Tap My Mind

A Blog by Scott Isaacs

Month: April 2006

Article: How To Have a Successful Day-Long Conference

I am the president of the WI .NET Users Group, and we held our 4th annual Deeper in .NET conference on April 22, 2006 (our first since I became president last year).  The event was a great success, and people keep talking to me about wonderful they thought it was.  I’ve just posted a summary of the work that went into that, as well as our results.

Deeper in .NET 2006 was a great success with about 400 people in total attendance.  We had five incredible speakers – Michele Leroux Bustamante, Scott Hanselman, Julie Lerman, Bill Hatfield and Jason Beres (four on the Speaker’s Bureau) – and we had over $70,000 in prizes (150+ pieces) to give away!

Are you a users group leader?  Many groups are having these day-long, mutli-session events.  Why not yours?  To find out how we made ours a huge success, take a look at this article.

Site Stats

Wow.  I just checked my site stats, which I normally get around to about once a month.  I’m surprised to see that I’ve had three days with over 5,000 hits in the last 7 days, one of them being nearly 7,000 hits.  I know those numbers aren’t huge, but I’m happy to see them given my typical volume and content of posts.  Normally, I average around 3,000 hits/day on this site, so I was a little suprised to see those numbers given that I haven’t posted much recently until today.

Now that I’ve thought about it, though, it makes sense for two reasons:

  1. Deeper in .NET was this weekend, and a good number of referrals are related to that.
  2. I just took down my other site, www.scottisaacs.com, and forwarded all of that traffic here.

Now if I could just find a way to turn 5,000 hits into 50,000 hits…. and then find a way to turn each hit into $10….

Hmmmm…  [;)]

What the F#?!?

Now that I have your attention, I should clarify in case my mother happens upon this and makes me wash out my mouth with SOAP. [;)]  (Sorry.  For some reason I can’t seem to resist the silly geek puns…)

In case you aren’t aware, F# is a new .NET language from Microsoft Research, and a new community site just launched last night in support of that.  “The Hub” (or more completely, “hubFS: THE Place for F#”) is a site that I’ve been privileged to be involved with for a few weeks of BETA now.  I have to confess that I’m not fully up to speed on F#, so that makes this site even that much more valuable to someone like myself.

It is my understanding that Dr. Syme, the architect and designer of F# at Microsoft Research, is the champion of generics in Microsoft’s .NET Framework v2.0.  This stuff must be good.

Check it out.

Domain Names For Sale

I used to have quite a collection of domain names.  At one point, I had nearly thirty.  It was an addiction, and I needed help.  Now I’m a recovering domain-name-aholic, letting unnecessary registrations lapse as the expiration date approaches.  I’m currently down to 17.  (The road to recovery is long and lonely.)

Well, I have three that I am planning to “let go” very soon, putting them into an indefinite “domain name purgatory” until my registrar decides to release them back into the wild.  If you’re interested in any of these domains, let me know.  I don’t need to get rich from this, but I do want to make sure they make it to a good home.  [;)]

Here are the names I am currently planning to let lapse:

  • hypothesize.org
  • resemblance.org
  • wordforsale.com

Please help me keep from falling back into my old addictions.  I am still weak, and may falter at any time.  With your help, I can overcome this hurdle.

Deeper in .NET 2006 — A Huge Success

I’ve been putting off writing this post because I didn’t know where to start.  I still don’t know where to start… 

Thank God It’s Friday …

While it wasn’t all fun and games, Deeper in .NET was a lot of fun.  What many people may not know is that Deeper in .NET 2006 actually kicked off on Friday night, April 21.  On Friday we had a little get together with the speakers, some of the local bloggers, and other “friends of the community”.  It was very casual, and the “Welcome to Wisconsin” buffet was perfect — who could pass up fried fish, brats, and other Wisconsin-y things? 

Because one of my friends is a drummer, we were also able to get a couple of bands to come play Friday night for a few hours.  Both A Little Known Nothing and Mood Infusion were great, and they both have CDs available for purchase.

I’m still getting comments about that night.

Then Came Saturday …

The morning started bright and early, and there was a long check-in line by 7:15.  Fortunately, the check-in process was much smoother this year, and thanks to my wife Kelly and her boss Kate (C&C Recruiting), the line moved pretty much non-stop.

