Monday, January 31, 2011

Lotusphere 2011 Day 2: What's Coming in Social

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Lotusphere 2011, or #ls11 is you are following in Twitter, got off to its official start today with the Opening General Session, which I live blogged with Mitch Cohen. Mitch and I shared various photos throughout the event so I invite you to check that out.

The guest speaker was the Executive Producer of The Social Network, Kevin Spacey, who I thought was a great choice given the theme of the conference is Social Business. I thought Kevin Spacey did a great job on stage (and no, I'm not sucking up so I'm cast in the next movie he makes about MIT students). I also enjoyed Sandy Carter, the new VP of Sales and Evangelism at Lotus. Sandy is super energetic and talked about all the great things that IBM has done to become social. Sandy had a great takeaway as she exited the stage: "Get started on your social journey now -- it is moving so fast you can't develop a 5 year plan".

Moreover, I enjoyed that tons of customers got on stage like RIM, AT&T, CSC, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and 6 others. CSC even announced a new cloud collaboration business built on IBM technology. RIM, of course, got to show off the Playbook and it looked amazing!

The keynote was also streamed to over 1300 viewers and it's replay is here:

After the keynote, it was time to introduce what's coming in the next incarnations of Connections. Suzanne Livingston and Jim Battle took us through that. Here's what you can expect:

  • A new media gallery for photo and video sharing
  • Idea blogs to capture ideas and drive them through the process until implemented
  • Integration with an ECM repository
  • File previews
  • Enhanced microblogging capabilities such as Like and Recommendations
  • New share box to make it easier to share status updates, photos, videos, files, etc from a pervasive place
  • More moderation capabilities
  • Team calendar
  • Outlook Social Connector
  • and more...

After lunch, I headed over to Jeff Shick's session: Powering a Market Leading Business with Social Collaboration. Jeff got Rex Lee from RIM and Blair Klein AT&T to tell us how they are using Connections internally. Both had amazing stories and shared some very impressive statistics on adoption. Here are some highlights to that session:

A huge day as the official start of Lotusphere 2011. Will share more tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday!


Lotusphere 2011 Day 1: Introducing the IBM Social Business Toolkit

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On Sunday, I took a quick break in my hotel room to share some of the happenings from Day 1 at Lotusphere 2011 #ls11. As you probably know by now, I'll be live blogging throughout the conference, especially Monday's grand keynote with Mitch Cohen.

So today I got to attend a fantastic session by Bruce Elgort and Chris Martin on "How I Went Beyond the Hype, Narcissism, and Trendiness to Become a Social Software Super Hero". That was definitely the best session I attended today. The team did a fantastic job at staying away from buzzwords, and got "real". About 8-9 videos were shown from various people (including me!) talking about their perspectives of a social business and the reasons to become one. Check out all the photos and commentary here.

IBM also introduced the IBM Social Business Toolkit. This is a new set of APIs that will allow you to integrate your own applications or 3rd party applications into the IBM Social Business framework. Why do you need this?
Today, business users are responsible for more information from more sources, and find they need to coordinate and respond to events in each application. The IBM Social Business Toolkit provides a single stream of business information that can be analyzed and personalized for each user.
As I said, the idea is to take all your existing apps (and even those from 3rd party vendors) and merge all the activity and information across those existing silos into a single, unified view (or stream). So from this:

to this:

To keep up to date with all the happenings around the IBM Social Business Toolkit (and even start testing and using the API today), join the community and follow the blog here. Now let's see what kind of capabilities customers and business partners come up with!

Lotusphere 2011 OGS Live Blog

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Here's the live blog directly from the Opening General Session (OGS) at Lotusphere 2011 #ls11.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Future of Marketing: Hype or Business Driver in 2011?

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This is my last post until next week when I'll be live blogging from Lotusphere 2011 (#ls11). I did wanted to bring this to your attention. On Tuesday we made available a new video on our site where the co-founder of ThoughtLead, Sam Rosen, sits down with the Suzanne Livingston, Sr. Product Manager for Connections, to talk about how to make externally-facing customer communities work.

