Commanding Chaos for Coworking, Open Source and Creative Communities

June 2008 Posts

Likemind.orl and Drupal

Thu, 06/19/2008 - 18:47 -- rprice

In about 10 hours a group of likeminded folks will get together for good coffee and conversations with friends and strangers. We do this once a month at the Lake Eola Panera Bread.

Likemind.orl Likemind Orlando is part of a larger group of events which started in New York with two guys who were having good conversations online, and decided to move them to the coffee shop. Their friends in other cities liked the idea, and now, Likemind groups meet in more than 50 cities around the world on the same day every month.

Chris Scott will now be officiating over Likemind with me, since Alex left and got himself a house and a life on the East Coast (of Florida). Congrats and best of luck to Alex and Kathryn.

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Also coming up in the next few days is the 3rd installment of he Florida Drupal User's Group. Myself and Mike Anello will be teaching classes on CCK and Views, respectively. You are all certainly invited to check out this event and ask tons of questions - we have left ourselves 4 hours to cover these topics, as each of them is kind of a big deal on its own.

You can get information and directions about how to get to the MindComet offices on groups.drupal.org/florida - the office is in Maitland.

Florida Drupal Group
Saturday, June 21st
1pm - 4pm
MindComet - Maitland

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What do you hope to get out of Doterati?

Wed, 06/18/2008 - 20:38 -- rprice

A particularly salient comment by Mr. Alex on this Doterati thread:

We have three of the top 10 largest universities in the country within striking distance and a low cost of living. We have a ton of available angel money and an eager local government. We have affordable bandwidth and office space. We have a strong creative community in part from our proximity to Universal and Disney.

I'd say the Space Coast and lots of the engineering stuff in the area adds to the caché as well, and lots of folks have been quoting EA Games as a big deal... which it is. I think Bonnier (my employer) could be more active in the community as far as corporate presence and making Orlando look cool - what are we really doing on that end? I didn't even know they were here until I found out about the job opening, and most people working next to me would say the same thing.

What do I want to get out of Doterati? Let's have the ability for folks in other parts of the world search for something simple on Google like "Orlando tech" and find all of the great stuff happening here - which I think this group will accomplish.

Funny, I know that some folks (myself included) have tried to keep the "agendas" and "special interests" out of this - but the agenda is to make us look cool, plain and simple. The means to that end have been supplied in the posts all over the site.

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New Drupal Tutorials

Tue, 06/17/2008 - 19:53 -- rprice

Yes, I have yet another blog: this one is all about Drupal. Right now there are exactly 4 posts, but two of them came this week, so there may be an upturn in the posting over there. If anybody out there wants to write some tutorials, I'd be open to that.

The first howto was sort of "scratching an itch". I got really tired of manually downloading, unzipping, uploading and activating modules when it was time to install a new Drupal site or update an existing one, so I came up with a workflow that gets it all done in record time: Using AWK to Download and Unpack Drupal Modules

The second one was a question delivered to me via chat: How to create a "related pages" block in Drupal 6, but we can't find any useful modules and my personal recommendation, Panels, is not ported to version 6 yet. Therefore, with some Arguments magic, I bring you (now, new and improved, with 15 screenshots!): Using Views 2 and Drupal 6 to Create a Related Pages Block

In other Drupal news, the Florida Drupal User's Group is having our 3rd meeting this weekend, June 21st, at the behest of MindComet in Maitland. I'll be giving a talk about CCK (the Content Construction Kit), specifically using it with Drupal 6, and Mr. Mike Anello will be giving a talk on Views. The whole thing lasts about 4 hours - from 1 to 5 PM. The first two meetings were absolutely worth it, so I highly recommend coming down to check it out, if only for a shorter portion of the marathon.

The next stage for this Drupal Easy project is to build out some wiki pages that outline key Drupal concepts and relate them to each other, wiki-style. It's something folks have been asking me for ever since the move to Bonnier and the "Drupal Expert" label, so I'm going to see if I can deliver. If that all goes well, there just might be a print version up for sale at LuLu.com as well. No promises, but that's the plan.

P.S. Not that I want to brag, but Angie and Nate from Lullabot are coming to Orlando this week to train the staff at Bonnier in the use of Drupal. This is the only public mention I've made in quite some time, but I'm pretty damn excited to meet the gurus.

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Doterati Drama

Thu, 06/12/2008 - 10:34 -- rprice

Last night I actually took some time to start getting involved with the discussion over at Doterati, and then this morning, I am treated as though I am a hostile outsider, and I was told by Mark Krupinski to go and read the other blogs and comments that have shaped his comments into being so aggressive.

Apparently, everybody hates Ted Murphy. I don't. I think he's a smart guy who wants to do his job. The fact that he's associated with this community is actually a boon, because he's had several successful businesses. More than I can say for myself.

I thought Tara Lamberson and Ted were doing lots of the work, but I had noticed Dan Kinchen, Robert Dempsey and others leaving lots of "Welcome" comments on everyone's profile. It actually seemed to me like there was a concentrated effort for one of those 4 key folks to leave a comment on every profile, so when I pointed this out to Mark, I used the s-word: spam. Apparently, this is some sort of a curse word. I was just calling it like I saw it. Not trying to stir up s-word.

I also stated my distaste at using Ning, which ships with tons of features, over starting with a blog or a forum and throwing a few widgets, then seeing where everything goes from there. On this point, I am corrected. Apparently, Mark and the rest of the Membership Committee (what, they have one of those, there have been seven meetings? was there an invite list for this?) decided to set up Ning to facilitate their own internal conversations, but I was getting lots of pings to come check out the site, so I thought that was the plan - Ning forever, go Ning! Ning is King!

