Web414 September - Rackspace Cloud and BarCampMilwaukee6

***PLEASE NOTE - We will be starting the meeting at 6pm this month and finishing at 7:30 to not conflict with the Packers season opener that night***

Join us, as always, at Bucketworks for the September edition of Web414. This month's meeting will be at 6pm on the second Thursday of the month. That means September, 8. We have an exciting show for you this month.

Segment 1 - Rackspace Cloud

Adam Hansen from Rackspace will be joining us to talk Cloud! He will give us an overview of Cloud uses in Small and Medium sized business and web and app development. He will discuss cloud in general as well as talk about his company, Rackspace. If you have any other topics that you would like discussed, be sure to let us know before the meeting. Be sure to bring your questions and Rackspace may even be giving us some swag to our group.

Segment 2 - BarCampMilwaukee6

Jeremy Jannene will be discussing the planning of the upcoming BarCampMilwaukee6. He will update us on what has been happening in planning, how you can help out, and what to expect at this year's BarCampMilwaukee.

RSVP on Facebook

Web414 September Special Guest

August's meeting seems to still be fresh in the books, but September is coming up. For September, we will continue on the topic of Virtual Cloud Hosting with a special guest.

I am happy to announce that for September's meeting, Rackspace has offered to send an engineer to speak to the group.

They said he can speak on any part of Rackspace we would like and cloud hosting in general. So, I would like to put out the question to the loyal Web414 members. What would you like in the presentation from Rackspace? It's up to the community. Let us know in the comments, via Twitter (@web414), or on Facebook.

Stay tuned for more information on September's Web414!

Web414 August Meeting

Thursday August 11th, 7pm-9pm

Join us for an exciting evening of Virtual Cloud Hosting by Rob Martin (@version2beta) of Quintessential Mischief LLC. Rob’s background includes accomplishments in networking, virtual servers, databases, and server-side programming. He will compare and contrast the various services offered by cloud hosting companies such as Amazon, Rackspace, and Linode. Escape the August heat while enjoying our presentation in the cool, air-conditioned comfort of the BucketWorks facility. BucketWorks is a health club, for the mind!

Web414 July 2011 Wrapup - Mobile Web Development/Google Plus

Thank you to those attending, presenting, and watching the live stream of July's Web414 meeting. It was a nice group with some great discussion throughout.

The meeting started off with a presentation by Dave Brixius (@coderdx) on Mobile Web Development Best Practices.

It was followed by a presentation building on it entitled, "Mobile Web Development: State of the Industry, Tools, and Tips" by Dustin Filippini (@dustyf).

In the final presentation, Benjamin Pett (@benrobn), let us know about how to get started with Google+.

The night ended with a little open discussion with a lot of focus on BarCampMilwaukee6. We would also like to give a big thanks to our host, Bucketworks.

Archived Live Stream on Ustream

Presentation Slides

Web414 July Meeting

Date: July 14, 2011
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Bucketworks, 706 South 5th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Topic: Mobile Page Design

Join Dave Brixius(@CoderDx) and Dustin Filippini(@dustyf) on the evening of July 14th for an exciting presentation on mobile page development. Dave and Dustin will cover all aspects of designing and developing for the new mobile web. This month’s topic comes to us compliments of Web414 member Paul Copsey(@PaulRCopsey). If you have a meeting topic to suggest please let us know and we will do our best to make it happen. Hope to see you there!

Web414 Event Coordinator

In our ongoing commitment of service to the Internet and web technology community, Web414 is pleased to announce the creation of a new administrative position within our organization. Please join me in welcoming Clint Laskowski (@Clint326) as your new Web414 Event Coordinator.

Clint will be taking our ideas and suggestions for monthly meeting topics, and then following up with the legwork required to make them happen. Clint has professional experience in meeting coordination and is looking forward to applying that experience to benefit the Web414 organization. Clint’s goal is to create and maintain a monthly meeting schedule as far in advance as possible, so start sending your ideas!

In Clint’s own words, “I think the more we can set standards (meeting dates, meeting formats, topic calendar, etc.) the easier it will be for everyone to climb on board this new Web414 train”.

Please feel free to contact Clint directly with your ideas for monthly meeting topics, and any related questions you may have. Welcome Clint, and thank you for steeping up to the plate. We all look forward to the exciting and informative monthly meetings you will be coordinating from our suggestions!

David Brixius
Organizer - Web 414

Social Media Coordinator

In our ongoing commitment of service to the Internet and web technology community, Web414 is pleased to announce the creation of a new administrative position within our organization. Please join me in welcoming Benjamin Pett (@benrobn) as your new Web414 Social Media Coordinator.

