E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

Travelling

The Power of Words – Back to Blogging!

Gran Canaria - Maspalomas LighthouseOnce again, back to the grid, back to my usual regular blogging activities, after my last business trip is now completed, which, this time around, has been slightly longer than usual, since I have been away on the road for 10 days, having just returned last Sunday from participating in a couple of conference events, as well as a bunch of customer meetings and enablement workshops on Social Computing in both Barcelona and Madrid. Phew! It’s good to be back to the “normal” and usual routines, but the overall trip has been tremendously beneficial in multiple grounds. Who would have thought that this time around I actually enjoyed travelling quite a bit, eh?!? What’s happening to me?!?!

Was it because I participated presenting in some amazing Social Business conference events both in Barcelona (April 5th) and Madrid (April 7th)? Or perhaps because I also took a couple of days off, along with the weekends, to do some sightseeing and check out some of the amazing venues surrounding both wonderful cities? Or was it perhaps because of the fantastic meetings, workshops and enablement sessions I have been engaging with throughout those few days with both customers and fellow IBMers, mixing quite nicely internal and external social software evangelism activities? Or, maybe, because I finally managed to get my hands on my new favourite, shiny, object that happens to start with an “i”, for iPad 2? Or who knows, perhaps I enjoyed this trip quite a bit for the simple treat of meeting up in the carbon with some wonderful people, a few of my Twitter friends, customers and fellow colleagues, with whom it was absolutely delightful to share dinners, drinks and rather inspiring conversations!

Goodness! I have got so much to share over here with you folks from over the last 10 days that I don’t know where to start! Perhaps, one step at a time, I guess. And somehow I feel I am going to begin by tackling something I have been talking about in the last few weeks and which I think I have finally come to terms with on striking a solution that hopefully will be a win-win for everyone. Do you remember when I reflected back on the day about those dormant periods with my blogging over here? When I was basically mentioning how with all of the business travelling I was finding less and less time to blog, while on the road? Well, how about if I keep things going, but instead of creating blog entries on the usual topics you folks have been reading about all along over here, I start blogging on some lighter subjects, which also happen to be some of my areas of interest, for a while now, like travelling in general and food (Yes, another #foodie person over here! Check! hehe).

Why not, right? It could be an interesting new experiment where I can try to see how blogging on those additional topics could help me out in a couple of ways:

  1. To keep up with a regular schedule of blog posts, instead of the irregular periods of time here and there by combining both business related blog posts and some personal related ones. After all, we are all business people, professionals with a persona behind us, aren’t we, right?
  2. To help, maybe, increase my social capital with you folks sharing additional areas of interest based on places I get to visit or recommendations to fabulous restaurants I keep bumping into every so often. I know of a few of you out there who would love to read more about those, too! And maybe share a table at any of them at some point in time, too! hehe
  3. And, finally, perhaps give me also an opportunity to share one of those hobbies I have developed over the last 7 years: photography. As you folks know, I have got my own Flickr account, but it’s been a little while since I have shared a batch of pictures from the recent places I have visited, including Gran Canaria itself, where I live. So this would certainly help me get back on the schedule of posting more pictures on a regular basis. And then link to them over here with short descriptions on where I have been and all.

The good thing is that I already got a very very good example to follow. One of my old time KM mentors, and KM blogger extraordinaire, the always insightful and thought-provoking, Bill Ives, does this on a rather regular basis, when he blogs about his favourite restaurants on cities he has visited just recently, as well as sharing his travelling experiences, including some wonderful pictures, and not to mention his own art! Thus it shouldn’t be too hard, initially. But let me ask you, folks, what you would think about it? Will you stick around and find out some more what I have been up to while away from the traditional work environment? Or will you move on to something else more interesting…? 🙂

To help you decide going one way or another, how about if I also keep sharing shorter blog posts, where I can help spread the word around on those amazingly inspiring video clips, and other golden nuggets, one keeps bumping into every so often, which I think is worth while sharing across to raise some more its own visibility, maybe to inspire others into making a difference, maybe to detail how, sometimes, it’s the small things that matter, those that make us all a bit more human, after all. How about if we get this series going with this particular YouTube video on “The Power of Words“, which seems to be a spin-off of this other original brilliant piece of art: “Historia de un letrero, The Story of a Sign“:

