October 2008 - Posts
So I don't know if any of you watch Chuck, I've been watching it since the first episode last season, it's a great geek comedy if I do say so myself.
During last night's episode (which we watched tonight) there was a moment where Chuck ask's Morgan if the store, Buy More, had any Rush albums, to which Morgan replied something to the effect of "Are you kidding, I have every album on my Zune". I yelped with glee, he just said he had a Zune, score one for the Microsoft Machine! My glee was quickly burst though as Chuck responded with "Really, you have a Zune" and Morgan replied "No, I'll get my Ipod".
That still won't stop me from getting a new Zune in November, I plan to get the 120gb Gears of War 2 limited edition Zune next week!
I like Vista, I have a Windows Home Server, I have a Zune (my wife has 2) and I have two Windows Mobile Smartphones. I'm a PC
I’m going to start this blog post off with a minor rant about purchasing DNN modules, and had intended to follow that up with a discussion on the evolution of the DotNetNuke ecosystem customer, but both topics have grown larger than initially planned so I will break them up into two separate posts. So here goes the ranting, followed by what I hope will be an informative blog post.
This post is directed to potential purchasers of third party DNN modules with the goal of making the lives of module developers easier, and ultimately your lives and projects better as well. When you purchase a module for DotNetNuke, please take responsibility and do some research about the modules you are thinking about purchasing prior to purchase. Module developers take a lot of time and effort putting together functionality that they believe will provide function to other users.
A lot of these developers also spend quite a bit of time setting up demo sites, marketing materials and a lot of other information about the modules. When you are looking for a module to purchase to fit a need, you should do you research to figure out if the module meets your needs before purchasing the module. Should it be responsibility of the developer to refund your money if you figure out after purchasing the module that it doesn’t meet your needs?
Here are 5 simple ways to figure out if a module will meet your needs prior to purchase (these will not always guarantee a good module purchase, but should help to weed out many bad purchases):
- Check out the module’s documentation and marketing site
- Check out the module’s demo website
- If available test a trial version
- Post in the module developer’s forums or on DotNetNuke.com asking if anyone else has used the module before
- Ask the module developer if the module provides specific functionality that you require.
I will be the first to admit that not all modules have every feature and implementation scenario documented. Most developers are willing to help you get your needs met, instructing you how to meet a need with particular functionality in a module. One thing to keep in mind is how much you are actually spending on a module, most modules out there are extremely cheap (pennies on the dollar) considering the amount of time and effort put into the development and support of those modules.
I honestly don’t know how this blog post will come across to users, it is not intended to be offensive. I actually enjoy assisting customers who purchase our modules to configure them to meet their specific needs. It is an interesting position to be in to see different project needs being met by a simple application that was made by some crazy Canadian back in December 2002. I hope that users looking for modules find this post to be useful.
What are your thoughts on this topic? If you don’t want to post a comment here on the blog but have some feedback be sure to find me at OpenForce in Las Vegas in two weeks!
So there are only a couple of weeks left until Openforce 08 in Las Vegas. We (the guys from Engage) leave St. Louis two weeks from this coming Monday. We’re setting up a booth this year, #611, be sure to stop by and check it out.
As for the rest of the conference, it’s a must attend if you’re doing any DotNetNuke development or management within your organization, where else will you find so many DotNetNuke resources in one place? Last year there were 3 DNN booths in the expo hall, R2i, ActiveModules and the DNN Corp. This year there are 10 DNN Vendors setting up shop in the hall.
Personally though, I think the best part about Openforce last year wasn’t necessarily the sessions, or the expo hall, it was the people. DotNetNuke is a community for many of us, even though it is also a business, the community comes first. Openforce allows you the time to meet and interact face to face with members of that community, from the people who post in the forums daily, to the people who only read the posts but use DNN in their everyday lives for their employers.
That’s not to say the expo hall and sessions aren’t worth their weight in gold as well, but I look forward most to meeting more new community members, and connecting again with everyone I met last year in Las Vegas or even in Amsterdam at Openforce Europe just a few weeks ago!
There are a few new ways to interact with people this year as well. One evening during the week there will be a DNN social event at the conference, more information on this will be available as everything is finalized. Another new opportunity is something I will be involved heavily with. On Friday after the conference we will be offering a day of post-conference DotNetNuke training. With the help of two DNN Corp members Dang and I will be providing you a full day of best practice training for DNN, you can get registered for that training and the conference here.
See you in a few weeks!
So this has been in the works for a few months but I’ve managed to withhold blogging about it until the contract was signed for fear of cursing myself and losing the deal. I, along with a coworker at Engage Software Patrick Renner, will be writing a DotNetNuke book over the next several months.
The title of the book is tentatively slated to be DotNetNuke, A User’s Guide and will be published under the DotNetNuke series of books from Wrox.
The goal for this book is to provide the ultimate starters’ guide for DotNetNuke. It will provide guidance for users to form a solid foundation for the creation and maintenance of a website running on the DotNetNuke platform. The first half of the book will introduce the reader to the concepts of website construction, content management systems, site administration and how these are managed in DNN. The second half of the book provides detailed instructions for how to apply the concepts presented in the first half to real world web site use cases.
We think this is definitely a book that can be utilized by a wide range of users to get familiar with the creation and management of a DotNetNuke website, without requiring that the users have the technical knowledge of a software developer.
We had our mug shots taken for the cover of the book this morning, and I finished signing the contracts this afternoon. They would have been signed earlier in the month had I not been out of the country for two weeks. We are going to be ramping up our first few chapters tomorrow with a kickoff meeting after work.
