Join Me on IBM Watson Workspace


The IBM Champions for Social Business have been included in the beta (alpha?) of IBM Watson Workspace.  I am able to invite friends to join too.  I just need your IBM ID.  It should be an email address.  If you still have the old-school ID that was whatever username you wanted, you need to create one that is an email address.

Once logged in, you can follow the new features that are getting added here.
Looking forward to exploring the new technology driven by Watson.  I will share more about features after I get familiar with it.

The future of transportation with IBM Watson

As both an IBM business partner and a transportation technology enthusiast, it is exciting to see #IBMWatson getting into the transportation game. Transportation is a huge industry and everyone wants to innovate to capture that revenue. Google, IBM, Detroit and countless startups are racing in. Transportation is about to change in ways unimagined.

When it comes to transportation technology, we have passed an inflection point. Innovation in transportation and the adoption rate of that technology are suddenly growing exponentially. Other technologies, like the smartphone have prepared us to become accustomed to a very rapid adoption rate. In fact, it has laid the groundwork for that adaptability to even be possible. The Waze adaptive navigation app has been downloaded by 50 million drivers, 40 million of those in just the last 4 years. Uber did not exist 7 years ago. It took just 6 years to reach 1 Billion rides and then just 6 months later they reached their second Billion.

How exactly is transportation technology changing?

– Alternative energy vehicles to consume less energy and produce less pollution
– Autonomous vehicles to improve safety and allow us to use travel time more effectively
– Trip-combining solutions to reduce vehicles on the road
– Apps that guide us to avoid traffic and find the fastest route
– even technology that brings us together without leaving home (my specialty).

So where is it taking us?

That is a great question. Cell phones, search engines, 3D printers and the connectivity of the Internet have all surpassed the imaginations of science fiction classics like Star Trek. How long before we are using Transporters to beam around? OK, maybe that’s a stretch. But maybe not. Just be wary of how you spend your money, knowing that what you buy will likely become obsolete long before it wears out.

Upcoming IBM webcasts for October 2016

Here is a list of webcast events for the IBM Collaboration Software community. If you aren’t a member of this community on developerWorks, create an account while you’re there so you can participate in the discussions and keep your knowledge sharp.

(Note time zones are listed in Pacific Time Zone, because that’s where I live.)
18 Oct, 8:00 AM PDT (GMT -7) Open Mic Webcast: Common Issues on IBM Traveler Push Notifications

20 Oct, 7:00 AM PDT GMT(-7) Monthly Community Meeting – Every 3rd Thursday

If you are lucky enough to live in Brussels, here is a meeting at IBM Oct 27th on the future of Verse and Toscana Get the latest news!

Nov 10, 11: If you are anywhere near Prague, don’t miss SUTOL Technical Conference with IBM Champion Jan Valdman

Nov 17 1:00PM – 5:00PM PDT My friends just north of me are hosting Cross Canada Collaboration User Group with Champion-worthy Graham Acres.  This is a combination webcast/in-person session that will be broadcasting live from multiple locations in the Great White North.

And if you missed these from last month, go watch the recordings:

(Note time zones)
7 Sep, 8:00 AM PDT (GMT -7) Tips and Tricks for Managing Communities Effectively

14 Sep, 8:00 AM PDT GMT(-7) IBM Client Application Access (ICAA)

21 Sep, 8:00 AM PDT GMT(-7) Rename best practices for SmartCloud Notes hybrid administrators

22 Sep, 7:00 AM PDT GMT(-7) IBM mail support for Microsoft Outlook

Remember that you can overlay the Social Business User Community calendar onto your calendar to have all these dates automatically added to your calendar. Just visit the community calendar on DeveloperWorks and click the button below the calendar to Add to Personal Calendar.


2017 IBM Champion Nominations are Open

IBM Champion nominations are open.  Do you know someone who has shown expertise and advocacy for the IBM Collaboration Software community?championcriteria

If there is someone you feel is worthy (including yourself), go here and post your nomination.  The deadline for submissions is November 14th. You can also  Watch the webcast replay explaining more details.

Upcoming IBM webcasts for September 2016

Here is a list of webcast events for the IBM Collaboration Software community. If your company doesn’t use this, check these out to see what you are missing:

(Note time zones)
7 Sep, 8:00 AM PDT (GMT -7) Tips and Tricks for Managing Communities Effectively

14 Sep, 8:00 AM PDT GMT(-7) IBM Client Application Access (ICAA)

21 Sep, 8:00 AM PDT GMT(-7) Rename best practices for SmartCloud Notes hybrid administrators

22 Sep, 7:00 AM PDT GMT(-7) IBM mail support for Microsoft Outlook

You can also overlay the Social Business User Community calendar onto your calendar to have all these dates automatically added to your calendar. Just visit the community calendar on DeveloperWorks and click the button below the calendar to Add to Personal Calendar.

