How to Connect with the Lotus Community
by Lisa Duke
As an IBM Lotus Administrator or Developer, keeping your skills up to date is important to your career. But how can you keep up with the latest information if your company's training budget has been reduced? This article gives you an overview of free resources available for the Lotus professional from the community.
PlanetLotus.org is a blog aggregator which collects blogs from around the Lotus Community and displays them in one central location. Many of the bloggers are employed by large IBM customers, and they can share insight into any issues or concerns around rolling out Lotus products in the enterprise.
Another segment of the Planet Lotus community are partners. Many of these partners are employed as consultants, and do Administration or Development projects across many different organizations. Because of this broad exposure, they are able to observe and share many best (and worst!) practices. Writing blog postings allows them to share their expertise. By becoming a resource to the community, they hope to attract additional clients.
IBMers also appear on Planet Lotus. By following blogs such as those published by Ed Brill and Mary Beth Raven, you'll find opportunities to provide feedback on the direction of the products and you will be up to date on all the latest product announcements.
Lotus User Group
Lotus User Group is a central hub with postings for local user groups that you can search to find local Domino Administrators and Developers that meet in your area. Often these groups present "Lunch and Learn" sessions and bring in expert speakers.
In addition to connecting you to local user groups, the Lotus User Group hosts "virtual" user groups, where you can learn about new products, vendors who specialize in the Lotus suite, and other information. These sessions are often presented via webinar, so you can view them from your office. Many of the sessions are recorded, so if getting to them during the day is difficult, you can watch the recorded presentation off-hours.
Wish you had more people inside your organization to talk to about Notes and Domino? There's a conversation going on now on Twitter. To participate, go to Twitter, get a user name and password, and start finding folks with similar interests. To find a portion of the Lotus community, find me, @lisaduke, and see who I'm following.
LinkedIn and Facebook both have groups that focus around Lotus. For more information on Social Networking in general, this article should be helpful.
IBM also hosts several community sites. For more information on these sites, and for more information on connecting with the Lotus world from Rocky Oliver, check out this presentation from the Chattanooga Users Group.
Because IBM Lotus products focus on Rapid Application Development and require fewer administrators than competing products, Lotus professionals may not have a large team within their organization. However, with the social networking tools and resources available on the web (and more local user groups starting up every day), being isolated as a Lotus professional is a choice you are making. Come check out what's new with the products, the portfolio, and join the conversation today!