Very touching, don’t you think? It will be another few weeks, before I am on the road again, in order to try this new experiment here in my blog on “getting more social, more personal and do business”, and see how it would go further along, but, certainly, this exercise would give me an opportunity to get back on track with my own regular blogging activities, which will resume, once again, from here onwards … So thanks a bunch for sticking around! We are back in business! 😀

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IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 Highlights – Get Social, Do Business!

IBM Lotusphere 2011 EventAnother week on the road has just gone by without me hardly ever noticing it, as I was doing some more business travelling to both Madrid and Barcelona, meeting up with customers to talk further on around the subject of Social Computing and Social Software Adoption. Then a day or two to catch up with the usual swing of things at work, a stunning weekend relaxing and chilling out on the beach and I am back on to another week at work. Phew! What an amazing couple of months so far!! Buzzing around all over the place non-stop! However, I am back again! Time to resume my usual blogging activities, once more! And continuing with the series of blog posts on the IBM Lotusphere 2011 Highlights (#ls11), I thought I would share with you folks the next entry coming up on what we all know was the main theme of the entire conference and which still is lingering around (And will be for a while, too!) … nearly a month later: Get Social. Do Business!

That’s right! In previous blog entries I mentioned how this year’s Lotusphere has been *more* social than ever before! And by far! A quick peek through the Lotusphere Social Media Aggregator would probably give you folks a good glimpse of how socialised the conference event was altogether throughout the entire week and still going strong a few weeks afterwards! However, what I thought I would share with you today over here is to detail how social it was for me while being there, compared to other years, as it would also give you a pretty good perception of how the game has changed… for good! And how there is no turning back!

If I were to summarise the entire week I was there in Orlando at Lotusphere in a single sentence I could probably do a pretty good job by just sharing these few words: never before was I busier than during that week talking about social computing, enterprise 2.0, social software tools and their adoption; and, eventually, the new buzzword: Social Business. Usually, during these events things have a tendency to be relatively quiet for me, since, after all, it’s a rather technical conference event, giving me plenty of time to hang out at some of my favourite places, like the Innovation and User Experience Labs or the Exhibition Hall or, my all time favourite, the hotels bar(s), where you can spend some proper time catching up with folks you interact with online during the course of the whole year or new people you eventually end up meeting for the first time and whom you know you are going to follow up with after you come back. IBM Lotusphere 2011 Event

Ha! None of that had happened this year! Things were so incredibly hectic, and massive, that I didn’t get a chance to check the Labs, the Exhibition Hall, or just simply stop by the hotels bars to enjoy a drink or two, catch up with folks, and unwind for a little while. No, nothing like that this year. Quite the contrary!! Right from Sunday afternoon, till late Thursday evening my entire team, along with myself, were talking social to fellow IBMers, customers and business partners on the topic of Social Computing within the Enterprise and preparing the way to become a successful Social Business. Even during the lunch time we had overflowing tables with people coming from all over the place to join us wanting to share a bite or two, but also engaging on the hot conversation(s) of the moment: how do I become a social business? What’s the IBM story? How do you do it?

We basically spent dozens of hours talking to these folks about the IBM story; in our case, about the BlueIQ story; the nearly four year old Social Software Adoption Program from IBM we have been working on and from which folks just wanted to know what the real IBM story was like. So we spent plenty of time engaging in really good conversations with folks who were about to launch their own adoption program of social software or with folks who were already having theirs up and running and just wanted to exchange some further ideas and experiences. Sharing good stories is a very powerful means of engaging effectively in conversations. Specially, when you embark yourself on a rampant learning curve you know is going to make you better at what you do eventually. That’s how it felt for us throughout that entire week. We shared a lot, but we *also* learned a lot! Which, in my opinion, is a good thing; a very good thing! More than anything else because you can engage on meaningful dialogue always willing to learn some more and reuse some of the new stuff for your own initiative(s), just like they do when you share yours! That’s just priceless! True facilitated collaboration in the making … in real time! IBM Lotusphere 2011 Event

We kept referencing and sharing along the entire BlueIQ Methodology, which is still available as a free whitepaper over here, so that we could have an opportunity to brainstorm and throw ideas out there on what’s working for us, and what not, with the aim to help provide folks with additional collateral they, too, could use for their own social software adoption program(s) in order to become a successful social businesses. That shifting gears surely generated even more conversations that we could just hardly keep up with, which was über-awesome, by the way! Thoroughly enjoyed it from day one!

Now, to give you a sense of the level of dialogue that happened this year on Social while at Lotusphere, I can tell you how last year, all in all, I probably got to talk to about 5 customers on the topic of social computing within the firewall. This year, I talked to 5 customers on the same topic, just on Sunday afternoon, when the event was not even started yet! Goodness! Yes, all in all, last week I was annotating the amount of customers I spent time with talking about our social software tools adoption program while in Orlando nearly a month ago, and eventually came up with a list of 30+ customers during the whole week! Not to mention business partners and / or fellow IBM colleagues! I tell you, very little time left for breathing! Social Business *is* a hot topic! And while we all know it’s been there for a long while already, it’s actually quite nice to see, and witness in first person, how excited people are about it altogether! We may as well get it right this time around!

There are lots of things I would be sharing about IBM’s Lotusphere main theme for this year on Get Social. Do Business, like some of the various keynote sessions that covered the topic, plus a whole bunch of breakout sessions as well, but I think it would be much better if I actually start sharing some short snippets that helped permeate throughout the entire event and resonate further along in following weeks; like, for instance, the main three characteristics that differentiate a social business from the rest: engaged, transparent and nimble. Take a look into this recent three minute video clip where Sandy Carter, IBM’s VP for Social Business, Collaboration, and Lotus Sales and Evangelism, gets to talk about “What is a Social Business?to see what I mean with those three keywords:

Or you could also have a look into this other video where Sandy explains further “How do you become a Social Business” as she touches base on the Social Business A.G.E.N.D.A.

  • “Align Organisational Goals & Culture
  • Gain “Friends” Through Social Trust
  • Engage Through Experiences
  • Network Your Business Processes
  • Design for PR Recovery
  • Analyse Your Data”

Don’t miss out either how she gets to describe each and everyone of the various different elements of the Social Business Agenda, paying, perhaps, particular attention to the item on Design for PR Recovery, which, could help folks build up their own business case for social computing on its own altogether in a matter of minutes!

But there is plenty more still! Another good example I wanted to mention over here of how much conversation there was around the subject of Social (Business) was the two hour presentation / workshop delivered by both Bruce Elgort and Chris Martin, who did a fabulous piece of work!, under the heading “How I Went Beyond the Hype, Narcissism and Trendiness to Become a Social Software Super Hero” (Slideshare link is located over here), where they basically shared plenty of great insights over the course of two hours with a rather suggestive title (Not going to spoil the contents of the slides, by the way, you will have to watch through them below … hehe) and a whole bunch of interesting, and rather short!, YouTube videos from a group of smart folks who were kindly asked to share some further insights around the whole concept of Social Computing within the Enterprise and beyond: Suzanne Livingston, Luis BenitezAlan Lepofsky, Stu McIntyre, Chris MillerCheryl Bledsoe, Dale Chumbley, Aaron Hockley and yours truly as well. Worth while having a look if you would want to find out what other folks are thinking about getting social...