Urgent: Save the Grand Canyon from Escalade

Urgent:  The Navajo Nation is moving forward with building a tourist village and tram into the Grand Canyon at, of all places, the confluence of the Colorado R. and Little Colorado R. They are receiving comments on the proposal until TOMORROW, September 2.
This 60 sec video explains the proposed project:


Please do the following 3 steps:
1. Share your comments to the Navajo Nation
Urge them not to spoil this natural resource for generations to come.
And contact Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell.
Remind her of her duty to work with the Navajo to protect and preserve the Grand Canyon as the 1975 Grand Canyon Enlargement Act requires.

2.  Sign one or more of the petitions: petition
American Rivers petition

3. Spread the word.  More signatures and comments amplify your voice.  Share this post on social media and forward it to your friends. Here is a shortened URL:

4. Like this page if you did these so everyone can see how many are joining in.

Remember this is due by tomorrow September 2nd, but even if that date has passed, keep sharing, sending comments, signing the petitions.



Escalade Project Photo


Watch this video to get a feeling of why this all matters:

THE IMPORTANT PLACES. from gnarly bay on Vimeo.

My personal story is this: Five years ago I led a rafting expedition down The Canyon and I brought my 12-year-old daughter along. (You can read about our journey here.)
She says one of the most amazing parts of that experience was how we were so totally, completely away from all signs of civilization and able to truly become one with nature. She only had enough time to go as far as Phantom Ranch before hiking out to get back to school. But she knows she will return to run the entire river.

So now the Navajo Nation has a decision to make: Will my daughter ever get the chance to return to the river and complete the journey unspoiled as it was in 2011?

Heartbreaking to think that we have no one but ourselves to blame for the loss of the Native American culture that cherished the concept of Seven Generation Sustainability and Seven Generations – The Role of Chief

More information can be found at:
American Rivers on facebook:


MWLUG 2016 Recap

This year MWLUG was held in Austin, TX.


I gave a presentation on Best Practices for Administrators Before, During and After a move to SmartCloud Notes.  Here are my slides:

Some great things that stood out from this event are:

    • The Hotel: This set the bar to a standard that will not likely be surpassed anytime soon.  It was held at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The easiest way to describe the service is to say it was just like the hotel in the movie “Pretty Woman”.  This hotel caters to people like actor Pierce Brosnan (James Bond) who was even seen hanging out in the lounge. Yet we got our rooms at a steal of a price thanks to Richard Moy and his negotiators.
    • The location: Many interesting things to see from Bat Fest to the state capitol building.
    • The presentations: Excellent speakers. I focused on the admin track.  What was most noteworthy was the increased number of sessions related to Connections Cloud.
    • The announcements: The biggest one was from Scott Souder regarding Verse on premises coming by the end of the year, though they are targeting mid November. Look for an early Christmas present.
    • The IBM Champions: Over 20 IBM Champions for Social Business attended. Most were also presenting, which certainly contributed to the quality of the presentations.

      IBM Champions at MWLUG 2016

      IBM Champions at MWLUG

    • The entertainment: The bus ride to San Antonio to see the Alamo and the river walk area (complete with downpour); the visit to the IBM Design Center; the brewery tour and dinner; what was perhaps the highest density of bars within walking distance I have ever seen; and the great music in the lounge on Friday night with a cameo performance by our own very talented IBMer and champion of IBM Champions, Amanda Bauman.
  • The weather: Clouds, cooler temperatures (85 degrees), and 95% humidity arrived just in time for the conference with torrential downpour and local flooding as I stood waiting for a bus that never came to take me to the airport.
  • PACLUG: I announced the re-forming of a user group in the west.
  • MWLUG 2017: Next year MWLUG will be held in the Washington DC area.
  • The organizers:  In spite of numerous opportunities for things to fall apart, like the badge holders weren’t delivered, the chartered bus operator left a day early, the beer tap failed; Richard Moy handled every crisis with amazing finesse to keep things running smoothly.
  • The people:  All the stuff above is extra.  It’s always about the people.  Once again, the real value of gatherings like this is the connections that are made.  No amount of social media can outperform face-to-face connections.

Next up is ICON UK, September 15, 16. It will be held in London.

IBM Connect 2017: Finally Comes to the West Coast!


One of the halls at Moscone Centre

Wonderful, Amazing news: IBM Connect 2017 will be held at Moscone Centre in San Francisco, CA February 19 – 22!  This announcement was made today by Inhi Cho Suh, the new General Manager of IBM Collaborative Services (ICS).  How significant is this?  For so many years I have known so many IBM ICS brand professionals who wanted to go to this conference, but could not get approval to fly to the far corner of the country to go to “Disney World” for Lotusphere or ConnectEd or now Connect.  Europe gets its version of the big conference and user group conferences like Engage, going on right now where this announcement was made.

