Category Archives: Ineta

May INETA NORAM Newsletter is out

The May 2006 INETA NORAM Newsletter is out and there is a wonderful article in there by INETA Speaker Kathleen Dollard on a recent 3-user group tour to the Gulf Coast region. Kathleen also donated all of her honorariums for the user group events to local organizations and makes some suggestions how we can continue to help this still devasted area.

Also in the newsletter is information about the success of Deeper in .NET which was a full day event put on by the Wiscosin .NET user group. Scott Isaacs is eager to share with other user group leaders his secret to success!

The 2nd Alabama Code Camp was held recently also and there is an article written by Huntsvillian (had to becareful ont to type Huntsvillain) Dan Wygant about that event as well. The article is accidentally anonymous. I’ll update this post when I get the name of the person who wrote it. Maybe we can get the online editionof the newsletter updated, too.

If you are not on the list  to receive the newsletter you can read it here.

Don’t Forget:

Huntsville Alabama VS.NET User Group

Today I flew from Burlington to Detroit to Huntsville, Alabama to speak at the Huntsville VS.NET User Group. Lori McKinney was a wonderful host. Lori reads my blog and knows about my donut woes and actually bought me my very own doughnuts (for people who leave the state to go to work!) – yes dOUGHnuts, not just donuts. She also put together a goodie bag of great Huntsville mementos. Huntsville is an incredibly historic city with amazing antebellum buildings juxtaposed against the space center where things like space shuttles are designed. Here’s a Kate Gregory style photo of my treats except it’s on the hotel room desk not the bed.

She was also thoughtful in putting some late night snacks in the bag which was great because I didn’t eat very much pizza during the meeting and was a little hungry when I got back. Thanks Lori.

Although I hear that most of the INETA speakers stay at the Marriott by the Space Center so they can be near and go there before they leave, I opted for the Sheraton that is literally IN the airport. But I did get a post-meeting tour and got to see some rocket ships. Okay that was pretty cool!

The user group was great. I got some great feedback too  that will make me think twice about showing HOW Pablo Castro’s awesome query processor works and just show it do it’s magic. His code is so well documneted, that the few people who might want to see the internals can discover that for themselves later. Dave Burke would laugh. He teases me about the starry eyed look I get when I talk about ADO.NET and tries to remind me that not everyone finds the internals as fascinating as I do (which is very important to remember when speaking to a user group with broad variety of interests and experience. Korby Parnell swears that I said ‘excited" 23 times in my 90 minute ADO.NET talk at Deeper in .NET. A little embarrassing, but hopefully in a good way.

There were definitely some ringers in the group who asked some questions I couldn’t answer off the top of my head. With all of the high tech companies here, there are some amazingly smart people in the user group. I told them that if I wasn’t a walking encyclopedia, at least I was a walking rolodex and I can find someone to answer the questions for me. So I will blog those q’s and a’s in the near future.

Thanks to the Huntsville VS.NET group for being so very warm and welcoming. And thanks to INETA for getting me here!

Six INETA Speaker Events across the U.S. tonight

I just happened to be looking at the INETA “Upcoming Speaking Engagements” page and was struck by the fact that there are SIX events tonight!

Bill EvjenSan Diego .NET User Group3/28/2006
Bill VaughnKC .NET User Group3/28/2006
Chris MenegayAggieland (Texas A&M Univeristy) .NET Developers3/28/2006
Jeff ProsiseEast TN .NET User group3/28/2006
Kathleen DollardLower Alabama .NET User Group3/28/2006
Mike AmundsenCincinnati .NET User Group3/28/2006

It’s also amazing to see events scheduled all the way through to the end of 2006. It’s definitely hard to plan that far ahead, though I do have some INETA talks already scheduled in September!

Don’t Forget:

INETA User Group Leaders – Why are you reluctant to tell INETA your meeting #s?

I am astonished that INETA has had to go so far as to have a prize drawing to encourage user group leaders to report on the health of .NET user groups (thereby also helping INETA to show it’s sponsors what type of reach they are getting which is a VERY reasonable thing for a sponsor to ask).

Once a month, it is a tiny itty bitty task. All they ask is that you identify yourself, your user group, the date of your meeting and the # of attendees. Additionally, they ask what your current membership count is and if you are so inclined, you can even leave comments.

