The June 2009 Orlando DotNetNuke®Users Group meeting was last night. Our first meetings began with us getting together to just ask each other questions, and others would answer them. This was a great format. Beginners especially loved this format. Remember what this is? It’s what we used to do before there was such a thing as a bulletin board system, or community forums. It is very retro, much like the newest graphic design product, Crane. (funny)
The meeting began as it always does… Bob Santuci (ODUG Secretary) and I set up the room, and then wait for the members to show up. This month though, we went back to our roots. We all came in with no game plan. We just knew that whatever happened, we were going to talk about DotNetNuke®.
Thank you to our sponsors, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Inc., and KForce Professional Staffing.
To start us off, Mike van der Meulen brought his PC (yes, not laptop) to show us a really cool installation wizard he wrote to install DNN on any machine. It was very cool. His intent was to just get a newbie a fresh install of DNN running without having to know anything about technology. I think he has gotten very close. With a few steps in the wizard, we had a DNN site wizard in front of us – in a matter of minutes. We were all pretty impressed with what he showed us. And here is a lesser know fact: Mike travels nearly 3 hours to attend each of our user group meetings. Sure he misses one here and there, but he is still at most meetings. Impressive!
We began to branch into a question and answer mode following Mike’s demo. The first topic was web hosting for DNN websites. This was a great topic, as everyone had some very specific experiences to draw from to help us all generate a list of web hosts to recommend for DotNetNuke® hosting. After about 30 minutes of back and forth, we finally came up with the following list of web hosts that the ODUG members officially endorse for DNN site hosting (in no specific order):
Out of the 3, 3Essentials is the only company of which I do not have any personal experiences with. I have had great experiences with HostMySite in the past and they current host the ONETUG. However, now I am moving most of my sites to Applied Innovations.
We spoke of quite a few other things during the meeting. We covered using the Core Registration module to give list options in the user profile. Our Vice President, Kurt Amstutz, showed us one of his sites that is doing a great job of integrating media into it. We also took a look at an example site done by T-Worx, which was using a really cool menu provider. (Sorry, I do not think that we can post the link publicly.) That of course led the discussion to Brandon Haynes’ recently released Templated Mega-Menu Provider. A pretty wide range of topics was discussed last night. And we of course spoke a great deal about Day of DotNetNuke® 2009. :)
We ended the night with a raffle for a variety of prizes, including Windows Vista Ultimate, and the Telerik RAD Control Suite. But the night wasn’t over yet! We had our after meeting social at TGI Fridays.
Usually, when we arrive at our after party venue, TGI Fridays, there is plenty of parking, and we can choose any seat in the house. This time though, that was clearly not the case anymore. The parking lot was full, and there was only a single table left in the bar area. Upon entering and hearing the roaring as the result of something on the televisions, I realized that it was the night of the first playoff game between the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers. We were very fortunate to not have as many people show up to the after social as usual. There was only 5 of us. I don’t think that we could have fit another of us.
Our talks at the after party began as they always do – it was all DNN-related. We also had two new faces this time, both of which had very great insights and passionate opinions on many of the things we discussed. They were Mitch Labrador and Adolfo Santiago. Adolfo has just returned to the IT arena and is thoroughly evaluating DNN. Mitch is running a company who is about to release an exciting new module suite. I originally did not think that such a module existed, but I later remembered that one does. I don’t want to steal his thunder, so I will let everyone find out at the end of the month when the release date comes.
Now we just need to ramp up for the first annual Day of DotNetNuke® 2009, this Saturday in Tampa. See you there!