Introducing ’This Week in Lotus’

This Week in Lotus PodcastIf you’re a regular reader of PlanetLotus.org, by now I’m sure you’ve seen a few mentions of a new podcast called ‘This Week in Lotus‘ that launched last week.

What you may not be aware of is the back-story…  For over 4 years now, I’ve been a keen listener of Leo Laporte’s ‘This Week in Tech (TWiT)‘ show, one of the very first tech-focused podcasts to be published after Adam Curry and others pioneered the podcast format back in the middle of the last decade.  Whilst we never got to see Leo’s shows on TechTV here in the UK, it was obvious from TWiT and his other shows that he has an amazing gift for producing informative and interesting shows by bringing together panels of knowledgeable individuals to discuss the latest news in his chosen area on a weekly basis. I could always see a similar format working in our own community, and later niche shows such as MacBreak Weekly only served to confirm in my own mind that there was much to be gained by getting a panel together on a regular basis to debate the latest news and events in the Lotus world.

Since then, Bruce and Julian (Taking Notes), Chris (IDoNotes) and a number of other very talented individuals have done a fabulous job of covering our community in podcast format, but none have taken on the regular scheduled format that the TWiT shows have used.  The 1352 Report (another of Bruce’s shows) comes closest, and has a fabulous cast of regular panelists, but is definitely US-centric in its make-up.  I felt that there was an opportunity to give a voice to many more within the Lotus community (not just bloggers and conference speakers), including IBMers, partners and customers by aiming to have a regular show and widening the net to include a wide range of contributors from all around the world.

Therefore I registered thisweekinlotus.com about 9 months ago (yes I know – I have a bit of a reputation for my domain purchases!), with the intention of getting the podcast out as soon as we could organise.  However, (as is usual) work got busy, my activities at Lotusphere needed some preparation, and the podcast went undeveloped.  However, then came the controversy about another of Leo’s shows (This Week in Google) when Jeff Jarvis and Gina Trapani got stuck into Lotus Notes, unfairly criticising the product based on their own negative experience of many years ago – leading to IBM’s Jeff Schick spending time with Jeff Jarvis to explain how Lotus has progressed over the intervening period.  Whilst we have no hope of ever getting close to the circulation and reach of TWiT or even TWiG, I felt that a weekly news podcast that discussed some of the positive aspects of IBM/Lotus products and our community would help in some way to spread the word outside of the confines of the ‘Yellow Bubble’.

I am delighted that my good friend, Darren Duke, has come onboard to co-host This Week in Lotus – he’s such a funny guy, very knowledgeable about the Lotus brand/products and the community, and is willing to step in to host when I’m not available.  We will record the podcast at 12pm UK/7am ET every Friday, and will be joined each week by 3 or 4 panelists selected from the Yellowsphere, including IBMers, partners, ISVs, customers, analysts and journalists.  We really want this to be a fun show that gives a voice to those that don’t currently have an outlet to voice their opinions or concerns – diversity and debate will be our watchwords.  So far, we’ve recorded two episodes, featuring two IBMers (Tim Clark and Lewis Turek), three partners (Mike Smith, Handly Cameron and Peter Smith) and a customer (Mitch Cohen), and plan to spread the net wider with every episode.  However, the key objectives are definitely to make the show relevant, interesting, informative and above all, fun.  There is no doubt that we’re on a learning curve (the less than perfect sound quality of episode two being an example – sorry!), but we hope that you’ll see hear that we’re making a contribution to this community that rewards us in so many ways.

For more information, to download our shows, or to subscribe, head over to This Week in Lotus.  If you’ve already listened to an episode, we’d love to hear your feedback – please leave a comment either on our site or on iTunes.  If you haven’t heard the show yet, check us out!

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!