100,000 And Counting in IBM i Grassroots Campaign
October 31, 2011 Dan Burger
For those of you who have never seen a barn raising, I direct your attention to Steve Pitcher, a devoted member of the Lotus Notes/Domino on IBM i congregation. As far as I know, Pitcher has never raised a barn. But it seems he’s passed a sort of equivalency test.
Instead of gathering enough friends and family to build a large farm building in the course of a weekend, Pitcher has compiled, at last count, more than 100,000 Lotus license pledges to run Connections, Sametime, and Notes Traveler on IBM i. He did it using social media (and possibly a big stick, but he didn’t mention that).
I found his gee whiz story about grassroots organizing via social media on the LinkedIn group page for iManifest.
It took him less than two weeks to assemble a six-digit crowd, and he’s ecstatic. He set out to do two things: demonstrate the power of social networking and demonstrate the interest IBM i shops have in running social media on the i. Forget Linux, AIX, and Windows. These are people who will only run social apps on IBM i.
It’s a message he wants IBM to hear. Not just from him but with 100,000 voices behind him.
“There are a good few of us (myself included),” Pitcher says, “running Domino mail on IBM i and are handcuffed from using new Lotus Notes 8.5.3 social capabilities because we can’t run Connections on IBM i. I know others out there have not moved to Sametime 8.5.2 because you can’t run all components on IBM i. They’re sitting on Sametime 7.5 waiting for something to happen.”
IBM has already taken notice, Pitcher says in his social media flood of posts.
In January, he’ll be in Orlando, Florida, for the annual Lotusphere conference, and by then he expects to have more than 200,000 Lotus seat warmers on his side. If all of those people are, as Pitcher says, “waiting to get into the social game, the mobile game, or the audio/video conferencing game,” he believes it will be a strong message to IBM that these capabilities have to be available to i users and that giving them the option to run them on other platforms will only turn the crowd into an ugly mob.
If you want to check in with Pitcher and get on board with his plan, you’ll find him at stevencpitcher.com.
Even if you’re not a Lotus user, he probably has some advice on how to quickly build a similar IBM i group around a different cause.