April 2009
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Vendors, Stress Balls and Beers

I’ll go to some bar room
And drink with my friends

Today was Day 1 at Internet World 2009 a.k.a. #iwexpo for the Twitterrati. I got there nice and early, got myself a coffee and settled in to CMS Watch’s Theresa Regli talking about “Findability in a Web 2.0 World”. It is really difficult for the speakers to pitch these at the correct altitude as the audience is so varied, but I quite enjoyed the talk. My favourite part was when she called most marketing “crap”. A nice relaxed, honest presentation.

I spent most of the day chatting to vendors. Got the lowdown from (in alphabetical order) Alterian, CoreMedia, Ektron, EPiServer, EZ Systems, FatWire, FirstSpirit, Gomez, Hybris, Jadu, Kentico, OpenText (nee RedDot), SiteCore, Squiz and Vyre. I enjoyed my chat with Ian about the crazy CMS shit we all got up to in the late nineties.

I am alway interested to see who has the biggest stands at these events. A few years ago, Tridion were all over Internet World but they aren’t at here at all any more (maybe the SDL influence?). Vignette and EMC weren’t there either. Autonomy/Interwoven were there although their collateral isn’t merged yet. Last year, Vyre had the biggest stand but they’ve decided to spend their marketing budget elsewhere and went for a normal stand this year. EPiServer seemed to have biggest stand and the most people this year. SiteCore had a big one too. Peer 1, a dedicated hosting company, had a massive stand and some really hot chixors in hotpants who looked nothing at all like network engineers.

There was a stand labelled “Plone” which made no sense and smelled a bit like a systems integrator trying to pull a fast one. It was actually manned by a company called Netsight that were trying to hijack the Plone brand. I don’t like those guys at all. Don’t give them any money please. [UPDATE: I got this very wrong. They did actually get permission to do this and are, by all accounts, good guys. So you can give them money. See the comments below or the Netsight blog for their explanations. Apologies to Netsight, Matt and everyone else. Although I'd still be happier if the booth company name said Netsight. ]

One of the cool things about these events are the freebies. I couldn’t find many stress balls this time. I did pick up one from Kentico and another from SiteCore. I’ve recently defined a new approach to Vendor Selection Exercises, so thought I’d ask the expert (my 11 month year old son) to perform an one:

Noah Selection

After much thought, he picked SiteCore over Kentico. I’m pretty convinced he went for the rugby ball shape over the football shape, but it might have been down to cost or the developer API. As soon as he can talk, I’ll let you all know. Sometimes vendor selections can be rather random.

I watched LBi’s Dom Collier and Jill Lloyd (and our friends at the British Red Cross) talking to a packed session about a recent LBi project. For the LBi groupies, Mikey and Mark are talking about British Gas tomorrow at 13:00. One of my personal favourite projects. Get along and have a listen to that one.

The highlight of the event was, for me, the drinks afterwards. Was lucky enough to share quite a few pints with Tony Byrne from CMS Watch, Lau Andreasen from JBoye, LBi’s very own Microsoft guru Riaz, wise man James Hoskins and some other top secret guests. I can’t think of many things I enjoy more than a few pints of Guiness and a chat about CMS. Hope we can do it again some time soon. And I hope Tony has a better photo than my crappy iPhone one below.


All in all, a really interesting and enjoyable day! More tomorrow. I love this game.

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