Here is the embedded presentation that both Bruce and Chris put together and which surely is worth while going through:

 

And, finally, I thought I would let you know about a video interview I did with the good folks from IBM Germany (Stefan Pfeiffer et al) on the topic of “Social Business @ IBM” where over the course of nearly 9 minutes we talked about a whole bunch of various different topics, starting off the conversation on what it is like living “A World Without Email” (Of course, you know, one of my favourite topics as of late…) and then move into the topic of how IBM is becoming a social business as a result of its wider adoption of social software tools, both inside and outside of the firewall by educating knowledge workers on how they can work smarter, not necessarily harder, i.e. focusing on the tasks, activities and processes at hand and injecting some 2.0 flavours according to a specific context and interaction in place. Also, towards the end of the interview itself, I shared a couple of success stories on how other businesses out there have already started that transition into becoming successful social businesses:

Thus, as you can see, lots and lots of conversations and further interactions on the topic of social computing, and how can businesses benefit from it all right as we speak, in 2011; there is still plenty more to come in this series of blog entries on the Lotusphere 2011 Event Highlights, which I will be blogging about shortly as well, but, to wrap up this blog post, and interestingly enough, I thought I would let you all know how, by the end of that short video interview, I dropped a prediction, a hunch, of what I feel will be happening in 2012:

“My suspicion is that by 2012 we will stop talking about all this social stuff and will just call it work”

What do you think? Will it happen? Will we be able to see how the Enterprise 2.0 market consolidates itself, how vendors will level up in their solutions and provide us with the social capabilities we have always been looking forward to, and how we will move into the next frontier… Stop focusing on the technology and just talk business?

Exciting times we live in, indeed, don’t you think?

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IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 Highlights – People-Centric vs. Content-Centric by Louis Richardson

Lotusphere 2011 - Louis RichardsonContinuing further with the series of blog posts on highlights from IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 event in Orlando, FL, a couple of weeks back, I thought I would go ahead today and share with you folks what, to me, was one of the major highlights from the entire week, which is, basically, sharing some further insights from, what I thought, was *the* best presentation from all of the keynote & breakout sessions that I attended while in there. It was done by one of my fellow colleagues, and good friend, Louis Richardson under this rather inspiring title: “People-Centric vs. Content-Centric: A Copernican revolution needed to become a social business“. I tell you, if someone would ask me to pick up one of the sessions, just one of them, that they would need to watch and go through from #ls11 Louis’ would be it. Look no further. It’s that good!

Welcome to the successful transformation from a content-centric organisation to a people-centric one! That’s exactly what Louis’ session was all about. Setting up the stage, explaining where we are coming from, how we have always been reluctant to change (Even in the 15th century!), how eventually change took place for the better, how content is no longer king explaining what some of its main challenges are at the moment and how building trust worthy, lasting connections, personal business relationships is the way to go, specially since your people are your company. Not the content they produce. His example of what would happen if all of the content from an organisation would be gone versus the same scenario where it’s the people who are gone and not the content itself is just priceless! And such an eye opener!

It was one of those great presentations that makes you think about the daily challenges we all face when confronting work and our own productivity and how by shifting gears and opening up to social tools, we may find plenty of solutions to the problems we face today. So, eventually, Louis picked up some of the biggest pain points that every single knowledge worker faces at the moment and for each of them he provides a potential solution from the Enterprise 2.0 field, i.e. social computing and social software tools: building credibility and value, communities, tags, social bookmarks, open knowledge sharing spaces, profiles, activities, etc. etc.

The interesting thing about his presentation and speech was how, for the first time in a long while, the focus was not placed on technology nor processes, but on the people themselves helping them solve their day to day problems, their pain points, regarding finding experts, finding the right information, or inspiring an open knowledge sharing culture. Basically, the pragmatic approach; the one that works, the one that can certainly provide the highest impact on improving people’s productivity by addressing and fixing those onerous tasks that we all have to do every so often, but that we don’t enjoy much really. Yet, he did a wonderful job in helping attendees prepare themselves to come up with their own Personal Knowledge Management strategies by making use of social software tools. And he did a fantastic job with plenty of rather helpful examples of how it could work for people like you and me, i.e. people in the trenches, knowledge workers who know there are better ways out there to do smarter work with a whole lot less effort.Lotusphere 2011 - Louis Richardson

So when I saw that both his presentation and speech were available, I just couldn’t help putting together this entry to share the details with you folks on where you could go and find those resources and digest them yourself. They will be worth your time and effort to go through them; I can surely recommend them. Louis is a superb storyteller with plenty of first hand experience of what it is like injecting 2.0 flavours into one’s own productivity and become much much better at what they do as a result of that. He is one of those folks who walks the talk. And his knowledgeable experience on using all of these social tools constantly permeates throughout the entire presentation, again, with plenty of great practical tips on how to get things going.

