PermaLink A Lotusphere Diary 2011 - Part 302/02/2011 02:24 AM
In which we rediscover personal branding

Monday was a good day at Lotusphere. I was truly exhausted from Sunday night, and rather than hauling my ass up to the Opening General Session, I chose instead to rest and follow the twitter stream and the blog posts about the OGS. Except for the music and Kevin Spacey, I apparently didn't miss that much.

What did I see and hear (from the comfort of a room in the Dolphin)? Disappointment and a little impatience. What I saw over and over were comments that came down to, "where's the beef?" Sorry, I have to side with the impatient ones... the last thing I want to sit through is several customer panels. I want DEMOS OF NEW COOL SHIT, dammit, not people talking about things that barely even mention products I know and love. I guess I'm glad I chose to read the commentary instead of watching the things unfold live. I guess I live a meta life now.

I needed the sleep anyway.

Ah, Monday. The day the Product Showcase opens up. The day the vendors take their first steps toward figuring out which of their customers have actually shown up. The day we have cigars and Mai Tais. The day that... well, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The Afternoon

Lunch was decent on Monday. The chicken was quite edible, but what I'd thought were chunks of sirloin turned out to be chunks of pot roast. Fork-tender pot roast, yes, but pot roast just the same. And the cutlery... what the fuck? Those are the weirdest knives and forks it has ever been my displeasure to handle. I am not sure why Disney replaced the old stuff, unless somehow we've worn them out over the last 17 years. The new stuff is just plain bizarre. I may limit myself to finger food, or maybe I'll go to WalMart in Kissimmee and buy my own. I could always use more forks. This stuff is weird.

I spent some time talking to (for lack of a better phrase) random strangers. I have developed a habit in recent years of literally just walking up to people and talking to them. Not everybody handles this well, and where people are uncomfortable with it, I back off, but in most cases when you approach someone and ask how the show is going so far, they're delighted to tell you. They're often delighted to tell you more than you'd ever care to know, but if you recalibrate your brain and think about it instead as a way to listen to and meet people you otherwise would never meet, it can be amazing. Pretty much all the people I talked to around the complex agreed with the earlier takes on the OGS: fun, entertaining, but lacking in real meat. People were waiting for a Jobsian "just one more thing" and it never came.

I remember years when we were surprised all the time. This year... not so much.

The Evening

I admit it now: I was a total dumbass. After hanging out with Ascendant and IBM at their Tweetup at Big River Rats Grille (the brewpub on the Boardwalk), I had to go offsite to retrieve Remy Martin for Mai Tais and plastic cups for sampling of Spanky's homebrew beer. On the way back from my short drive over to US192, I missed the exit to get back to the Dolphin and next thing I know was looking at the gates of the Magic Kingdumb. One wrong turn around here and next thing you know you're driving into the Gulf of Mexico. All the roads suddenly are going the wrong way. As a result, I was late to the Mai Tai gathering with the Remy Martin. I did, however, arrive.

Deb, I do NOT only pay attention to you when you're in a skirt. And anyway, it wasn't a skirt, it was a whole dress, and you looked killer. Nyah.

Becky, I apologize for spilling part of a Mai Tai on you. Somebody hit my elbow. Dang those elbows.

We had a good if quick interlude enjoying Mai Tais and each other's company, and we all went forth to the UK gathering at Shula's. There, I was mortified to be told, after ordering a Jack and Coke, that Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 was not on the menu for the event, I'd have to do with Maker's Mark. Hhhhhh. Yeah, OK. I refused to mix the two, though, and so spent the evening with a Maker's on the rocks in one hand and a Diet Coke in the other. The most amazing thing of the evening was the unveiling of Warren and Kitty Elsmore's accurate LEGO model of the Dolphin, complete with representations of ugly carp at both ends!

Heidi, I really appreciate the marmalade. Giuseppe From Italy (tm), I am astonished at how fast you can roll a cigarette. Simon from London, yes, Nora will tell you I am The Turtle, and badgering her for my "real name" won't help here at all. She knows what to say.

The Late Evening

The UK gathering was quite spectacular. Eventually we all migrated to Kimono's, where of course I had a lot to rap about in my trademark Muddy Waters segment at karaoke. Even better, as soon as I came off stage, who was there to greet me but Bob Picciano. I almost didn't recognize him because he was in a suit and power-yellow tie! He told me I did a great job, and I immediately told him he needed to repeat his legendary performance of "Soul Man" from Lotusphere 2010. He wasn't quite sure, and so we did a rendition of Cab Calloway's "Minnie The Moocher" and then went back to their table to have some great sushi, iffy sake, and good conversation with Nate Freeman and Kristin Lauria.

Phigment, I saw what you did there.

Finally I forced the issue, and put in a slip for "Soul Man." I told him, "Bob, one time is a fluke. Two times is personal branding."

Holy crap, Bob Picciano is a hard man to keep up with on that track. I did the best I could.

I can't even namecheck all the great people who were around Monday night. You all know who you are. A lot of great pictures came out of the evening, they're up on the Lotusphere 2011 Flickr group. Go find it.

Later on, things got real after karaoke shut down. It's those times when we love to talk and listen and talk some more and share the convivial agape we all have for each other. It's something you have to experience at least once if you're in the Yellowverse. Me, I seek it out like crack cocaine.

I also sought out pizza. The miracle pizza ovens in the former Tubbi's, now Picabu, do not disappoint. I went back up to the room and ate pizza, updated this site, and discovered why I should never leave my Nikon unattended. Owner Of The Mystery Boobs, you know who you are.

And at 4:30am, sleep called me.

As it does now.

On Wednesday, I will write about Tuesday. But right now, I am going to sleep. It isn't even 3am. Please don't be ashamed of me.



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2. Pot Pie02/03/2011 01:31:21 PM

Please give me my daily fix! Waiting anxiously for more from Orlando!!

3. Elijah Lapson02/02/2011 05:15:34 PM

Love the Lotusphere updates. Your blog is the only one which gives a real flavor for the event. It feels like I am actually there (never been). I agree on the OGS (free to watch) was pretty weak. It took what could have been an exciting topic (Social Networking) and made it as sanitized as possible (maybe Social Business is not that exciting but they could at least pretend).

Time permitting I would love to see the IBM version of the "The Social Network" (have not seen it yet). The architect of Lotus Connections gets ripped off by a hip young sassy coder at Microsoft thus Sharepoint is born.

Anyways love the posts keep them coming.


4. Eric02/02/2011 03:48:25 PM

Man, it's good to read The Turtle in >140 characters again...

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