Sam restricts Suzanne to only 2 minute answers, so the video moves pretty quickly.

She answers many important questions, including:

  • Are customer communities simply hype, or will they actually help my company develop our competitive advantage?
  • Do I need a dedicated "social media team" for the community, or should the work be shared throughout my organization?
  • How to (soft) sell to your customers through your online community--without turning off your audience?
  • How to ensure your customer community continues to thrive and serves your business goals over time?
  • How to turn negative product feedback into opportunities for business growth and customer loyalty?
  • How to dramatically increase the number of new product ideas your organization can generate?
  • Case studies of companies successfully using customer communities to lower costs and drive profits
  • How to convince the C-suite to start a community?


So if you are responsible for the social media strategy of your organization, go on and check out this great video interview. I'm sure you are going to get some great info to use as you build your social media strategy.

To access the video, click here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Real Story: The High Cost of Microsoft SharePoint

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As I was checking my feeds I stumbled upon an interesting bit of news.  I've actually known this for a long time and I'm glad that this is surfacing via other channels.

When I went to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston in 2010, I attended a session by Tony Byrne where he stated that for every $1 spent on a SharePoint license $6-$9 additional dollars would need to be spent on services/customization/etc (because SharePoint doesn't do anything out of the box).  That's huge!  In fact, Microsoft is proud of this fact.

The Real Story Group, where Tony now works, recently posted an article called: The high cost of Microsoft SharePoint.  In it, the stats are now updated:

Microsoft estimates that you the customer will spend a total of $6.2 Billion on services related to SharePoint in 2011.  According to my rough estimate, you can add $1.7 Billion in 2011 SharePoint license revenue on top. This for a product that many sales folk continue to tout as low cost, and sometimes even as free.
So again, businesses will pay ~$5-$6 on services for every $1 spent on licenses!  Whoah! Can businesses really afford to pay so much in these economic times?  My guess is that customers don't know they are paying so much because Microsoft does a good job deceiving them and hiding the costs.  The Real Story Group puts this number into perspective by saying that 50 countries in the world have a GDP less than what the world spends on SharePoint (i.e. $9 billion)!

In fact, another blog entry caught my attention this week where Vaughan Rivett talks about how companies in New Zealand are picking IBM Lotus Quickr over Microsoft SharePoint.  The two reasons why companies are picking IBM over Microsoft?  According to Vaughan:

  1. Quickr is ready to go straight out of the box without too many customizations
  2. Customers are complaining about the hidden costs in deploying SharePoint, plus the additional services and $$$ required to make it ready for collaboration

So are you still considering SharePoint? Make sure that you read this so that you are aware how much you are going to spend (and make sure you have a lot of cash in that wallet).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Where To Find Me at Lotusphere 2011

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In 4 days, I'll be getting on a plane to fly down to Lotusphere 2011 (#ls11). In fact, in 97 hours I'll be "wheels up" to the conference of the year. As you may probably know by now, there's a huge focus on Social Business. In fact, in parallel to Lotusphere, there'll be a Social Business Industry Symposium, sponsored by Wired Magazine.

This year, I'll be working with Mitch Cohen and will be live blogging various sessions from Lotusphere 2011. Together we'll be providing commentary, photos, and other live coverage from the Lotusphere Opening General Session (OGS) as well as other sessions. Additionally, I'll be presenting (or at least on stage) at 4 different sessions. A lot of people have also asked me where I'm going to be and how to find me at Lotusphere.

Therefore, I've created a page dedicated to all things Lotusphere 2011 which you can find here. Please visit that page so that you get a feel of how and where to find me / follow me while at Lotusphere 2011. I've also created a link to my calendar which you can use to see my availability.

And check back on next Monday early to find the URL to the first live blogging session. Again the page is: Lotuphere 2011 on lbenitez.com.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Quickr Connector for Symphony 3.0 Now Available

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Back in October, I blogged about all the social plugins that are available for Symphony. In there, I had mentioned the availability of a Quickr plugin for Symphony. That plugin, however, was specifically for version 1.3 of IBM's free Office suite, Lotus Symphony. Last week, the connector was updated to work with version 3.0 of Lotus Symphony.

