#CreateNOW tour stopped in Atlanta on 27 Feb 2013; and, it provided an excellent opportunity for Adobe to reconnect with its User Group community. The Atlanta AUG has had a series of leadership transitions the last couple of years. So, as an Adobe Community Manager, I was eager to see how they were getting along and meet with their new leader, Michelle Johnston. We met a couple of hours before the event to talk about the Adobe User Group program, benefits, ACP speakers, AdobeMAX, and Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Michelle remarked that when she first took over the Atlanta Adobe User Group, it had been dormant for some time. The first “reboot” meetings were really tough, only 3-4 people showed-up. But, after Michelle’s persistent networking at several local user groups and finding a new co-mgr (Daniel Flores), the group has now grown to up over 400 members on their meetup page. Now, Atlanta AUG is very active in social media and recently launched a twitter account (@AUGAtl) and a facebook page to better engage new users. As a community manager, I love this level of initiative; it’s a beautiful thing.
An Opportunity to Grow with the #CreateNOW tour
Michelle Johnston (Atlanta AUG mgr) first heard about the CreateNOW tour via the pre-release emails and facebook postings from the Adobe Community Team. She was then contacted by Adobe to see if there was interest in hosting an event in Atlanta. Atlanta is a major hub for creatives/developers and there was interest from the Adobe Product teams to do an event in the U.S. southeast. So, Michelle rallied the existing members, friends and co-manager to start planning out this event. There was lots to do: search for a suitable venue; engage corporate sponsors (Matrix Resources), engage Adobe for funding; securing food/drinks @Costco; promote the event; etc. The corporate sponsor (Matrix Resources) provided a very nice meeting facility that seats 150 people for free. I had a chance to meet with Leah Antonoff (@LeahShortie), Matrix’s community manager earlier in the day to discuss future visits and ACP speaker training opportunities. It truly pays dividends, when Adobe invests time and resources to develop these corporate contacts with the Adobe User Group mangers, because they are very important in holding events like #CreateNOW tours; venues are tough to come by these days at a reasonable rate; and, Matrix Resource was very gracious in letting the Atlanta host the event in their wonderful training center for free; They do training and they recruit creatives, web developers…so, it makes good business sense to forge these relationships. Involving the local trainers, recruiters, and User Groups, is a kind of “marketing from the street” approach that is both credible and more appealing to end-users than traditional marketing. And the interaction is regional, not from a corporate Facebook page, website, and other social media. The folks from Atlanta appreciated Adobe taking time to meet with them on a personable level.
What Happened at #CreateNOW Atlanta in under a Minute!
( Time-Lapse video) or go here: http://bit.ly/15tOYER
Attendance VERY GOOD — First Event! Something to build upon!
At the event itself, we had about (95) attendees from the initial 159 RSVPs that’s not bad for a typical free event. There was a check-in desk manned by Michelle’s co-manager Daniel Flores who did an outstanding job with the other volunteers: stuffing attendee bags, answering questions, and being the greeters for the event. Very Cool Group of folks!
While at the event, I got to see one of the Adobe Freelancer speakers present, Claudia McCue. Also, I got to see Garth Braithwaite from the Adobe XD team (User interface/product design) present. I’m always interested in how people present and deliver their content. Claudia cover features from the various products in the Creative Cloud and she dispelled some of the myths people are having about the Creative Cloud. More about debunking those Creative Cloud myths here. Garth covered some of the new Adobe Edge Tools that web developers and designers can make use of (i.e. Edge Code, Reflow, Animate, & Web fonts). He told the audience that they can get these 1.0 version tools forever via the “FREEmium-level” creative cloud membership, just by going to http://html.adobe.com and clicking on the “Edge Tools Service” tab…scroll down and click on the yellow “get started” button! Enjoyed both of their talks.!
|Attendee Comments from the event|
|All in All, I hope we will be back soon in Atlanta with more Adobe speakers. For the next visit, I hope to bring in Adobe Community Professional speakers to focus more on work-flow within the Creative Cloud.Atlanta Adobe User Group is “off and running” once again!|
Posts in Category "Events"
Create Now Warsaw – A Rousing Success!
On Friday 1st March, Adobe held a #CreateNow event in the historic city of Warsaw. It was a huge success with over 500+ attendees – standing room only! Our evangelists Rufus Deuchler, Jason Levine and Paul Trani presented the Creative Cloud Workflow. The team had collaborated to create shared demo assets that each of them utilised, powering the case of the workflow as it passed from one creative member to the next. The roof nearly blew off the house when Rufus presented the new Photoshop Touch for iPhone. People were absolutely delighted to see ‘Instagram on steroids’ as he put it!
