PASS Volunteer Training 2008 – Part 1

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While it’s called training, the PASS volunteer “day” is much more a report on the current status of the organization and planning for the next year.

Today we had good start. Pat Wright went over the org chart, something new to PASS volunteers this year. Kevin Kline went over the history of the organization, including a few stories (ask him about escorting an attendee off site because of way too public a display of self-love). Lots of interesting information has come out. PASS is run under international rules as a non-profit which requires it to maintain ~20% of it’s operating expenses in the bank. Regional conferences are under consideration (although, as was pointed out, internationally, they’re already underway). The C&C management company performs the day-to-day operations above & beyond what volunteers do. It’s very clear that they’re doing a good job. They’re  popular in ways that the previous company wasn’t.

The board of directors each gave a quick overview of the past year and some future goals. Erin Welker reviewed the SIGs. The big deal this year was the web site migration.

Greg Lowe went over what’s up with the chapters. There are 132 now with more than 70 outside the US.

Christop Stotz gave a great little summation on what’s up in Europe.

Lynda Rab covered the program for the Summit. They’re making a lot of changes to the speaker program. I hope I can get in next year (this is still a lot of fun, that story may change tomorrow).  

Pat Wright reviewed the volunteer program. His only goal was to have a fun volunteer party. Mission accomplished, Pat. But seriously, they’re trying to help organize the volunteers in a better way to make volunteering easier & more rewarding (as a side note, get involved, it’s more fun than watching from the sidelines).

Special Projects was presented by Rick Heiges (he was noisy). They’re creating a chapter in Second Life. They’re introducing PASS Tips, tips about SQL Server. Sounds a bit like what Jumpstart TV is doing.

Chuck Heinzelman reviewed the Online Content for PASS. The organization is discontinuing the SQL Standard magazine. The main reason, and this was fascinating, was because printing costs are directly tied to energy costs. That’s pretty wild. They are going to expand the online content stream. They are going for high quality content, which means they’re not competing with SQL Server Central (not that SSC is low quality, at all, but the stuff published there is just a bit raw sometimes, magazine content is much, much, much more edited and reviewed). I seem to have won an award from Chuck for that content I’ve provided him over the last year. Cool. Thanks Chuck.

Bill Graziano spent some time on Marketing. They’re going to expand that part of the program to take on volunteers. Nice job on the new logo and the new color scheme, Bill. They might find a way to help market chapters. That would be huge.

Technology at PASS was reported on by Rushabh Mehta. They’ve launched the new PASSPort program (I can’t link to it yet, it’s supposed to be hidden). The conference is going to be updated constantly through the web page. They’re also posting updates on Twitter.

OK, fine, but what do you think?