Category Archives: Planet Lotus

Planet Lotus now has a fan page on Facebook

Facebook fan pages are popping up everywhere in the Lotus community, might as well follow suit, anything to promote the fine blogging that has been going on over the years!

Let me know what you think. If you have ideas of how to enhance the page let me know, I’m always up for suggestions.

PS: A special thanks to Chris Toohey for the page suggestion.


2nd Annual Lotus Charity Drive

Last year I throw out a challenge to the Lotus community to make the PMC charity event our virtual community charity drive. The Lotus community responded to the tune of $6,484.72!

Thank you to everyone that participated!

Overall this year’s events will be almost the same as last years. For one, I will be doing two unofficial events. A marathon, completed yesterday and second, a 148 mile one day bike ride. Why two unofficial events you might be asking?… guilt. My wife Johanna was so motivate during my ride last year that she has signed up for this year. Given that we have 3 small children it would be very difficult for both of us to do it. In response I’ve signed up for those other endurance events so you’d know that I would be suffering along side her ;) . So if you would mind my wife is riding, but it’s in honor of the same boy, our oldest son Ethan.

Given the economic climate and a newer release of Notes, I have lowered the Premium Sponsorship amount. Any donation => than $88.50 (based on Notes 8.5) , can have their post on the Donor List, located at and customized with the URL and text (up to 140 characters) of your choice.

So, if you’re at all thankful for what Planet Lotus has done for your blogs readership, please consider this a way of giving back. If you’ve enjoyed reading what the site has to offer and how it offers it, consider this a way to give back.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and remember the economy is shrinking, but the number of lives affected by cancer is not.

UPDATE: Thank You to Kathy Brown and Roy Rumaner for staring off the 2009 campaign before it was announced! changes to the left < and changes to the right >

Twitter Integration

Posts made to will no longer show up on the main PL page. Instead it will now be use to post PlanetLotus content to those following… on twitter. If you’ve been following planetlotus you’ve probably noticed “What’s Hot” posts have been there for about a week now, other info on PL will be posting over time, events, downloads, etc.

ReTweets or RT: You can now retweet any blog post that shows up on the front page by clicking phone looking icon.


The EST/EDT timestamp is gone. In it’s place is an abbreviated twitter style ‘about x hours ago’ value. (mouse over the abreivated value to see more detail). This new timestamp will be propigated around the site over time.

Other Projects

Have you seen It’s been a fun side project to help readers find a good book. It aggregates posts from the 228 highest ranked Amazon book reviewers and posts them to the front page and twitter. I’m waiting for Thomas “Duffbert” Duff, currently ranked #22, to do a review of the review site. How awesome would that be! As of now there are 1,344 followers following not a bad start.

Broadcastr is plugging along.  If you know anyone interested in intranet micro-blogging (in-house twitter), please pass along the link:

And then there is I’m sure many are aware of its existence however I hardly ever talk about it. As you can tell it’s more vanilla then PL and in a way will be over time the showcase for Contributr a product’ized version of the planet concept.

What’s next? 

Let me know below. Community ideas only make the site better.

UPDATES: just fixed the url for.. Another reason why going with com is good, just because its the defacto domain.

New Partner page = Big changes at Planet Lotus

Products developed by business partners play a vital role in the success of the Lotus brand. I have been working for one such PB for almost 6 years now and every day learn more and more about how it all works. This is why when Planet Lotus first launched I told those in charge at my employer; before they asked, that the site was not intention for our type of blog. Blogs written by product companies, as benevolent as they may be, and often are, are there to pass on helpfull tips, post industry news, propagate awareness of brand, awareness of products, communicate to customers and to generate new ones. If given a greater audience, the latter could easily get out of control.

Over the past few months, more and more blog post requests from such companies have been rolling in. The only way to submit a blog is to copy the text from the submission page, edit, and email. What strikes me is the clear warning that company blogs will be rejected, still they are sent; I’ve done my best to filter this. The more I got the more I realized how much information could be collected to help readers. The problem is I don’t want to meld this info in with the front page. So bingo, a partner page, just like the downloads, go crazy adding your content, I just don’t feel it’s the focus of the site; the main page.

So with that I announce the page. (feel free to suggest a better name).
This all sounds great, right? Wrong. I’ve begun to feel the rift. My ultimate goal is to protect the readers, those, like me that read every title and almost every post. So how do i distinguish who is ‘relegated’ to the partners page. It’s no small feat. I have spent the past three days trying to think of some iron clad way do divide the two. So below is my best attempt.

Before reading any farther please know that I am not anti product company, anti small guy, im just anti pitch from company real estate. There is a workaround. Start a personal blog off the corporate domain. One tied to you and only to you, if you like your name tied to endless pitching of a product then do so, im just as guilty as any else, however its my name that suffers and I take that risk. Just be aware these posts this still is subject to community complaints which can lead to removal.

Some company pages, and profiles have already been moved and renamed over the past few days, im am sorry for not telling you before had, I wanted to post his message so everyone gets it and can reference it at once.

If you’re like me and would like examples, I think these two serve quite well…

Front Page: Video demo of language support

Partner Page: Learn more – Take a Product Tour of IdeaJam

What fits into the Partner category?
A blog that is hosted on a company web site… that sells products.
And no, you don’t technically have to be a IBM business partner to be placed in this group.

