Blog from June, 2010

Okay - this blog, we're going to get a little off-topic, err, I guess.CHOCOLATE!!

But I have something I need to confess, and also thought a good lesson for others. I am SURE I am not the only one that has fallen prey to Chocolate dilemmas.

So here's the story, confession, and finally resolution! Glad I got to the last step!

The story, confession, dilemma ... and finally resolution!

A couple weeks ago I promised fat chocolate for Jessie Curtner given her non-food diet that had overcome her with busyness on the planning/run up to Atlassian Summit - I talked about it here.

While at the summit, I also realized that chocolate should also go to Trisha Hong - for her excellent and amazing efforts in planning the partner events. Just awesome!

strategy #1 - #fail

So then... Atlassian Summit arrived, and with best intentions - I thought - San Francisco would be one of the best places. Surely there will be a nice Chocolate place near by and I could pick up a killer chocolate bar. Not just Hershey's - something special.

Well, not so lucky. Could have gotten a big Babe Ruth, or 100,000 $ bar, or even Hershey with Almonds... but wasn't finding anything "special"...

So: "Nevermind". Will wait - needs to be special. Will do it AFTER the Summit = will taste just as good then.

strategy #2 - #fail

After the Summit, I flew to Boston for the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, and stayed near Harvard.

Have you ever been there?

Yep - this is the place for luxury stores and KILLER chocolate. On the second day, I bought 5 bars of killer chocolate ($4.55 each - THAT's killer chocolate!)

(Okay - I admit - I bought SIX... but I ate one :)

Great! Just need to get it into the Snail mailbox and should be good! Shouldn't be a problem. err... shouldn't be?

How many times have you tried to find the post-office in a strange town when you are traveling everywhere by subway?!!

I never found it!

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Sooo... the chocolate traveled... from Harvard, to Boston, back and forth a few times on the subway ... and then eventually to New York with me via USAirways.

Glad to see my husband and kids, I kind of forgot about the chocolate for a day... but um, then my husband FOUND IT! and a day later, I found wrappers!

UGHH!!!!! Back to square one!!!

He said - "Thanks so much for the chocolate... that's awesome!"... (err... I was like, "um... Sure. Anything for you babe!")

strategy #3 - #fail

My husband the next day decided to return the favor and while at the store bought 6 bars of chocolate... Hersheys.

I um, said "thanks" - while in my head - was thinking "God bless the Father of US chocolate and all - but I need "Special" chocolate". I said thank you anyways, for the thought.

I didn't complain, but 2 hours later found 4 empty wrappers of Hershey's...

This time Thing One (Ryan) and Thing Two (Stella) scarfed the chocolate.

I wasn't that bummed of course - though shocked nonetheless on the lunacy of this Chocolate dilemma. It is like the most impossible thing to move outside of our walls before someone eats it!

strategy #4 - #SUCCESS

Today I made a resolution - never again will I try to buy and send chocolate via a brick and morter store. Never. No, always online.

Today I ordered some Dan's Chocolate for you Jessie and Trisha... should be there next week. It's great stuff!!! And Special!

Small tokens for your amazing coordination and planning efforts, top-notch all the way! NOT an easy task for that big of a crowd, and not to be underestimated.

At your choice, share your chocolate with your other Atlassian coordinating minions...

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p.s. AppFusions team, while I was at it, ordered some for you too!

Thanks for getting the Alfresco to Confluence connector out... lets keep plugging... got big customers itching for that in their production environments.

Top-Tier Talent/People are what "MAKE" the Atlassian Summit and Enterprise 2.0 Conferences

Last week was a busy week -- much catch up from being away from my desk alot during the prior two weeks while attending Atlassian Summit 2010 (San Francisco) and Enterprise 2.0 Conference (Boston), and also AppFusions' release of the Alfresco to Confluence connector on the Atlassian Plugin Exchange .

Both conferences - exhilarating experiences in alot of ways, albeit really because of the people more than the events, for me.

This statement is not meant to be a criticism of the events -- actually quite to the contrary. Both events were very well planned, organized, and had large engaged attendance (in fact Atlassian Summit was sold out a month in advance; stopped counting the waiting list at 200+ over...).

It is the people though that each event drew in -- top talents of the Atlassian and Enterprise 2.0 industries, trekking in from all corners of the world -- that made the events so amazing. Having that much top-tier talent all in one city, let alone single venues, all at the same time, is just a do not miss experience on so many levels.

Endless exposure and share in conversation, stories, visions, designs, knowledge, tricks, insights, examples, networking, and simply inspirations over short periods of time is exhausting, seemingly unrepeatable, and very cherry.

And then comes the streams of blogs, write-ups, opinions, and tweets moving the experiences and knowledge even more. The After-Conferences are almost more intense actually. These are NOT passive conference attendee folks!


