“Getting to know your community is one of the most important things a Community Manager should be doing; and, one can’t do that behind a desk!”
Besides, the big community summit the Community Team does every year @AdobeMAX, we often get out and visit the User Groups to see if they are healthy, alive/still meeting, and provide them some insight to what’s going on inside at Adobe…. It is one of the favorite things about my job.
So, I recently had the opportunity to bring Sally Cox (aka @Kreatable & Adobe Community Pro/ACP ) to demo the new Adobe Photoshop Touch App for the iPad at two Adobe User Groups in Southern California: San Diego Photoshop User Group and Orange County Multimedia Organization). Since AdobeMAX 2010, I have been wanting to get out and find more about the LA & Orange County Adobe User Groups. I am gradually making the rounds and going to places beyond California in the near future.
Here’s a run-down of the activities from my most recent trip to Orange County and San Diego:
18 Mar 12 — Adobe User Group Mgr meetup at Cafe Coyote in Old Town San Diego (SD).
I got into San Diego on Sunday Mar 18th, so I thought it would be a good idea to invite some of the local San Diego Adobe User Group Managers out for some food and chat about how their communities are doing. Local San Diego AUG mgrs are: Stephen Burns (SD Photoshop), Chris Griffith (SD-Flash), Eric Addison (SD-Premiere Pro), Sally Cox (ACP). and Mark Zepeda (New Horizons Training & MAWD UGM).
19 Mar 12 – “Get in Touch with Adobe Touch Apps” Event @ San Diego Art Institute
San Diego Photoshop User Group hosts Adobe Community Professional Sally Cox
Over 100+ folks came to see Sally Cox (ACP) show off the new Photoshop Touch App on iOS/iPad. Adobe Community Manager Aaron Houston was onhand as well with extra iPad and Android tablets so folks in the audience could follow along with Sally’s demo of Photoshop Touch. In the example below, Sally used 9 layers to color different parts of a carousel horse she found at an antique shop. The layers are preserved in a Photoshop .PSDX file which can be uploaded to the Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Notice, that there is file intelligence with Adobe’s Creative Cloud; the file also retains a Kuler .ASE swatch file. Sally also demo’d Adobe Proto, a website prototyping app for iPad & Android, and she also had time left to demo kuler.adobe.com. All in All, we had some great questions and feedback from the TouchApp event and we hope to do more! Adobe Community Manager Aaron Houston brought some cool t-shirts, buttons, and software to give away at the event. And we had a few San Diego Art Institute students poke their heads into the session to see what all the fuss was about…some even stayed to watch Sally, who used to teach at the Institute many moons ago.
We didn’t have a video recording of Sally’s Demo in San Diego, but I did manage to record (3) .MP3 files that could listened too. Sally is a fabulous trainer, part comedienne, and great to work with! Thank You, Sally!
MP3’s (Hear ACP Sally Cox Demo the Adobe Touch App Tools):
After the event, San Diego Photoshop volunteers, User Group Mgr Stephen Burns, his assistants, Sally Cox, and I got late night eats. Not much open late on a Monday night in Fullerton, but we managed. It is a rare opportunity where I can sit down and talk to the volunteers who help run these user groups; and, I’m sure they appreciated the food & drink.
|20 Mar 12 – “Get in Touch with Adobe Touch Apps” Event @ Fullerton College, Fullerton CAOver 50+ folks came out to a special meeting of Orange County Creative Suite User Group which is part of an umbrella of Adobe User Groups organized under the Orange County Multimedia Organization(OCMMA.org). Indeed many of the Orange County Adobe User Groups Managers were at this meeting. We took our first ever group picture; and, I can definitely see that there is a strong Adobian Community in South LA & Orange Counties.
Orange County Multimedia Organization (OCMMA) is run as a non-profit organization that allows Special Interest Groups (SIGs) like: Web Video Crossroads, OC Flash User Group, OC Creative Suite User Group, OC ColdFusion User Group, & After Effects Abuser. OCMMA has been around for 25 years helping folks learn more about technology, finding people careers, and keeping folks up on the latest updates in technology. I want to point out the strong leadership team of Cynthia Gordon, Bonnie Erdich, Terry Syndergaard, Mike McGready, and many others. I was impressed how the User Group managers stick together and work so well together & with the other Adobe User Group Managers in the area, like Adobe Technology Exchange (Lynette Kent & Rick Redforn)….They all came out to this event.
