Rod Boothby objects to the fact that Ed said that he "has never been in IT, has no background in Lotus Notes (other than that of an end-user)". I myself have said that it is clear that he hasn't got a clue "about what you're talking about when it comes to the capabilities of Lotus Notes and how (apart from basic mail and calendaring) it is used."
Rod responded: "I think it is interesting that as far as Ed is concerned, 2 1/2 years of using Lotus Notes as an end user counts as 'no background in Lotus Notes'."
I think it is interesting that Rod ignores the fact that Ed specifically acknowledged that Rod did have background as an end-user.
I think it more interesting, though, that Rod thinks that 2 1/2 years of using Lotus Notes as an end user counts as background in the context of the discussion that he started about leaving Notes, which is a topic that involves technical detail that, with all due respect, 15 years as an end-user wouldn't qualify anyone to write about with any authority at all. Not even 15 years as an end-user while simultaneously participating in and managing IT projects that have nothing at all to do with Lotus Notes, collaboration platforms, or systems and applications migrations can qualify someone to write authoritatively about that topic. Some people with that level of experience -- or even Rod's level -- would clearly be smart enough to listen to resources (maybe even paid consultants!... and no, I'm not consulting any more... this is not a pitch) who do in fact have the expertise, and who could quickly educate them so that they become authoritative experts on the subject of migrating their own particular users and applications -- if that indeed is what they have concluded that they should do.
Rod also points out that he does have an IT background: "I have coded systems in FORTRAN, C++, C#, Java, ASP.NET, and Ruby on Rails. I lead the development of two systems that were put into production on the Fixed Income Derivatives trading floor of the 5th largest bank in the US." That does show Ed to have been incorrect about the IT background, though understandably so since absolutely none of this information was available on Rod's About page, or anywhere else on his site as far as I can tell. What is most interesting to me, though, is the fact that I've got 30 years of experience as an end-user of automobiles, and over the same 30 year period I've written gobs of software in lots of different languages and I've worked on or lead some very large teams that shipped commercial applications with user bases larger than the total headcount of the top 5 banks in the US combined. None of this experience had anything at all to do with the automotive control systems -- but by Rod Boothby logic I can write about leaving the old, entrenched automotive software in favor of new Car 2.0 software and give a "simple recipe" for this. And by simple extrapolation it is apparent that I can do that with ten times (at least) the authority that Rod has in his writing about leaving Lotus Notes.
Well, not quite. The extrapolation can't be linear. I'm sure I have to study up on Car 2.0 quite a bit, embrace its principles, read all the latest journals and web sites about it, go to conferences, establish my credentials in that area... but then I can write about leaving the old automotive software. I don't work for a big 4 consulting organization, but 13 years as a successful independent consultant goes a long way to offsetting that, plus I'm a well-educated guy, a quick study, experienced writer and speaker... and it took me a matter of a few mere months to establish my credentials in Lotus Notes 13 1/2 years ago, so this shouldn't be much of an obstacle -- particularly in a day and age when I can start a blog on the subject and apply my communication skills and intellectual abilities to putting out some really good essays on the general subject. That should get me to at least two times the authority on the subject in a reasonable amount of time.
And when people challenge my "simple recipe" and point out the fact that I have no actual expertise in automotive software at all apart from the fact that I've driven hundreds of thousands of miles in cars that have software controlling systems and providing feedback through instruments, I can just talk about "scary lock-in" and "a system needs to be open" without any particular justifification, quote a McKinsey report and say that everyone who challenges me is "angry" and color myself with "intellectual honesty" -- with the implication that my critics are the opposite.
Or maybe not. Maybe this is just ridiculous, and maybe I'm just blowing off steam because Mr. Boothby proceeded to chop off the end of one of one of my sentences when he quoted me in an effort to paint my initial response to him as "angry", which I wasn't then, but am now.
1. Roberto Boccadoro10/11/2006 03:25:51 AM
Rich, excellent post ! I agree 100% with your analysis.
2. Ian Randall10/11/2006 08:07:23 PM
I agree there is no excuse for the rudeness of misquoting someone to justify your own argement.
But Mr. Boothby seems to be revelling in the attention and I fear his Blog thread is descending into another "I hate Notes" scenario.
However his actions highlight several of my frustrations with Blogs:
1) Bloggers who delete or edit other peoples comments
2) Bloggers who rewrite history
3) Bloggers who adopt the high moral ground and pass out snide comments like confetti at a wedding
3) Bloggers who misquote others with no link to the source information
4) The lack of equity in a Blog with the Blogger having total control over the whole process
5) The inability of the comments to support images and limited rich text support.
I prefer the equality and flexibility of threaded discussion forums.
3. Rod Boothby10/13/2006 02:07:28 AM
Please accept my apologies for screwing up the sentence. I did not mean to offend.
Please also know that I certainly do not mind you or anyone else saying that they think I do not know what I am talking about. That is part of a blunt debate.
The only thing I took exception to was Ed saying I had no experience in IT. It is just an incorrect fact about my personal resume. To go after a client and an end user personally when they complain about your product just isn't cool.
As you go through the comments on any of my posts about Lotus Notes, please note that I have not deleted any.
When I first updated the post in reaction to some of the comments, I was not careful about showing where I was making updates. That was a serious screw-up on my part, and something I have tried to fix. To be honest, this is the first time people have reacted so strongly to a post I made, and I didn't understand the right way to amend the post to the criticism that I felt was valid.
Finally, I would like to thank you particularly, for your comments and feed back. We disagree about a few things, but that should not at all stop a good debate.
Here's and example of one of those disagreements. Above, you said, "Not even 15 years as an end-user while simultaneously participating in and managing IT projects that have nothing at all to do with Lotus Notes, collaboration platforms, or systems and applications migrations can qualify someone to write authoritatively about that topic." It takes most 25 year olds 10 seconds to compare the Lotus Notes UI to Gmail or Yahoo! Mail. I think they are going to prefer the web based solutions. Take a look at http://www.Zimbra.com, or better yet, at http://www.Joyent.com. Their email experience is significantly better than the 6.5 Lotus Notes client. In Zimbra, if you hover over a word that refers to a date, such as "tomorrow", the system gives a popup of your calendar from that date. In Joyent, you can simply click on a name, hit "call" on the drop down menu and instantly your cell phone will ring with that person on the line. It uses a web services tool that calls you and then the other person.
My objective on my blog is to investigate how technology can be used to facilitate improved internal communication within large organizations. I am certain that both IBM and the Lotus Notes team are interested in solving the same kinds of problems. But our paths seem to diverge over whether this means multiple solutions, such as a loosely coupled collection of CMS / blog / wiki tools + notes tied together with open standards, or a one platform to solve all problems solution.
Ultimately, while there may be a few benefits to having only one platform within the enterprise (such as initially lower training costs), in the long term this means an internal monopoly of sorts. The result, in my opinion is less innovation. And that, in the end, is a bad thing for companies that are buying these platforms.
The implications of "playing nice" with others for Lotus Notes, however, are substantial. To begin with, the "others" deliver their solutions through a browser. That conflicts with the strategy of having a Lotus Notes client.
Maybe instead of a Lotus Notes client, IBM could build a Lotus Notes browser, just as the Flock team has build a custom browser. The objective would be to maintain every imaginable layer of security and add extra layers of offline capabilities. Just an idea.
4. Nathan T. Freeman10/16/2006 12:25:08 PM
"But our paths seem to diverge over whether this means multiple solutions, such as a loosely coupled collection of CMS / blog / wiki tools + notes tied together with open standards, or a one platform to solve all problems solution."
Well, given that you can deploy CMS, blog and wiki tools on a Domino platform for free, what is the advantage to deploying on a different platform if you already have Domino? Is it just that you think organizations should have a wide variety of platforms for the sake of variety?
"In Joyent, you can simply click on a name, hit "call" on the drop down menu and instantly your cell phone will ring with that person on the line."
Okay. In Notes, you can click on a name, hit "chat" on the drop down menu, and instantly you're talking to the person in an IM.
"Maybe instead of a Lotus Notes client, IBM could build a Lotus Notes browser, just as the Flock team has build a custom browser."
You mean like the Notes 8 release that's entering beta soon, built entirely on Eclipse?
"To begin with, the "others" deliver their solutions through a browser."
Rod, what planet are you on? Domino has been delivering solutions to browser clients for over a decade. MOST work done on the platform is for browser clients these days.
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