PermaLink Eighteen11/22/2012 12:11 AM
Maybe it's time to hand over the con to a new generation

I think I finally had a decision made for me.

I am not sure there is any way I can make it back from LS13 to be home in time to prep the giant wabbits for the Pennsylvania State Convention. And on that basis, I would say that the odds of me being at Lotusphere 2013 are rapidly approaching zero. I have my priorities, and right now, damn near all my priorities have big ears and eat a lot of feed and hay.

As always, there's more to it than that.

Most of you who've read my writings these last dozen years know that I go back a long way with Lotus. I admit I wasn't at Lotusphere 1993, and no one was at LS94, but I've been to every one since. Eighteen years straight.

There isn't anything in my entire life I've done for eighteen years in a row (other than things I'd care not to discuss here -- check my Twitter feed). I wasn't in school for eighteen years. I've never had one job for eighteen years, though I came close. I haven't paid a mortgage for eighteen years, though I am getting there. I have a couple of pairs of socks I might have owned for more than eighteen years, but they're getting kinda thin.

But for eighteen years, I got in the Saabs, or my ex-wife's KIA, or my diesels, and I went to Lotusphere.

This year, there's a conflict. I need to be in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, at 9am on the Saturday after Lotusphere to show giant wabbits. This isn't "want," it's "need." A few Sphereians have actually met the giant wabbits, and y'all have had the hell bored out of you by me talkin' about the giant wabbits. Well, that's where my life has taken me, and I am willing to go. I am also over fifty years old now, and I can't do the Ironman thing and drive all night to be home and then load up and drive another 125 miles and then stay up all weekend and feed and water and hay the wabbits and then take them home and expect to be alive.

More to the point: there is no more Lotusphere.

It's dead, Jim.

IBM Connect !=Lotusphere. It's not even gonna be on the same plane. Connect is the future. Arguably, it's a good thing. It can also be argued that us long-timers were holding things back a little, even as we worked to advance the art behind the scenes. But up front, we need to bring in new blood. Maybe it's time to let another generation make their own traditions. Find their own friends. Mix their own bizarre cocktails, and terrorize the DisneyBots in their own special way, kids who maybe were five years old that first year I got out of the 1982 Saab -- Eleanor -- in the Dolphin free parking lot, and thought, "wow, this is Lotusphere!"

Most of you know that they've been doing it behind our backs for six or seven years anyway.

And, truth be told, I have more ex-IBM and ex-Lotus friends than I have friends in the current IBM/Lotus.

I blame the Earth. It keeps rotating; time keeps moving on.

I have friends at MIT and CalTech; I'll see if they can reverse that shit.

One thing I will say, though, is that while the name on the badge may change, the ethic is the same: we're the original social community, celebrating the ORIGINAL social software. No one else is ever going to be able to claim that. No one will ever be able to diminish that. I was there. You were there. We saw it happen. Good or bad, optimal or mediocre, we were all there, and it worked. We saw the future, and it is now.

There is a nonzero chance I will be in Orlando this January. But if it comes down to my giant wabbits or Lotusphere, well, I will raise a glass to you all in my barn and wish you all well, and know that a few of you will toast me back. And I'll see you at LUGs or LotusBeers or tweetups when we can do them. This isn't a culture that rose up easily, and it's not a culture that will disappear overnight just because someone changed a name.

If I never make it back to Orlando in January, would one of you tell the young kids how to commune with the giant carp? I know you know. I had to learn somewhere.

And would one of you assholes learn to sing Muddy Waters?

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Blabber :v

1. Mary11/27/2012 12:33:30 AM

Hmmmmm, what? It wouldn't be the same. I'm not sure if I'm going this year either but for some reason I felt optimistic earlier tonight and booked a room at the Dolphin figuring I could always cancel it if I don't go.

If anything, perhaps I could tack some vacation days onto Lotusphere and become your chauffeur to the wabbit show?


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