So if you use Quickr and Symphony, then you'll want to download the latest Quickr connector which is now available in the Symphony plugins catalog.

Here's a screenshot of the Quickr plugin for Symphony:


To download, click here and then drag-and-drop the widget directly into Symphony and the installation will start automatically!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday IBM - The Centennial

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Check out this video that was created to highlight 100 of the achievements IBM has created in the past 100 years.

Some highlights:

  • 6:10 - 1962 - IBM creates the Sabre reservation system for American Airlines
  • 6:45 - 1966 - IBM invents Dynamic RAM (the memory for computers)
  • 7:00 - 1969 - IBM goes to space
  • 7:50 - 1973 - IBM invents the UPC
  • 8:02 - 1975 - IBM creates the first portable computer created, "kinda"
  • 8:35 - 1981 - IBM invents the PC expecting to sell 240,000. 2 million are sold
  • 9:05 - 1986 & 1987- IBMers win the Nobel prize
  • 10:00 - 1997 - Deep Blue defeats the Chess World Champion (and in 2011, IBM's Watson takes on Jeopardy! champions!)
Exciting times ahead!

How To Add Twitter and Facebook Like Buttons to Blogger

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Over the weekend, I was asked how I was able to add the Twitter and Facebook buttons to my blog on Blogger. I realized that this took me a while to figure out and I never shared how to do it. Though I did share how to do it for those of you running blogs on Domino. Therefore, here's the step-by-step on how to add the Twitter and Facebook Like buttons to your blog on Blogger:

Update 21/Jan/2011 @ 2:40PM: Make sure you get an account with http://bit.ly first. I recommend getting a Pro account (which is FREE) which would allow you to use your own shortening domain. For example, if your blog is http://www.IDontLikeWar.com, a free Pro bit.ly account will allow you to shorten URLs to http://IDontLikeW.ar )

1) Go to http://Blogger.com -> Pick Your blog -> click on Design tab -> then Edit HTML

2) Click on Expand Widget Templates

3) Search for post-body and you should find something like this:

<div class='post-body entry-content'>

4) Immediately after that line, add the following code:

<div class='post_share social-media'>

<div class='wdt_button'>

<script type='text/javascript'>

tweetmeme_url = &#39;<data:post.url/>&#39;;

tweetmeme_source = &#39;twitter_user_id&#39;;

tweetmeme_service = &#39;bit.ly&#39;

tweetmeme_service_api = &#39;twitter_user_id:your_bit_ly_API_key&#39;;

</script>

<script src='http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js' type='text/javascript'/>

</div>

<div class='wdt_button'>

<iframe allowTransparency='true' expr:src='&quot;http://www.facebook.com/plugins/like.php?href=&quot; + data:post.url + &quot;&amp;layout=button_count&amp;show_faces=false&amp;width=75&amp;action=like&amp;font=verdana&amp;colorscheme=light&quot;' frameborder='0' scrolling='no' style='border:none; overflow:hidden; width:75px; height:30px;'/>

</div>

</div>

Note that you should change the values for tweetmeme_source, tweetmeme_service and tweetmeme_service_api to your respective values.

5) Now look for .footer-outer { and you should find something like this:

.footer-outer {

color:$(footer.text.color);

background: $(footer.background);

...

Just before that line add the following:

/* Social share styles

----------------------------------------------- */

.social-media {

width: 90px;

}

.post_share {

float:left;

}

.post_share .wdt_button {

clear:left;

margin:0;

}

.wdt_button {

padding:5px;

}

6) Click Save Template and that should do it.

Enjoy!

Download Now: Another iPhone App for Lotus Connections !

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I'm loving this! Do you remember back in September when I talked about the first iPhone application being available for Lotus Connections? The myDeveloperWorks iPhone app has been doing very well and has achieved close to 150 downloads/week (~3000 downloads total).

