Archive for August, 2011

MuraCON Sacramento Aug 25-26th, 2011


Adobe was called in to be a last minute sponsor of MuraCON.  Over (70) ColdFusion and Web Developers attended a 2 day conference at Drexel University campus in Sacramento. Nice venue right by the river and down the street from the California capital building.  The MuraCon organizers assured me that they wanted to start small with this event.  In fact, they weren’t even sure anybody would come! Boy, were they surprised when their conference sold out a month prior to the conference; and, they had a decent size waiting list too.


Adobe Table @MuraCON 2011

I was helping out Josh Adams (@jladams97) our Sales Engineer for ColdFusion.   Josh was speaking at the event and needed help at the Adobe table.  And as it turned out, there were several Adobe User Group Managers and their members there.  The community aspect was great, but what is this Mura stuff? They were at MAX, but I’d never heard of them.


Mura Guys Delivering the Keynote













Mura is a CFML based Content Management System (CMS) that was created by Blue River Interactive Group, a full-service interactive agency based in Sacramento, California.

Blue River was founded by 3 guys who played in Sacramento area rock bands.  They wanted to find a simpler way to update their band websites.  So one thing led to another and they developed a flexible web based content management system.  They’re young, agile, and they have got some great clients.
Mura is discovering that they are the verge of creating a new community of CFML developers and designers. 

Getting A Community Started:

I was asked by one of the founders (“Malcom”) this question: ” When does a software company know when to support a User Group Community? “

Awesome question! I replied:
” Hmm, you’ve held your first user conference; and, it sold out a month ago….Seems like you already have a community!  No time like the present to start engaging them! ” 

I also added a couple of things:
  1. Continue the dialogue with your users; plan for MuraCON 2012.
  2. Identify influencers who know your technology well, and then invite them to meet Mura staff offsite.
  3. Discuss with your influencers, how they might get involved in forming meetups and speaking about your technology as “outside evangelists”.  (They key thing is they have to feel so passionate about your technology that they will do this evangelizing on their own….they can’t be paid or else they lose their street credibility)
  4. Then start thinking about how Mura might engage and recognize them publically.  Community Spotlight? A Speaker session @MuraCon2012? Perhaps then, set up a User Groups or a “Champions” program…..centered around these influencers. Things will build from there.
  5. Next Mura will need to think about hiring a Community Coordinator/Manager to help them with event planning, social media outreach, and other engagement opportunities.

I hinted further that a great place to look for community folks is at the Community Leadership Summit or CLS-West (in So. San Francisco).

A good book to read is Jono Bacon’s (Ubuntu Community Mgr) book: “The Art of Community.

Here’s a video below of Jono talking about the rise of communities in corporations/foundations.

The Software Giveaways! + the Swag

We gave away several copies of Flash Builder Premium 4.5 which comes bundled with ColdFusion Builder 2.   There were also developer t-shirts and some assorted swag.  In talking to a couple of the winners, they had lots of ideas on creating ColdFusion Builder extensions; and some even had an interest in creating Mobile Applications with FlashBuilder 4.5.  There was one developer who works for a military organization who wanted to create an Android App and reader device for Java Card ID’s to access their internal intranet.  Sounded interesting!  All in All, there were a lot of happy CF developers.

Adobe User Groups @MuraCON

Met a couple of Adobe User Group Managers and members at MuraCON:

MuraCON Attendees
  • Scott Sloan aka “rubbergumball” will be synching-up with Sean Corfield to be the new leader of Bay Area ColdFusion User Group which meets at the Adobe building in San Francisco. Thanks Scott for stepping up and helping BACFUG to remain officially in the Adobe User Group program.
  • Sean Walsh from Inland Empire CFUG  — I had a long conversation with Sean, we naturally talked about doing a joint developer event in Southern California amongst several So. California Adobe User Groups.
  • Steve Farwell from the Orange County ColdFusion User Group

Will there be a West Coast ColdFusion Event in 2012?

I certainly hope so! The guys from Mura could probably do it with additional sponsorship.  Adobe will likely be there, but all depends on how things are organized!

objectivebias Tony Garcia:

#MuraCon was amazing. Was a privilege to meet so may passionate developers. Now let’s see how much Irene messes up our homeward travel plans

grantshepert Grant Shepert:

@davidpanzarella sure, maybe Thursday? Heard you met my bud @JasPanesar … jeez, there goes the #MuraCon envy again

heatherbowman Heather Bowman:

East coast next 🙂 RT @stevewithington : #MuraCon went so fast, can’t believe it’s over! maybe we should take this thing on the road

stevewithington stevewithington:

 #MuraCon went so fast, can’t believe it’s over! maybe we should take this thing on the road #ColdFusion #MuraCMS #opensource

southofshasta South of Shasta:

 #MuraCon was awesome! Left w/ lots of ideas, and a ton of excitement about some project ideas. Winning the raffle prize didnt hurt either 🙂

JasPanesar Jas Panesar

Great meeting everyone at #muracon! Thanks to @muracms@Adobe@railo@ten24web@hostmediauk for making it possible an accessible!


