Tag Archive: bloggeropen

The (unofficial) Blogger Open: Where to Hangout After then Closing Session

There is no officially planned or sponsored Blogger Open this year, thanks to those who generously offered to sponsor, unfortunately I was not able to raise the dollars needed to officially run the event.

The unofficial community hangout after the IBM Connect Closing Session will be Splitsville bowling Alley at Downtown Disney.

Downtown Disney is located conveniently close to the Swan, Dolphin, Yacht, and Beach Club. Disney offers shuttle buses or it is a short cab ride away.

Splitsville offers, bowling, pool, food, and drink.

Spread the word and join in the unofficial annual Blogger Open.

The Blogger Open, There Might be Life in this Thing Yet

I delivered the bad news last month that the Blogger Open would not be back for IBM Connect 2013.  I appreciated all the feedback, and it is clear that there is interest in a post Closing Session event so I followed up on some suggestions. I have good news and bad news.

The Good news

The new bowling alley at Downtown Disney is the perfect location to hold and event, they will reserve a section of the bowling alley, and serve food.  While it is a bus ride away from the Swan & Dolphin, there is a free shuttle so transportation is not a problem.  Logistically it is better than mini-golf as we won’t have the chaos of getting everyone out on the course.   Sounds great right? Keep Reading

The Bad News

It is not cheap.  The Blogger Open has ranged anywhere from 50-75 people over the years.  To reserve 6 Bowling lanes, and feed 75 people (alcohol would be ‘cash bar’)  is approximately $6000 which is substantially more than it cost in the past for mini-golf.

I throw this out there to let the community know there are options, if anyone is interested in sponsoring the event, please get in touch with me, if I find enough sponsors I will run the event.

Farewell Blogger Open… Thanks for the Memories

For the past four years following the Lotusphere Closing General Session, the Blogger Open has taken place at the Disney Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course.  If you are not sure what the Blogger Open is was you can find out all about it here.

I am sorry to announce that the Blogger Open is done, history, finished. Why you may ask? Simply put I can not come to an agreement with the folks at Disney to run the event this year,

The facts are as follows:

  • Disney will not (for any price) grant us exclusive use of the course
  • Disney insists on interspersing families among our group
  • Disney loves the beer sales generated by the Blogger Open (they sell in a few hours what they usually sell in month)
  • Disney receives complaints from the families they insist on putting out on the course among us

The fact is 75 geeks, sleep deprived for a week, drinking beer, having fun after a week attending a conference, while meaning no harm, simply does not mix well with families vacation at Disney.

As a father of 3 small children I can appreciate that, and while I can not understand why Disney refuses to rent us the course, I will not make commitments to the Disney folks that are unrealistic.

Big thanks to all those who helped make this even fun and successful over the last number of years. Warren Elsmore who along with me came up with the idea and helped launch it.  Mike McGarel for developing the Blogger Open site (and contributing the code to OpenNTF) and Joe Hoetzl for providing the site graphics.  Thanks to the event sponsors throughout the years, Corey Davis and Conxsys, GSX, Andrew Pollack and Northern Collaborative Technologies, Chris Miller and Spiked Studios, and David Leedy and Notes In 9.

All that is left to do now is to figure out what I should do after the Closing General Session of Connect 2013.

What is the Blogger Open?


Read my guest post on the Social Business Insights Blog, The Blogger Open: Not Your Typical Round of Golf.

There are pictures of this years event here and here. Special thanks to our 2012 event sponsors.

Northern Collaborative Technologies GSXNotes In 9

Registration is now open for the Lotusphere 2012 Blogger Open


Registration is now open for the 2012 Blogger Open, head on over and reserve your spot.  If you have a team you want to play with make sure they all register show up and play with them.  If you are on your own just show up we will find you a team to play on.

Please click the button below to follow @bloggeropen on Twitter and keep up with all the latest news

If you are a vendor exhibiting at Lotusphere and want to donate a prize for the even please let me know.

The Blogger Open is free thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.

Northern Collaborative Technologies GSXNotes In 9

Announcing the 2012 Blogger Open at Lotusphere


Lotusphere doesn’t end at the Closing General Session, the fun continues an hour later on the Disney Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf Course.  Back for a fourth year the Blogger Open is the perfect way to wrap up Lotusphere with some fun and great prizes.

Visit the Blogger Open site and follow @bloggeropen on twitter for all the details and watch for registration coming soon.

Thanks to Mike McGarel for once again developing the Blogger Open site (and contributing the code to OpenNTF as Event Signup), and to Joe Hoetzl for the graphics.

Thanks to our generous sponsors the event is free to attend.

Northern Collaborative Technologies GSXNotes In 9

Lotusphere Recap: The Blogger Open

For the third year following the Lotusphere Closing General Session a group of people headed over to the Fantasia Garden Mini Golf Course for the “Blogger Open”.  This year we had 60 golfers out on the course, and it would appear that Disney is willing to have us back again next year again.

Big thanks to the event sponsors

Special thanks to GSX for providing the grand prize, and to  Research in Motion, the London Developer Co-op, HADSL, and the IdoNotes Podcast for providing additional prizes.  Congratulations to  Mike McGarel for his excellent performance in Lotusphere Idol, and for once again taking on the challenge of designing and building the Blogger Open website (done in XPages of course).   Also thanks to Joe Hoetzl for the blogger open graphics.

Congratulations to all the winners (and losers since they got prizes to) and thanks to everyone who showed up to play and have a good time.

Thanks to Warren Elsmore for taking some pictures and letting me use his camera to take others.

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157625981430752″]

If not before see you all again next year in Orlando, and put the 4th annual Blogger Open on your calendar for January 19, 2012.

Win a Kindle from GSX at Lotusphere 2011


My friends at GSX are giving away two three Kindles at Lotusphere.  Stop by their booth to learn about their great line of products, and register for your chance to win one of two Kindles in their booth giveaway contest.


GSX has also generously donated a third kindle as a prize for the Blogger Open, so if you have not registered yet, what are you waiting for? Wrap up Lotusphere with some fun and prizes.

Registration is Open for the 2011 Blogger Open

Registration is open for the 2011 Blogger Open! Reserve your spot now and wrap up your Lotusphere experience with a little fun.

Thanks to the generosity of a couple of vendors looks like we will have some excellent prizes this year   If you are exhibiting at Lotusphere, and want to donate a prize to the cause please let me know, no prize is too big or too small.

Head on over to the Blogger Open Site to register, remember you don’t have to be a blogger to participate.

Special thanks to our event sponsors:

Announcing the 2011 Blogger Open


Thanks to our sponsors, and by popular demand the Blogger Open returns to Lotusphere again this year.  Join us for some fun and prizes on Thursday February 3rd, after the Closing General Session.  For details please visit the Blogger Open Site, and follow bloggeropen on Twitter.  Registration for the event will be opening next week, so stay tuned.

Thanks to Mike McGarel who once again took on the challenge of coding the Blogger Open Site, and to Joe Hoetzl for providing graphics for the site again this year.

Special thanks to our event sponsors: