Monday, November 1, 2010

We interview Duffbert and Marie Scott on Sametime Essentials


By David Gewirtz

We are very pleased to have the opportunity to interview Tom Duff and Marie Scott about their new book IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide, as shown in Figure A.


Here's Tom, Marie, and their new book.

We've known Thomas since way back in 1999, when he made suggestions for some of our earliest articles. Since then, he's written a number of great articles for DominoPower.

Marie first showed up on DominoPower's news page last year, when we linked to an article she wrote about Tivoli's Directory Integrator, which turned out to be a very cool Domino tool.

When Thomas and Marie told us they'd finished their sametime book, we had to sit down with them and learn all about it. Our interview was very wide ranging, and so the full interview will be split over two issues. Here's the first part.


Can you please introduce yourselves and tell us about your background?


I'm Tom Duff, aka "Duffbert," and I've been around the Lotus community for around 15 years. I work on the development side primarily, but I have been known to touch a server or two "in the day." I blog at, tweet (@duffbert), speak at various conferences (including Lotusphere), and write a whole lot for industry magazines (and now a book!)


I'm Marie Scott. I'm the Director of Email Services at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. I've been working with Lotus Notes/Domino for almost 15 years. My blog can be found at I've spoken at Lotusphere and most recently at IAMLUG 2010.


There are a lot of Lotus-related books. Can you give us a brief description of yours and what it provides that all the others don't?


There's a definite lack of books on Sametime in the market, and absolutely nothing in terms of a user-oriented guide to the software offering. Our book is focused completely on how to use Sametime and get the most out of it from the user end. No development or administration topics are included.


What inspired you both to work on this project, and why did you decide to do it as a team? What brought you together?


I was contacted an editor from Packt Publishing in October 2009. The editor had read my blog and liked my writing style (who knew I had a writing style!) and asked if I would be interested in writing a user's guide for Lotus Sametime. Writing three hundred pages over nine months seemed like an overwhelming task. So I contacted Tom to see if he'd possibly be interested in co-authoring. We had written a blog series on Tivoli Directory Integrator, and it seemed we might be able to work on a larger project!