Appartenly Mark was not ready for the onslaught of people. This is fine.

With an onslaught of people, especially people who have read or heard lots of crazy things about Ted Murphy, who is tangentially involved with this project, that is bound to bring down a lot more s-word and f-word and c-word and l-word.

Thus far, I have yet to weigh in on the subject. Some other folks have.

Alex Rudloff left some initial Orlando Tech Association thoughts on his blog which generated some discussion. Alex tends to be good at that. In his blog, he links to a post by Lawrence Salberg on the evil Ted Murphy and his attempt to start up a social network in Orlando. I believe Lawrence missed the target by a huge degree.

I have seen Ted Murphy's social networking outreaches, and they are always way more obvious than just putting your name at the bottom of the page. I actually joined their meetup.com group because I will be attending the IZEA Fest (which is across the street from my house) because there will be some great speakers there. What I thought was outre was the message I was sent a few minutes later - get your friends to sign up and get 25% of their ticket price! Ah, there's the PayPerPost we all know and love...

Just in case I haven't made it clear Ted != Doterati. Ted is a member like anyone else, and from what I can tell, each member chooses his or her level of involvement, which is as it should be. Ted put up a few dollars to buy a domain name and a Ning account. That's fair. My name is on the Florida Creatives domain, but I don't claim ownership of the concept. Honestly, the meetup was originally conceived as a way to get everyone in the same room so we could talk about having conferences - which he have done, and the events were great. Really great.

I can only look ahead to the future of tech in Central Florida optimistically - in my own universe there used to be zero user-groups for PHP and Drupal, and now there are 3, and I've been asked to speak at all 3. Rock.

We are not operating in a silo here - there is a need for lots of cross-pollination and kumbaya here. If someone makes a comment against Doterati, don't take it personally - what you have in fact found is a passionate participant who wants to be there, and clearly has an idea of how things should be done - encourage the commentary! Maybe after they've whined for a few minutes they'll stop and take a look at the potential of the thing and set up in the corner holding a sandwich board, ringing a bell and crying about how everyone should be there and sign up for the site!

Once the snapback comes on this and folks can get over it, we can all take a deep breath, have a beer, and wonder what it was we all got so flustered over. For now, I'll try to re-read my comments before I post constructive criticism.

I love all of you guys. Hope to see you all this Monday for Florida Creatives Happy Hour or Wednesday for the Doterati Town Hall.

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Petentials Reviewed by Amber and Leo

Sun, 06/08/2008 - 12:02 -- rprice

Best of the Net Hooray for Google Alerts, and my media habits. A few days ago, I got an email from the google (now with a new and un-improved favicon...blech). This email linked to a blog post that linked to a podcast, and that was exciting.

The blogger was Kym Huynh, one of the hosts of a brand-new podcast called Best of the Net. In their first episode, The Google Bar, the topic was Pets, and the first story was Petentials, which is just amazing.

Then as I'm listening to some of my weekly podcasts, I noticed something even more amazing.

Net @ Night Every week, Amber MacArthur and Leo Laporte sit down to talk about the latest happenings on the Internet. A few weeks ago, they were complaining about not having any guests, so they solicited the audience to email in if they had a web startup. Being the faithful listener that I am, I had to tell them about Petentials. I really thought they'd have thousands of suggestions like this every week, so I didn't exactly expect to hear anything too soon, but...

I was listening to this week's Net @ Night, "Tiffany Roll", and when Amber got to the letters, I heard her say "This week's letter is from Ryan Price in Orlando..."

Excuse me?

...and then they talked about Petentials for the next several minutes. I stopped right where I was standing and smiled the biggest smile. Right after that I called Darren and told him the good news.

Let's keep the good vibes going - I know lots of you folks out there have podcasts and blogs - how would you like to feature a new social network that has been covered by Leo Laporte and Amber MacArthur? Yeah, I thought so...!

Listen to net@night 55: Tiffany Roll (RSS, iTunes)
Listen to Best of the Net 1: The Google Bar (RSS, iTunes)

Looking at the dates that these were released, I almost wonder if the Best of the Net show heard about us via the live stream that Amber and Leo do over at TwitLive.TV while they are taping the show. If so, that makes for a great follow-up to my previous post.

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Hunter S. Thompson Film: Gonzo

Sat, 06/07/2008 - 09:39 -- rprice

Official Gonzo Film Site

The man who invented Gonzo journalism is a guy who I've really been meaning to check out on a deeper level for quite some time. I love the film versions of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Where the Buffalo Roam, but I've had little exposure to Thompson's work outside of that.

I actually share a birthday with him - we were born 45 years apart, and he ended up living to be 68.

One of my favorite things about Gonzo Otaku is Flying Dog's Gonzo Porter - a seasonal beer dedicated to Hunter, featuring the artwork of Ralph Steadman (he does all the art for Flying Dog), with a dog-portrait of the author, clutching his signature cigarette holder and wearing sunglasses. Apparently H.S.T. was a friend of the brewers. He is quoted on their site as saying:

"Good People Drink Good Beer"

So far the closest opening for the film is 4th of July in Atlanta, at Midtown Art Cinemas 8 (an eight-screen art-house? Que?)

In other Gonzo trivia, I would classify local Orlando Weekly columnist Billy Manes as a disciple of that style of journalism, if you've never read his weekly back-page column, Blister, you don't know what you're getting in to.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to see the film some time soon, until then, do some LSD, smoke, drink, go for a drive, and don't forget to bring your lawyer with you!

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