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A Rant on IBM, ASW Community antics, and the latest FUD memes

This community brings out the very best in people. For example, Yancy Lent tells of the creation of (and I stammer through thanking everyone who participated in Wiki Madness 2010) during the Lotus Technical Information and Education May Community Meeting (click thru for the replay). Yancy tells about how he used -- which is a resource that I use every day -- to get through what I can only describe as a difficult time in his life. And he is just one of the many amazing and selfless people that make up the majority of the Lotus Online Community.

On IBM, ASW Community antics, and the latest FUD memes

There are, however, people that seem to feed on negativity. They only point out the blemishes of a particular product, platform, or -- in some cases -- individual or community effort. They are the first to point out a misstep from (for example) someone at IBM without ever feeling the need to call, email, or IM anyone involved. They do nothing but spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt from within this very community... and the truly sad part is that I don't think they understand what they're doing.

Simply put, they are undermining the hard work of this community.

... and to what gain?

Complaining about things like Lotus Marketing is easy, and will without a doubt score you some click-thrus... but has anyone that's done so ever talk to someone in IBM Lotus brand marketing? Have you shared your ideas with them, or do you just blog/tweet/et al your frustrations? Do you reach out to these individuals that are only often a Sametime IM away and engage them? And why would you, it's not like that will drive up your click-thrus.

Do you -- and I'm talking to my fellow bloggers and podcasters out there -- contribute vs. criticize? Do you know there's a difference, and crowd-bashing efforts really don't help anyone?

Do you -- and I'm back to everyone else now -- complain about being given tools to allow you to do more with a particular platform than ever possible before... because it's going to take you learning something new? Y'know... in your professional life?!

Do you complain about IBM Lotus sales, when you've done nothing but feed Google FUD-friendly content that any CIO needing facts and real-world information will find?

Putting IBM On Notice, or taking the time to call out a given platform, product, application, or service undermines the hard work and continued efforts of the community.

So before you hop on the next community-circulating FUD meme, I suggest that you instead take a look at whatever the problem is: if you can come up with a solution or even constructive criticism, then do so. If you're only contribution is shouting "Yes, burn the witch!", then take a breather and instead write a new blog post or tweet out a URL to something that will actually improve the Lotus Online Community.

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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