Jason Levine gave us an extra-special surprise which had the crowd in fits of laughter. I won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say we were taken on a cruise on ‘The Love Boat’.
I was delighted to meet our fantastic Adobe Creative Suite Poland User Group Manager, Pawel Zakrzewski. We had a really fun dinner in an historic restaurant which I highly recommend next time you’re in Warsaw, U Kucharzy at Ossolinskich 7.
To see a Create Now event in your hometown, check out the full schedule here.
15 Jan 2013 Seattle Photoshop Meeting with Colin Smith
It all started with an email from a User Group Manager frantically looking for a last minute speaker. As a Community Manager, sometimes I can help, sometimes I cannot. But this time, I was able to go the extra mile in trying to help this User Group….We originally just intended to do just an Adobe Connect Webinar; but then I thought, wouldn’t it be great to bring a live speaker to Seattle? We have never done been able to do this with one of the Creative Suite User Groups on such short notice. And so fortunately, after a few phonecalls, I was able to find an Adobe Community Professional Speaker (ACP): Colin Smith from PhotoshopCAFE.com. Howard Heflin who runs the Seattle Photoshop User Group (SeaPUG) was thrilled! Now, the SeattlePUG originally started in 2008; and, it is one of the larger Photoshop User Groups in the Adobe Group’s Program. Initially, we had over 200 RSVP’d and over 81 on the waiting list for Colin’s visit. We were fortunate to pack the place with over 160 attendees. I usually start off a session by asking a few questions about product usage; 50% were using Photoshop CS5; 50% were using Photoshop CS6; not too many Creative Cloud Users; lots of Lightroom Users, including some newbies who came just for this meeting. All in All, this was a heavy photographer focused User Group.
After the marketing stuff by some Adobe guy, Colin got right into the Lightroom and started his Demo. Colin generally does not cover the demos or content material from his many videos, instead he focuses on new discoveries and questions he’s come across with the products…. Like, I did not know that there was an xml-based file associated with a Lightroom image and the adjustments made to it. This XML file can actually be opened in Dreamweaver. And Colin, did just that, by opening the XML file and changing the lighting/Color adjustments from text in the XML file. Pretty Nifty and something new. Colin is so patient as a presenter. Now, discussion did get bogged down a bit on “Photoshop/Photo file–Meta Data”, there was a lot of interest in this subject, but as Colin answered a few of the immediate questions, he then pointed to his Lightroom 4 DVD that pretty much covers all the basics, and then got back on track. Colin then move onto more “juicier” topics, like “What is “High Dynamic Range – HDR Photography?. Lots of folks, really didn’t know, so Colin did a short explanation on how today’s cameras are limited in the amount of “details” that can be picked up in a photo, less than what the human eye would normally see. He also went over some of the new features in Photoshop CS6 which allows for the combining of “bracketed” exposures of a subject into one singular image with higher dynamic range (Colin was flipping back and forth between Lightroom 4 and Photoshop CS6 to make his point). Very cool part of the presentation and seemed to hold the interest of some of the newbies.
All in All, there was definitely audience interest in having more topics on Lightroom at the SeattlePUG. The audience was appreciative of having a high quality speaker come to present at their group. The Adobe Community Team often tries to bring Adobe Community Professionals to the User Groups (when feasible) to:
Seattle will be hosting another ACP – Stephen Burns of Chromeallusion.com on March 19th at the Adobe Offices. This will again be another GREAT! user group meeting, brought to you by the Adobe Community Team.
Lastly, while I was at the meeting I got to meet the Adobe sponsor for the Seattle Photoshop User Group, John Cornicello and thanked him for volunteering and helping out this user group. One of the hardest things for a User Group going is finding a venue in which to meet at consistently.
Time Lapse Coverage 0f SeaPUG meeting
While at the meeting, I set up my camera to take a series of time-lapse photos which resulted in a short 30 sec movie. It’s not meant to provide detail just a high level overview of what happened at the user group meeting.
