I got my FreeCon. What’s more, I did it in public and didn’t get in trouble.
FreeCon is the brain child of Brent Ozar (blog|twitter). Basically Brent gathered together a few bloggers & writers from the SQL Server community, some extremely well known, like Tom LaRock (blog|twitter), some in the middle, like me, and others that are clearly up & coming like David Stein (blog|twitter). He jammed us all in a room and made us talk to one another. OK, that’s a lie. He invited us out to this lovely little poetry space in Seattle the day before the PASS Summit was due to start, where we imbibed good food & coffee and had the opportunity to share a lot of great information with each other.
The basic concept was to get people together to network, improve our writing, work on our brands, and help Brent test drive some new presentations. Personally, I’d say it worked extremely well. I came out of the session with some plans, for my blog, for my brand, and, well, for my life. Sitting and listening to people like Karen Lopez (blog|twitter) or Jorge Segarra (blog|twitter) talk about their experiences with writing, blogging, looking for work, etc. was, quite simply, an amazing opportunity. And then there was the information that Brent was putting out in his presentations. I really did pick up some specific information that’s going to change things. Just to share, here are some things from my notes, and yes, they go all over the place because the conversation jumped around, a lot. You have to remember, these were not simply amazing, smart people I was very honored to be with, but they’re vocal. Very. Vocal.
Notes (minus a bunch of info that, frankly, I don’t want to share because it’s either private notes & plans or comments from others that shouldn’t go out to the world):
For me, FreeCon defined some things that have been running around in my brain for the last 18 months or so. It also inspired me to pump up my blogging, to try to improve my game and my brand. I’ve done a very large number of actions in the two weeks since FreeCon went down. Many of them are already bearing fruit, for example, I’m now hosted on my own domain. Others may bear fruit in the near term, and I have EXTREMELY high hopes for these. Still more are the high level goals that I’ve started to define that will likely take me years to deliver.
Why am I posting all this for you? Because FreeCon is now a thing. The attendees of the original FreeCon have been granted the ability to hold their own, within a set of parameters, not least of which, is a quorum of FreeCon grads. Expect to see these occurring in and around other conventions & summits like Connections, Tech-Ed, maybe a SQL Saturday or two, SQL Rally, and certainly the Summit. If you get the invite to go, jump on it. If you haven’t received an invite, blog more, write articles more, get your name out there and you may then receive that invitation.
Kind of weird to consider that sitting around with a bunch of friends, online acquaintances, and downright strangers can result in life changing events, but, for me, that’s what happened. Thanks Brent. I’m so glad I made the list. And an extremely heartfelt thanks to all the Freecs at FreeCon. You guys are really wonderful people.