Like every other month, we had our monthly Orlando DotNetNuke® Users Group (ODUG) meeting last week. This was an important meeting too. Since recently being appointed as the Vice President of the Orlando .Net User Group (ONETUG), my time is going to be more valuable than ever before. This was going to effect me in all areas, including my consulting work and my time normally spent on ODUG duties. (Hehehe… I said “doodie”.) So, it was already way overdue, but I spent some time last night trying to inspire some of our members to step up and join the ODUG board.
We had a great showing at this meeting. We can normally count on 13+ people to show up without any marketing. But last night, we were approaching 20 people! I was very pleased to be able to continue to bring people out of their homes and routines to learn more about and network with others about the DotNetNuke® web application framework. Among those in attendance were two authors, one of which is our user group founder. Darrell Hardy came out again from the Space Coast, and Brian Scarbeau was finally able to peel away from his busy life to join us as well.
The turnout thankfully allowed me to broadcast out meeting online again. We were streaming our entire meeting. It felt great to provide that service. At peak, we had 13 simultaneous viewers. I know that the stream quality isn’t the greatest, but that’s one of the reasons to come to the meeting itself.
What’s that? You live where? Oh. That’s okay. You can write off the travel in your annual budget, and do something recreational with your frequent flyer miles. ;)
Well… We’re keeping the sponsor, but our contact is moving on.
The ODUG and many other user groups in our area has been very fortunate to have a quality supporter for our meetings and events. This person has been Megan Hopkins, from KForce Professional Staffing. KForce itself has always done an above average job of supporting and networking with the .Net community, but Megan took that beyond the next level. She actually spent a great deal of time networking on a personal level with a countless number of “geeks”, all the while learning about what we do herself. She even began to pick up C# as a hobby! The Central Florida area is going to miss her a lot, as she is moving on to greener pastures with KForce, in San Francisco – which happens to be even “geekier”, so she will undoubtedly have a great time there.
Megan brought her successor with her to the meeting. He is a really nice guy named, Carl Dunn. I say he is a nice guy, because he was super friendly, and has a great sense of humor. That’s the core skill set needed to connect with techies like us. The jokes kept flying about how he needed to dress like Megan and wear a blonde wig, and “he has big ‘high heels’ to fill”. But he took it all very well – so he is definitely going to fit in.
<tangent> I have a cousin living in San Francisco. Maybe I can have her give Megan a hard time and play a couple of pranks on her… </tangent>
Our speaker this month was Henry Lee, the co-founder and President of New Age Solution. He drove 3 hours from Jacksonville, Florida to speak to us. I first met Henry Lee at Jacksonville Code Camp a while back. I didn’t know at first that he was not on a DNN-guy, but he is something of a DNN guru as well. He later presented at the first annual Day of DotNetNuke®, and also supported this years Orlando Code Camp. Needless to say, he and his partner Erica do a fantastic job of giving back to the community. He is even rumored to be kicking around the idea of starting one or two user groups in Jacksonville. Though, I will leave him to announcing those plans when he’s ready.
Henry’s topic was Backing Up and Restoring DotNetNuke®, where he showed us how to back up and restore DNN in a few different ways. I must admit that I wasn’t sure what we’d see last night, since backing up and restoring DNN seems simple to me. He surprised me by showing us the simple way, but also going over things we’d need to know when performing these same procedures on a Shared and Dedicated host. The topic also took a delve into the cloud hosting segment for a moment.
Unfortunately, I had never sat in on one of Henry’s presentations until this meeting. I must say that it was a pleasure to be part of his presentation (even if I was also monitoring the ODUG Live chat and our ODUG twitter account). He brought with him a great deal of knowledge, but also some very useful real-life experiences which played a critical role in presenting scenarios to us.
His presentation went a bit quicker than expected though. However, our ODUG members did a great job of filling that time with some great questions. We can always expect some great questions out of our members. We have a very thirsty membership in terms of DNN knowledge. They want to know EVERYTHING. I think that’s awesome!
Following Henry’s presentation, I had him help me draw for the door prizes. Then, we packed up, and moved ourselves to the nearby TGI Fridays for some DNN socializing.
As usual, we all trucked it to TGI Fridays to have a couple of drinks and speak shop with each other about all things, but mostly DNN. :) That’s the main thing I love about our social event after the meetings. It’s a long no-holds-barred conversation about DNN. We learn so much from each other in terms of products, modules, ISVs, and more. All the while, we are having a good time doing so.
I must thank the staff at TGI Fridays. We have only been coming there once a month (since January), but they already know some of our names, and what we drink and order. They do a fantastic job of taking care of us.
We are very lucky and honored to be able to host Antonio Chagoury at our meeting next month. He is going to be walking us through integrating RESTful APIs into our DNN development. I cannot wait. I have become friends with Antonio through twitter and IM over the past year, so it’s going to be a blast to finally meet him and pick his brain in person. :)
Visit our event page to register for this event. Antonio is a Microsoft MVP, DNN Core Team Member, Leader of the DNN Blog Module Project and the CEO and Chief Software Architect at Inspector IT, in Washington D.C.
There are already a handful of user groups calling CoLab home, so we will not be the first. It seems to be a popular venue. I think we will be the first Microsoft-based user group there though.
And just so you know, I am working on a big surprise for our next meeting as well! I cannot give any details yet, but I hope to be able to provide something REALLY exciting at our next event. Make sure that you’re there.