Or Play Movie (Click
16 Jan 2013 – Dinner with Seattle Area Adobe User Group Managers
While in Seattle, I took the opportunity to gather up the local area Adobe User Group managers in order to talk to them about the upcoming #CreateNOW tour being sponsored by Adobe. The CreateNOW tour was fast approaching and we needed to speed up the logistics and planning for the event. More importantly, we needed to decide on a venue for the next big event. It is not often the Adobe Community Team gets around to the user groups; and, we are trying to do more of this when it is practical and makes business sense. The Seattle Adobe User Group will be holding their #CreateNOW tour on March 9th; I am looking forward to attending that event to see what they can do.
|Adobe Community Team was invited by WACOM to participate alongside them in the 2012 Creative Talent Network Expo. CTNX2012 was held in Burbank, CA November 16-18, 2012. with over 8000 art & film students, animators, and illustrators in attendance. What was really cool about this event was that it takes place very close to the Disney Animation and Dreamworks studios in Burbank. In fact, Disney animators actually participated and attended this event. Adobe had booth manned by Adobe Community Mgr Aaron Houston, local Los Angeles Area Adobe User Group managers, and Adobe Education representatives. There were also Adobe Touch App & Illustrator demo’s by Adobe Community Professional (ACP) Chana Messer on the new WACOM Cintiq interactive touch tablets. Adobe Education team member Rick Miller and Leona Guidice also helped out with the Adobe booth.Special thanks to Tony Arredondo and Steve Smith from WACOM for being true “Community Champions” by inviting the Adobe Community to participate in this premiere event.
Actually, the idea of getting Adobe and its community involves at WACOM event began back in June 2012. Tony and Steve attended an Adobe Speaker dinner for the Las Vegas CS6 Camp. So, when Creative Talent Expo was mentioned as a possible collaboration (thanks to ACP Stephen Burns), it seemed like a “no-brainer”, since I was already in the LA area for the LAWEBPRO Design Camp. I couldn’t have done it without the AdobeEDU team and the LA-area Adobe User Group community helping out in the booth. So thanks to: George McKinney (LA PhoneGap), Josue Bustos (LA PhoneGap), Chana Messer (LA Illustrator), Cynthia Gordon (Orange County Creative Suite & ocmma.org), Adam Bell (LA Adobe), and Ko Maruyama (dmala.org) Together, with the User Groups Managers and ACPs we were able to talk to over 400 students and animators about: Adobe’s Creative Cloud; Student/Teacher Programs; Adobe Touch Apps; and, all things Adobe. We’ll see what opportunities present themselves in 2013 with WACOM. Here are some photos from this event. — Aaron Houston Adobe Community Mgr No. America.
Adobe UK is proud to announce its first Creative Week, celebrating all things creative! Join us for lively interactive daily debates, creative challenges, and exclusive demonstrations broadcast live online over 5 days from our London studio.
We’ll be covering every aspect of the creative industry with the help of creative luminaries, industry experts, Adobe evangelists (including Jason Levine, Paul Trani, Rufus Deuchler and Julieanne Kost) and many members of the creative community – including you!
Each day of the week is dedicated to a specific theme, so you can tailor the content for your preferences.
- Monday 9th July – Creative Industry Overview
- Tuesday 10th July – Design & Publishing
- Wednesday 11th July – Film & Video
- Thursday 12th July – Web & Mobile
- Friday 13th July – Photography & Imaging
Learn more about the programme for each day by visiting Adobe Creative Week.
I had the opportunity to go on a road trip to see the HTML5 event put on by the Los Angeles Adobe User Groups. Once again, like the June Creative Suite 5.5 Launch Event, I was impressed on how well the LA Adobe User Group Managers get along and organize their events together. The June event drew over 140 attendees, the HTML5 event drew over 165+ attendees. The Barnsdall Gallery Theater is an excellent venue and my first time visiting this place. The Digital Media Arts User Group of LA (DMALA) holds their meetings at this location. In fact, I stayed an extra day to visit with Ko Maruyama and attend the DMALA meeting.
At the HTML5 event, ShaRon Sachse was the principle organizer, but she had help from over 8 other Adobe User Group Managers who came out to support the event. Thanks to ShaRon and the team for putting on an excellent event. The logistics included 44 Costco pizzas and several cases of water/soft drinks.
ShaRon has also started a new HTML5 Designer group called the “Digital Designer’s of LA“. They have held (3) meetings since the summer and are building up membership and planning meetings. The next meeting will be another joint meeting with other Adobe User Groups that will cover the new Adobe Photo Touch Tablet Apps on Dec 11th — MORE here.