A couple of weeks after that, the awesome team at MyDeveloperWorks published an article explaining step-by-step how to create an iPhone application for Lotus Connections.   As I ended that blog post I said: "I cant wait to see what kind of applications developers are now going to create". The wait is now over!

A new iPhone application is now available in the app store and you can download today. So how is this iPhone app different from the one that myDeveloperWorks created? The biggest difference is that mLinked allows you to connect to multiple instances of Lotus Connections like the one on myDeveloperWorks, BleedYellow, and Greenhouse. For those of you going to Lotusphere 2011 (#ls11), unfortunately the app won't work with LSOnline because the APIs are blocked.

Here are the features available in version 1.0 of this app:

  • Support multiple instances of Lotus Connections
  • View status updates
  • Search Profiles
  • Call & email directly from Profiles
  • Accept & send invitations
  • Read, browse & recommend blog entries
  • Supports Lotus Connections 2.5 and 3.0

The paid version, allows you to add more Lotus Connections instances, including the one for your company. The paid version is $1.99.

Here's a couple of screenshots.



I've been playing with the app for the last 2 weeks and it's great. I highly recommend it!

You can learn more about the application by visiting the mLinked webpage. If you have feature requests or would like to have access to the forum, click here.

To download the application from iTunes, click here.

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Video: The Social Workplace

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Towards the end of last year, IBM hosted a webcast called "The Social Workplace" with the following participants (clockwise starting from top-left):

  • Jennifer Okimoto - Leader of Smarter Work Center of Competency, IBM Global Services
  • Josip Petrusa - GenY / Millenial Blogger
  • Sameer Patel - Partner at Sovos Group.
  • Jennifer Beal - Sr Research Scientist, Center of Creative Leadership

I first met Jennifer Okimoto through our internal social media tool. In one of my trips to San Francisco, I had a chance to meet Jennifer in person. She's a super smart person and works first hand with customers helping them drive that culture shift towards Enterprise 2.0. Therefore, this is one of those webcasts that I really wish I had attended, but just didn't get a chance to attend because of all the Connections 3.0 release madness. However, the entire webcast is available for replay here so I just got a chance to go through it.

Here's a 15-minute highlight of the webcast:




Here's the full 1-hour long webcast:




Some take aways:

  • Customers expect to connect to real person -- employees expect the same thing
  • It's not a matter of if companies will become social, it's a matter of when
  • Employees are using tools not approved by IT, often times outside of firewall, because existing tools are not good enough

I strongly encourage you to add this to your to-do of things to listen, if you haven't yet.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Connections Administration Tool Now Available

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TIMETOACT Group, an IBM Business Partner, has just made available the Connections Administration Tool in the IBM Solutions Catalog (don't you just love that catalog??). This tool was made to simplify the lives of the Connections administrators and it provides a very easy way to do regular administrative tasks from a very nice user interface.

On Monday, I posted the list of Social Business sessions at Lotusphere 2011 (#ls11). As you may have noticed, there's a session called:

BP114 IBM Lotus Connections Administration: From the Command Line to a Graphical UI Tuesday 4:45pm

and you can see more information about the session here: https://www-950.ibm.com/events/wwe/lotus/lsph2011.nsf/sessionabstract?openform&sessionid=BP114 . In that session, the Connections Administration Tool will be presented. So if you are a Connections administrator, you certainly don't want to miss out on that one.
Here's a screenshot of how the new administration UI looks like.

I'm very excited by all the work our Business Partners are doing. Can't wait to see what else they come up with!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lotus Connections 3.0 Performance Tuning Guide Now Available

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The Lotus Connections 3.0 Performance Tuning Guide is now available from the Lotus Connections Wiki. This document provides recommendations for performance tuning of IBM® Lotus® Connections 3.30 based on the experience of the IBM Collaboration Solutions Performance team. However, the optimal tuning and the resulting system capacity can be affected by many factors, including the characteristics of the load on the system and the hardware used, including servers, disk subsystems, network topology, and more. Therefore the recommendations in this document should not be considered the optimal values for every situation, but rather a recommended starting point for tuning a Connections deployment.

