Planet Lotus

Vote for your favourite Lotus blogger of 2010

Voting for the PlanetLotus Blogger of the Year award is open:

Planet LotusLotus Blogger of the Year

The premise is simple, vote for your favorite blogger of 2010. The winner will be announced at BALD in Orlando and tweeted to the world.

To vote:

1. Register or login to myPL

2. Go to

*The voting ends on the Wednesday before Lotusphere at 5pm EST.

**Your vote can be changed as often as you wish.

Previous winners have included Ed Brill (2008) and Chris Toohey (2009).

My vote for 2010 will be between Luis Benitez, Tom Duff and Ben Langhinrichs.  

Who will you vote for?

The time has come

It’s been an interesting few months on PlanetLotus.

We’ve had Design Partners telling us that Notes is dead, crazy ASW blog titles just to attain short-lived ‘Hot Blog’ status, explosions! of! exclamation! marks! and rather too much community infighting for anyone’s good.  I’m not saying that I’m innocent either, there have been times when I’ve been sucked into posting articles too quickly to get ahead of other bloggers, or else where the impulse to use an overly-dramatic title for a post has been too much to ignore.

That’s not to criticise the PlanetLotus site or its owner, Yancy, at all. Technically, it is a brilliant aggregation solution.  However, as with many internet sites, its harder to predict how behaviours are going to change as a result of the new opportunities for interaction and content consumption.  Whilst PlanetLotus has arguably raised my own profile and that of the community as a whole, I’m not convinced that the way the site is used currently is positive for us all.  Personally, I feel that my own attention is drawn away from producing and consuming useful content toward a more personality-based ‘Hey aren’t I great’ type of blogging.

After much thought and deliberation, I have therefore decided to pull my blogs from PlanetLotus, and have requested that Yancy delete references to the blogs on the site as soon as he can.  My co-bloggers and I will still be creating the best content we can to be consumed directly via a browser, via RSS Feeds and via links shared on Twitter and Facebook.

I will also endeavour to return to the way I participated prior to the launch of PlanetLotus – choosing my own set of blogs to follow via a feed reader, through Google Alerts, and through my own personal preferences.

If you wish to still follow the content, here are the details:





Collaboration Matters


Connections Blog


LotusLive Blog


Quickr Blog


Symphony Blog


All Collaboration Matters blog posts

Does this mean I’m withdrawing from the Lotus community (either online or in person)?  

Emphatically not!  I’m still as committed as ever, just feeling that life will be better outside the PlanetLotus bubble.

See you on the other side!

[P.S. If you’d prefer to follow PL bloggers via an RSS Reader too, Chris Miller has provided a useful OPML file to import]

The PlanetLotus effect

Volker has been having fun with PlanetLotus over the past day or so, pointing out in the comments that:

People tend to follow the herd. Large numbers lead to larger numbers, or in a swarm effect: more fish. And “more fish” does matter, since you are not writing this for yourself, or do you? A site like Digg (or Connections for that matter) leads more people to “popular” links. Making a link appear more popular leads to more people following that link, which ultimately means more readers. Pimping your posting on Twitter with a link through PL helps you achieve that. Apparently, a lot of people have recently discovered that effect, so it was time to level the playing field. And thus, this demonstration.

However, from my point of view, this isn’t the biggest side-effect of PlanetLotus’ overwhelming (and well-deserved) success in this community.  

My concern is the impact that site has on what people post and how quickly they post it.

This is just MHO, but I find that I am tending to check PlanetLotus before I post any content to check that others haven’t already posted it.  Whereas previously you would have regularly seen 4 or 5 posts on the same topic from different people’s points of view, I think this is happening less and less often, meaning that there fewer different views being posted.  Of course there are still situations where that does occur, and debate does take place within blog comments.  However, it does concern me that PlanetLotus could act almost as a proactive filter on content being posted.  Now this might be a good thing – less “echo-chamber”, less duplication etc.  But I have to say it concerns me that one site can have such a large influence in this way.

Secondly, it puts the pressure on to get new content blogged quickly, else one is in danger of appearing as a “me too” following rapidly after someone else’s post on the same subject.  The impact that this might have is that topics aren’t being thought through as they might be otherwise.  Unfortunately this is compounded by the inability to refresh PlanetLotus after a post is displayed, meaning that any typos, mistakes or ill-considered remarks are set in stone.  

Just to reiterate, I love PlanetLotus from a reader’s perspective and go there regularly each day to catch up on the news.  I applaud Yancy’s work on it and congratulate him on the site’s success.  However, I do worry about the “PlanetLotus effect”, and whilst it might just be me over-analysing the situation, I do think we should be aware that it does have a huge impact – both positive and (sometimes) negative.

Image:One for the ASWs...

One for the ASWs…

I had no idea that the Planet Lotus site kept such great statistics on the blogs and tweets that it monitors:

Image:One for the ASWs...
Yancy has provided options to sort by almost all the columns, including by number of posts, frequency of posts, Twitter tweets, recent and total previews.  Very impressive, and very interesting results too.  It seems that no matter whether we like or loathe Vowe‘s posts, we still can’t help but read them…

Easiest way to access the stats if you’re already on the Planet Lotus site?  Click on the “Hot Blogs” link…