Angus: Your 20ii challenge – a little commitment

Back in October 2009, I wrote a blog entry titled “Asleep at the wheel“. I posted a link to the blog entry on the IBM i Professionals LinkedIn group discussion board, essentially contending that IBM i Professionals were mainly whiners, not doers. Comment activity flared up again in February 2010, and again just two weeks ago.

In that discussion, I challenged people by asking what they had done FOR IBM i. While there were a few wonderful comments on things done to promote IBM i and things done for the community, the majority of positive comments were about what cool, interesting, or even mundane things people had done ON IBM i. I challenged a couple of them with questions about how they might promote those cool, interesting, or mundane things, and one or two had great ideas.

Then, the comments became what I had predicted. A bunch of complaints and whining about IBM, the name game, IBM’s marketing, platform loss, and so on. For the most part, those complainers never even got the name of the platform correct – a stunning development, since they all have had two years to get used to IBM i on Power, and more stunning since they are posting to a group with IBM i in the name!

Unrelated to this discussion, I had recently reenergized the i4everyone web site. A set of new additions to the site included some marketing suggestions, and I am attempting to add new ideas to that site as regularly as possible. I have had four suggestions over the last two weeks, but no other contributions.

There seems to be a HUGE disconnect here. From all the noise and complaints about marketing IBM i, there seems to be 99% commitment to whining and 1% commitment to actual marketing. While i4everyone is just one site, it is an attempt to spread a little attention, levity and marketing for the platform. And, there are a few other people who market the platform every chance they get. There are several IBM i related blogs, IBM i focused magazines, online networks and a load of software companies that promote their offerings on IBM i, and some valuable IBM i related forums.

The noise of the whining is deafening. Yet, the noise on the tweetverse, the noise on StumbleUpon, the noise on digg, the noise on Facebook, the positive noise on the internet can put you to sleep.

I put it to you, that YOU – yes, YOU – can have a positive impact on our platform. All you need to do is something regularly, that identifies the positive things you see and hear about IBM i. Get a Twitter account, and make liberal use of the #IBMi hashtag. Encourage bloggers to add a “share this” link to their entries, and share those entries. Make up your own marketing ideas, and post them everywhere. Print them out and stick them in your break room. If you need help with graphics, send them to me and I will attempt to build something that suits.

There is so much that each and every person in our IBM i community can do. Grassroots movements can turn into something incredible, and with a little commitment from a lot of people, we can really have a positive impact on the world.

Got a little time? Got a lot of commitment? Add a pinch of commitment to a smidge of time, and get out there a make your difference!

1 Comment

John AndersenSeptember 2nd, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I like the article and have to agree. The day I start fighting change is the day I need to hang it up and stop working in the IT field. I can’t think of any other field where change is just a constant.

Granted at times IBM seems to flounder around aimlessly with the platform, but the IBM i and the previous incarnations is still a great system none-the-less.

-John Andersen

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