2011/05/07

DHMN New North Tech Cafes

Today's DHMN 'make' session had an interesting discussion about organizing a series of Tech Cafés. Well, maybe the actual discussion didn't get into whole series of events, but we did talk about the concept of having an Adobe Tech Café.

As described by Justin Kruger several years ago, a Tech Café is,
...a casual event where tech enthusiasts get together for Saturday breakfast to learn about and discuss a given technology topic. A couple examples are:
  • A Linux User Group might sponsor a Tech Café day to explain what Linux is and the advantages of open source.
  • Microsoft might throw an XNA Café, to show off how to create your own Xbox 360 game.
The idea is to load the Café with members of a given community so that others can learn about and get involved in that community informally. Linux “newbs” might seek help from experts or a topic experts might seek helpful peer advice. This event is extremely casual and geared as a means to enable a community of innovation before the kids wake up or weekend activities kick into high gear. Tech Café participation will typically be 2 - 25 people, with participants having a wide range of topic experience and knowledge from novice to experts. A few of the participants may have no topic knowledge at all, or might even be at the facility to work on an unrelated project...
Justin and I organized an Adobe Tech Café in Milwaukee several years ago and had a great presentation by Ryan Stewart. Ryan gave a helpful and comprehensive overview of the Adobe ecosystem, looking at AIR, Flash, Flex and other digital tools they offer. As mentioned in the post written on the day of the Tech Café,
"Adobe sponsored today's Milwaukee Tech Café by sending Ryan to share insider knowledge and tips about AIR and other Adobe products and by providing...comestibles for a light breakfast."
The desire to organize a series of DHMN New North Tech Cafés is another good reason to design and build v. 2.0 of the DHMN website. Large corporations and other reputable organizations will look more favorably on requests to sponsor Tech Cafés if DHMN has a high quality, easy-to-understand-and-navigate website. It will also be easier to get people who are not DHMN members to participate in the Tech Cafés if the website is an effective marketing and communication tool.

Until v. 2.0 of the DHMN website goes live, I'll focus on developing a good list of Tech Café topics and doing online research about potential contacts at corporations and other organizations who might sponsor Tech Cafés of interest to DHMN members.

If you know of a Tech Café topic you feel would be valuable to DHMN members or other people in the New North, please send me a note, and I'll add your topic to the list. Thanks!

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