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What Do We Want from PASS? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:09 AM
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I guess I'm noisy. I don't really mean to be. Anyway, I used to love PASS and had a truly inspiring first PASS Summit in 2004. At one point I was the Executive Chair of the PASS Chapter committee and have since contemplated running for the Board.

I once jokingly said "PASS is a place where good ideas go to die" to a friend of mine that was on the Board. It was a half-serious throw away line that us sarcastic cynics make to get a laugh more than to make a point. My friend on the Board seized on it as if I'd made some profound observation. (I didn't realize I had, I was half joking and frustrated).

The thing is, PASS Summits are hard and cost a lot of money. Any other costs have always played second fiddle to the conference. If that's been the case in the good times, how will it be so now with a muddle through economy that we are in.

Frankly, I think we need a reset. I love to see new life on the Board and I welcome seeing people like Tim Ford, Jeremiah Peschkaj, and others step up to make themselves available.

What IS our community? Is it a once a year Summit? Is it a Board? What are we spending money on? Why are we spending it? "Because we always have done things like this" never works for me.

These are times of change. Let's let our ideas come to life.

Chuck
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Post #807118
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 7:48 AM


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One thing PASS could do is: Get noticed outside of the database industry. Get in the news so the mass public becomes aware of the organization in a good or interesting way. That would make membership more valuable to members. Get a picture of John Hodgman wearing a PASS tee shirt - or President Obama - you know - lots of interesting people wearing the tee shirt and post those occasionally - create that ironic illusion that everyone knows what PASS is. Get some cameo appearances of people wearing a PASS shirt in some movies or television.

Get some artists from Threadless.com or some other online groups to create the new PASS shirt for the year - so that it's cool to have one.

An broad organization can often do things that a company or person can't. For instance, maybe PASS could survey companies and heat map those that use SQL Server - or get license information from Microsoft and visualize it. The idea is to come up with data sources not normally available and do something with it of interest to the membership.

One organization to take notes from is Improv Everywhere based out of New York City. They organize and film lots of crazy missions. We could do something like that.

A great point that Steve mentions is that PASS being a tech-savvy organization, it would be nice to see us do some interesting things with technology that other professional associations haven't done or don't do. Perhaps we could do a geographic visualization of all the PASS members - and maybe do a heat map of involvement with different colors for conference attendance, articles contributed - etc. That information could help other PASS members become aware of other local members with whom they can collaborate.

PASS could do interviews of notable industry people and then post them on the PASS site. The Simple Talk newsletter does something like that - and I really enjoy those.

Also, if an organization like PASS is open to member-submitted articles, one way to solicit more of those would be to offer suggestions on specific topics - or get to know specific members and find out what they could write about.


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Post #807170
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 8:09 AM
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Ok, I'm working on my third attempt at a reply!

First, I like the discussion and appreciate the time everyone is putting into it. Next, if I could wish for something from the community it would be a wish list (understanding that even Santa doesn't deliver everything you want) of what PASS should be and do beyond what it does now. You don't have to be a volunteer to have suggestions (though we appreciate volunteers!) and it's ok to dream some too. I recently posted my view of where PASS should be in five years - how about posting your own?

I don't mean that to sound bad, I'm serious - rather than focus on just the election or just chapters, why not go take an independent look and post your own five year dream, then let the Board sift through the ideas and try to present back a one year and a five year plan that includes some of those ideas?

I'll be following along, and glad to answer questions.


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Post #807199
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 9:10 AM


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In line with that, does PASS have a five year plan? Beyond 5 conferences? As Grant and Jack mentioned, it doesn't appear that PASS does much to help chapters or build a community. Where is the sharing of presentations, or even the listing that chapters could use?

I think a wish list is a good idea. I'll work on one.







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Post #807238
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 10:10 AM


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I periodically get emails extorting me to sign up for a PASS conference which I've never done. Beyond that I have no idea why I would join PASS. SSC has a great website with lots of articles and forums so I see a benefit in being involved here but I can't see why I'd be part of PASS. I guess the thats the question that PASS must answer. Why are they relavent and how can they encourage people to join. They aren't the only conference in town. I recently attended the Power up with SQL Server online conference and I know of the SSWUG.ORG Virtual conferences which my management likes better since there is no travel time and its cheaper. As much as I enjoy travel I don't even understand why I would join PASS. Maybe I'll put of effort in addrtessing this question and look more carefully and their website and what's being offered. But so far I'm not convinced.



Francis
Post #807289
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 10:12 AM


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Grant Fritchey

Anyway, that's the one thing I'd like to see. More direct support for the local users groups

Grant used Live Meeting to make a presentation to the Columbus SQL Server User Group on 10/8.

Unfortunately I was unable to attended as it conflicted with my user group meeting ONSIG (Ohio North Special Interest Group) whose meeting was the same evening.

Now if there were some way to record those Live Meeting sessions and deposit them with PASS. Pass could then create a library of these sessions and make them available to user groups. True direct interaction with the speaker would not be available. I think this would still be of great benefit to smaller user groups who have a difficult time getting speakers.

Editted 1:32 PM .. Corrected spelling of Grant's last name

My apology kind sir.


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Post #807292
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 10:58 AM


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bitbucket-25253 (10/22/2009)
Grant Finchley
Anyway, that's the one thing I'd like to see. More direct support for the local users groups

Grant used Live Meeting to make a presentation to the Columbus SQL Server User Group on 10/8.

Unfortunately I was unable to attended as it conflicted with my user group meeting ONSIG (Ohio North Special Interest Group) whose meeting was the same evening.

Now if there were some way to record those Live Meeting sessions and deposit them with PASS. Pass could then create a library of these sessions and make them available to user groups. True direct interaction with the speaker would not be available. I think this would still be of great benefit to smaller user groups who have a difficult time getting speakers.


Who's this Finchley fellow and why is he plagiarizing my stuff?


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Post #807325
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 11:11 AM
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I think posting videos of some of the presentations would be a good way to show what the Summit has to offer.

As for PASS in general, I like a lot of the suggestions regarding surveys and research about items of interest to the community. And providing more support for the user groups, to me, feels like something that should have been there from the start.

Feedback is always important. As I have learned in other areas of life: How can they know if you don't tell them?

KevinC.
Post #807336
Posted Thursday, October 22, 2009 1:06 PM
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I really like Jack Corbett's suggestions. All three of them. I've been kicking around the idea of starting a user group here in my town, and a PASS affiliation seems like a good idea, but what would they offer me? Based on their website, almost nothing. OK, I can get a chapter web page, woo hoo.

Having access to a speaker and/or a sponser directory? I'd pay for that! To offer links to training and educational materials and discounts to conferences would help me advertise and draw members.

I'd like to see these things in the near future, so I guess they are my 1 year plan suggestions.

Dan
Post #807403
Posted Monday, October 26, 2009 2:41 PM


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Not generally a talker on topics, but while I find SSC very useful, I don't find use for PASS at all. I can't use my scant training dollars to attend their conference and I get so much more useful and meaningful information and helpful solutions here. The kind posters here at SSC have taught me more than any of the other books and classes I have invested in.
Thanks! and I'll pass on joining PASS.
Post #808988
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