As a starting point I would love to point you to a blog post he put together back in November 2010 under the heading “People-Centric vs. Content-Centric: The Copernican Revolution to become a Social Business“, where he is encouraging all of us to keep up with the conversation. A rather interesting and insightful read that would help you understand further where his #ls11 presentation is coming from. Then, from there onwards, you could check the full audio of the session, grab a copy of the slides by clicking over here, or you could also go to this other entry where he has shared a link to the recording of the presentation he did, as a video clip, which is now available for everyone to digest. Quite interesting were as well the good amount of live tweets that were shared during the course of that one hour he spent on the stage.

Now, for those of you folks who may not be capable of waiting and heading over to those resources, you can start going through some of that content over here as well. Indeed, his presentation is also shared in Slideshare (find it here) and the recording has been stored as well over at Vimeo. So I have taken the liberty of embedding them over here, hoping you can click on Play on both resources (Better if you start with the video recording, by the way!), sit back, while you are enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy the show. It will be worth it every penny!

People-Centric vs. Content-Centric: A Copernican revolution needed to become a social business from louis richardson on Vimeo.

 

 

After going through it all, I am sure you would all agree with me that it certainly was a stunning presentation altogether, but the best part for me was the one where he also engaged the audience with multiple questions, interactions and conversations, finishing it up with a bit of homework for us all, which, so far, I am finding it really fascinating … Check out the Twitter hash tag #inv203fear where he basically asked the audience to tweet what would be the biggest fear for any organisation when trying to deploy and help accelerate the adoption of these social tools. Some of the answers are quite mind-boggling on their own and surely a sign of the good amount of work that we still have got to do ahead of us!

Thus we better keep working and help provoke the change that not everything is about content per se, but more about the people themselves, your knowledge workforce, your company… Now, where did I hear about that one before?

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IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 Highlights – A Proposal for DIA Now Delivered Successfully!

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If you would remember, a couple of weeks back, I mentioned how I was making my way to Orlando, FL, to attend IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 event, as part of my yearly pilgrimage to one of *the* top notch Enterprise Collaboration conferences out there nowadays! Back then I stated how on my way back, after all of the live tweeting I did while in there, I would be putting together a series of blog posts detailing some of the major highlights from the entire week. Thus today, now that I am finally back into the usual swing of things, I have decided to get things rolling with that series of blog entries. And how about getting things started than with one of the major highlights from the entire week altogether!?!? Yes, A Proposal for DIA is now a reality. Fully delivered successfully and big time: Lotusphere 2011’s wi-fi connection worked amazingly well during the entire week! The way it should be for any tech conference!

But, as most of you folks out there would remember, things haven’t been that pretty in previous editions of such massive face to face event itself. In fact, last year I blogged about an opportunity to propose some Decent Internet Access (DIA), seeing how poor the overall performance from the wi-fi was throughout the entire week. Well, Lotusphere listens. Lotusphere pays attention. Lotusphere, a year afterwards, on the next edition, delivers and does a beautiful job altogether! Just brilliant! I tell you, and I know you would agree with me on this one, it makes such a big difference, to be able to follow streams in a comprehensive manner from both #ls11 and the Lotusphere Social Media Aggregator. Yes, again, just the way it should be.

I realise that while we were at the “Ask the Product Managers” main session on Thursday morning someone from the audience provided the feedback that the wi-fi experience was not that good during the course of the week, and I was a bit puzzled myself, because to me it worked ROCK SOLID the *whole* time, and I kept hearing the same thing from all of the folks I got to interact with! We even had that as one of the main conversations altogether!, even when we were not attending any sessions and wanted to get connected throughout the conference venue(s). And, believe me, you folks out there who I may have met face to face already know already how picky I am with these things. Specially, when you are all pretty jazzed up and excited wanting to spread the message around. If it works, like it did this time, the whole experience is just so much better! For everyone! Even for those who couldn’t make it and who wanted to tune in remotely from the comfort of the Social Web.

