Jehovah

by Volker Weber

When I switched on my computer this morning, I was reminded of this scene. (Not sure if it works for Americans, though.) My screen was full of instant messages because of this comment:

shockingresponse

The yellow bubble seems to be a bit nervous in the build-up for Lotusphere. May I remind everybody, that you are only shooting at yourself, if you punish disagreement?

Comments

A lot of this is out of context -- you have to add in Andrew's three posts attacking Lotusphere and some of his other comments to get the full picture. At any rate, speaking at Lotusphere is not an entitlement, and if an IBMer made public comments criticizing an IBM executive the way that Andrew did, there would certainly be some sort of concern with that person then taking the stage at the conference for the division said executive used to run. Andrew and I have a very long history and I respect his willingness to call things the way he sees them, but that is not a free pass.

Ed Brill, 2008-11-19

I watched the movie just yesterday with some friends. :)

Always look on the bright side of life. ^^

Daniel Haferkorn, 2008-11-19

Reminds me of Hessen ;-)

Martin Hiegl, 2008-11-19

Ed, your comment is a pretty blunt threat. Tom Hagen style, not Luca Brasi. It does not need a lot of context to see that. If one needs the context, it is linked to your blog. Twice.

Funny that you are putting 'IBM employee' in the mix. Andrew is not, or is he? Criticizing a former general manager is a not allowed for Lotusphere speakers in general?

Volker Weber, 2008-11-19

I don’t think this is out of context; even if you know what Andrew had said on Ed’s site, it's still astonishing to read such a reaction.

As for IBMers, of course they should be “on-message” but that doesn’t apply to third parties, so that comment seems somewhat irrelevant.

Ben Poole, 2008-11-19

Andrew is a big boy and can look after / think for himself. Lotusphere is not a free public forum and IBM can run it any way it wants. There are avenues to bring up issues with the product/strategy, I'm not sure the presenters stage is one of them.

Tony S Lee, 2008-11-19

The presenters stage is absolutely the wrong place to raise these kind of issues—I don’t think anyone would disagree with that, would they?!?

Ben Poole, 2008-11-19

First of all, I'm flattered by all of those who have felt the desire to stick up for me. I'd like to think that they are more interested in the principal of the speaker having to watch their comments than of me in particular. My own take on Ed's comment was surprised, but not shock. I personally think it was an overreaction -- and I should know a thing or two about over reactions.

Ed and I have been going back and forth on the topic of Portal and Lotusphere planning for a while both on my blog and in private email. Some of it is mildly (and I mean mildly) heated, but all has been in good spirit I think. We've disagreed on many things over the years, and agreed on many more and I expect that to continue.

The real surprise to me, Ed, is why you would take something we disagree about about on my blog -- with its fairly limited readership -- and give it so much importance on yours. Your blog is read by many more people, and many people with significantly different influence. Please note that I did not bring my other disagreement with me when I made my comments. I think that's a subject for my much more limited readership and never needed echoing.

By taking my fairly innocuous comments on the topic you posted, and bringing in an outside conflict, you gave the matter way more weight than I did -- in fact way more weight then I'd intended or could possibly have done on my own.

Ultimately, the right decisions on that topic of sessions appear to have been made. My pressure on the subject may have had nothing at all to do with it -- and that's fine with me. In the end, I'm quite happy with what I've seen of the session choices.

In the end, I don't think my comments about this particular article were all that negative -- and my criticism of a former Lotus General Manager on your site comes down to a single sentence, "I am waiting to see if the wrong directions take by R will be fixed or continued" I seriously doubt that's the harshest thing anyone has said about Mike Rhodin on your blog. The harshest thing I said, was that if the misquoted statement that had been attributed to Bob Picciano was an indicator of direction and not a simple mistake, that it would be time for me to take my toys and go home.


I nearly responded this morning to your last comment in that thread with a fairly long answer -- but opted not to because I think others on their have said what was needed. By making the threat you did, the issue got bigger again. In the several years I've been speaking at Lotusphere and other sites around the world, I have never once behaved unprofessionally, never once badmouthed my hosts, and never once gotten reviews that were not excellent overall. Did you think this would be the case at Lotusphere 2009?

Now, do we need to carry this on further?

Andrew Pollack, 2008-11-19

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