Atlanta WordPress User Group Meetup at an Oasis on Krog Street

The March Atlanta WordPress User Group meeting was held at Urban Oasis B&B on Krog Street in Inman Park, hosted by the owner Judi Knight.  I loved the venue!

The meetup had a good turnout of around 35 along with three Basset hounds and a small grey cat constantly wandering in and out of audience legs.   These four animals seemed to be amazed to see all these people sitting in their living room.

Judi gave an interesting presentation about her approach to site development with WordPress, along with tips and tricks she has learned since starting her business 1.5 years and 45 WordPress sites ago.

I really enjoyed hearing the diversity of ideas and perspectives from attendees who represented a wide variety of backgrounds…designers, developers, consultants, experienced and in-experienced.

And I have to say this little area on the west side of Inman Park bordering Krog Street is one of the coolest places in all of Atlanta.

Notes from Judi’s presentation are at http://www.newtricks.me/.

CloudForce 2010

A inventory application created in real time with Force.com in this breakout session

For the past few years I have attended this annual afternoon event by Salesforce.com which is usually held at the Buckhead Westin.   As always this was an impressive first class event with food, drinks, give-aways, informative keynotes, and breakouts on the latest Salesforce technologies.  Every year I learn something new and leave feeling  freshly inspired and encouraged about cloud technology in general.  As usual the event was packed with 300-400 attendees.

The keynote always starts out with a definition of cloud computing…(1) multi-tenant, (2) pay as you go, (3) realtime, and (4) auto upgrades and then provides an update on Salesforce statistics in terms of growth and customers. Salesforce now has grown to 72,500 paying customers,  all without traditional marketing…basically word of mouth.  Salesforce is ISO 27001 certified for those who worry about security in the cloud and boasts three global data centers…east coast, west coast, and Singapore.

Basically Salesforce wants to take the best of the consumer web and bring it to their customers. To meet this goal they are rolling out a new service called Chatter Collaboration Cloud, with a very facebook like feature set and designed into all of the Saleforce products. Like Facebook Chatter has a “wall” containing update posts from people, objects (like documents), events, and even Salesforce entities like Contacts.  Chatter is currently in beta and will be available to all customers free of charge later in 2010.

Besides free food and beer/wine give-a-ways included three books, “Salesforce.com for Dummies“, “Service Cloud for Dummies”, and “Behind the Cloud: The Untold Story of How Salesforce.com Went from Idea to Billion-Dollar Company-and Revolutionized an Industry.”

Ok this year I really am going to take my new found inspiration, along with my Force.com workbook, “Building your first cloud app in 30 minutes,” along with my free Force.com developers account, create a fantastic application, and add it to AppExchange, Salesforce.com’s online marketplace for applications built with Force.com. Or maybe I’ll just return to this same Salesforce.com event in 2011 who knows.