Friday, August 1, 2008

Notes, Domino, and the indomitable spirit of the Lotus community


By David Gewirtz

What an amazing week this has been for DominoPower and the Lotus community. This week, we got to see the full power and majesty, emotion and intensity, love, anger, and passion of our extended family -- all brought together to discuss an issue of deep concern to us all -- the future of our shared profession.

Ten years ago this month, DominoPower published its first issue. At that time, we had no idea whether the Internet could sustain an online publication and we published articles about getting ready for Domino 5. I don't know if you recall that far back, but Notes and Domino weren't really all that Internet friendly. Three years earlier, IBM acquired Lotus and I recall BusinessWeek asking me about whether Notes would really survive the IBM acquisition and quoting my answer in the magazine as a definite "Yes". Even so, the "Notes is dead" meme was alive and well, even that far back.

And yet, here we are. Notes and Domino are exceptional products, Lotus has expanded its offerings significantly and has grown with the market and with the times. IBM continues to innovate with not only Notes and Domino, but with Quickr, Connections, Mashups, and even more.

"A community that can talk out it's tough issues is a stronger community."

Over the past decade, DominoPower has published tens of thousands of articles and news stories. We won the ratings war against competing magazines like Lotus Advisor, Group Computing, and e-Pro, all of which are now defunct, having been unable to compete against us on either an advertising rate sheet basis nor on a readership reach basis.

DominoPower has also distinguished itself in editorial coverage. Not only have we provided great hands-on information to Lotus IT professionals, we've also explored some difficult and challenging topics. Our White House email series became the basis for the book Where Have All The Emails Gone? and our coverage of government IT use and misuse has been discussed by radio hosts all over the country and has been covered by publications as diverse as The Washington Post and Mother Jones.


Which brings us to last week's article, the catalyst for all the activity I alluded to above.

We have always made it a policy to run commentary from the community and from Lotus business partners in our "Business Partners Speak Out" series. These editorials have often been controversial and at least once a year, we've had one business partner or another claim Notes to be dead. Way before we started publishing DominoPower in 1998, back when Denise and I were putting out Workspace for Lotus Notes and The Notes Report for Ziff, Lotus business partners were insistently and completely wrongly proclaiming Notes to be dead.