The dust has settled on the first day of Lotusphere, so time for a quick review.

The OGS was spectacular and a huge improvement on last year. Even before the OGS started, as IBM Champions we had a dedicated area at the front right of the stage. Thanks to Joyce and everyone at IBM for that. Amongst the people milling around in that area before the presentations where Sandy Carter (@sandy_carter) and Brian Cheng (@quasifu). It was great to have a brief chat with Sandy, her book ‘Get Bold’ hit big chords, as I’ve already blogged.

Next up were Ok Go, who did a great job of getting us rocking. The guest speaker was Michael J Fox, who was excellent. For those of us from a certain generation, he was a big hero and when the news came out some years ago that he was suffering from Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 29, it was a shock. Someone with such talent should not have his opportunities to enrich our lives cut short. But as ever with such heroes, he has used social and his position to help others, including working to link sufferers with trials. If you get the chance the review the OGS, it’s well worthwhile.

The OGS continued with great content, though Rob Novak (@lotusrockstar) should still have chosen a panel instead of demos! The whole flow of the OGS was much cleaner and better paced than last year, with demos followed by a short case study from an IBM customer. As expected, social and mobile were the significant focuses. Most demos included a mobile device and in many cases, mobile came before desktop. What was missing was announcements about what will be happening with the mobile applications over the next year. I’m sure there will be enhancements in Symphony, Sametime, Connections apps. LotusLive Symphony has matured into IBM Docs, for on premises and cloud implementations. And LotusLive has matured into IBM SmartCloud for Social Business, part of the IBM SmartCloud portfolio. Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.4 is being branded ‘Social Edition’ and the ability to render embedded experiences (which will also be possible in Connections Next) allows developers to build OpenSocial gadgets that allow people to take action from an email. Many users will already be aware of embedded experiences – whether they realise it or not – from social networks they are using today. OpenNTF was highlighted again in the OGS and it was great to see a host of XPages applications, including XPages Help Application, shown in screenshots on stage.

The closing speaker for the OGS brought us full circle, Dr Jeffrey Burns. He was a great public speaker with a great story about social, collaboration and how gaming can demonstrate lessons to improve business.

Domino Designer has some interesting stuff coming, particularly around extensibility, OpenSocial gadgets and OSGi. A lot of background work is being done within the Eclipse platform behind the scenes as well including enhancements to the SSJS editor and adding a debugger.

As part of Team Social I was also involved in hosting a table at lunch for some of the 750 students invited to Lotusphere and demonstrating the many mobile applications that connect to IBM technologies (including a guest session from Mat Newman (@matnewman). The day was rounded off by doing a video trailer for the XPages Extension Library book, one of three XPages books being released this year by IBM Press and which will include chapters on mobile and social controls. It was a busy day with lots of content, not the last for the week I’m sure.

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