Will "the Mighty" Strohl

Intro to DotNetNuke Module Development Meeting Recap

Last Thursday seems like a week or more ago now, and it’s only the Monday after.  But last Thursday is indeed the day that I presented an Introduction to DotNetNuke Module Development session to the Orlando .Net User Group, or ONETUG.  I go to their meetings every month, but this is the first time I presented while there.

I wasn’t sure what to expect walking into this meeting.  There was a major 5k race in the Downtown Orlando area at the same time, so it threw some of the traffic and attendees schedule off.  Luckily, I knew of a really good detour.  Also, I don’t know when the last time this user group had heard anything about DotNetNuke.

ONETUG Speaker Station Once I arrived, I immediately setup up presentation, video camera, and notes, so I could take a few minutes to mingle and get a bite to eat before we started.  This meal was very important, as I hadn’t really eaten all day.  We had a family party the night before, and I think I ate something that didn’t agree with me.  It took a lot, but I was finally able to pull myself out of bed in the afternoon to show up at the meeting.  Needless to say, I wasn’t there at 100%, but I was there.

We got started about 15 minutes after 7:00 PM.  There were about 20 attendees.  Even though I prodded the regulars to the Orlando DotNetNuke Users Group (ODUG) to attend, none did.  So, despite traffic problems and concerns, there were still around 20 attendees that were interested in DNN, and had never been to an ODUG meeting.  I made sure to take advantage of the opportunity to really plug our ODUG meetings, as a result.  I noticed that a few of the people that were there had actually registered on the ODUG site the day prior as well.

In the beginning, I went through some of the introductory things, including why you should not think of or call DNN a CMS.  That topic in particular really appeared to strike interest in the crowd.  I used my Lego analogy, so that might have been the part that piqued their interest. :)

I then went into the details, showing the various components that might make up a DNN module.  A couple of people obviously found the various components excessive.  I need to figure out how to better explain to those kinds of people why those “excessive” components are really their best friend.  I do not feel that I did a good job of that. 

Throughout the presentation, I was quite disappointed at the lack of questions.  I know I was not explaining everything that well.  Then, I was overwhelmed with questions at the end of the presentation with a ton of questions.  I judge my presentations on how much interaction the presentation generates.  I finally felt better at the end once people began asking questions.

After the presentation, I got a lot of really great feedback.  As a presenter, that is always great, even if some of the feedback isn’t positive, but constructive.  It helps us to gauge what we need to work on, and what we don’t – especially in terms of the content.  I event received comments from a few people that they had tried module development in the DNN 2.0 days, and it turned them off.  They said that they were going to give it a go again.  Awesome!  I was also surprised that I didn’t get the dreaded and common question, “What is the difference between Sharepoint and DotNetNuke?”

The ONETUG usually has an after meeting gathering, which they decide on at the end of the meeting.  I normally do not go, but this time I did since I was presenting.  It was a good time.  And it was also interesting to see many differences between the ONETUG socialites, and the ODUG ones.  When we gather after the ODUG meetings, I find that we usually only talk about DotNetNuke.  With the ONETUG folks, the talk was primarily of personal things.

So, overall, it was a great presentation, and we had some converts to DotNetNuke, and a few potential new members for the ODUG.

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