For the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, here's just a few notable recap/"archival"-like blogs, samplers -- of the tons out there:


For Atlassian Summit, here's some recaps on that:

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I started this section with the title that "top tier talent/people "make" the conferences". Come to think of it, top-tier talent/people are also what makes Enterprise 2.0 work in organizations too! Interesting coincidence!

"Too Vendor-Centric at E2.0 Conference" - what to do about it

One of the loudest criticisms that I kept hearing about the E2.0 conference was:

Too vendor-centric...

I always find this criticism quite ironic - since it really is a cheapshot and also kinda short-sighted and lame. You need the vendors for conferences - they are critical; but indeed, with some thought, a balance in the planning and preparation can help.

If I recall a year ago, Atlassian Summit 2009 had the same criticism and I applaud Atlassian for really taking the bull by the horn on this issue for this year.

For the 2010 event, alot/most of the sessions were by Atlassian employees/experts, or real-world customer case studies, sharing their knowledge, and really trying to change the conference flavor to be less vendor-centric, yet to keep the conference enticing for both vendors and customers at the same time. Not easy.

For the conference sessions that were dedicated to vendors, Atlassian did a good trick to up the ante (quality) on those sessions.

They played the Superbowl angle, as @chrisyeh commented to in Megan Murray's blog about the #e2conf .

Vendors need to follow the Gladiator Principle..."Are you not entertained?"

Just because you've delivered your talking points doesn't mean that you've made an impact. Buying a keynote is like buying a Superbowl commercial -- yeah, you've got a big audience, but they're as likely to mock you as support you. Money gets you in front of people, but it's up to you to tell a story worth hearing.

At the Atlassian Summit, the Keynote was presented by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar - always good presenters (here's their Starter Day presentation ). Directly following was a LaunchPad event that allowed the 13 or so vendor sponsors a chance to show off their stuff, on stage. Here was the non-rules to the competition.

Do their "SuperBowl spot", LIVE, if you will.

Following each spot, the audience was given a couple minutes to SMS/text their vote in on it, which was calibrated and calculated in real-time on the big-screen so everyone could also see.

Some of the presentations were standout, others were mediocre at best.

The winner - Gliffy Design Software - for their pirates themed presentation.

Gliffy excited and rousted the audience. It was funny, charming, engaging, informative and simply - an Atlassian Summit "superbowl" standout. And to boot, they had a blast doing it - sometimes laughing harder than the audience.

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That is good marketing! Having fun and sharing the fun, with a serious solution! So, as one pirate said at the end: "There you go Jack!"

Up the ante on those vendor presentations

Enterprise 2.0 Conference could rip a page off the Atlassian Summit conference playbook for their LaunchPad, and endless Keynote sessions too!

People like to be entertained at conferences, as well as informed - but engagement expectations are high.

  • Up the ante on those vendor presentations.
  • Provide real-time E2.0 friendly competition!
  • Make the vendors earn their stage time, not just subject the audience to mediocre.I know I know - they paid for their stage time. But so did the attendees!
  • Engage the audience to vote after each event and get into the fun!

As for next years' Atlassian Summit vendor events - I think the ante has already been up'd, and I'm sure next year will hold new surprises. In good Atlassian E2.0 way, continuous improvement - it always gets better and better.

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NO ONE should take for granted their stage time though, at any conference event.

Very stoked about Atlassian Summit 2010 coming up next week ...

Will be great to meet many Atlassian enthusiasts, developers, customers, partners, and indeed Atlassian-folks themselves!

Bound to be filled with surprises and invigorating discussions on all levels with a crowd like this. Four of us from AppFusions are attending, with smiles and excitement!

HOWEVER, before we even get there - I know one thing:

I'm already extremely thankful to the amazing Jessie Curtner - Atlassian's event coordinator extraordinaire!

This is my fourth official event (aside from user groups or such) that she has pulled together that I have attended:

So this is stated from experience and without hesitation!!

Truth be told, these events get bigger, more intense, and more complicated for her I am sure as each one evolves and grows - (just as Atlassian does :) ) - so the challenges are not to be underestimated at any level in pulling off grand-scale top quality events for so many people flying in from all corners of the world.

Atlassian official events (AtlasCamp and AtlassianSummit) are top of the scale on excellence - certainly in accommodations, but more importantly in the quality people drawn that attend and the always upping-the-bar information shared.

Early Kudos Jessie and best wishes in the coming days during the event! You simply ROCK!

.. and I loved these recent tweets of yours! I'll be bringing you a big fat dark chocolate bar just in case!

Looking forward.

Just love this video!

I think it sends home a million messages given so many day to day stresses in life - business, home, professional, personal - you name it.

We all have them - we all have a ton to do and get through each day - keep the balls in the air - meet our commitments, make things happen.

And to boot, don't know anyone that has not been affected by at least some kind of challenge during the recession over the last year or two. Life has never been more tricky!

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Soo... while sure, business is serious indeed - with serious things to do and get done - still we all need to keep our sense and wits about it too! 

Lets get it done, and do it well - but keep it fun - with the fun theory!