Will "the Mighty" Strohl

April 2009 ODUG Meeting Recap

Last night we have the April ODUG meeting.  We were very lucky to have Tom Kraak come visit us to speak about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  This is Tom’s specialty, being the co-founder of Seablick Consulting.  As it turns out, despite a few hiccups, the meeting was great.

Tom flew in just for the meeting.  So, I picked him up from the Orlando International Airport in the afternoon.  We spent some time after that getting him some food.  He wasn’t able to eat lunch.  We have a good time catching up and talking about things like our businesses, and DNN of course.  Some time later, we left my office to set-up the ODUG meeting room.

ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Inc. Upon arriving at the ABC Fine Wine & Spirits corporate office, I realized that I had forgotten a handful of items that we usually have on-hand.  When we had the DNN track at the recent Orlando Code Camp, I brought some of the ODUG supplies to help out.  They included a power wheel, raffle tickets, and a wireless router.  These are items that we use at our ODUG meetings to among other things, broadcast our meetings.  With the absence of the router, I had to give up our only external Internet connection to be used by Tom.  The meeting wouldn’t be streamed, and I had to get creative with doing the door prize raffle.

The Meeting Begins

KForce Professional Staffing We began our meeting about 5 minutes after our usual start time.  I went through our normal introduction slide show where I speak about ODUG news, DNN news, and ODUG sponsors.  Among the news was that the ODUG is looking for a Treasurer, DNN released version 4.09.03, and we welcomed back a former sponsor, KForce.  They were generous enough to provide us with beverages, and pizza, a staple of user group meetings.  Unfortunately, I had to make a quick run to 7-11 to get plates and cups, as I forgot those too.  I wasn’t used to bringing them anymore, due to the difference in food that our previous sponsor brought to the meetings.  That was a big deal, as I have not spent a dime at 7-11 since 2002.  They are on my boycott list, but I had no choice.

FYI… The local KForce office has a blog. You might want to check it out.

Tom began his session on SEO, and he did a great job covering content and fielding questions.  His presentation was laid out in a semantic way, just like SEO advocates.  :)  There was one thing that I noticed that was out of the ordinary.  Out of all of the user group meetings I have ever attended, I have never seen so many people taking notes.  One person was so desperate to take notes that they fished out an old envelope, and wrote notes on that.

Since I didn’t have the web cam, and consequently twitter to worry about, I think I did a really good job of filming the presentation.  I was able to do some panning and zooming that you’d probably expect to see on such videos.  For example, zooming in on the screen when code is being displayed.

The Raffle

The raffle went well too, despite not having the raffle tickets.  I simply had all attendees write their names on the back of an ODUG business card.  We gave away things like Visual Studio, Windows Vista Ultimate, Wrox books, and we had two grand prizes.  One grand prize was a license to use the entire telerik control suite, and Tom donated 4 hours of SEO consulting time.

The After Party

We of course had our after party, where we all met up at TGI Fridays.  We are beginning to be remembered there, as a result getting better service.  About 6 people showed up this time.  We had a blast shooting the breeze, mostly about SEO.  I think there are more things accomplished at the after party in terms of questions, answers, and networking, than ever occurs in the actual meeting.  If you attend ODUG meetings, and haven’t gone to the after party, you really should at least once.

Pictures and Video from the ODUG Meeting

As usual, I have posted pictures from the meeting and after party on the ODUG Facebook group.  The video will be posted and announced as soon as I can get it posted.

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