PASS Update #9
Time has flown by since my last update, busy time at work and struggling to get that done and find a few hours for PASS too. Here's a short version of what I've been working on lately:
- Added the Top 10 List page and have some starter lists from Jessica Moss, Grant Fritchey, and Jack Corbett. Can I talk any of you into adding your own list? Interesting way to help people get started on a topic.
- Added the online communities page as a starting point for trying to show that PASS is only a portion of the online community, and that we celebrate the other communities that contribute so much.
- We've got the SQL history page almost done, our MS contact Roni K went and took some pictures of the trophy case with all the various SQL boxes so we'd have some artwork for it, and we've got links to some other nice resources too.
- PASS Blog directory has been updated a few times. Note, one glaring weak spot is we're not checking blogs listed in PASSPort yet.
- Tim Mitchell has completed the code to let us review and filter all the posts made to all the feeds in the Blog Directory, now we're trying to get it tested and deployed - not a small thing, since our move to DNN last year we don't quite have a testing environment ready. Worst case we'll host externally for a while until that gets resolved.
- Final drafts of our SQL MVP and certification pages are under review. My fault for them taking longer than they should have, Chuck and John had them in on time and I didn't have a copy editor lined up. Hoping we finish these up sometime this week.
- We've changed our process a little so that the Connector editorial is also posted to the PASS blog, allowing anyone with comments to easily participate, and I'm also cross posting to my blog. Going forward we'll continue that, and also ask for permission to repost (or at least link) to blog posts by board members/active volunteers that fit into the PASS blog. The intent there is that the PASS blog is about PASS and it's a less formal way to provide news to members.
- I've checked in several times with big kahuna Wayne Snyder about my progess, and it's always useful to remember - especially in distributed environments - that spending 10-15 minutes just chatting with the boss is pretty valuable on both sides. Wayne expects people to do things and ask for help if needed, but it's always going to be a struggle to keep up with everyone, so pushing information to him is pretty useful
- We just had our April board meeting via conference call, and the major topic of discussion was budgeting. Budgets (the act of figuring one out and living with it) are always hard, and in our case we'll be meeting in May to set a budget based on income we'll earn in Nov. That's always a guess of sorts, so right now we're adjusting our FY 2009 budget to try to down to a balanced budget. In practice we're within about 2% or so of balanced, and that's not a huge variance. It's quite a discussion to have, debating whether to cut core expenses (which you'll need next FY) or just trim anything close to a nice to have. I was pleased to see all participated in the discussion and while we didn't all exactly agree, no one was against trying to get as close as possible to balanced. Nothing to worry about here, this is typical stuff for any business, and we're actively managing it.
- You've probably seen the news that MS canceled their 2009 BI conference, and PASS Summit 2009 is one of their recommendations for those that had planned to attend. It happened at a weird time for us, near the end of the call for speakers, so we ended up extending the call for speakers without a good message about why (to give those speakers time to cross over). We'll try to get a more thorough message out sometime this week or next, just had to do the best we could!
- For my work I'm trying to better utilize our full time staff, especially Sanj (who does the Connector and more for me!) and Blythe (helps with Chapters and SIGs) and the trick is figuring out what to give them and what to ask for help for from volunteers. I've been trying to call in once a week to check on them and get them to give me feedback on my ideas, and I think that helps all around
- Tom Larock has done some nice posts lately about his PASS involvement, and I hope that continues. More info, more translucency - all good stuff for us in the long run.
- I'll post more on this separately soon, but I'm working on a Connector editorial about the upcoming elections. Before I write that, I'd appreciate any and all input from those that participated (or chose not) in last years election.
- We'll be meeting in Seattle in May for an in person board meeting, and I'm looking forward to the meeting (if not the trip). Our main focus will the FY 2010 budget, but we've also gotten to know each other better and how things work, I'm hoping we can really start to work together as a group. Next post I'll have a draft of my Q2 goals up for discussion.
There's probably more than that. I had a couple slow weeks with only a few hours, one week where I worked Sun on "real" work so I could Mon on PASS stuff, and that ended up taking most of Tuesday too. I'm trying to move back out of tactical work now that I have a little better idea of how things work, but there's still plenty of work to do.
As always, if you have a question or comment, post it or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to get you an answer.