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Web Standards Meetup Ideas. (long email)

From: Aoirthoir An B.
Sent on: Wednesday, July 11, 2007 10:32 AM
Howdy! (long email)

First, thanks to all that came for yesterday's meetup and thanks for all of the fantastic input. I greatly appreciate all of the ideas and help.

I think consensus is so rare to actually find. However, it was down to a person that our group should focus on Web Standards. Certainly this entails XHTML, CSS and 508 compliant websites. It also includes unobtrusive Javascript, proper MySQL, PHP, Ruby use. I think there was at least one person that was on board for incorporating COBOL into their websites. (Dunno who that can be...looking around, whistling.. :D). Also, while we did not discuss it in these terms, I think what we are talking about is ways to create semantic websites, while at the same time keeping them beautiful for all, regardless of the method used to access them. With that in mind, I have gone ahead and changed the title of the group to "The Cleveland Area Web Standards Meetup Group". I am willing to modify this further if the membership desires.

Another thing I think is rare is to find such a diverse mix of skills so quickly. For those that have not been able to make it, we have folks that are Graphic Designers, XHTML/CSS Coders, PHP/Javascript/Ruby/SQL Programmers, and of course folks that do a mix of these. So there really is something for everyone. From among these we are looking for volunteers for a number of projects.

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First of course are Workshops. If we have a workshop at each of our monthly meetings, this will provide us with 12 workshops a year. So any that have ideas for things they would like to see in a workshop or a workshop they would like to present please just email the group or start a message board thread about it. I would like to plan out the workshops as much in advance as possible. So if we have 12 folks that volunteer, we can plan out pretty far:)

Putting my money where my MySQL is, I'll volunteer for a workshop on MySQL. I will discuss SQL Statements and Optimization with a focus on Cursors, Triggers, Stored Procedures and User Defined Functions. I will also discuss how I use all of these in the projects at my office. I will also cover caveats and benefits. Prior to this, if anyone wants some assistance learning the basics of MySQL, feel free to contact me any time.

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Profiles... In order to show off our work better, and enable us to contact each other more smoothly, I would like to create some profile questions. I've started a list of possible questions here:
http://webdesign.meetup.com/396/messages/boards/view/viewthread?thread=3265648

If anyone has other suggestions, please add them to the list. Of course all questions are voluntary. You can create your own about page. In the page name just put your user ID for meetup as the name of the page.. Go here:
http://webdesign.meetup.com/396/pages/?op=new

For instance my about page is here:
http://webdesign.meetup.com/396/pages/Aoirthoir/

After you have created your about page, please add an entry the Members about page here:
http://webdesign.meetup.com/396/pages/Members/

Then go to your profile by clicking the MEMBERS link on the left, and choosing your profile. At the right of your name will be a link that says "edit your profile". This is not the same as the profile link that always appears at the top of you meetup pages. This edit your profile link is specific to our group. Scroll down to where it says Link URL and paste the link to your about page. In the link text put anything you want. (I put My About Page).

Having about pages with all of the information you desire to show, can actually reduce the number of profile questions we need to create. Although profile questions do give a format. Also if someone wants to create an about page template, that might help as well. I have prepared an empty template and will add to it later. It is here:
http://webdesign.meetup.com/396/pages/Profile_Template

Special note: Please do not edit others members personal about pages.

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Speaking of about pages, all members are free to add and edit all other about pages. If you create a page that you would like it to remain yours only, please note that in the about page itself. Also, I think we need a way to organize about pages. I will try to create some kind of table of contents and maintain it as additions are made. To facilitate this for me, when you add an about page, just email me directly from my meetup profile. I will then agregate additions perhaps weekly. This will keep members emails from becoming cluttered. (unless we have consensus that all about pages should be emailed to the group).

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We had lots of other great ideas last night. I will summarize them and that way we can brainstorm...

Book Reviews. Everyone loves Nate's book reviews. So check them out. (Links to follow).

Videos for our workshops? Podcasts? Anyone interested give us a holler.

Use Cases. As part of our workshops we can take member sites and begin to work on them.

Charity Sites. Looking for volunteers that would like to work on charity sites at no cost. These would provide use cases for us. They would be a great way to promote standards and provide advertising for the group, and ourselves or our companies. Great way to develope a portfolio for those that are new. Its also a great opportunity to work with folks from the entire spectrum, so some could do the design, others the XHTML/CSS others the programming, others the database back end and so on. (Some of yall already have this kind of workflow at your jobs, so in this case you might be more on the educational side of such projects).

Mentoring. We've all heard about Mentoring. This is where you go to the far east side and learn a lot of stuff. Somewhere on the lake I believe. I think from the sound of things, we are all willing to spend a little bit of our personal time mentoring in our skillset. If you have questions, email someone that specializes in that area. If you are willing to help folks, put a note on your about page.

Tradin. Some of us were looking for work at the last meetup. Jay has some projects that he is looking for folks more on the back end of things. Email him if you have questions and to see if it is a match. Also it was suggested that we could trade our services. I think for those of us in the little shops would benefit most from this. Though perhaps some of you in bigger companies would seek such things as well. Let us know. I'm available to provide any MySQL backend that you would want. Specifically MySQL 5. I'm looking for layouts for several of my websites. So here's the first trade offer. If you have further you can go here:
http://webdesign.meetup.com/396/messages/boards/view/viewthread?thread=3265859

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Copyrights... Please remember that all posts, photos and content are copyrighted by their respective poster. If you wish to use something on our site someplace else, get the copyright holder's permission. I am looking into a number of free licenses for content. For my software I will be using the GNU AGPLv3 when it comes out. (This is different than the GNU GPLv3). So I think most of my content will be released under the GNU FDL or the GNU SFDL. I will let yall know when I decide. If you do use a free license, this will encourage mashups. Others can take your work and modify it, integrating it with their own work. Naturally I encourage use of free licenses, but using one is entirely up to you, I am non-religious about it. Unless a person specifies I will consider that all works are all rights reserved. This applies to workshops that are created. If you are releasing a video or audio file, remember also to get the participants permission.
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New Location sought. We have a thread here about it. It details some of the requirements that we have. So if anyone knows locations in about the Independence area, please post to the link. I think we are mostly looking for something with WIFI, quiet, where we can bring our own food, and a bonus would be large screen access. Here is the thread:
http://webdesign.meetup.com/396/messages/boards/view/viewthread?thread=3166796
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Once again thanks kindly to all that attended and to all the members for their participation.

Best regards,
Joseph James Frantz

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