James Governor's Monkchips

Irving Gets It, Don Ferguson too? On IBM Blogs and Bloggers

Share via Twitter Share via Facebook Share via Linkedin Share via Reddit

Well, Irving usually does… step forward Mr Wladawsky-Berger.

What do i really like about Irving’s fourth blog post? Well for one thing it shows good blogging form by linking to someone else. He calls someone else out, rather than trying to show how smart he is or how great IBM’s products are.  

That someone is John Patrick – I met him over dinner recently at an IBM event, and must say he is a great salesman for the Opera browser (he’s on the board). i don’t agree with his autistic economics (the dude things Bush is doing a good job with the economy? I myself prefer Mogambo economics) but i have to admire John’s track record. Anyone that Lou Gerstner took advice from has to be pretty damn smart… and the advice as we now know it was the right advice. Get Open, get e-business.

So John didn’t convince Irving of the importance of blogging? I have to say it surprised me a little that Irving didn’t see the power of blogs when John first mentioned them. The guy seems to see tech revolutions like noone else. I first met Irving in 1995 in Austin when he was pitching the power of the IBM crossbar switch in the AIX SP2 for high performance, lower cost, datawarehousing. I say lower cost because SP2 wasn’t exactly cheap. It was however, a revolutionary archietcture that took Unix into some high performance environments that had previously been the province of pure proprietary solutions. Every time i see a scale out pitch from a systems vendor these days i remember that architecture. From there Irving flitted from great place to great place. Watching Irving’s career progression is like watching the future of IBM. Every place he has touched is now a growth business. Internet – Irving. Autonomic – Irving. And on and on. A smart VC could track Irving and just invest in the areas where he alights. Irving Wladawsky Berger is Zelig (without the psychiatric problems obviously, what i mean is that if the history of IBM Software in the 1995-2005 timeframe was filmed, Irving would be in all the important scenes…)

This morning Bill Higgins congratulated Don Ferguson and Grady Booch for becoming IBM Fellows. Congrats guys. I must admit i misunderstood his point and posted what now seem a slightly daft comment. I thought Bill meant we should be greatful these guys were blogging because they are IBM fellows. Of course that wasn’t what he meant at all. What Bill obviously meant was that developerworks blogs is lucky to have such solid guys on point, not that we should all be grateful for them to be aboard…

On that note though, i must admit i went to Don Ferguson’s blog and i really like its brevity. Pin point, very human posts. I am not such a great link blogger because i am a rambler through the wilds and flower gardens like Koranteng, but they do have value… I call it thlinking. Seems like Don’s MO:


It seems that there is a story in the Silicon Valley press that IBM is encouraging IBMers to “blog” for various business reasons, and providing guidance on what to say. Those of us in IBM find that kind of funny. If I could get IBMers to say what I want them to say, my life would be a lot easier.

Also, I have started using Firefox. It seems pretty good.


2005 May 10 10:52 AM

I’m a Ninny

I bumped into Martin Nally, the Rational CTO. I forgot to mention Eclipse.

Great stuff. The reason I hassled Bill is that so far i haven’t seen the blogger A list at IBM point to IBM grassroots bloggers. Where are they and who are they? The blogosphere will find them but we could do with some help. One area where Sun has done a great job is in ranking and publicising its grassroots blogs. After all if you want to encourage the grassroots it helps to give them some love. Let stars emerge though, it likely won’t be a top down phenomenon, COO blogs notwithstanding.

One thing i do find a bit odd is IBM hosting Amy Wohl’s blog over on developerworks. Why not just use links? I appreciate IBM efforts to reach out to bloggers, but it just seems a bit odd to host an “independent consultant”. Stephen, on the other hand, you will note, was listed in “more blogs”.

On the other hand, it seems like Ed Brill is effectively hosting the feedback to a recent post of mine about Lotus and Google, so what do i know? Ah the blogosphere. This ain’t no portal, this ain’t no newsgroup, this ain’t no fooling around…. to hideously mangle Talking Heads.


So a note to IBM bloggers- link, link and link again. That way new communities and ideas form more easily.You need to create links so that others can catch the line and reel you in.




  1. I have a fair number of IBM colleagues on my blogroll, including some that are not “A-list”. I add more as they are discovered and useful.

    Still, a lot of the IBMers blogging that I read these days are on our Intranet and not the public internet.

  2. Hi James, I agree that we need a list like you mentioned; something that points to all IBM bloggers, not simply A-list bloggers. This is definitely a priority to-do for the corporate blogging leadership team, but is still work in progress.

    IBM developerWorks is starting to build a list of external IBM blogs on the IBM developerWorks blogging home page (would include a link but think your software precludes me from doing so). Our only criteria for inclusion there is “works for IBM in a technical capacity”. Now of course this eliminates many of our industry experts and business consultants, but dW has a strict scope of serving the technical development community.

    Thanks for the pointer on the Sun rankings – that is nice the way they did that.

    Finally, to get an exec view on IBM’s thoughts towards blogging, I strongly recommend you listen to Mike Wing’s podcast interview on forimmediaterelease.biz. He’s responsible for strategic communications and has some really interesting insights on the blogging phenomenon vis a vis IBM’s history of leading edge collaborative technologies and infrastructure. Also, many of the people defining the overall corporate blogging strategy report up through him, so hearing him talk about blogging may serve as a crystal ball into some the stuff we may end up doing.

  3. I thlink I call your *thlinking* … linky thinking

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *