The morning keynote opening was good. We had video of the conference playing here and there, the election candidate positions in video, and random facts about SQL Server.
Don't forget to vote! My endorsements for Andy, Louis, and Thomas. Vote for them.
There are daily prizes, they announced through drawings, so be sure that you check for your name if you entered.
A Thursday night event, the SQL Server Heroes Event. I didn't think there was much going on in the past on Thursdays, so it's good to see more happening. Flock of Seagulls are supposed to be playing, which is interesting.
Rushabh is in charge of Finance (as a VP) and he says they are committed to transparency. That hasn't been the case in the past and it's been a complaint of mine. So I've been concerned and honestly this would sound bad to me if I hadn't been to the volunteer day yesterday.
Since I had, I saw a bunch of the financial information reported then, and some of those same graphs are being put out today.
PASS in FY2008 had about a 2.5mm revenue number, with 86% of it coming from this conference. This year the projects are $4.3mm, with 92% of the revenue from this conference. About 55% of that went to pay for the conference, so this is also the biggest expenditure.
Supposedly this will continue on the SQL PASS website in the future, along with board minutes. I hope that happens and I'll be watching.
The site is no longer in beta as of today. It's been running fairly well there for the last couple months and changes have been happening and a lot of content appearing there. It's good to see them growing, and I hope it goes well.
Social networking is being introduced on the PASS site. I'm not completely sold on social networking, but I know there's a niche of people that want to use it and it's probably a good idea to have it available. Will it replace Linked In, Facebook, etc.? No. But it might be an addition to it, if they can link it in a bit. It's call PASSPort, so check it out on the site.
There's a free, hosted SQL Server 2008 site provided by PASS, Maximum ASP, and Dell that you can try online if you can't install it on your local systems or at work.
The PASSion Award
Given to volunteers that really help out PASS over the year. Rushabh recognized volunteers, talks about the various things they do and how they help. It's good to recognize them, because they really do help and they matter. And they aren't often thanked, so having them stand up to applause is a small thing, but it's nice to be recognized.
This year the award goes to Kathi Kellenberger! Author here, on JumpstartTV, and in a few books. I've known Kathi for a few years and she's a wonderful person. I enjoy seeing her every year and we usually get to share a drink or two. We had one last night and I enjoy it more all the time.
That's about it and now Tom Casey in the next post.