Aaron Houston
Adobe Community Mgr – North America
San Jose, CA

Community Leadership Summit (Portland, OR) Jul 23-24, 2011

Birds of a Feather — Flock Together

Michael Van Riper (Google), Aaron Houston (Adobe/Sun), Bruno Souza (SouJava/Sun), & Steve Chin (JUG/AUG leader–OSCON Java Track Lead)
Rachel Luxemburg and I attended the Community Leadership Conference which takes place the weekend before OSCON.  We saw some of the same familiar faces that we normally see at the January version of this conference in San Francisco — CLS-West. ( “Van” Riper is the organizer for that 1-day event.)  Personally, I owe a lot to the Community Leadership Summit event. It was not too long ago in January 2010 when I attended CLS and discovered that Adobe does indeed “Get Community”  And @CLS-West, that’s where I met my future boss (Rachel).  Now, after a year and half running Adobe’s communities in North America, it was nice to re-connect with some of the Community Managers and Leaders I met while working at Sun Microsystems.So, I will focus on ONE session and mention some folks that I feel are important in the world of community managers.The first day of sessions was probably the most interesting, but the second day was when I met more community leaders that I knew.

Death Star User Groups – Fav CLS11 session:

My favorite session was led by Sun’s former Chief Open Source Officer Simon Phipps. We we worked in parallel at Sun Microsystems, mainly with the Java and OpenSolaris communities. Simon’s session was aptly named: The DEATH STAR User Group (photo here).  One of the challenges in open source (and in general)  is that some companies DO NOT always focus on the good.  Rather, they have a focus on benefiting shareholders and harming competitors without regard to how their actions might affect the community.  This session focused on how Community Managers need to reconcile at a personal level when being labeled as “evil” and how to act towards the community when conflict arises.  Interesting analogy/takeaway:  Simon proposed that all corporations are like “Reptiles” (A crocodile, was the animal he referenced).  At first this was quite a shocking analogy to me, since I am now working for Adobe. But I know Simon—seen him speak before, there was a method to his brash statement.  He proposed that in a world of shareholders and public companies — Companies are Reptiles because:

#1 — Companies need revenue to survive; so, like  hungary “Crocs”, they will feed (i.e. they have to make a profit for the shareholders or owners)
#2 — Companies, sensing fear or threats, will lash out to protect themselves (i.e. register/buy software patents or engage intellectual property lawsuits, etc)
#3 — If the Company is not hungary nor feels threatened, then IT will do nothing. Like a crocodile sitting on the bank of a river who has already eaten its last victim; sitt’n there watching passers-by—do nothing until it feels threatened or hungary again.

Simon might be a bit cynical, but his analogy was thought provoking!  (Perhaps, a bit disturbing – my fear of large omnivore reptiles….) One thing I quickly realized, while listening to Simon was that there were an awful lot of ex-Sun folks sitting at this session, so it kinda felt like ex-sun therapy.  Another thing I realized was that I kept seeing the same folks at the unconference sessions I was attending.  One of whom, Dan Allen, from Red Hat was in a lot of the same sessions I was in.

***Dan went into MORE detail about CLS Conference than I had time for in this entry. So Check out his blog: ” Learning to lead cats at Community Leadership Summit 2011 ” and the article is worth a read.

Important FOLKS Met while at CLS:

  • Bruno Souza (SouJava Brazil, and a fellow community mgr @Sun; taught me everything I know about community; often wears a Brazilian flag as a cape; you can’t miss him at a conference.)
  • Stephen Chin (A Java User Group Leader but also leading a Flash On Devices User Group; just wrote a new book on mobile app development: “Pro Android Flash“)
  • Gunner Hillert (New Java User Group Manager of Atlanta JUG; also chairing the Atlanta DEVNEXUS conference in Spring 2012)
  • Manfred Moser (Leader of Vancouver Island Java User Group; One of these days, I am going to get Adobe Evangelist Duane Nickull who lives in Vancouver to do a presentation there)
  • Mark Johnson (Leader of the New England Java User Group. Dude! In the five years I worked at Sun, I never met you. I had to come to CLS to finally meet YOU in person. Thanks for all your help through the years!
  • Michael Van Riper – (co-leader of the Silicon Valley Web JUG; now a community manager for developer outreach at Google; Google Technology User Groups founder; co-organizer of the Silicon Valley Code Camp AND the hardest working Community Manager I know! He IS a “Serial Community Organizer“)
  • Marsee Henon/John Jons ( the Community Team at O’Reilly; They have always been good to me and the User Groups I’ve worked with! Good folks to know!)
  • Zohar Babin (former Adobe User Grp Leader of Flashoo Israel; relocated to NYC; Community & Developer relations at Kaltura)

All in All, I enjoyed my time at CLS; I will be at CLS-West come January 2012.  I hope to be back in Portland again next year with Adobe being a sponsor of both CLS & CLS-WEST — and perhaps DO SOME GOOD!… Thanks Jono & the Team!

And Jono Signed my copy of  “the Art of Community” — Coolness!