The Lotus Community Echo Chamber and the Apple iPhone 3G; Part 3 - A Call to Action

June 12 2008

This is the third and final part in a three piece thought process that came after the WWDC SteveNote that took place on Monday. To can read my initial thoughts, The Lotus Community Echo Chamber and the Apple iPhone 3G,  The Lotus Community Echo Chamber and the Apple iPhone 3G: Part 1 - A hard look at the community, and The Lotus Community Echo Chamber and the Apple iPhone 3G; Part 2 - Who is the real customer?

So in a quick recap, I took issue with the community in part one. I took issue with IBM in part 2. To wrap this all up, I want to take the issues talked about and create a community call to action so we can begin to address the issues. That comes in two pieces:

1. Let IBM and Apple know that we want Domino support on the iPhone

So Ed Brill and Brent Peters (VP of Development, Lotus) have asked us to contact Apple and ask for Domino support on the iPhone. Great. Here is a collection of the contact points:

We have the community efforts:
Do you also have an Apple Enterprise Rep? Let them know. No Apple Rep? Why not walk into the store and ask if you can leave a comment.

Besides that, let IBM know. Email or call your IBM Support Rep or your BP Rep.

The key here is to not just have one person at your company ask. There is no reason why just one person from PSC has signed the iPetition. Why not all of us? I challenge all of us to push this information out to those folks who do not read the blogs every day. I want to see that iPetition up to 1000 ...

2. Create community evangelism in everything we do

One of the ways we can address situations where we believe both the community and IBM are in echo chambers is to find a way to remove the echo chamber. I believe the best way to do that is to expand our community. As Nathan Freeman and I chatted today, he brought up some interesting ideas. IBM gets over 7,000 people at Lotusphere, IBMers included. has 266 blogs (as of 6:45 PM on 6/12/2008) including IBMers. Why is there such a huge difference? When I talk with customers or speak at a conference, I proudly mention that PSC hosts and was the former host of I get more blank stares and questions about what both of those are. So the best way to do that is to create a grass roots movement to attract more people to the on-line community.

I have created some slides that I would like to ask everyone in the community to use. They are in PPT, PPTX, ODF, and Keynote. If someone would like to create a native version for Keynote, please do and send me the file and I will host it. Pierre LALONDE created a Keynote version.

The slides have one purpose: to advertise the Lotus community sites. The sites included are:

1. PlanetLotus
2. Ideajam
3. OpenNTF
4. DevWorks
5. Bleed Yellow Lotus Connections
6. Bleed Yellow Lotus Sametime
7. Lotus GreenHouse

and the podcasts:

1. Taking Notes
2. IdoNotes
3. YellowCast

The slides come in three parts:

1. A single slide with just logos
2. A single slide with logos and a tag line
3. A slide per each site

The goal is that whenever we do a presentation, be it as a customer or conference or web cast or whatever, we include one of the three versions. You pick what you are comfortable with. No credits to me or Nathan. Use whatever background you want. I just ask that you do not edit the content so there is consistency. Think we should add a site to the list? Suggest it. No individual sites ... this is about the community. Want to send me a better graphic? Go for it. This is a collaborative process and I will create versions of these files as we make changes.

I plan on taking this one step further. I am going to find a way to reach out to customers via the PSC network. We have a newsletter and website. I want to leverage those. So I plan on creating an HTML version of this that anyone can embed on their site.

Final thoughts

This week has been a major roller coaster for our community. Lots of anger and frustration and even name calling. Time to move past that. It is time to stop waiting for anyone, including IBM, to be moving the community forward. We can do that ourselves. My ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. I would love to see lots of ideas ... and better ones than mine own ... come out of all this.

9 Responses to “The Lotus Community Echo Chamber and the Apple iPhone 3G; Part 3 - A Call to Action”

  1. 1) Matt White says:


    It's a great idea, thanks for providing the slides. I will certainly include them in any future presentations I do.


  2. 2) Jess Stratton says:

    Are you trying to attract customers as in IT decision makers, or customers as in the end users that use the Lotus products while they work?

  3. 3) John Head says:

    Jess - do you mean for part 1 or part 2? For part 1, we just need valid names, but lots of them. For part 2, I am trying to grow our on-line community. Even if we just targeted everyone who goes to Lotusphere, we can drastically increase our on-line presence. I am not worrying much about being specific on the target at this point. Let's add a thousand readers and worry about that as we grow. :)

  4. 4) Jess Stratton says:

    I guess what I was trying to say is that you absolutely HAVE to be specific on the target if you want to grow, otherwise you will end up being a victim of your own echo chamber. ;-)

    I think we need to either focus on building for specific communities (such as Planet Lotus), or focus on building for ease of other people being able to find us based on issues they have (really focus on SEO-enabling the sites so Google can find us), or both (submitting to Slashdot/Digg/Delicious/Stumbleupon so new visitors can find us.

    If I have trouble with a particular issue ("How do I get my Lotus Notes mail on my iPhone", or "How can I create multiple signatures in my Lotus Notes mail"), I will be outright Googling it. I wouldn't search for "Lotus Notes communties" first and *then* search that community. We can't forget about those people, either. I think the masses are the real influencers, because THEY are the ones who are going to go into the office and pressure the IT manager enough to take the next steps. ;-)

  5. 5) John Head says:

    I forgot My bad. Will update over the weekend!

  6. 6) Alan Lepofsky says:

    John, while it is a closed group, I'd still mention the Lotus Business Partner forum.

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  7. 7) Jess Stratton says:

    I love the slide with all the sites and logos on one page, but can you add the URLs of the sites as well? They'd need to be there to be able to use the slide.

  8. 8) Peter Presnell says:

    Is there any way we can be encourage IBM to publicize these Web sites on their developerworks site? They have a section entitled forums & community but this only has links to IBM forums, blog sites, and wikis.

  9. 9) Joyce Davis says:

    Hi John - would you be willing to add slides for our Lotus Technical Information and Education community (for which you are an advocate :-)? I'm happy to send you something.

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