In the past months I’ve seen people posting a lot about how sick and tired they are of the life in isolation during the Corona crisis. Let me come up with an alternative view: I love it! And here’s why.
Microsoft send out at least 54 emails a day about news, announcement of new features nobody asked for and a shitload of agreements you have to remember to sign by a certain date, even though you already have. But the one I received today had my jaw drop to the floor.
I just saw the final episode of The Big Bang Theory. I was a bit moved actually. (No spoilers).
I’m sure you’ve seen all of those articles in the past few weeks. The lists where we music journalists and writers make lists of what we perceive what the best albums of the year are. What these lists have in common is that you’ve maybe heard about two of the ten artists on the list. Not with me! Here are my favourites from 2018.
Google has announced that they are shutting down Google+ for consumers. The biggest surprise for me isn’t that they are shutting down what was their attempt to create a competitor to Facebook. The surprise for me is that Google+ actually still exists.
Tomorrow sees the first unveiling of IBM Notes/Domino V10. Personally I’m really looking forward to it and on October 23rd we will have our own unveiling in Norway, arranged by us in the Norwegian IBM Collaboration Software Group (ISBG). Now that HCL has taken over the development of the the IBM Collaboration Software portfolio, they have started slowly revealing their plans for the Domino platform.
As I wrote in this blog posting, IBM and HCL presented what was new and upcoming in IBM Notes and Domino v10 and 11 at the Engage conference at the end of May. Domino is the server, which they now hope to people will start using as an open development platform with the help of technology like Dokker and Node.Js. Notes is the client, where users traditionally have used the applications developed on the Domino platform, as well as using the email and calendar features the client offers.
They also announced new functionality for the Notes client, but I was very disappointed that there won’t be a new user interface in v10. Instead, HCL and IBM are going with the same design that the six-year-old v9 already has. But on the other hand, what future does the Notes client really have?
In this day and age, a heavy client is not something you want to have to deal with. I have great love for the Notes client, and I’ve defended it against haters several times. Yes, it can be cumbersome to administrate, but the Notes client has an undeserved bad reputation.
At the bottom of this blog posting I’m linking to all the blogs I’ve written about IBM Connect.
It’s now 15 days since I came home from San Francisco, and on Thursday it’s three whole weeks since the conference was over. I’ve been pretty busy with following up on stuff after the conference. Especially on stuff I learned about, as well as on deals and alliances that might come to fruition after several meetings I had. I’ve also contacted a lot of people who were at the conference in an attempt to get speakers for the ISBG spring meeting, which will take place on June 7th and 8th.
My feelings about this year’s Connect are generally good, but also a bit mixed. The attendance was as I expected it to be. Compared to the glory days (my first conference was in the mid 2000s) it’s a mini convention now. It’s like our own private little club, and therein lies the problem: A lot of important decision makers in the companies who are customers of IBM Collaboration Solutions still view the conference as a geek conference. If you look at the agenda, you realise this is obviously wrong. Still, I was in several sessions where less than 10 people were attending. I was at one session where a company presented a solution for moving Notes applications to mobile where there was only four (4!) people.
It’s time that we who cling to this conference for nostalgic reasons wake up and realise that with all the cognitive stuff and Watson creeping in all over the place, the most sensible thing would be to bake Connect into World of Watson. I’m not complaining that it’s still our very own little club, but it will be even harder to convince bosses and decision makers about what the conference has to offer, since it’s still considered to be a geek conference by many of them.
The scheduling was also a nightmare this year. A lot of sessions from the same tracks were going on at the same time, and several sessions that usually are filled to the brim were this year set during lunch and other important sessions about the future strategy of key products (yes, I’m looking at you Gurupalooza, where I was on stage). And having Mat Newman’s inspiring session about how to increase user engagement was at eight o’clock in the morning.
My feeling is also that a lot of people prioritised meetings with partners, customers and friends over going to sessions. As I pointed out in my previous posting, the social bit is a very important part of such a conference, but it must be bitter for the presenters who have worked hard preparing for their sessions.
It was, however, heartwarming that we finally saw something solid when it comes to the future roadmap of IBM Notes/Domino. As usual, these sessions were full, and this year IBM has actually made good on their promise of continued commitment to the platform. Yes, most of the future roadmap is about lifting applications from the Notes client and on to web and mobile, so it was surprising that there will be further development on the client as well. I was especially happy to hear that there will be sidebar plugins both for CCM and Watson.
It was also wonderful to see that sessions about the future of IBM Connections was just as popular as Notes/Domino sessions used to be in the past. It’s obvious that Connections is a success in many countries. This is not the case in my own Norway, but with even more success stories, as well as the strong portfolio of applications from third parties and IBM partners, this could change. Especially IBM Connections Pink needs to be promoted heavily. If not, Facebook Workplace will be a Connections killer when it gets proper file handling.
