Archive for August, 2010

FITC San Francisco

FITC’s conferences have been a staple of the Flash community for roughly a decade, and this year, Shawn and his crew expanded their horizons to bring FITC to lovely, foggy, San Francisco.

I was there at the Adobe booth for much of the conference and I have to say the content was amazing – a fantastic lineup of community and Adobe speakers that made it extremely difficult to decide what sessions to attend. The booth wasn’t bad either, between a demo of Grant Skinner‘s Androideroids game, a huge pile of funky Flash Platform t-shirts, and other fun stuff as well. But of course you don’t go to a conference for the Adobe booth….. :)

Unfortunately the sessions weren’t recorded and even the stream from the Influxis Lounge doesn’t seem to be archived. But for a quick taste of what it was like to attend FITC SF, the team from the Adobe Edge was there to record some of the highlights:

FITC Mobile and 360|Flex DC are both on the calendar for September, and then it’s smooth sailing until Adobe MAX! We’re cooking up some fun stuff for the Community Lounge at MAX; more about that another day though.

Learning From When Things Go Wrong

Image via Wikipedia

One thing you learn early on in community work (as in life) is that not everything works out the way you think it will. This is especially true when you’re trying to start a new event or user group.

New user groups face a lot of challenges when they get started. Finding a place to meet is a huge issue for some. For others, it’s finding local speakers. Still others struggle with how to get the word out about the group and attract members. And then there’s the whole budget issue … it is not easy, and many groups can’t get takeoff velocity despite the best intentions.

Putting on a bigger event, like a conference or a camp, is even more challenging. Even a small conference in a less-expensive part of the country can run up a five-figure budget, and for the bigger conferences the costs spiral up fast. It’s not easy and when things don’t go as planned, it can cause a lot of financial havok for the organizers.

It’s always sad to hear when a conference fails, whether it’s one that has been around for many years or is trying to become a new conference. The fact is, trying something new is always a risk, and inherent to risk is the possibility of failure. You don’t get one without the other.

And that’s OK. It’s more than OK, in fact – it’s necessary. You cannot learn or grow or build anything new without risk.

Even worse, sometimes people who fail at bringing a new conference or user group into a community will feel they’re not able to participate at all; that they don’t have “what it takes”.

If that’s you – please, don’t take the wrong lessons from failure. Learn what you need to learn about why you failed, and take the steps necessary to fix them. Maybe you need to find a partner who has some of the skills you lack. Maybe you need to change your focus, or try a new approach to your outreach. Maybe you were too ambitious in your goals, or maybe you overestimated the demand in your area. Whatever it is, though – push through it.

And once you’ve learned what you need to learn, if the fire to make something happen is still there, try again.

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ACP Appreciation

Everyone likes to be recognized for their accomplishments. Whether it is a promotion or a pat on the back.

Since I took on Manager of the Adobe Community Professionals, I wanted to find a way to show the world how awesome these individuals are.

I thought about hats, t-shirts, bags, etc. Then I thought about my Adobe Badge I wear every day and how proud I am of my accomplishments. So I ordered small magnetic metal pins with the ACP logo and shipped them along with some product stickers to each person. It was a small gift but I knew they would wear them proudly at their next conference, training session, or award event.

I received many emails full of Thank Yous, Twitter messages with Twitpics, and even a blog entry! I got the sweetest delivery today to my office in McLean, VA. The card said:

Thanks for All You Do For Our Team

- Have a Great Weekend With a Big Smile All Weekend.

I think I know who this is from but he didn’t enclose his name, so I’ll leave it out for now. But I’d like to say You’re Welcome and I will forever be proud of the ACPs. Please continue to help me build a great community and you will be seeing more from this program. Pins are just the beginning!