If you are a business partner, or someone responsible for deploying Lotus Connections, you need to read this:

To download the full version, click here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Social Software at Lotusphere 2011

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I posted this already in the Synch.rono.us blog but wanted to post it here for visibility. Also, while at Lotusphere (#ls11) , if you ever want to pull up a list of all the Social Software sessions at Lotusphere 2011, just go to: http://bit.ly/SocialLS11


Are you psyched about Lotusphere 2011 ? You should be! We have a bit over 2 weeks left and I'm sure all of you are already planning your schedules for Lotusphere. We thought it would be a good idea to capture all the social related sessions at Lotusphere 2011 in one place. This way, we'll help you start thinking about which sessions to go to.   


Also, in case you missed it, Genii Software has created a Notes database with all the sessions in it. It's really nice because you can create your schedule directly from that database. Additionally, you can Tweet the session details or even check into it using Foursquare. If you need mobile access to the list of sessions, The Turtle Partnership has created a free Blackberry app. They also created free iPhone app. An iPad app is awaiting approval from Apple and will be available soon.

Note that this list does not include the sessions that will be presented at the Social Business Industry Symposium (sponsored by Wired Magazine).

Session ID Session Name Date/Time
JMP203 IBM Lotus Quickr for IBM Lotus Domino in Action Sunday, 1:30pm
JMP205 IBM Lotus Connections 3.0 Administration Overview Sunday, 1:30pm
INV101 Powering a Market Leading Business with Social Collaboration Monday, 1pm
INV111 Making Decisions Collaboratively with Cognos Business Intelligence & IBM Lotus Connections Tuesday, 10am
INV112 The Social Side of IBM's New Advanced Case Management Offerings Wednesday, 10am
INV117 Social Media in 2011: 10-Minute Warning Tuesday, 10am
INV201 A “Day in the Life” Exceptional Work Experience Tuesday, 4:45pm
INV202 Building the Vision of an Exceptional Collaborative Work Experience Wednesday, 4:45pm
INV203 Content-Centric vs People-Centric: The Copernican Revolution of Today's Business Wednesday, 11:15am
INV206 Collaborative Decision Making Thursday, 11:15am
ID301 What's New in IBM Lotus Connections 3.0 Monday, repeats on Tuesday, 11am
ID302 Best Practices for a Happy and Healthy IBM Lotus Connections Deployment! Tuesday, 1:30
ID303 Exceptional Work Experience - Integrating and Extending Connections, Portal, Quickr, Notes, Sametime & ECM Monday, 11am
ID304 Lotus Connections User Management and SSO: What you NEED to know! Tuesday, 3:30pm
ID305 Build Large-scale Performing Enterprise Solutions for IBM Lotus Connections Tuesday, 4:45pm
ID306 Compliance and Moderation with Lotus Connections 3.0 Wednesday, 4:15pm
ID307 What's New in IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5 Monday, 3:45pm
ID308 Architecture Deep Dive, Upgrade Deployment & Performance Best Practices for IBM Lotus Quickr for Domino 8.5 Monday 5:00pm
ID309 Extending Social Collaboration with Enterprise Content Wednesday, 3:00pm
ID701 IBM Lotus Advancements in a Mobile World Wednesday, 11:15am
AD301 Extending the Social Network – Part 1 Tuesday 4:45pm
AD302 Extending the Social Network – Part 2 Wednesday 8:30am
AD303 Connecting Developers and Community with Rational Jazz and Lotus Connections Tuesday, 1:30pm
AD304 Customizing Lotus Connections 3.0 Tuesday 10am
AD305 Deep Dive on UI and Server-side Customizations for IBM Lotus Quickr for Domino 8.5 Wednesday, 4:15pm
AD402 Developing Exceptional Web and Mobile Experiences with Social Capabilities Tuesday 11:15am
AD403 Repeatable Patterns with Industry Templates for Customer Experience Suite Monday 1:00pm
AD501 IBM Project Vulcan: The IBM Collaboration Toolkit Tuesday 4:45pm
AD504 Best Practices for Mobile User Experience Design Wednesday 10:00am
BP104 LDAP: The Amazing Infrastructure Challenge Monday 11:00am
BP105 Twelve MORE Things Your Mother Never Told You About Deploying IBM Lotus Connections 3.0 Monday 3:45pm
BP109 IBM Lotus Domino Admin to IBM WebSphere Application Admin - in 1 hour! Wednesday 8:30am
BP114 IBM Lotus Connections Administration: From the Command Line to a Graphical UI Tuesday 4:45pm
BP205 Quickr 8.5 for Domino Development: Forget Everything We've Ever Told You Monday 5:00pm
BP206 Working with Feeds in IBM Lotus Notes and Domino Tuesday 10:00am
BP303 Social Comes To You: How To Bring Connections to your Application in Context Wednesday 11:15am
CUST102 From the Flintstones to the Jetsons: The Avery Dennison InfoXchange Story Tuesday 11:15am
CUST104 BASF Implements connect.BASF: A Global Online Business Network Tuesday 3:30pm
CUST106 How 3M got Social Wednesday 11:15am
CUST107 Coles Supermarket: Social Computing in a Retail Setting Wednesday 1:30pm
SHOW202 Enterprise 2.0 Hero: A Beginner's Guide to Installing IBM Lotus Connections 3.0 Tuesday 4:30pm
SHOW203 Lotus Connections 3.0 – Enterprise Integration for Administrators Sunday, 4pm

There you have it. 42 social sessions during a three-and-half day span. So put on your Social Business hat and join us at Lotusphere 2011. See you there!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011: Save The Date!

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This week I went to the chiropractor. Next week I'll go to the dentist and the barber. No, I'm not getting ready for Valentine's yet, it's just the usual Lotusphere #ls11 prep. I am, however, going to have an awesome date for Valentine's as I'm taking my wife up to New York to celebrate our 7th year anniversary. But you don't need to save the date for that.

You do, however, need to save the date for this. As you may remember, last year I took my first trip to the IBM Watson facilities. I included a video that talked about how IBM is preparing to go on Jeopardy! and compete against humans for the first time. Well, we now have a date. The $1 million competition will air on February 14, 15 and 16. Make sure you set your TiVo's.

IBM's computer will go against 2 humans: Ken Jennings who broke the Jeopardy! record for the most consecutive games played by winning 74 games in a row during the 2004-2005 season, resulting in winnings of more than $2.5 million. The second human is Brad Rutter who won the highest cumulative amount ever by a single Jeopardy! player, earning $3,255,102.

Yesterday, Jeopardy! held a practice run and Watson beat the Ken and Brad! You can take a peek at a clip from the practice run here (check out how Watson makes the audience laugh!!):

Taping for the show begins TODAY. The success of Watson (and news that Google search results are not as good as they used to be) makes me wonder: could this be the next great search engine in the making? The IBM team already does have some plans for Watson whether or not he wins on Valentine's Day.

To learn more about Watson, go to http://www.ibmwatson.com

Monday, January 10, 2011

Things To Do On Your Next Visit To Puerto Rico

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In the past couple of weeks, 5 colleagues have reached out to me asking what is there to do in Puerto Rico since they are going to be coming for some vacation soon. Given the interest, I figured I would blog my response for the benefits of other that are thinking of coming.

There's plenty to do here. It depends if you are a beach person, shopping person, etc. These are my favorite things to do in the island and that I encourage my friends to do while they are here:

  • Day trip to El Yunque - the caribbean's only rainforest: http://www.elyunque.com/ Good for hiking, going into the waterfalls, and spectacular views
  • Day trip to Arecibo Observatory / Camuy Caverns - The Arecibo Observatory was featured in movies like Contact and 007's Live Another Day. It's the largest radiotelescope of the world and it's operated by Cornell. (http://www.naic.edu/) It's main mission is to look for extraterrestial life and comets that may impact Earth one day. The caverns are the 3rd largest underground cavern system in the world. http://www.whattodoinpr.com/camuy.html
  • Horseback riding: Hacienda CarabalĂ­
  • You have to check out one of the bioluminiscent bays: http://www.discoveringpuertorico.com/2010/04/puerto-rico-bio-bay-and-kayak-tours/
  • For shopping, check out Old San Juan and Plaza Las AmĂ©ricas (and of course, PioMu)
  • Visiting Old San Juan and El Morro is a must!
  • Since I'm a pilot, I can take you on a plane ride around the island :D and let you fly the airplane (only 4 people fit at a time though)

