Great episode!

Graphics people, you misspelled Dave's last name - it's Noderer, not Norderer.

Much as I like CodeZone, I have to disagree with Shawn a little bit - there are also tremendous advantages to planning, developing, posting and maintaining your own User Group web presence:

For one, it gives members of your User Group a way to get some experience. A good many people in my Group (swfldev.net - come visit!) come from other disciplines, or are involved from the enthusiast's point of view. For example, I've got an Oracle DBA, a senior director at a Rails shop, several guys who are trying to break into the career, and other people whose titles can't be construed in any way as ".Net developer". This gives them an access point, and lets them 'be the change they wish to see in the User Group.' As much as CodeZone is sufficient for User Groups, it's already done. With our own web project, we get experience, and an investment of participation.

Secondly, and following from CodeZone being done, is that we don't get to innovate our web presence unless we do it ourselves. In CodeZone, each person can select from column A, and arrange the parts of it like so, but with our own app, if we decide that what our site needs is a comprehensive Virtual Earth map of wi-fi hot spots in our area, for example, the only way we can have one is if we control our own site. And in assembling all of the different expertises we need to make our site happen the way we all want it, we build community. There's no reason a graphic artist can't come hang out with the geeks and help make their site look sweet. And if you helped build it, you own it. You'll come back.

Look, one reason most of us wanted to be developers at all is so that we could build something we're proud of on the web. For us, this is that opportunity.

Finally, and this is where the rubber meets the road for me, special occasions. We're doing a Code Camp - THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. And we have rebuilt, and reconfigured, our site to handle the registrations and speaker proposals, and the venues that are supporting us, and giving love to the community pillars who helped us out, etc.  We're STILL not done working, and registration closes today, but you can bet we're keeping that Code Camp site for the next time, and the next, and the time after that, 'til kingdom come. CodeZone couldn't have handled that.

I still love CodeZone. But we're builders, y'all. Don't take that away from us.

Cheers,
John