Sure, I got back from OpenWorld last Thursday, but I’m only now willing to get back in the saddle and blog about it. As I mentioned to a few of the Enterprise Irregulars who attended, OpenWorld is a marathon.
Imagine a full day sessions, quietly sitting and listening, tons of walking around San Francisco, meeting a bus load of new people, treading water on your real work, followed by a night of revelry in multiple places, more walking, meeting more people and a long ride home. Now imagine doing that four or five days in a row.
Have a look at David’s evening activities for another example. By the way, good to see David blogging. I’ve included my favorite photo from the week. It’s Billy Cripe in a tartan outside the meetup we held at 21st Amendment. That guy is a hoot.
Obviously, the big news from last week, at least from an AppsLab perspective, was the release of Oracle Mix. Head over there and check it out, if you haven’t already. Rich and Paul already blogged about, and I plan to eventually as well, just not now.
One hot topic heading into OpenWorld was the newly minted blogger program. I got a chance to hang out with a couple of the bloggers who took us up on the offer, Vinnie, Michael, Brian, and Phil. Sorry if I’m forgetting anyone.
Anne wrote a nice summary; we had about 20 bloggers register and attend. Many thanks to Karen Tillman, who Jeff Nolan outed as the PR architect responsible for the program, for making this happen. Jeff had a funny quote about Karen:
Karen is definitely not what I expected from someone with Oracle Marcom… no taser strapped to her hip, no brass knuckles at the ready… just a competent hard working professional.
Thanks to Karen, the bloggers had a full schedule of sessions with product experts like Ted Farrell, Dave Chappell, Rahul Patel, Paco Aubrejuan, Jesper Andersen and Vince Casarez. Oh yeah, and they got to meet Charles Phillips in a private session. Here’s the picture to prove it.
Side note, check out this entertaining analysis of the fashion statements made at OpenWorld and Zoli’s comparison of the EI’s wardrobes at OpenWorld vs. SAPPHIRE. Most of these guys were attending their first OpenWorld, so the sheer size of the event was surprising. One unintentional, but cool side effect was the intermingling of Oracle bloggers (mostly technical guys) like Eddie Awad, Dan Norris, Ameed Taylor, Floyd Teter, and Matt Topper with the mostly functional guys from the Enterprise Irregulars.
Here’s some of the coverage from bloggers who attended. In most cases, there are several entries, so enjoy the river of information.
- Eddie Awad
- Dan Farber
- Josh Greenbaum
- Michael Krigsman
- Jeff Nolan
- Dan Norris
- Vinnie Mirchandani
- Anshu Sharma
- Brian Sommer
- Floyd Teter
- Phil Wainwright
As advertised, several people were Twittering at OOW. I, among others, was using the eventtrack app built by Craig (who works at SAP). Eventtrack worked really well, kudos to Craig, and you can see a recap of all the tweets here.
Jeff twittered the meeting with Charles Phillips, which allowed Dennis (among others) to attend virtually. Steve Mann from SAP also attended the session with Charles virtually using eventtrack, which would have been inconceivable even a year ago.
Change is in the air, and Twitter is a change agent. Steve didn’t indirectly question Charles over Twitter (using Jeff as a conduit), but I suppose he could have. Before you gasp in horror, I ask you this: What’s the harm in a little openness? Charles is a consummate professional, as is Jeff. I don’t know Steve personally, but I assume he follows the same rules of engagement. Therefore, had Steve asked Jeff to ask a question on his behalf, Jeff would have done so, revealing the source of the question. Charles would have answered or not, gracefully. And the Earth would have continued to rotate.
So, what’s the big deal? We’re all professionals at the end of the day. Openness only fails when we fail at being open. A comment in one of Dennis’ posts caught my eye.
The Oracle blogosphere does not really care about what folks like you or Vinnie or Dan Farber have to say anyway…you are not that influential in terms of those who both approve and purchase Oracle technologies and those who install, use and support these technologies. Unfortunately a few misguided folks at Oracle (Jake and Justin) have given you and the other “enterprise irregulars” too much of a soapbox. I am sure after OpenWorld is over you can crawl back under the proverbial rock and be ignored again for the next year
I have corrected the spelling of a few words. I’m not reproducing this to give airtime to this commenter or to refute the comment, i.e. whether Justin and I are “misguided” or not. The key point for me is the one that I made to PR when we made the leap to have a blogger program.
With apologies, who cares what bloggers say about Oracle? Unless it’s a customer with negative things to say, why would I put more or less stock in what bloggers say, whether it’s a glowing review or a scathing one? I’m trying to draw more people into the conversation, not influence them or try to change their opinions or give them a soapbox.
We started the blogger program to give more people a chance to say what they think. Remember, we didn’t invite based on a list, but rather, anyone with a blog even remotely germane could attend. The idea is openness.
Back on track, a couple interesting Twitter moments happened during the conference. Rich and I had sessions at the Hilton, which didn’t have a very strong signal for the wifi that Oracle provided for the conference. Rather than slog all the way back to Moscone (about a 20 minute brisk walk), we stopped in a bar with free wifi. Turned out it was happy hour too. So, I tweeted our location and invited anyone to join us. Lou Springer showed up; he didn’t know us or read this blog. He works for Sun, but didn’t know about Mix, which is built on JRuby. So happy coincidence, he and Rich had a long conversation, and Lou blogged about it.
Another Twitter story, SAP had a booth at the conference, and Dan McWeeney was there showing the wiihands demo he and Ed Herrmann built. These guys work for Colgate-Palmolive and do cool stuff as part of a fellowship program with SAP in Palo Alto. Basically, for the past six months, they’ve been paid to hack. I mentioned this to the EIs at one of the evening events, and their collected opinion was that I should be wary of showing my face at the SAP booth. Huh? The wiihands demo was on my short list of things to see because it’s freaking cool. So what if it was at the SAP booth? See for yourself.
Dan was there at the booth on Monday, but I didn’t there until Tuesday (wow, the sideways looks I got from the booth staff). I tweeted Dan, and we set up a lunch for Thursday. Dan’s a nice guy, doing cool stuff. Too bad it’s for SAP, but that really doesn’t matter to me.
When I did get a demo of wiihands, it was from Mark Finnern, who is the Chief Community Evangelist for the SAP Developer Network (SDN). Mark caused a minor stir by presenting at the OTN Unconference on Monday, which I was sad to miss for another session. Again, I don’t understand why anyone would care. The Unconference was open to anyone, so why would we care if SAP presented?
For me, this OpenWorld was more about openness than innovation. We took some big steps on the road to transparency. Sound off in comments if you have an opinion.