Restaurants to check out:

  • La Bombonera - good for lunch.. Spanish food, service is horrible but the food is great & awesome prices. Been there for almost 100 years
  • Dragonfly - Great atmosphere for dinner. Definitely check it out on a Thurs-Sun
  • Aguaviva - Another great one in Old San Juan
  • Casa Dante - in Isla Verde... ask for the Mofongo.
  • Eat some (http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/luquillo-kiosks/). The kiosks may look sketchy, but they are popular among locals :) (and the food is good)
  • Another must-visit for local food is Guavate. Check out this article.

In terms of Beaches:

  • Definitely check out Ocean Park, tons of young people and good atmosphere.
  • If you like more deserted beaches, you may want to consider a day trip to Culebra and go to Flamingo Beach. It's #2 of Travel Channel's Top beaches.

Hotels:

  • Depends on your budget and lifestyle. Good metro area hotels are: Condado Plaza (can walk everywhere), Caribe Hilton ( hard to walk to places ), Marriott Condado, and El San Juan Hotel in Isla Verde. If you like hotels that are secluded from everything, El Conquistador in Fajardo is a good choice.

There's some more good info here: http://www.discoveringpuertorico.com/

Enjoy!

What Do IBM Interns do ? Take a Peek

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Friday, January 7, 2011

How To Get the LinkedIn Widget working in Connections 3.0

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On Wednesday I was working on a demo environment and wanted to install the LinkedIn widget in this new Connections 3.0 instance. You may remember that I introduced the LinkedIn widget for Lotus Connections in April of last year.

Once you download the widget from the catalog, you can install it on your 3.0 server. The widget includes step-by-step instructions and they mostly work except for the last step where you configure the translations for the widget.

In 3.0, the process to add custom strings for widgets changed a bit, thus the instructions attached to the widget are no longer applicable. Therefore, ignore steps (2f) and (2g) in those instructions. Instead, you can follow these instructions to make sure the translations are properly loaded. (Note: Even if your users are all using the same language, you must follow these steps).

  1. Copy linkedIn.zip to C:\IBM\LotusConnections\Data\shared\customization\strings
  2. Extract the contents of the file
  3. You'll see a folder structure created.
  4. Go to: C:\IBM\LotusConnections\Data\shared\customization\strings\com\ibm\lconn\linkedin\resources
  5. Copy all the files from this directory to C:\IBM\LotusConnections\Data\shared\customization\strings
  6. Append the following string to the beginning of each file name: com.ibm.lconn.linkedin.resources.
  7. Check out LotusConnections-Config.xml
  8. In the <resources> section add this line: <widgetBundle prefix="LinkedInFramework" name="com.ibm.lconn.linkedin.resources.linkedin" />
  9. Save the file and check it in
  10. Restart all the nodes and application servers

UPDATE (13/Jan/2011): You have to do one more change. Open <WAS_PROFILE_ROOT>\installedApps\cellName\lc_linkedInApp.ear\LinkedInFramework.war\returnLocation.jsp with your favorite text editor. In there you will see an include to Profile's Dojo v1.2.3. That needs to be changed to Dojo v1.4 since that's what Connections v3.0 uses. Therefore, the include link should now look like:




<script type="text/javascript" src="/profiles/dojo_1.4/dojo/dojo.js"></script>


I've alerted the right person so that the instructions are updated on the widget.

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Social Business ROI - Why Do You Need This With Examples Like This?

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I can't think of a better way to start the year 2011 than with an amazing success story that led to increased customer satisfaction thanks to social collaboration. My colleague Fred Raguillat wrote this up, so I'll let you read through his awesome story:


This is another scenario where IBM's Social Collaboration Platform & Atlas made finding experts & collaboration across continents an easy task..!

