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This is from the April 2008 RV.NUG Newsletter

RV.NUG -thon event

This June will mark the 4th annual RV.NUG -thon event. Just what is a -thon event? How did it originate? (Okay, perhaps you are more interested in "what it is" than a history lesson).

A -thon event occurs during an RV.NUG monthly meeting. A presentation topic is chosen. However, care is taken to select a topic that can be easily segmented. The 75-90 minute presentation time of the meeting is then broken into five or six 15 minute time slots. Each time slot is filled by a different presenter. One topic that has worked in the past is design patterns. There are many design patterns and in one evening you can hear a presentation on five or six different design patterns.

The RV.NUG is located in a small market area. This has always made it challenging to obtain speakers for monthly meetings. This was even more difficult four years ago when membership was smaller and.NET development was just beginning. The user group had to rely on members for many presentations; however, there was a very limited number of members who were comfortable delivering a 75-90 minute presentation. The solution was to encourage several members to deliver a 15 minute presentation on the same evening. The experienced presenters of the group would work with the -thon presenter; by providing any needed assistance - be it technical, public speaking, slide preparation or encouragement. An added bonus is that the nature of a -thon event also promotes collaboration and networking among members of the user group.

The first event was the Grid-a-thon. There were six presentations on the DataGrid . The presentations began with sessions addressing how to get started with the DataGrid; followed by sessions on using more advanced features of the DataGrid and ending with a couple of sessions on extending the DataGrid functionality with code. All of the presenters were first time presenters. The event was so well received that discussion of next year's -thon topic began before the evening was over.

This year's -thon is titled: Ajax-a-thon. This event will focus on controls provided as part of ASP.NET AJAX and the AJAX Control Toolkit. ASP.NET AJAX was called ATLAS during beta release, and is included in ASP.NET 3.5. You can view the live Toolkit here to see what's included. (NOTE: This paragraph was contributed by Bret Shawn, Vice-President.)

We still have openings for presenters. If you are a first-time presenter or a presenter that's out of practice, we encourage you to take advantage of this low-risk opportunity. If you are looking for motivation to learn more about easy-yet-powerful ways to use AJAX into your web applications, seize this opportunity . (I know I work best with a deadline!) There are several RV.NUG members on standby to help in any way you need (technical or presentation). As an added bonus, it has been repeatedly shown that the person that learns the most from a presentation is the presenter! Don't miss this great opportunity. Contact any officer if you would like more details on being a -thon presenter.

This is a meeting you will not want to miss. It's a great learning and networking opportunity for everyone in attendance. Hope to see you there!

Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 7:43 PM RVNUG | Back to top

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