Thanks for inviting me to this conference in Las Vegas, but I couldn’t help notice there is no After Party. Could you point me to the BbWorld conference instead? . . . What’s that? . . . Really?? Because I just came out of a product roadmap presentation where people were clapping, and not just for improved customer service but actual product usability and features that people want. . . . OK, OK, maybe you’re right . . . But the ex-WebCT folks were actually clapping the loudest. . . . WTH?

Blackboard’s user conference this year was unlike any previous BbWorld I’ve attended. After the WebCT acquisition in 2006, the user conferences tended to be love-hate events (love the show and good times, hate the acquisition of competitors and tin ear). After the 2009 acquisition of ANGEL and subsequent changes in the management team, the user conferences moderated to ambivalence. Many of the product announcements were exciting in the abstract, but it was not clear that product roadmaps and new features were directly addressing client concerns.

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