Saying goodbye to Dublin. Social Connections III truly social!

So it is over, a couple of hectic days are coming to a close in the Dublin airport coffee lounge while I’m awaiting my flight back to Amsterdam.

It was a great event in so many ways…

  • The great venue at the IBM Developer labs and the hospitality IBM and especially Fred Raguillat, Eamon Muldoon and Jon Mell showed us opening up their Innovation centre and auditorium, helping us organize this, navigating the bureaucratic hurdles and making us feel welcome at the heart of IBM’s Connections developers facility
  • Meeting so many familiar and new faces (over 100 people signed up!) from all over the world including places as far away as Norway, The United States, Brazil, Poland and Russia
  • The fantastic line up of speakers, eight of which IBM Champions, who delivered a staggering 21 sessions in 2 tracks all in one day
  • The new technical track that opened up Social Connections to a new more technically focused audience
  • The speakers dinner on Thursday night to thank all those wonderful speakers who invested their time and effort to share their knowledge with the community
  • The support and help we got from so many who make it possible to do things like recording the sessions and manning the desk (thanks to Jon, Jess & Huw)
  • The after event at the Guinness Storehouse where everyone could enjoy a pint & good meal while discussing all they had learned that day and practice that one thing that this is all about: building Social Connections.
  • And last but certainly not least The absolutely wonderful sponsors: IBMSogetiTimeToAct, and Collaboration Matters without whom it would simply not be possible to organize all this free of charge to participants.

Organizing an event like this is daunting: “Is there a big enough audience for this to justify organizing it?“, “Will they come to Ireland?“, “Do we get enough good speakers?“, “What about sponsors??” and most importantly: “How do you coordinate something like this while none of the organizing committee are actually onsite, or even in the same timezone, until the day itself?!?

The answer to all this is simple, it’s pure dedication, community spirit (so many people and organizations contributed to this in so many big and small ways I can’t name them all) and using a host of social tools to collaborate. With such a globally dispersed organizing committee organizing something like this would simply not have been possible without the internet, chats, phone conferences, a wiki, communities, blogs, twitter and other social tools. After all, what better way to show the power of social connections and collaborations then to practice what you preach!

So… almost time to board and leave wonderful, generous and social Dublin. But I won’t have to wait for long as I hope Amsterdam will be just as wonderful and social come November 30th when it opens up its doors to host the next Social Connections user group event!

I hope to see you all there for Social Connections IV!

Kudos to Simon VaughnLisa DukeStuart McIntyre and Sharon Bellamy for making it all feel so effortless and making me part of a truly social and dedicated team.

By Social Connections

Although IBM Connections has been in the marketplace since 2007 it is still a relatively new product by IBM/Lotus standards. The larger LUGs (Lotus User Groups – such as UKLUG and ILUG) tend to focus on traditional Lotus technologies – Notes, Domino, a little Sametime and TDI with lots of the newer XPages thrown in the mix. The WUGs (WebSphere User Groups) tend to concentrate on core WebSphere technologies such as the Application Server, Portal and Process Server. In addition, these events can be very technical in nature. Therefore we feel there is a definite space for a Connections user group with a strong focus on social collaboration technology, aimed at both existing and prospective customers and partners, and at individuals with both business and technical perspectives. We meet twice annually, in late Spring/early Summer and again in late Autumn/Fall, and from 2015 onwards we will be splitting the events between the USA and Europe. In addition, through the use of these great social tools, we aim to keep a dynamic and lively online community going all-year round! The events will be social in nature, with a strong desire for real face-to-face networking and knowledge sharing as well as delivery of useful content.