My good friend and fellow IBM colleague, Stuart McRae shared, in a short blog post, how this time around there were around 1,600 iPads connected to the conference’s wi-fi, amongst several other hundred devices and smartphones. Two of those were mine. My iPhone 4, which I hardly used, other than taking a few pictures, and, of course, my beloved iPad, which, once again, came to the rescue, nice and dandy, from this poor business traveller, helping him ease his back and wrists pain carrying a single device, as if were a good book! And, boy, did it deliver?!?! Every day, consistently, over 12 hours connected and interacting all over the place, and there was still some battery life left! Can you imagine that with a regular laptop? Can you imagine the flexibility of moving around, constantly connected to the network, and not having to worry about running out of battery juice at the most inopportune time? Yes, indeed, that was my main experience throughout the entire week! And I surely had a blast!

Like I said, last year, I was a bit frustrated that most of us couldn’t get hooked up to the Lotusphere conference wi-fi and enjoy the conference the way it is supposed to. This year, I am extremely pleased that things have now been sorted out, hopefully, once and for all, and that we are finally seeing a huge technical conference taking place where the wi-fi works consistently! Yes, I am saying huge, because there were several thousands of people attending it live, and all of them carrying around multiple gadgets and whatever devices, and it worked just great!

Thus what a year ago was A Proposal for DIA for Lotusphere 2011, a year later, it’s a new reality, delivered with some outstanding performance and reliability (I didn’t even have a single issue once! Can you believe it? I couldn’t. I do now). Robust tech conference wi-fi availability is not longer a wish for the near future. It’s a reality. IBM has made it happen for Lotusphere and I guess they have now raised the bar for everyone else. If they could do it for several thousands of people, I guess there is no longer an excuse for everyone else. Pressure is on. It just works, like it should be, and as such we would no longer need further proposals for Decent Internet Access. #ls11 has surely proved it can be done. It has proved there is a new standard to be met for each and everyone of those tech conferences out there that will be happening through 2011.

And the least I could, as I get to wrap up this first blog post of the series of entries on Highlights from Lotusphere 2011 coming up shortly, was to put together a few words and congratulate, big time!!, the organising committee for being out there, actively looking for feedback, listen to people’s experiences, amending what didn’t work in past editions and provide a superior experience the following time the event gets hosted! Yes, I know, that’s the way conference events should be like. That’s how events like this one could eventually enter the Social Web back in full force! We very much needed it!

Thanks ever so much, Lotusphere Organising Committee, for an outstanding job! You should feel proud! I know I am!

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The Frontier Is Everywhere

After 26 hours in transit, I am finally in Orlando, FL, well rested and with everything ready to participate and attend IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 event from January 30th till February 3rd. However, after such a draining travelling experience (You probably don’t even want to know all of the details…) I knew I needed a bit of inspiration to kick off what I am sure is going to be one of those weeks difficult to forget in a long while! So what a better way of being inspired, and powerfully wowed, than by NASA itself, don’t you think?

If you would have 3′ 12” to spare, I would strongly encourage you all to stop whatever you are doing at that precise moment, and focus your full attention on this YouTube video clip that’s been making the rounds for a little while now and which, I am sure, is going to leave you speechless, to say the least. It’s one of those short golden gems, put together by NASA, that clearly demonstrates who we are as human beings and what we are here up to over here in these confines. And if you then connect it with the recent worldwide events that have been taking place it surely makes you wonder what exciting times we are living at this historic moment, just like any other one that needs to be lived and fully experienced all the way. Thus, if you can spare those three minutes, hit play and get inspired!