I will definitely be blogging throughout the book writing process if you’re interested in seeing how it all developers.
Ever needed an SMTP server to use for testing, but you really didn't care if the email actually went anywhere? If so, be sure to check out Neptune (http://donovanbrown.com/post/2008/10/20/Neptune.aspx)
It's a cool little tool from a buddy of mine, Donovan Brown, that allows you to test SMTP functionality without having the SMTP actually relay the message further. I will definitely be putting this to use very soon myself. I don't know why someone didn't think of this earlier, hell I could have used it last week!
Wow, I must say anyone not attending OpenForce here in The Netherlands this week is missing out (sorry Alex!). It has been a great conference, lots of great people to meet and ideas to discuss.
I just finished my last session and came upstairs to change before I head back down to do more socializing. If you’re still here and haven’t met me, please come up and say hello.
If you’re still on the fence about going to OpenForce in Las Vegas in November, get off the fence and get registered! www.openforce08.com
So we’re all sitting here in Shaun’s keynote, my photo was incorrect earlier when I posted that no one showed up
that’s just a photo from the room prior to the keynote, there are actually other people in the room, but I took the empty half. Right now there are probably 50-60 people in the room.
I’ll be sitting here trying to get as much info to you as possible, though I have to leave the keynote early as I have to finish prepping for my DNN-SEO presentation coming up in 40 minutes.
"Our Goal” “that the majority of the websites built on the MS platform are built on DNN”
Metrics for the projects
650k registered users, 175k since Oct 2007
5.5 million downloads (2 million since 10/07)
150k downloads per month average
Estimate 12k new websites launched each month on DNN
US 32% UK 5.4% India 4.38% Canada 3.5% Italy 3.3% Australia 2.9% Germany 2.45% Netherlands 2.3%
A graph with some numbers of other open source application and funding they’ve received in their life cycles. Providing one of the fastest growing OS projects in history
Highest rate of growth is in SMB/SME area (dominated by the MS platform) (SMB/SME – small to medium business, small to medium enterprise)
Highly fragmented market, very different business and markets, vertical apps have a harder time meeting these needs, horizontal app like DNN would be a good fit.
Discussion of opportunity and SMB/SME feedback/survey, key barriers that SMB/SME have to open source.
Key reason to adopt, lower cost of ownership for OS.
Challenges for DNN in the past 12 months
- Securing funding
- Scalable business model
- Large vision but lack of resources
- Business plan
- Provide solid business foundation
- Complete funding process
- Acquire additional resources
- Focus on being a product company
- Execute on business plan
- Improve marketing efforts
- Complete implementation of 5.0 roadmap features
- Provide greater support of extensions (automated installs)
- Leverage community contributions
- Focus on being leading edge innovator
- Address main barriers of entry
- Launch commercial product and service offerings targeted towards business users (same OS license, with support offering)
- Develop partner program to provide greater opportunity, to community members, and facilitate growth of the product
- Provide more opportunities for contribution to the project
- Provide better support and renew passion in core team and project members
- Maintain a balanced focus on open source as well as commercial activities
That’s it, I’m off to my presentation room
You guys are missing out on a good time! Photos on the Flickr group
So Openforce08 Europe is under way. There are 26 or 27 of us sitting here in room 23 watching Stefan Cullmann talking about UDT 5(Forms & Lists) module. Nik Kalyani is next door presenting about Vista Gadgets with DNN. If you're not here you are missing out on some good topics! You should look into OpenForce in Las Vegas next month!
I'm prepping for my two presentations later today. I also have my Camera here, I hope to upload more pictures on Flickr later today.
So Natalie and I are here at the conference hotel for the OpenForce Europe conference. We got here around 4pm, checked into our room, I did some work for my presentation and then we decided to walk around the hotel a little bit around 5pm. Well 6.5 hours later I made it back up to the hotel room. We made it to the bar in the hotel, and from there it was all downhill, or uphill depending on how you look at it. Dinner was from 7pm – 9pm, then we made our way to the bowling alley.
That’s right, there’s a bowling alley in this hotel, actually 4 lanes. If you’re a bowler, like I used to try to be, these lanes aren’t really conducive to working on your game. The lanes are what you might call dry, and for someone like me who can’t bowl straight anymore, the spin grip is ridiculous on the lanes. I put more balls into the gutter tonight than I think I have in my life. It was fun though, lots of drinking, talking, playing. I also believe this is the first time I have ever made myself bleed at a bowling alley. I have a nice cut on my heal from my massive leg kick I have from bowling, I caught the underside of the ball return, ouch.
Let’s see if I can rattle off the folks I got to meet today/tonight who I’ve not met before.
Leigh Pointer (this is one funny guy, great guy to hang with)
Tim Huckaby, this dude used to be Tony Hawk’s neighbor, if that isn’t cool I don’t know what is.
Miguel Castro (a NJ guy from Miami, go figure ;) )
Stephen Forte (this guy has too much fun)
Nick Hodges (stuck in Cali from MN)
Beth Massi (a MS employee)
Brian Noyes (a former F-14 pilot, how cool is that?)
Tom Kraak (from Seablick, ready to rip my SEO presentation apart tomorrow!)
Ernst Peter Tamminga
Mark Blomsma (picked us up at the airport)
Eric Visser (picked us up at the hotel!)
I am sure I missed someone in there, if so I apologize. I’m going to dust off my presentations make sure I am ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow (today actually) I am presenting two topics, one on DNN and SEO and the other relating to building a business around opensource relating my experiences to DNN.
If you read this, be sure to come up and say hello. I might be one of the biggest guys here, but I promise you I am rather friendly.