'uns? COME TO IamLUG. Go to MWLUG. Go to ILUG and UKLUG. In the US, on the east coast? DCLUG and probably LUGs I've run out of memory to remember.

I have been to sixteen Lotuspheres, and (now) two IamLUGs. I also went to one Lotus DevCon, but we'll forget that because I don't remember a lot of it. Well, except that girl Aubrey who was at the one vendor table. But I proclaim that those days are limited now. Not "over," because us old farts need to get the hell out of the house once in a while and we all understand each others' jokes (finally).

The future is both highly decentralized (in terms of you hauling your meatsack to Orlando, Florida in January) and highly centralized (in terms of connecting with people through that black, shiny thing on your hip holster). I will leave you to ponder that pair of seemingly nonsensical declarations.

Welcome to the future, youngbloods. I'll see you at IamLUG and Lotusphere in 2027. In the meantime, get the fuck off my lawn.

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1. Dog06/17/2011 12:08:10 AM

Suck ass

2. Richard Schwartz08/05/2010 10:53:04 AM

For the record, I was not at Woodstock but I do remember it.

3. Roy Rumaner08/05/2010 10:41:16 AM

For those that do not know you, I have to say that you are exactly the same in person as you are in print. Don't ever stop being you. I was great to see you again.

Oh yeah, I do remember those first 'spheres, knew Mitch, Jeff and Ray and talked to Gary at the last 'sphere I went to in '09.

Not sure I remember the cosmetics convention, but back then I was probably not in the inside "in" crowd and didn't know about it.

4. norm van bergen08/05/2010 08:51:50 AM

Dude - I love your style. Don't change.

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