What does not fit into this category?
Any individual’s blog, if their company and them is one and the same.
All services based companies and consultants.

Will there be gray area?
YES! and a little bit of site grand-fathering where unforeseen circumstances arise.
I won’t pretend that I have every scenario figured out, things will change but they will be done in the spirit of keeping this site as independent as possible.

What does it mean to be categorized a Partner Blog?
Partner posts will not show up on the front page, that is the only difference from a non partner blog.
Partner blogs will be selectable for the rss feed at myPL and they will be included in searches, etc.

How will it be policed?
I can’t possibly apply all these rules to all the different sites already posted so I’ll do what every police department in the world relays on and wait for phone calls, or in our case emails.

What about blogs?
Depends on the blog but they all appear to be personal in nature.

Are you doing this to capitalize on and control advertising on the site?
YES, yes I am. Would you rather view ads in consistent places, ads that support the cost of the site, or would you like them surreptitiously placed within post after post, wasting more and more of your time in consuming all the information that is available at the site. Everything has a place.

Would you ever take action against an individual that never stops pitching?
Yes! But I would only do this based on feedback from the community. And remember some do it better then others, it’s all subject.

Where?  (any recommendations of a different name welcome)

NOTE: I have closed comments on this page. Please make them in the forum so they can be better addressed:


Update 01: I have reconsidered comments. I’d rather them be posted here then hijacked to another post giving half the story.

Blogger of the Year – Awards Announcement

The winner of this years Inaugural Planet Lotus Blogger of the Year award will win the following prizes.

  1. All you can drink beer and wine at the LS09 Sunday Night Welcome Reception
  2. All you can drink beer and wine at the LS09 Monday Night Product Showcase
  3. Your name at the TOP of the Planet Lotus Blog Roll for the next year.
  4. Your own PL icon for the next year.
  5. A engraved plaque donated by Dave Leedy…. details from his blog to follow.

Voting will end on Thursday to give time for the engraving. I’ll let Dave give the precise time and will post it to the front page tomorrow.

If someone has a 13px by 11px trophy icon lying around id much appreciate!

For more info head over to

Good Luck!

Introducing: Planet Lotus Blogger of the Year Awards.

The polls are open!

The premis is simply, vote for your favorite blog/blogger of 2008. The winner will be announced at BALD in Orlando and tweeted to the world. Prize yet to be determined.

I would like to start this first year off simple, one winner. Maybe next year it will expand to different categories, more collaboration on this in 2009.

This year, thanks to Nathan, there might also be MTV like categories, from our bleedyellow IM chat…”Best Lotus Meme, Best Single Post, Best Technical Post, Best Skewering of a Competitor, Best Flame War”.  This will come in the following days/weeks, hopfully in time for last minute voting.

Good luck and Happy New Year!

Planet Lotus – Year One, the stats.

I will try and make this a part one of two, part one being the stats and part two being reflections, lessons learned, etc. I’ll try and write this up over the holiday break. For now the numbers…

Dec 20, 2007 – Dec 20, 2008

Active Blogs 310
Blog Posts 27,834
Bookmarks 1,174
Jobs 915
PodCasts 325
Downloads 62
Events 35
Clicks 1,306,520
Keywords indexed from feeds 241,111
Searches 47,908
Tweets 77,321

Jan 1, 2008 – Dec 22, 2008 –

1,328,201 Unique Views
1,828,665 Pageviews
97,323 Visitors
88.54% (front page)

And my favorite stat of all… $6,484.72 raised from the Lotus community for Cancer research! Public Beta

The list of features keeps growing. My favorite, a version of twitter that sits behind the firewall, in this case behind a successful Planet Lotus registration.  In short, search engines won’t pick up your posts and you can post freely from Loti to Loti, I don’t plan on making this module public.

Other new features, Group and Project support. That’s right, create a group, say Priceless Quotes, and post messages. Anyone following it will have your quote/post show up on their page. Image support is also up and running. If you’ve already checked it out, feel free to go back and upload your (twitter?) profile image. @username is also live, as is RSS feeds, posting urls, etc.  Since the end game is a product you can download and use in your organization, some for the features lean towards enterprise use.

  • Project Support, anyone can create a project, anyone can follow that project and post messages to its page.
  • Group Support, post messages to your existing Domino Directory groups or create your own.
  • Domino LDAP authentication
  • Customizable post length, default is 256 characters, system admin can change
  • Personal Groups, coming soon, create your own groups, manage the members and quickly post messages to @mygroup which in turn posts directs to @groupmember1, @ groupmember2, etc.
  • URL’s will automatically be converted to a clickable url with the url as a name or can be overridden to defined value like “Link”, the tool tip will expose the actual url.
  • @username. Post multiple direct messages in one post.
  • Email addresses convert to clickable mailto links.
  • Detailed views, most active groups, users, projects, most followed, etc.
  • Ability to toggle use of image/avatars or generic more general icons. (defined by system administrator).
  • Ability to view posts displayed like twitter with limited detail or more verbose information as seen on Facebook wall.
  • View newly activated users.
  • Full search of users, groups, project.
  • RSS feeds of user posts, more feeds to follow. (the current feeds work,  are readable, just don’t link anywhere; yet).
  • Installs as a lightweight ubuntu VM, not yet available.

UPDATE: This has been moved to