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PASS Connector Editorial for August 26- by Andy Warren

In a previous editorial, I wrote about networking with a focus on in-person skills. This time I’d like to move the focus to social networking by sharing some thoughts I have, talking about what PASS is doing in social networking right now, and asking for your ideas on what we can do better!
I talk to a lot of people about networking in general and the responses vary a lot. Many see huge value in social networking, and others see it as a time sink. At times the choices and time investment can seem bewildering. Our options include blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Plaxo, LinkedIn, Google profiles, and more. Should we do all of them? What’s the return on the time investment? Do I miss out if I don’t participate everywhere? For me, I’ve deciding on blogging and LinkedIn for now, though I may end up using all of them just because I need to see how PASS is doing on each of them. But other than that, I’ve tried to make choices that are right for me.
For PASS, we’ve decided to support the most popular/successful ones, so we’ve got a Facebook page, a Twitter presence, and a LinkedIn Group. Many of the Chapters have LinkedIn group as well, and we have a sub-group for bloggers. Our general approach there is to provide the venue, let the ones who prefer each of those tools interact socially, and really try to not mess up a good thing. We’ll post “big” announcements there at times, but I think we want to make those places the fun places to be a PASS member, the places where we focus on people more than technology, the places where you can find people that share your interests and build new relationships.
That’s my vision, but my choice of solutions probably blinds me to things that we could do that many of you would find useful. What can we add to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn that would make it more valuable to you? Is there another tool or site that we should consider in addition to or instead of? Should we be trying to drive the interactions more, or is providing the gathering place enough? Should we filter posts harder on LinkedIn to reduce the noise?
Send us some ideas and comments by posting it to the PASS blog entry for this editorial, or just emailing me at andy.warren@sqlpass.org. I can’t guarantee we’ll like or be able to execute every idea that comes in, but we’ll look at all of them and try to update our strategy where we see we can sustain it.

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PASS Connector Editorial for August 12- by Andy Warren

Those of you who have been PASS members for a while may remember that we used to publish a magazine in conjunction with SQLServerCentral.com called The SQL Server Standard (free back issues available for download). We stopped publication in 2008 due to rising costs. It was a necessary step, but one that left us without a good process for obtaining content for sqlpass.org.
Beginning this week, we’re going to reuse the great magazine name to call out premium content that will get posted on sqlpass.org.  Grant Fritchey, MVP and author, will be the editorial lead on this project - the guy who reviews abstracts and decides what to publish. Brad McGehee, MVP and author - will be the lead technical reviewer, tasked with making sure that the content is accurate, and we’ll have a real copy edit done to make sure the grammar and spelling is correct.
We’re going to aim for 26 articles per year (one per Connector) that will each run 1000 to 4000 words. Authors need 5 years professional experience and to have been previously published. More details on the requirements can be found here, but the fun part is that you can get paid to write for PASS. We’re paying $500 per article and you’ll earn every penny of it!
In addition to that, we’re also accepting two other types of content from PASS members. One of them are PASS Tips, 1-5 minute video tips that focus on SQL Server (not third party products), and the other are our very popular Top 10 Lists. These go through a lighter review phase and are unpaid contributions, a great way to participate in PASS and build your resume. Just remember that you’re putting this in front of your peers, give it your best effort!
We’ve tried to frame our content plan to encourage growth in our members, to give them a place to grow and prove their skills before moving on to books and speaking at the PASS Summit. We’ve also tried to build it in such a way that we don’t appear to be competing with the many great content sites that are already out there, trying to carve out a niche that is good for PASS, our members, and the overall community.
Have a question about this, the PASS Summit, or PASS in general? I answer questions for free! Drop me an email, andy.warren@sqlpass.org.

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