In a word? Lots of neato fun cool, stuff! (In Gaeilge that would be a word, whereas Hi! would be like 30 words or sompin.....)
First off we've had a couple of inbetween meetups for our website. In order to keep traffic on here a bit slimmer, since some folks do not want as many email messages, we are tracking the results for that over on basecamp. To get a free account, so that you can participate or even just watch the process, email Brad D and he will set you up a free account.
Some of us are tossing about the idea of a satirical, somewhat self deprecating website, to really highlight all of the local talent that Cleveland has. Any ideas are welcome, and encouraged. We want this to be a bit funny, but really do not want the community to get the wrong idea and feel that we are insulting cleveland. In fact we are trying to do the opposite, and compliment her for the grand city she is.
We are going to start out with some corrections to the pages I set up. Then we will be adding a logo, and some more text. The first few pages will probably be static, with plans to move to a DBMS backend. We've settled on MySQL for the time being, because of its ease of use and cost (free). As far as the back end language, several of us know PHP and so our initial forays might be with that. But there seems to be lots of excitement about doing a COBOL back end...cough..er I mean Ruby. Several of us would like to learn that. So we might try that out.
One thing we are all agreed on it seems is that our codebase should be as trim as possible, in whatever systems we use. We've tossed about the idea of doing a CSS Zen Garden type of thing, so that we can see our single site from many different themes. Several of us are also bantering about the possibility of doing the same with the back end. So then we could see how to program the very same site in Ruby, PHP, or other languages. Of course that is a long term goal. But, if we keep our code crisp and clean, it might be workable. Still, for the time being we are going to need to settle on something and then we can grow from there. This will really be a group decision. What are you all most interested in at this point? Php? Ruby? Python? C? Perl? Something else? (Joe F. has said we could even use Mono to do this in .Net with ASP...) We have lots of options. Thus in order to decide, we want as much input as possible.
What else? Well we have 3 meetups planned. Both main meetups for November and December are set to the First Tuesday of each month. Thus the November Meetup is not too far off. There will be pizza, and as usual no fees. At November's meetup, Brad Colbow will be giving us a presentation on basic CSS Layouts. Decembers meetup is going to try to get a bit more hard core. Both will include round tables, and question /answer sessions. Bring a friend, you will definitely improve your skills!
So the dates are as follows:
November Main Meetup: Nov 6.
November Plan our Website Meetup: Dec 1 (to avoid holiday clash)
December Main Meetup: Dec 4.
There will most likely not be a December Plan our website meetup, unless I get feedback otherwise. I am planning on taking my vacation the last week of December. But I wont be doing much other than laying around a cold apartment. So I will be available if anyone wants to have a December Plan our website meetup. Just let me know.
Also..we are tossing about the idea eventually of SIGS. So do you have an interest that is a bit more narrow when it comes to websites? Would you like some meetings that focus only on Ruby on Rails, or Mysql? Websites for Seniors? Flash? If there is something that you are fired up about, when it comes to the web, ANYTHING, just email me, or send a post to our message board. If you are interested in organizing a SIG, We will definitely accommodate you.
Starting at the first of the year, with planning now, we are going to begin to focus a move from being a Meetup group, to being a real association. Along those lines, once we have our logos and such done, we will be printing up cards, so folks can post them wherever they want. In addition, we will be creating some kind of logo, so that members can add to their business cards. We will probably start working on some kind of certification for local websites as well, to be implemented most likely in 2009 some time. Something that can show a site is compliant in one or another areas.
We might also want to start highlighting certain developers each month, and certain local sites. Also some time in 2009 we could be prepping for an awards dinner.
These are some of the ideas we have tossed around, and many more are welcomed and encourage. If you have an idea, or a desire for the direction of our Association, hit us up, we are game for most anything I think.
One last thing, it seems that more than a few members are keen on Denny's. I've not had Denny's in a couple of years. So I am going to start a Sunday Brunch. Heck I might be there by myself..So any of yall are welcome to swing out after Church and enjoy some conversation that might not even be web related. If we get enough interest (say one other person) I might make it a weekly thing...Here would be the location: I figure around 2pm should be good. If anyone is interested let me know.
25912 Lorain Rd
North Olmsted, OH 44070
Look forward to seeing yall at November's meetup.
Joseph James Frantz (The First)