I told you! It’s one of those videos to save for later; for those tough times one gets to bump into every so often in one’s lifetime to help you refocus back on what we need to place our efforts on. Just this morning, as I was waking up in Orlando readying for #ls11, after a rather exhausting day of intense travelling yesterday, it was just what I needed to get me going on to an unforgettable week about to start and a rather exciting 2011!

Carpe diem!

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IBM’s Lotusphere 2011 – Here We Come!

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As it’s happened over the last few years, it’s that time of the year where I am starting a new season of business travelling and very soon I will get things going, once again, with my yearly pilgrimage to Orlando, FL, to go and attend Lotusphere 2011. And this year, if I were to describe what the conference event would be all about I guess I could do a pretty good job with just a single keyword: Social! Yes, that’s right! Lotusphere is, finally!, going Social and I surely can’t wait for it to get started! Are you ready, too?

With the main theme as Get Social. Do Business, you can imagine there would hundreds of activities to engage with from January 30th to February 3rd, outside of the outstanding agenda of keynote and breakout sessions that have been put together so far, like every year. So you are probably wondering what would be the best ways of keeping an eye on the overall event, and still make some sense out of it, right? Well, there are *lots* of places to keep an eye on, but I think the main one that is going to get plenty of traction throughout, even if you can’t attend the event face to face, but would still want to follow it up virtually, and that’s already happening now!, is the Lotusphere 2011 Social Media Aggregator where folks who may be attending the event have got an opportunity to sign up and register to aggregate the streams of their favourite social networking tools.

I have already done that and registered this blog, my Twitter IDs, my Flickr stream, etc. etc. and I will be surely looking forward to catching up with most of the action behind #ls11, which is the main hash tag that’s been used all along already. Of course, if Lotusphere is going to be more social than ever, I will surely be looking forward to the many face to face conversations, over a drink or two!, with fellow colleagues (My entire team will be there as well as a whole bunch of the BlueIQ Ambassadors community I co-lead), customers, business partners, 2.0 thought leaders, and good friends, who will be making their way to Orlando to participate as well from the event.

Yes, real life networking is going to be massive this year! So I am starting to come to terms with the fact that for the whole of next week I will be getting very little sleep altogether and lots of great conversations all around! W00t!! If you would want to meet up, although I am sure we will be bumping into each other throughout the event, the best and fastest way of getting hold of me would probably be through Twitter over at @elsua. Thus go ahead, say “Hi!” and let’s get together. Let’s get social! Yay!!

Another interesting thing though to watch out for during the week would be to see what IBM thinks about Social Business, specially, now that IBM itself has, finally, gone massive on Social Collaboration, as we have witnessed in the last few weeks. Yes, you can see I am pretty excited about how, at long last, IBM has finally decided to join us, Enterprise 2.0 and social software evangelists! hehe The reason why I am saying this though is because Lotusphere will be just a good entry point for a superb follow up event that till take place from February 8th to the 11th, which I am also very excited about: IBM’s Social Business Jam!

Indeed, 72 hours, non-stop action, with thought leaders from across the globe, talking, collaborating, sharing and learning from each other’s experiences on what means to be a real social business. Those folks who may be interested in attending can do so by registering at this link or if you would want additional details on it, feel free to reach out to me as well. Happy to help!

The week after Lotusphere, I will still be in the US; in New York City, actually, but that would be the story for another blog post on what I will be up to while I am there. For now though, I would want to leave you all with a lovely teaser video clip I bumped into the other day which tries to describe a little bit how social Lotusphere will become this year…

Like I mentioned above at the beginning of this blog entry, are you ready to get social and do business? I surely hope so! I certainly am looking forward to it!

(Oh, and before I let you all go, if you would want to go through a more extensive coverage of all of the activities that will be taking place next week while Lotusphere is on, I can highly recommend you have a look into the phenomenal piece of work that my good friends Stu McIntyre and Darren Duke have been putting together on a series of podcasts over at This Week in Lotus; check out specially the latest episode where they had special guest speaker Sandy Carter, recently appointed IBM’s Vice President, IBM Social Business, Collaboration, and Lotus Sales and Evangelism. It’s worth every minute of it, to say the least!)

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