One year there was a user group conference in Las Vegas. Hated the venue (it’s Vegas), but it had great attendance from west coast professionals.  Other than that, the western half of the U.S. has been a desert for gatherings of ICS professionals.  So finally IBM is recognizing the value of the western half of the country as a market.  Somehow I expect a little fruit company may have had some influence in the site selection…


Moscone Centre, San Francisco, CA

Along this same line, I am pleased to announce I will be working with IBM and others to restart a user group on the west coast.  More details are coming soon.

It is great to have such a highly motivated person in command.  It is also great to see Ed Brill back as part of the brand.  See you in San Francisco in 2017!


Domino Admin Best Practices: Finding the Gremlins

Here is a slide deck of a presentation given by Kim Greene and me at IamLUG.  Just realized we didn’t share it, so here it is.  Still very applicable.

Seeking questions for the “Ask IBM” session at Connect 2016

Each year I like to gather questions from the IBM Collaboration Software community that I think would have widespread interest and ask them at the “Ask IBM” session at IBM Connect.  (In the past it was Lotusphere and the “Ask the Developers” and “Ask the Product Managers” sessions.)  This is a call for submissions from you, the community, to share with me any questions you would like to have asked, but you are not able to attend and ask yourself or don’t want to stand at the mic.  Please post them as a comment to this post.  I will gather them up and try to get the answers to as many as I can.  One of the things about being an IBM Champion for Social Business is a commitment to contributing to the community.  Watch for the answers shortly after the conference.

Here is a sample of questions from last year:
Recap of Ask IBM session (Ask the Developers and Ask the PMs) at IBM ConnectED / Lotusphere 2015

Changes in DeveloperWorks leading demise of GreenHouse?

As posted by Gabriella Davis and Chris Miller, it appears that Greenhouse is going away.  The content, or at least some of it, is moving to DeveloperWorks.  But it appears that the changes reach further than that.  DeveloperWorks is also undergoing major changes as announced by Sandy Carter.

DeveloperWorks Premium.

You get $1700 worth of stuff for the low price of $399 per year. That includes access to Bluemix, softlayer, and even a free voucher for a certification test (usually $200).  If you’re going to be taking a certification test soon, you might consider spending the extra $200 and getting a premium DeveloperWorks account too.

(CORRECTION: The website has since been updated to describe the certification test as “Complimentary certification test for IBM Certified Application Developer Certification”, not simply a test voucher for any test.)

I see the long term goal of combining Greenhouse and DeveloperWorks. But I’m wondering what will be lost in the process vs. what will be gained.  Change is great when it is an improvement, but learning to navigate a new site can frustrate and lose users.

As they say, a rolling stone gathers no moss; also a frequently moving website gathers no followers.  GreenHouse has been growing by about 1500 new users per month.  How many of the 150,000 Greenhouse members will be lost in the transition?

OK IBM, be sure to tell me when I need to update my article on instructions for downloading the Connections Plugins and when I will need to update my Greenhouse Sametime Community configuration settings.

A migration to Google: week 1

I will follow up later with more details on the migration experience, but here is a quick glimpse into the users’ reactions the first week after switching a company from Notes to Google.
How do I know if my reply has the history or not?
How do I reply with the attachments and then edit the attachment before sending it back?
Do I have mail? It doesn’t really tell me when I have mail? I keep having to hit Refresh to see if I have mail.
Why do I have to go to the tab with my email to see my instant messages?
How do I see if someone is online in Hangouts?
I keep missing when people IM me in Hangouts. How do I make it pop to the front?
Where did you migrate my journal entries that I kept in my Notes journal?
My todos (tasks) were migrated, but now they all show up on the date they are due instead of the date they are supposed to start. Can you fix that?
All I see is a Send button. There isn’t a Send and File.. How do I Send a message and File it into a folder (label) at the same time?
I really like the search. But how do I sort the inbox by sender?
How do I know if I am in my personal gmail account or my work account? This is confusing.

If I get a meeting invitation, how do I counter with another time?
The “View on Google Calendar” link within a meeting invitation just opens the invitation details. How do I check my calendar to see my availability before accepting a meeting invitation?
How do I make files on my computer open in Google Docs when I double-click them?
How do I recall a message?
How do I send an attachment over 25MB to an external recipient?

In general, the users say it works OK for mail. That is the core of what they are using.  The file sharing via Drive is a new process for them, but being adopted for internal sharing. Not well received for external sharing. Calendaring & Scheduling and instant messaging are getting the biggest complaints. More questions keep coming. The answers to most of these are not what they want to hear.  If you are planning a migration of any sort, be sure to thoroughly test the edge cases. That has proven to be where most of the issues are coming from and impacting business processes.  This makes sense. I have often heard executives refer to email as a commodity.  And the core of delivering messages from sender to recipient is just that. The question that should be asked is how complete and fine-tuned are the portfolio of services incorporated into that core?

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