The Orange County & LA AUG Mgrs have already started planning their NEXT BIG EVENT in JUNE ’12. Stay Tuned to my twitter account for that announcement @thisishouston1
ACP Sally Cox was the speaker for this event as well. We straightened out a few things with the video output to the project with her iPad and she was off and demoing. We were not able to record this event, but there were more pictures.
After the event, some of the User Group managers stuck around and we all grabbed some food to talk about future Adobe events in Orange County/LA area. Good times were had by all!
I would like to visit 3-7 Adobe User Group every quarter, depending on attendance and the local organization of a special Adobe meeting by the User Group Managers. So, with Creative Suite 6 coming soon! I suspect I will be out on the road more in the coming months to visit more Adobe User Groups.
Aaron Houston – Adobe Community Mgr
Aaron is a Community Manager for Adobe Systems. He’s been involved with Adobe User Groups since 2010. Prior to Adobe, Aaron worked as the Java User Group Coordinator at Sun Microsystems (2005-2010). And long ago, long ago…in a galaxy far away, Aaron served as an eBay Community Watch members (1998). Aaron’s passion is about people and User Group Communities. For more information about what a Community Manager does, check out the “Art of Community” website run by longtime Community Guy Jono Bacon!
|I had the opportunity to attend the Adobe Flex Tour Stop at the Silver Cloud Inn in Seattle this week. Adobe Evangelism Manager Greg Wilson was co-presenting with Mike Labriola(ApacheFlex/Spoon) to over 40 attendees.We had several Adobe folks attending as well Evangelist Renaun Erickson(Las Vegas), Alex Harui (Adobe Flex SDK team Seattle), and Michelle Yaiser (Adobe, ApacheFlex.Over course there was pizza and drinks sponsored by Adobe.|
|Here are some of the MP3 recordings from this event:
|After the presentations some of the Seattle Area Adobe User Group Managers and I headed across the street for a beer and some food to talk over how Adobe might help them expand their communities and plan larger meetings with the help of Adobe Camp funds. — Aaron Houston Adobe Community Mgr|
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…
Just for a little fun today, I sent out a Tweet on @adobegroups:
The response were great!
We got both design and developer-focused replies:
Some Twitter-related ones:
Some social ones:
A fashion-focused response:
Plus several others not included here. But of them all, these two were my favorites, they really exemplify what the community spirit is all about — camaraderie (by way of an in-joke from this year’s Adobe MAX) and helping each other to succeed!
How do YOU know you’re part of the Adobe community? Feel free to add more ways in the comments.
It’s hard to believe that in just a few short days Adobe MAX 2011 will be upon us! The team has been working hard getting everything ready for the Community Leaders Summit and all the activities in the Community Lounge.
We’re adding something new to the Lounge this year: Office Hours @ MAX. A number of different groups and community programs at Adobe all want to have more face-to-face interaction with the community while at MAX, so we’re setting up special meeting spaces in the Lounge where anyone at MAX can drop by and chat!
Between MAX sessions, Unconferences, and all the other wonderful things to do at MAX, there’s no lack of stuff going on, but if have have some spare time, here’s some more events you won’t want to miss:
|Monday 1-2 PM||RIM Developer Meetup|
|Monday 3-4 PM||Hang with the Creative Team + A Guest Appearance By Brian Yap|
|Monday 6-7 PM||Creative Suite Ambassadors Reception|
|Tuesday 12-1 PM||Game Developers Tweetup|
|Tuesday 1-2 PM||Meet & Greet with Evangelist Paul Trani|
|Tuesday 1-2 PM||A Peek Behind the Curtain: Meet the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Team|
|Tuesday 2-3 PM||Training Partner Program Community|
|Tuesday 2-3 PM||Adobe Certified Expert Meetup|
|Tuesday 3-4 PM||Play Time – Come meet the Gaming Solutions Team|
|Tuesday 4-5 PM||Meet up with CS Design Evangelist Rufus Deuchler|
|Wednesday 11:30 AM-12:30 PM||Hang with the Creative Team + A Guest Appearance By Kyle Lambert|
|Wednesday 12:30- 1:30 PM||Meetup with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite Team|
No RSVP is necessary, just come on by the Community Lounge!
Adobe MAX is a huge high point for me and the team each year and this one is no exception. We’re all looking forward to seeing hundreds of old friends (and new) at MAX. Please stop by the Lounge and say “hi!”.
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.
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.
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.
WHAT is MURA?
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:
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:
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
#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
Birds of a Feather — Flock Together
|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)
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:
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!
|“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: