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Archive for January, 2008

One of my favorite moments at Lotusphere

Posted by Gia Lyons on January 28, 2008

It was late Wednesday evening at Lotusphere. I was with my annual roomie, Carla Gillespie, and some other friends in a suite, just hangin’ out, drinking some much needed water. I can’t remember what we were talking about, but at one point, the conversation went like this:

Me: “You know, sometimes I’m not, uh, uh… what’s the word, uh..”

Carla: “Articulate?”

Anyone who’s ever heard me speak in person will understand this. My brain moves about a million miles faster than my mouth. Actually, so does my typing. This explains why I hate the phone.

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My Lotusphere speaking experience

Posted by Gia Lyons on January 21, 2008

I presented at Lotusphere with one of the Lotus Connections product managers, Ted Stanton, on Sunday. It was a Quickstart, which is code for a firehose of information, including market drivers, demonstration, and best practices for infrastructure deployment and business adoption.

During the second session, I was talking about the need to enable federated repositories in WebSphere Application Server 6.1 before installing Lotus Connections.

Only, I said “federated suppositories.” I have no idea why. It certainly woke up the audience.

And, of course, the entire session is recorded, so I’m sure this will come back to haunt me at some point. There goes my political career, eh? (<— Look, Canadian influences are taking over!)

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Nest of scorpions in Canada!

Posted by Gia Lyons on January 16, 2008

I went to Canada, and found a nest of scorpions. And they all work for IBM!

You client-facing folks will be familiar with what I affectionately call the IBM Bunker at any given customer site. It’s usually the former broom closet that’s been converted into a mess of miniscule, horizontal spaces that busloads of IBMers squeeze into on a daily basis.

Well, at this banking customer in Toronto, I was there after hours with my fellow IBMers. We got to networking, and found out that five of us were born under the Scorpio zodiac sign.

If you’ve ever met a Scorpio, or are one, you’ll understand why discovering that was tres cool. Every Scorpio I’ve ever met usually says, “And I’m pretty much like they describe a Scorpio is.”

Scary! (In a good way!)

Anyway, whenever I discover someone is more like me (left-handed, musical, Scorpio, one fake tooth in the front, etc.) I do the human thing: I like them even more. And that usually translates to helping them more, sharing with them more, listening to them more, buying them lunch, whatever.

The flip side of that, though, is sort of a halo effect. I tend to notice how we’re similar, and slide by all the great elements that make us different. It’s the differences that make collaboration richer.

There’s a wealth of research out there that addresses this “you’re like me, so I like you more” phenomenon (not to mention eons of wars fought over the opposite). One of them is Competent Jerks, Lovable Fools, and the Formation of Social Networks (requires HBR membership to access).

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know my Canadian friends even more, eh?

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The nature of males

Posted by Gia Lyons on January 12, 2008

Someone sent me a very funny BBC America video about the nature of men. It would be a bit inappropriate to link to it here, but it reminded me of a conversation we had at our house recently.

In the evenings, my 3.5 year-old daughter, my husband, and I snuggle up on the couch together and watch an episode of Planet Earth. We have the HD DVD version, which is amazing. The shark breach alone is worth the price.

Anyway. Invariably, in most of the episodes, two male whatevers start fighting at some point.

My daughter: “Mommy, what are they doing?”
Me: “They’re fighting over land or a woman.”
Her: “Why?”
Me: “Because they’re boys.”
Her: “I’m glad I’m not a boy.”
Me: “Yeah. Your head would hurt, wouldn’t it.”
Her: “Yeah.”

Her: “Daddy’s a boy.”
Me: “No, Daddy’s a MAN. There’s a big difference.”
My husband: “Yeah. Honey, get me a beer.”

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