One minute? Two?

So why is it hard to get u.g. leaders to do this? Do you find it invasive? That’s the only thing I can come up with because certainly it’s not much of an imposition. Even if INETA did nothing more than provde the speaker bureau – that’s huge. And this is just about the only thing they ask in return other than eval forms when they send a speaker (and pizza) to your group three times a year. So what if they ask every month – not just months that you have INETA speakers. And even with that, you cannot imagine the time and energy that the INETA volunteers put in to running this organization. And for what? For you – for your user groups. So a little survey each month is not much to ask as far as I’m concerned. I’m very happy to share that info with them.

Really, I am very curious why bribery is necessary? Not that I would turn down a $100 gift card for my user group (though I wish I could use it at the local pizza joint)!

Feel free to leave comments or link back to this post if you want to blog a reply.

Don’t Forget:

INETA’s Formation – perception vs. reality

D’Arcy Lussier writes:

Flash back a few years to when .NET was an emerging technology. Microsoft put their marketing muscle behind the promotion and creation of user group communities: groups of geeks getting together to talk about CLR goodness. Their plan worked to perfection, and user groups sprung up all over the world! An organization (which I’m a membership manager for), INETA – The International .NET Association, was created and helped bolster the user groups by providing guidance, speakers, and support.

I see it very differently.

Flash back a few years to when .NET was an emerging technology. INETA – The International .NET Association, was created by a handful of user group leaders (led by Bill Evjen) in an effort to bolster the user groups by providing guidance, speakers, and support. When INETA (with help from Microsoft’s Eric Ewing) demonstrated to Microsoft how important the user group community was, Microsoft put their marketing muscle behind the promotion and creation of user group communities: groups of geeks getting together to talk about CLR goodness.

Don’t Forget:

INETA User Group Leaders: How did you make your launch dvds?

I am ready to give up.

We have our 5 dvds worth of content to share with our user group members but have still, after two months of begging favors, not found a way to get the copies made efficiently.

I know Lori Mckinney burned all 700+ dvds herself on two normal home dvd burners.

First we have to get someone to pay for 250 blank dvds. Then we have to find a way to copy that many.

I can’t find anyone to do it for us for free or cheaply. The best offer I had was still going to cost us $750.

How have you solved this dilemma?

Update: Here is how we are doing it! Our D.E., Thom Robbins, hooked us up with 250 blank DVDs and I have now gotten a number of user group members who have committed to burning anywhere from 4 to 10 sets. So I will burn about 10 sets myself and then mail those with a bunch of blanks to these people who will bring their burned sets to the next meeting! Yay!!

Don’t Forget:

WeProgram.NET Tomorrow Night

I’m very excited to be speaking at WeProgram.NET tomorrow night in Virginia Beach. It will be my first presentation as an INETA speaker! Thanks to u.g. leader Darrell Norton and Hampton Rds SQL Server group leader Susan Lennon for bringing me down.

I’ll be trimming down my now very long "what’s new in 2.0" presentation and focusing on ADO.NET 2.0 Integration with SQL Server 2005. Inspired by Pablo Castro’s teched session (which I used in Africa), I have added some new touches to it. I learned how to work with XML Data types and some of the CLR integration in SQL Server. So I’ll get to show some of that as well.

I’m already in Virginia Beach as this allowed me to visit my brother and his family for the first time since they moved here. It was nice to have a beautiful walk on the beach yesterday. That has been one of the things that has bummed me out each time I have been in L.A. and San Diego over the last few years. No chance to get to the ocean.

Posted from BLInk!

Atlantic Provinces INETA Tour

There’s nothing like planning ahead! I will be visiting 3 user groups in late June (yes that’s 2006) in Canada’s Atlantic provinces. Places I have wanted to go for a long time so I am thrilled to be able to visit the groups and see these beautiful provinces at the same time. I will be going to INETA groups in Moncton New Brunswick, Halifax Nova Scotia and St. John’s Newfoundland. Thanks to Amanda Murphy and Derek Hatchard for having me and also accommodating a schedule that allowed me to spread the talks out so that I can explore these magical places.

Posted from BLInk!