Here is a slideshow from the event:
Dec 15th Meeting — At The Shack in Playa Del Rey
While I was in LA, I also had the opportunity to talk to the Adobe User Group Managers of LAFlex (Tom Bray) and LAFlash (Harald Koebler & Omar Gonzalez).
The recent announcements by Adobe had caught the community by surprise, so this was an opportunity to discuss what was going on inside of Adobe and to get their feedback. Tom Bray (LA Flex) recommend that we meet-up at “the Shack”. After a few burgers and drinks, we all reflected on this announcement by Adobe’s Danny Winokur. Subsequent feedback was relayed back to Adobe; and fortunately, there was a “flurry” of posts were already in the works:
- Flash to Focus on Apps for Mobile — Lee Brimelow
- Some Thoughts on Flash and Devices — Ben Forta
- Flash Professional and the Future — Mike Chambers
- Clarifications on Flash Player for Mobile Browsers, the Flash Platform, and the Future of Flash Mike Chambers
- Adobe AIR and Flash Player Team Blog — Thibault Imbert
- Your Questions about Flex — Andrew Shorten & Deepa Subramaniam
- Adobe Flash for Premium Video
It was unfortunate to be out on the road while significant changes were going @Adobe. And I appreciate the time & energy of our community leaders like Tom, Omar, and Harald. Adobe hopes to hold a Flash/Flex Tour stop in LA sometime in late Jan/Feb 2012 to discuss more about the changes..
(NOTE: Steps are being taken to address the changes at Adobe, but this is not the appropriate forum for this discussion. There are other folks within Adobe who will be commenting on Adobe’s directions….I won’t be!)
After the lunch meeting with some of the west-side LA Adobe User Groups, I braved the cross-town LA traffic to attend the DMALA meeting (again at the Barnsdall theatre). I have been trying to get around to the Adobe User Groups to attend as many of their meetings as possible. The DMALA meeting which had pretty decent attendance with over 70 attendees.
Digital Media Artists / Los Angeles (DMA/LA) is an association for professionals creating imagery for video, film, and other media using desktop tools.
There was a fascinating discussion about animation & compositing in Photoshop done by Ko Murayama. Harry Frank (Mr. Graymachine.com aka RedGiant Guru) did a visual effects demonstration that will provide a slew of workflow tips in keying, camera projection and compositing. There were additional demos of Primatte, Red Giant Warp, Key Correct, Colorista, Cosmo and Knoll Light Factory in 3D green-screen tracking and compositing breakdown.
There was also a presentation on Zbrush ( a meshing and sculpting tool similar to Lightwave) by Eric Keller…There were lots of Bugs and Insects involved, since Eric uses the zBrush tool to create weird looking bugs much to the dismay of his wife.
There’s more travels ahead in December…
Last week I joined the Adobe UK crew to help out at Flash On The Beach, an excellent conference based in Brighton. It’s in my personal Top 5 of conferences due to the amazing content, great location, and all-around excellent vibe. 2011 was no exception. And even the weather played along; we had perfect sunny days that brought out the best in Brighton.
The big news from the conference was that this is the last FOTB in its current name and format. Sad news, but I have confidence that the FOTB spirit will continue, and I hope to be wending my way to Brighton again in 2012 for whatever FOTB morphs into.
|“June was a busy month for the Adobe Community & Evangelism Teams, so here are some highlights“ — Aaron Houston (Adobe Community Mgr)
JAX San Jose Ca – June 21-22, 2011
Ben Forta (above), Adobe’s Evangelism Director, addresses Java Enterprise audience at JAX San Jose about Adobe’s launch of new product: Adobe Digital Enterprise Platform. JAX also coincided with the update to Flash Builder, so Ben was also there talk about Adobe’s mobile story. Ben, pointed out that one can also write Flex/AIR Apps for iOS devices with the new FlashBuilder 4.5.1 update, and then mentioned the Politifact Mobile App which is the best selling new app on iTunes.
Presentation slide links:
Adobe Speakers @JAX:
Christophe Coenraets (“@ccoenrats“) had a session on Mobile Application Development with Flex and Java using the new FlashBuilder 4.5.1 tooling to deploy the same code across multiple mobile devices (iOS, RIM Playbook, and Android).
