Monday, November 20, 2006

Lotusphere session breakdown - take 2

I recounted the Lotusphere sessions and here are the updated numbers.

Portal                    31  16.4%
Workplace 10 5.3%
Notes 8 27 14.3%
Expeditor 4 2.1%
Lotus Component Designer 6 3.2%

All the Websphere sessions mentioned Portal so I lumped them together. I also broke out the Lotus Component Designer sessions separately.

Recounting the Notes and Domino 8 sessions proved difficult because many of the session titles don't explicitly say they are covering Notes 8. For example, AD504 - What's New in the IBM Lotus Domino Objects? is actually focusing on what's going to be new in Notes 8, not what is new in Notes and Domino 7.02. You have to read the abstract to figure this out. I didn't find the "dozens" of Domino 8 sessions Ed mentioned in a comment to my previous post, so it is likely that much of the Futures and Innovations and Planning and Managing You Collaboration Infrastructure tracks will include significant R8 coverage, it's just not stated in the session titles or abstracts and therefore I have no way of counting those.

My methodology is likely highly flawed and my numbers are likely off. The point of this exercise was twofold. First, to highlight the significant amount of sessions that are focused on either Portal or Notes 8. Second, to ask the question is this truly the content customers are asking for?

I'm not complaining, there is a lot of good content that will keep me very busy. I'm just shocked to see more than 30% of the sessions devoted to a new Notes version and to a product that no one I know uses. My experiences could very likely be different from the norm.


  1. A couple of thoughts. First, it seems reasonably likely that IBM will make a public beta at or close to Lotusphere. No special knowledge or anything, but it would make some sense. In that case, a lot of people are going to want to know what is there in that beta... and in the upcoming release. They have always focused Lotusphere on pending releases when they are pending. I am actually surprised there aren't more.

    Second, since there is a very full complement of sessions for anybody who wants to focus on Notes/Domino 6/6.5/7, I'm not sure why it matters. No matter how hard you try, you will have a tough time going to more than 16 or so sessions, and you can easily find a Notes/Domino session in every time track, if I had to guess by previous Lotuspheres where a new release was pending. The BP track helps a lot, as that is almost exclusively focused on the here and now. So, what does it matter (to someone who doesn't care about Notes 8 or Portal) what the other sessions they aren't going to are about? And for those who do care about Notes 8 and Portal, their needs are met as well.

    It is all about choice. I would think it was weird if IBM didn't have a fairly high number of sessions about Notes 8.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Ben. As I said, I'll have more than enough to keep me busy. Last year I managed to attend 35 sessions. :) With that in mind it's not that I particularly care, it just really struck me that so much of the focus was on Portal and Notes 8 technologies. Perhaps the playing field has changed that significantly and I completely missed it, sitting over here in my corner and writing code like I do.

    I do think it's interesting that nobody has touched my question about whether these are the sessions customers are asking for. I know early Lotusphere registrants contributed to the session selection, but it was from a list of submitted sessions that were pre-filtered by IBM.

    I'm not suggesting some conspiracy theory, I'm just saying this was a somewhat stilted survey. People weren't choosing their utopian vision of Lotusphere, they were selecting from the list provided.

    And, again, this discussion is wholly academic.

  3. I thought I answered that point in my comment on the original posting.

    Yes, these are the sessions being asked for! As a track manager, I have many many people campaigining for me to include content that they think is important, but the Lotusphere audience won't. Since attendees pay for the conference, I absolutely won't allow a session to be a marketing blah blah blah... no matter how much pressure is applied.

    Based on session preferences voting, it appears that the content selected is hitting the mark. As Ben said, there is good content on both ND7 and ND8, spread across many tracks and BoFs. I'm sure you'll find what you are looking for, and maybe a few surprises.

  4. Ed, I understand people selected what they wanted, but it was from the list provided. It wasn't a generic "tell us the content you want", it was "select the content you want from this list". It's a critical and substantial difference in intent.

    As I said to Ben, I'm not complaining, I've already got about 50 sessions that I want to attend but only have time for 30 - 35. There is plenty of content to go around. :-)