To save time searching for pre-printed name tags like in years past, this year, we managed to get our hands on a high-speed label printer, and we printed the name tags off as people checked in.  All attendees had the choice of C# or VB.NET name tag.  Looking back, I should have kept track of the number of each language since about a dozen people have asked me so far.

With tons of prizes to give away throughout the day, we decided to give away a few prizes at the beginning of each session.  So we pulled five random names before Michele, Scott, Julie, Bill and Jason started their presentations.  We still had a ton of stuff to give away at the end of the day, though.

There is no way I can do Deeper in .NET justice in this post.  It was incredible, and I’m very happy with how well it went.  A number of other people have posted about their thoughts on the day.  Here are a few links:

Both Julia and Korby have posted a number of pictures.  One of these days, I’ll get mine up.  If you took any, please send me a link.

(I’m sure I missed some posts, but you can trackback or comment below.)

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday …

Well, since Deeper in .NET finished, I have been sleeping terribly.  Aren’t you supposed to lose sleep before something big, and then sleep better after it is over?  Not the case for me for some reason.  I didn’t lose any sleep leading up to DiDN, but haven’t had a good night’s sleep since.  I think it’s time to break out the Tylenol PM…

Next Year…

This year was a big success, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t picked up some new ideas for next year.  If you have any ideas pelase feel free to let me know.

Deeper in .NET Update

In my last post, I mentioned how many registrants and prizes we had for Deeper in .NET.  Well, both of those numbers are wrong.

We now have over 475 people registered for Deeper in .NET.

And we have over $70,000 in prizes to give away!  We may come close to $80,000 before all is said and done. 

I don’t know about you, but that amazes me.  The way our sponsors have risen to the occasion is incredible.  This event would not exist without them — thank you.

If you haven’t already, register for Deeper in .NET.  It’s this Saturday, April 22, at the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee.  It’s free.  It will be incredible!

Prizes, Prizes, Food, Prizes, Content, Prizes, and Incredible Presenters

Over 350 400 425 people have already signed up for Deeper in .NET 2006!  If you haven’t yet, you should too.

Of course, the main reason for planning an event like this is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to learn more about new and interesting topics in .NET, and give you a chance to learn from some of the most qualified, experienced, professional and entertaining speakers around.  That’s why we’ve chosen this year’s roster (see here and here).

Maybe you already know everything, though, about .NET.  You know all the acronyms (WCF, WPF, SQL, ADO, ASP, AJAX) and you know how to use them all.  Well even if you know all there is to know about the topics being covered, there are still two good reasons for you to come to Deeper in .NET:

  • Free lunch
  • Prizes — lots of prizes!  I mean LOTS of prizes!

We have two copies of MSDN Premium with Visual Studio Team Suite (worth over $10,000 each) to give away!  Thank you to our local MVPs, casey and Sean, for donating these.

One will go to a lucky attendee who registers for Deeper in .NET by April 18th.  It’s simple:

  1. Go here
  2. Login (create an account if you don’t have one)
  3. Click the link that says “You are not registered. Click here to register now.” 

That’s it.  Three little steps to have a chance at winning a $10,000 piece of software.

The other MSDN/VSTS license will go to the winner of our Evangelist blogging contest (I already blogged this once here).  Sure that’s a little more work than you have to do for the other copy, but it’s not that hard.  You just sign up for the Evangelist program and start blogging about the WI .NET Users Group and Deeper in .NET.  Free blog hosts and software abound, people, so get blogging.  😉

Even if we didn’t have those two huge prizes, we would still have a ton to give away.  Not counting the MSDN/VSTS licenses, we have over $25,000 in software to give away (and counting)!  Many people are going to walk away with a prize.  Chances are that you or someone next to you will win some software.  Seriously.  I’ve lost count of how much we have.  (Special thanks to Doug from CVNUG for keeping track of everything for me.)

By the time April 22 rolls around, we may well have over $50,000 in software prizes to give away.

So, in summary for those that made it all the way through this post, sign up now.  Register for Deeper in .NET.  Become an Evangelist.  Blog about .NET, the Users Group and Deeper in .NET.  Get involved.  Show up.  Win prizes.

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