One part of the Lotusphere sessions database which has never felt quite right is the pedestal listings. I can never do it well enough to be better than what IBM puts on the floor, and everything there is dominated by the well-heeled and well-connected sponsors. While I am glad those vendors do their part in supporting Lotusphere, I'm certainly not getting paid to focus even more attention on them.
This year, although it isn't in the database just yet, I think I'll go virtual. Rather than put listings in by who paid IBM big chunks of change to have a pedestal or sponsorship, I'll do it based on your interest in promoting your products and skills to the people who read the sessions database. A bit like the Virtual Bookstore, which tries to show items of value to the Lotusphere attendees and wannabees, the Virtual Product Showcase could be a chance for those with specific products and services to link to their website, describe the product or service, provide a contact name/number and maybe a link to a video or something.
Perhaps that would be worth something, but I really don't like charging anything. On the other hand, I don't want every Lotus toenail clipper listed, so I'll make a compromise. For each product or service, I ask you to go into the Virtual Bookstore in the sessions database and buy any book that looks valuable to you. For example, you could pick up IBM Lotus Symphony For Dummies
, or even the highly anticipated Mastering XPages: A Step-by-Step Guide to XPages Application Development and the XSP Language
. Or any other book listed, no matter how inexpensive, although I would request that you buy something that would be of use to you. It's all on the honor system, but if you would like to tell people what you got, I'd be happy to list it, as it might inspire others to support our authors (and encourage more). An added bonus to following my links is that I get some idea of how many of which books have been bought, although I never know by whom.
For a very small sum, you can get a useful investment in your company's skills and a product placement in a database that is routinely downloaded by thousands of Lotusphere attendees, and read by even more who want to find out information before, during and after the show. Rather than stuffing the Virtual Showcase with pedestals dominated by the big sponsors, this is open on an equal footing to anybody with a product or service of interest to the Lotus community. People who don't attend are still free to browse, and the database with all its information will be available before, during and after the show. With no need to stand on your feet all day.
In no way do I mean to compete with the Notes App Store
, which does its job its own way. Incidentally, if you follow their link, they have a list of vendors in the regular LS 2011 Showcase. Instead, our Virtual Product Showcase could be a quick, fun way to focus attention on either a new product or one of particular interest to the Lotusphere 2011 crowd. It could also be a way to have some presence at Lotusphere if you didn't have the ready cash to get and man a pedestal, or even if you can't afford to be there at all. Even companies who have a physical pedestal may want to either promote a product they are showing at their pedestal, or another product that doesn't quite make the cut.
Those true cynics among you may note that books bought through my affiliate link will earn me cash. For example, if someone bought that Symphony for Dummies book up there, I'd make $0.66. Clever you to note my get-rich-at-glacial-speeds plan. Of course, anybody who is grateful for the eleven years I have produced this resource are welcome to buy the book and know that after only a few purchases, I might be able to buy a milk shake to compensate for the roughly fifty to one hundred hours of work I put into the database. Lucky me!
Copyright © 2011 Genii Software Ltd.