It was also great to attend the conference for the first time as an IBM Champion. Hanging out with the other champions, as well as getting pats on the back from IBM officials and customers, was nice and encouraging. It’s also nice to put faces to names and people you only communicate with online.
In conclusion: I think the road IBM is taking with their ICS portfolio now, where they focus on openness and inclusion, is the right way. And as an IBM Champion I find it exciting to be a part of the ride. Let’s hope it will turn into a positive trend for the next year. I will do my part.
Here are all my blog postings from IBM Connect 2017:
- Moving your IBM Notes applications to the cloud
- Cognitive is the keyword – From the opening session
- The future of Domino
- Connections Pink – The future of IBM Connections
- The very important social part of the conference
And here’s my photo album from IBM Connect and San Francisco:
A lot of people expect all their friends to see what they post, except those friends you have put in a group that should only see selected posts from you. The hard and cold truth is that surprisingly few of your friends see what you are posting. Nobody but Facebook knows quite how this is calculated, but it seems that the more you post, the fewer see your postings. And if people are not interacting with your posts, even fewer will see them.
This is especially true if you have a Facebook page, for instance for your company or for your organisation. I’ll give you a good example.
I’m administering the Facebook page for the local revue group I’m a part of. We have 536 followers. Just before Christmas I posted a status telling people that we were selling season tickets for the local football team. Do you know how many people who got that post in their news feed? 23 people! That’s twenty three out of 536 people!
How do I know this? I know this because as an an admin of a Facebook page, you are actually told how many people your postings reached. And by that Facebook means how many people actually got this in their news feed. The last posting we did reached 116 people, but that’s only because we mentioned another Facebook group in our posting, so that it also appeared in their news feed. Which means that both our groups have a very low posting impact…
So why is this? It’s because Facebook wants you to pay them to promote your updates. Behind the statistics for each posting that I get to see because I’m and admin of the group, there is a button marked “Boost Post.” If I click on it, you’re told how to pay so that your posting will reach even more of your followers.
Yup, you read that right. Facebook wants you to post and share so that they get as much traffic as possible. At the same time they make it as hard as possible for you to do so, and hide your posts behind some bizarre logic. And then they ask you to pay so that the posting will reach the people you really expect it to reach anyway. This is in complete contrast to how all other social media sites operate. On those sites they actually promote your postings for you, for free, if they reach a lot of people.
If you post something on Twitter, every single one of your Twitter followers will be able to see it. When you post a photo on Instagram, all your followers can see what you had for lunch. On LinkedIn all my contacts can see my update. What LinkedIn counts is whether anyone clicked on that update. On Google+ all your postings show up in all the circles (you can group Google+ connections into circles) you choose (but nobody uses Google+ so I guess that point is mute). On Youtube, all your subscribers can see your video, and as long as a video isn’t marked private, everybody who wants to can search and find it. The same goes for your photos on flickr. On all these sites, your posting will be promoted on a front page (or in Twitter’s case as a trending post) if it gets a lot of hits. And that way your posting will reach even more people.
So Facebook bascially sucks. However, there is hope. See the list above? I will give you some tips for every point in that list:
1) To see all your friends posts you can create your own News feed. A couple of years ago, in my old blog, I showed how to do that, and that recipe will still work.
2) Posts in the order they are posted can also be achieved, either by following my first tip, or by installing FB Purity. Please, please, do your self a favour and install FB Purity. You can edit your newsfeed to your heart’s delight. Seriously. You will want to send me flowers or have my babies for giving you this tip! FB Purity doesn’t work on your cell phone, but if you go to Settings in your Facebook app, you should see a cog wheel (or similar) for editing your news feed settings. Here you can choose to show recent postings and get most postings in chronological order.
3) Get rid of “top stories.” See any of my tips in point 1 and 2. Have you installed FB Purity yet? No? Well go ahead! It’s the only thing that keeps me from leaving Facebook.
4) You can get rid of old postings at the top of your stream because of new comments on it by…. INSTALLING FB PURITY or create your own news feed.
5) Want Facebook to stop telling you everything your friends do on Facebook? In this case creating your own news feed won’t work, but what will help is…. FB PURITY!
6) However, how to see all posts from pages you like I something I can’t help youwith . None of my above tips will help. If you got any tips, please share.
So now you know why so few people like or comment on your postings compared to what they used to do. And now you know why you really should analyze whether a Facebook page for your company or organisation is worth the trouble. As you can see, getting people to like your page is no guarantee that they will see what you post…