Cédric Hüsler (“@keepthebyte“) is an Evangelist from Day software; and, he had a session about Data Structures, Restful Web Services, OSGi, & Java Content Repository (JCR; JSR-170, 283. He also demo’d (CRX) the new Java Content Repository Platform which is part of Adobe’s new Digital Enterprise offering. It was my first chance to meet one of the enterprise evangelists that came over in the Day Software acquisition.
JAX-SJ Adobe Booth:
Liz Frederick (left); Aaron Houston (right, background)
Folks I met @JAXCONF:
VegasFlash – Flash Builder 4.5.1 Tour 22June2011
After the JAX conference, I hopped on a plane to make an evening meeting with VegasFlash. Adobe Evangelists Renaun Erickson & Greg Wilson demo’d the new features in the FlashBuilder 4.5.1 (update) which was released earlier in the week. VegasFlash has a nice setup for larger meetings like this. They use McMullen’s Irish Pub’s backroom which has its own bar. McMullen’s is on 4650 W. Tropicana by the Orleans Casino & they have a pretty nice Flash website (mcmullansirishpub.com). There were about 50 Flash Developers onhand to watch Renaun’s demo. Greg Wilson was also in town following-up with one of the casinos who is very interested in expanding into mobile apps of tablets/phones…. FlashON! After the meeting, I got a chance to talk to a couple guys from Zappos about their plans to move into the old Las Vegas City Hall and help revitalize the area as a technology business incubator for startups. One of the Zappos guys even won a boxed-copy of FlashBuilder 4.5 that I brought to the meeting, so I know they will put that to good use. We will be checking in on the Zappos guys in the future! Wish them the best of luck bringing new jobs to downtown LV.
FlashBuilder 4.5 User Group Tour:
LA Flex – Flash Builder 4.5.1 Tour 28June2011
|So after a quick flight (SJC to LAX) on a new eco-friendly Horizon Q400turbo-prop, I found myself in Los Angeles….land of Gourmet Food Trucks, Hollywood, Fine Beaches….AND MANY Adobe User Groups!Something Very LA:
I checked in to the Crowne Plaza at the LAX row of hotels and to my surprise I ran into a little bit of LA Culture (ala First Fridays) in the back parking lot — Gourmet Catering Trucks. Every Tuesday from 11am-2pm, the back parking lot transforms into a lively spectacle of colorful food vendors, outdoor seating, and music (i.e. there was a Dee-jay). And the food, very interesting! Where else, but in LA can you find Korean Nachos, Chimales, and Indian Curry alongside Southern BBQ! So here’s a slide-show of what I found.
Later, that evening I mentioned to LA Flex UGM Tom Bray that it might be kinda a cool idea to connect up with catering trucks for User Group meetings; it would solve a problem most UGMs have: FOOD! (& how to fund it). Tom seemed to like the idea…and it would be something “very LA” to draw folks to the meetings.
But food was not why I was in LA, I wanted to check out how the LA Flex holds their meetings and the venue that they use. Venue: Coloft is an interesting place, because it’s a place where “freelancers” can come an rent a space and focus on their projects in an work environment. Sometimes, working at home isn’t as productive as it could be, so there are places like Coloft where developers & designers can come and perhaps even collaborate together.
All in all, I was impressed with LA Flex’s organization and venue. Renaun gave a great talk on FlashBuilder 4.5.1; We gave away some software, T-shirts, & books. The member’s appreciated Adobe’s effort to visit their group. The visit also gives me as a Community Manager, a good idea what the User Group venues are like for future engagements. I also got to meet one of the local Adobe Community Professionals (ACP), Elliot Mebane (aka “Roguish”). Tom Bray the User Group Manager mentioned that his group has had only (2) Adobe Speakers in its entire existence. Hopefully, I can help overcome that + writing this blog will help internally @Adobe. Tom, we’re working on potential visit from folks @Zend to talk about FlashBuilder 4.5 for PHP… (So, stay tuned).
Where do LA Flex’rs hang out after the meeting?
The party continued at LA Flex’s local pub, the “Warzsawa” (a Polish Pub & Restaurant which has cool outdoor seating); it’s a couple of blocks from the Coloft facility. I got to chat with a couple of LA Flex’rs on the projects they were working on over a beverage!
Some feedback from the event:
I promised a few people that I would post my slide deck from the Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies event, so here it is:
A kind blogger over at the Project Management Bistro also did some liveblogging here. My deck is heavy on the visuals so reading her summary will add some context.
Overall it was a great event and I’m thrilled I had a chance to participate!