Adam Ramsay and Rob Thatcher from IBM UK needed Dev Technical assistance fixing a deployment problem with Mobile for their customer. Using IBM social software, we were able to successfully resolve the problem within 24 hours across two different continents.

Here's the sequence of events...

16:45, Monday December 6th GMT, Adam Sametimed with me, asking for help with his problem.  Michael Roche (Lotus Connections Distinguished Engineer) had referred Adam to me for assistance on "mobile application issues with applications".

By 17:12 I had all the information I needed from Adam and Sametimed Luis Benitez for help identifying developer(s) in in the U.S. that could assist. Luis performed a quick tag search using Lotus Connections ('mobile', 'development', 'connections'), identifying the best two qualified developers. With three clicks he narrowed down a company of 400,000 employees to 2 employees!

image

I then used Atlas to find my "contact entry point" (my link to those guys). I then mailed a "help request" to all the relevant parties..


At 18:30 Jesse Hill, one of the mobile LC developers, confirmed that he would be happy to help..

At 8:00 the next morning the UK team sent the log files over to Jesse in the U.S. By that afternoon Jesse sent a fix on to Rob. Rob made the relevant changes, and by 17:00 Rob sent an email to confirm that all issues were resolved.

Sounds easy, yes!? but think if we did not have those tools in our reach, this would have taken for ever..!

Thanks to IBM Social Software, we’ve got another happy customer! ;-)

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

From: Robert Thatcher/UK/IBM@IBMGB
To: Adam Ramsay/UK/IBM@IBMGB
Cc: Tony Hickman/UK/IBM@IBMGB, Jesse Hill/Phoenix/IBM@IBMUS, Fred Raguillat/Ireland/IBM@IBMIE
Date: 07/12/2010 17:13
Subject: Re: Fw: Help Request! RBS Lotus Connections mobile assistance


Adam,

Headline is good news Mobile is fixed and working.

Longer story is that Jesse found the problem very quickly, and it is fixed in 2.5.0.2. But rather than disturb the system Jesse gave me a work around to the Configuration file. I have made the change to the config file, and restarted the Mobile app only. I would suggest a complete restart of WAS when convenient to confirm that the config changes did not upset other functions.

THANKS Jesse.

Rob


How's that for a success story? And it would've been less than 24 hours if it wasn't for the timezone difference.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Goodbye 2010 and Welcome 2011

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Boy am I glad that 2010 is over. 2010 sure had its ups but it had many downs too. For instance, I had to go to the hospital 9 times. Yuck! One of those visits forced me to bail on Lotusphere 2010 . However, one of those visits was a very joyous event as my family and I welcomed to the world Gabriela. Hands down, my favorite moment in 2010 was when 2 year old Alejandro got to meet his 1 day old sister for the very first time:


I also lost American Executive Platinum status as I traveled less this year (sort of bitter-sweet there). And that's mostly due to another positive event in 2010: I got a new job!

I'm about 4 months into the job at IBM and I'm loving it. One of the things that I've noticed is how my work pattern has changed a bit. My email traffic seems to have doubled since I took the job. I think part of it is that I'm now working with a whole bunch of new peers and they may not be aware of my instant message-before-email preference . Another factor is that I get to work now with a lot more confidential data which makes email and Quickr the tools of choice.

Blog wise, readership is up about 2% from last year including the big hiatus I took between February - July (102 posts vs 162 posts before). Traffic spiked significantly around the time Connections 3.0 was announced.

Looking ahead towards 2011, I'm excited to bring to market my first product update in my new role as Product Manager. When and what that is will be talked about at Lotusphere 2011. It's been fascinating learning what it takes to plan and drive a product in coordination with all the right entities: developers, marketing, legal, customers, business partners, etc. I really like being able to quickly poll the community either via Twitter or via the Skype channel Stuart created.

I also want to continue participating and growing the Puerto Rico Lotus User Group and drive more local business and reduce the market share of the competition.

So with that, bring on 2011!