Will "the Mighty" Strohl

September 2009 ODUG Meeting Recap

Orlando DotNetNuke Users Group Last night was our September Orlando DotNetNuke® Users Group (ODUG) meeting.  I was the presenter, and the topic was the “DotNetNuke® Core Blog Module.”  Overall, this was yet another great event, despite a scary start.

This topic was originally scheduled for July, but I had to cancel the meeting due to me being out of town unexpectedly.  I was extra heart-broken about cancelling that meeting, because we set a meeting record in the most pre-registered attendees.  We had nearly 30 pre-registered attendees!  I was highly surprised at that.  Trying to bank on that potential turnout, and to make up for my cancellation, I scheduled it again for this month.  Unfortunately, we had a pre-registration turnout on the opposite side of the spectrum.  There were less than 10 pre-registered attendees early that morning.

Fortunately for me though, the DNN community helped me to drum up some more attendees.  By the time my session began, we had 21 people pre-registered.  Unfortunately, only 13 of those showed up.  While 13 may sound like a low number, it is pretty respectable number for a niche user group like ours.

The Opening Announcements

We mostly did our normal thing in the beginning of the meeting.  I have a format that we mostly borrowed from another user group that is very successful.  We introduce the user group board, give out user group news, and then we announce DNN community news.  However, last night I tried something new. 

I gave a few minutes to the user group members to announce their own news.  Everyone had their own moment where they could individually announce anything that they felt was important.  This appeared to be hugely successful.  We even had some really cool announcements, such as one member being part of a start-up that is doing co-op office space, and another who is releasing a CRM Module for DNN in the very near future.  We had some other news as well, and everyone appeared to like this.

The Session

Will Strohl Presenting (picture by Mitch Labrador, on his cell phone) My session went pretty well.  I attempting to strike a balance between presenting the DNN Blog Module itself, and with blogging tips and tricks in general.  I feel that I pretty much achieved that balance.  I think that this is probably a session that can be repeated successfully in other user groups.

My presentation began with talking about some blog vocabulary, and just introducing the concept to those that might not be confident with what a blog might mean to them.  Then, we demoed the Blog Module, with no bugs encountered.  This demo ended with us posting a blog entry, where I spoke about ways to not lose your entry when your session expires. That led me to the next demo…

The next demo consisted of me showing the user group how to use and leverage Windows Live Writer as your blog publishing platform.  Everyone was very impressed with WLW, and its potential with plug-ins, as well as its ability to save and archive blog entries.

Part of the session was devoted to announcing the road map for the DNN Core Blob Module, which addresses many of the missing features in the current version.  Then, I wrapped the session up with some marketing tips to help people get ideas for publishing their blog to multiple sources to generate more traffic to their site.  I think several people were there specifically for those tips, so I was happy that I included that information.  I think I will expand that section of the session the next time I present this topic.

I have already posted the slide deck on the ODUG website. (Registration required.)

The After Party

Charles Teague and Mitch Labrador at the After Party As we always do, most of us met up at TGI Friday’s following the meeting, where we had a few drinks and spoke about all kinds of things.  As usual, we spoke mostly about DNN, and that’s fine with me.  :)

We had a great time, especially since the staff there is getting to know us and giving us great service as a result. 

Probably my favorite part of the night was at the end, where I spoke to a fellow .Net community member about his first presentation, to be given in October at the Space Coast .Net User Group.  His name is Derek Myers, and he can be described in one word, brilliant.  He always thinks about the same things we do in technology, but he is usually at least one level deeper in thought than we are, and I enjoy that.  It really is refreshing.  It was nice being able to give back in yet another way, through talking him through some ideas with his presentation.  If his presentation is awesome, it was because of my tips.  If note, I don’t know Derek Myers. ;)  I kid…

If you weren’t there, I don’t know what to tell you. It was a fun time!  Come to the next meeting!  :P

Our Next ODUG Meeting

Henry Lee, of New Age Solution Our next meeting is featuring Henry Lee, from New Age Solution in Jacksonville.  He will be speaking about backing up and restoring DNN sites.  This should be a great session, as this is not a very well-published topic, and a live demo will do wonders for those who are not comfortable with doing this.

Register to attend for FREE!



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