I’m here in Dublin for the Irish Lotus User Group event. With a capacity crowd of 250 (and a long waiting list) the interest in this event has been phenomenal, drawing in people not just from Ireland but from the UK and a few places across Europe. ILUG supremo Paul Mooney (with a loyal band of followers) has done an amazing job and put together an agenda which includes Alan Lepofsky and Notes 8 user interface guru Mary Beth Raven.

ILUGAlan delivered the keynote speech and provided an excellent overview of how social software and technology embraced at home is now making it’s way into the work environment. He barely talked product, but described how an enterprise can use technology to empower it’s staff to contribute and innovate.

Mary-Beth then spoke about the process of designing Notes 8, and how important the ‘persona users’ were to working out which features were important to different types of user. I’ve been using Notes 8 for over six months, and this gave me a fresh perspective on all those great things that have been added.

This was a free event – so it was a proverbial free lunch with RIM sponsoring some excellent goodie bags containing a green ILUG hat, a t-shirt, a USB key and a USB coffee-cup warmer. IBM sponsored the evening do at Dublin’s swanky En Seine night-spot.

At the end of the two days the sponsors raffled some great prizes (including a Nabaztag, oh boy do I want one) and a Blackberry 8800. After the organising committee took their well-deserved applause Paul Mooney received a two-minute standing ovation and then was presented with a Mac laptop as a gift from the community.

In September we’ll be holding the UK Lotus User Group event (incorporating DBUG, the Domino / BlackBerry User Group) – as a first event for UKLUG we can’t hope to hit the same heights as ILUG hit in this it’s third year. But we can learn from the ILUG and SNUG (Scottish Notes User Group) experiences.

Paul, Eileen, Warren, Kitty, Bill, Duffbert and Volker – congratulations, you did the Lotus brand proud.

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