Good news! Tivoli Directory Integrator is still “FREE, FREE, FREE”!

I know everyone is excited about the release of Notes/Domino 8.5.3.  And there is lots of information to digest regarding features and requirements. 

One good bit of news I don’t want you to miss – is the entitlement for Tivoli Directory Integrator!  If you were keeping up, there were some licensing changes in 8.5.2 that limited the version of TDI and what types of data you could move with an assembly line.

However, that’s all changed with 8.5.3.  Check out the licensing info regarding what product entitlement included with your license of a Domino Enterprise Server.

Has someone discovered the “lost” iPhone 5 with the Notes client on it??

I’ve finally hit a tipping point.  I was reading the headlines in this morning and the content immediately set off alarms.

Having been on both sides of the fence so to speak – both as a customer who wasn’t connected to the “yellowverse” per se and as someone who now has a network of peers who are business partners and leaders in the Lotus community, I can see how the average customer may be totally confused by what they read here.

 There are headlines posted here prior to product release date that allude to features or entitlements.  And these postings are such that the tone implies the author is privy to information that hasn’t been posted publicly yet and that they speak as an expert.  

This is exactly what concerns me.  What is the point of signing a non-disclosure agreement and agreeing to be a business partner or a beta participant if you’re going to disclose confidential material?  Yes, I understand that at a point during a beta program, participants are encouraged to blog about their experience with the product.  But this goes beyond that.  How is the average customer supposed to discern what is fact and what is fiction?

Perhaps it comes down to ethics.  What is the motivation for blogging?  Do we as bloggers on Planet Lotus  post to draw attention to our ourselves, our companies or services? Or do we blog to relay what we consider to be important information?  Or are we blogging for the “betterment of the community”?

And if you’ve been paying attention to the latest announcements by Amazon regarding their new Kindle Tablet, it seems this same sort of behavior happens in other “communities” other than just this one.  Bloomberg scooped info on the Kindle prior to the announcement.!/johnbiggs/status/119049154872885249!/robinwauters/status/119045084099518464

At one point I blogged about what headlines would make blog post go “hot” on PlanetLotus.  And perhaps my headline got your attention as well!  Some of those same suggestions still seem to be true.  As readers we’re naturally drawn to a sensational heading or title.  We can’t help it!

Perhaps my point in writing this is just a call out for bloggers to remember that what we write is public, searchable and printable.  And that we should fact check before we hit publish.

From Idea to Print: Technical Writing – How to get Started!

Tom ‘Duffbert’ Duff and I put together a BOF at Lotusphere 2011 about technical writing.  I’ve recently been asked again – how does one get started with writing a technical article or book and I thought I’d share some of our bullet points from that session.

When you’re writing for a technical audience, be it a white paper, article, or book, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Know your audience – senior management or users?
  • Know your material – and give credit where credit is due.  If you’re presenting your own material be sure to say so, but also if your writing includes information from someone else be sure to give that person recognition.
  • Be specific and minimize use of acronyms – not everyone knows them.
  • If you blog (and you should), treat it as a constant advertisement for your skills in writing. That may be how you receive your first writing assignment.
  • Make liberal use of your spelling and grammar checker.
  • Focus on positive ideas.
  • Don’t try to be overly funny in your writing. It may not transfer over well to other cultures.
  • Read!  Pay attention to trends, content, writing styles.  You’ll learn a lot from other writers!
  • Pick up and read some basic books on writing:
    • The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
    • The Elements of International English Style by Edmond H. Weiss
    • Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker
    • Practice some of the basic errors that catch writers: its/it’s, their/they’re/there, theirs/there’s.
  • Start writing and contributing NOW:
    • Blogs (yours or guest authoring)
    • Lotus wikis
    • Technical newsletters (DeveloperWorks,, technical publications)
    • Contact industry publications and ask about freelance policies
    • Start small and work your way up.  Don’t expect your first writing effort to result in a book.

If you’re thinking about submitting a proposal for a technical book or article some items to include are: 

  • Topic Summary
  • Description
  • A “sell line” – why would someone want to buy this book?
  • Sales features – would you include code or additional download?
  • Style/approach
  • Chapter outline – probably one of the most important steps, this should be very detailed!
  • Page counts – Yes page counts – publishers like to have an idea as to how long the book will be to gauge their publishing costs.
  • Schedule – how long do you think it will take you to write?
  • Related titles – what other titles are available that may compete?
  • Target audience
  • Market information – are you writing about a specific product, if so what is the market for the product and is a book necessary.
  • Trends
  • Author information – include your credentials! What makes you the expert to write the book!
  • Promotion – some ideas for promoting the book.
  • Reviewers – suggest some names for the publisher.  Don’t assume they have a pool of reviewers, especially for niche products.

Writing is not easy, but it is one of the most fulfilling things you can do!  So start scribbling and who knows where it might take you!

Chasing the Cloud Part 3: New Article in THE VIEW

My third article in the series of three: “Chasing the Cloud: Part 3: Migrating Your Users and Data” has just been published online in THE VIEW.  Parts 1 and 2 can be found here:  “Chasing the Cloud: Part 2: Plan and Prepare for Moving your Domino Environment to the Cloud”  “Chasing the Cloud Part 1:  What Domino Administrators and Managers Need to Know.” This site does require a subscription.  If you’re new to THE VIEW – this is one of the leading resources for technical content for all IBM/Lotus products.

And here’s to you Mary Beth Raven….

As you may know, Mary Beth Raven, Mat Newman and others have created the Sametime songs (version 1 and version 2).  We included the first version in the IBM Lotus 8.0 Sametime Essentials: A User’s Guide and plan to include the latest Sametime song in the Sametime Admin book!

And along those lines, Tom ‘Duffbert’ Duff and I put together our own song expressly for Mary Beth.  To the tune of Simon and Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson – here’s our version!  Thanks Mary Beth – we hope to see you at Lotusphere 2012!!

And here’s to you, Mary Beth Raven
We’ll miss you more than you will over know (whoa, whoa, whoa)
God bless you please, Mary Beth Raven
You’ll have to come to Lotusphere to play
(Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)

We’d like to keep you around our group, surround you with our smiles
We’d like to hear you sing another song
Look around you, all you see are sniffling teared-up eyes
But we know you’re going on to better things

And here’s to you, Mary Beth Raven
We’ll miss you more than you will over know (whoa, whoa, whoa)
God bless you please, Mary Beth Raven
You’ll have to come to Lotusphere to play
(Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)

Store your yellow shoes and cape where no one ever goes
Put them in your closet with your jackets
They’re a major part of you that we will not forget
Most of all, hold on to all those memories

Coo, coo, ca-choo, Mary Beth Raven
We’ll miss you more than you will over know (whoa, whoa, whoa)
God bless you please, Mary Beth Raven
You’ll have to come to Lotusphere to play
(Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)

Sitting in your cubicle, a new day coming soon
Thinking back on places that you’ve been
Laugh about them, smile about them
When they come to mind
Every one has made you who you are today

We’ll miss you lots, Mary Beth Raven
No one can ever fill those yellow shoes (woo, woo, woo)
But don’t you fret, Mary Beth Raven
You may be gone, but we’re never far away
(Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey)


Good News! New 8.5.3 IMAP Commands/Features

In 2008 I posted the following to IdeaJam:






If you’re a Domino administrator you know that up to know you have not been able to “drop” an individual IMAP or HTTP user like you have been with a Notes user.  Why would you need to do that?  Perhaps you’ve noticed that they have multiple threads or you know that they are causing the IMAP task to hang, or the IMAP task is not completing its shutdown because a few users are still logged on, etc., etc.

In any case, we asked for this feature to be included for IMAP and thanks to John Woods, Nick Orrick and team, it is currently in 8.5.3 CD5 (Note – it is always up to the discretion of IBM as to what features will be included in the generally available release).  The commands are as follows:

tell imap show threadpool threads debug

tell imap drop all

tell imap drop session <abcd123>

This a big step towards providing IMAP stability.  And no IMAP Idle is still not included.  If you are a customer who requires IMAP in your environment, please make your requirements known to IBM!

The true value of Linkedin? Recommendations!

Okay you’re social and you have access to all these different social networks.  And perhaps you’re wondering exactly what is the value of one network versus the other. 

In my opinion the value of Linkedin is recommendations.  This is a unique feature of this network. 

You have the ability to write a recommendation about a friend, colleague, co-worker, consultant, presenter, etc.  Think about it.  You know how you feel when someone writes something complementary about you. So why not take the fifteen to twenty minutes each week it might take to write a recommendation about someone.  It will make you feel good, it helps out the individual in that they now have a bank of recommendations for future job references, and they might in turn do the same favor for you. 

It really is a “pay it forward” kind of action!