Benjamin’s responsibilities as Social Media Coordinator will include maintaining Web414’s social media interfaces (Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and streaming our monthly meetings live via our Web414 channel ( Benjamin’s focus will be on providing the latest news and informative updates to our members and enthusiasts, to keep them engaged, while also providing an interface for those who are unable to participate in our activities directly. In Benjamin’s own words, “I think, over the long term, it will also help us discover the strengths and passions of all of our members and get them more involved”.

Please feel free to contact Benjamin directly with any publicity or social media related questions. Welcome Benjamin to Web414, we thank you for your contribution and appreciate your service.

David Brixius
Organizer - Web 414

Web414 Website Makeover

We are currently assembling a team of designers and developers for an ambitious overhaul of the website. If you are a designer or developer and want to showcase your work on the Web414 website, please contact Web414 Organizer Dave Brixius (@coderDx).

The goal is to make the website into a collaborative sandbox environment where all flavors of Internet and web technology have a place to be represented. We will create a strong core (probably using Drupal) and build in extensibility that allows for growth in the direction of the other individual technologies.

The way it will work is once the core is in place, suppose a Ruby developer comes forward and has an idea to add some really cool functionality created in Ruby. That person or persons will be given a directory and the developer environment required to create their branch of functionality. They will also be given the ability to link or un-link their work to the core website as needed.

This is an exciting opportunity for new and aspiring developers and designers, as well as seasoned professionals, to gain valuable experience and get their feet wet in a prominent, public facing arena, and have some fun while doing it! It is also a great opportunity to work in a team environment that will be based on agile best practices.

If you feel this is something you would be interested in, and could benefit from, please contact me and we’ll get you on the team!

Thank you,

Dave Brixius
Organizer - Web414

A New Day

When I woke up this morning, my head was filled with much excitement over the great opportunities that lie ahead for us. At the same time, I was also filled with a great sense of gratitude for being selected to serve on the heels of all those who came before me. Before we move forward, I would like to take a few moments and express my gratitude to but only a few of those who have made Web414 what it is today.

First, I wish to give thanks to Pete Prodoehl(@raster). Pete’s five years of tireless service and dedication to Web414 are what has made the organization what it is today, and without which, I would not be here today delivering this message. Thank you Pete. You are very much appreciated.

Second, I would like to mention the BucketWorks organization(@bucketworks), along with James Carlson(@hypnagogic) and Jenn Turner(@Jennaddenda), without whose ongoing support, we would not have a place to hold our meetings. Thank you both very much.
And Lastly, I want to express are great many thanks to everyone that came out last night to our June meeting. Each and every one of you did or said something to make me feel very welcome and at home. Thank you all for allowing me to become such a big part of our organization.

That being said, I would now like to take a few moments and describe some of my vision for the future of Web414 going forward.

We are the public face of web and Internet technology in SE Wisconsin. As such, I feel we have a responsibility to achieve and maintain our place at the leading edge of that technology always. I also feel that together, we have an incredible amount of knowledge, talent, and motivation at our disposal to accomplish and maintain that position. But we do face challenges along the way.

The first action I am taking in my new position will be organizational. Supporting an organization the size I am hoping we will grow to will require growth in our infrastructure. I am preparing for this now by defining and implementing specific administrative positions within our organization.

The first such position has already been defined and filled. Please join me in welcoming Dustin Filippini(@dustyf) as the new co-organizer of Web414. Dustin indicated an interest in helping support the organization early on, and is now a proud member of our administrative team. Dustin will work alongside me and will be involved in the day to day operations of the organization. Welcome Dustin.

A second position we are creating is an event coordinator position. This will be the person who’s main responsibility will be to arrange and ensure exciting and informative presentations, speakers, and discussions for all of our monthly meetings. We are currently working with a person of interest for this position, and will make a public announcement as soon as there is one.

Additionally, I would also like to see a communications coordinator, technology coordinator, and possibly other positions be created. So look for these and other positions to be created as they are needed and defined.

I really can’t go too much further into the crystal ball at this time. But I can tell you I have many exciting ideas for the Web414 organization, as well as our direction moving forward. I promise to keep everyone in the loop whenever there is news or cool new stuff to see. There will certainly be more of that once our administrative and organizational chores are out of the way. Please stay tuned, as there is MUCH more to come!

Thank you,

Dave Brixius
Organizer - Web414

Milwaukee Wordpress Meetup: June 15th, 2011

Milwaukee Wordpress Meetup: June 15th, 2011 event

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
5:30 PM

Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC)
700 W State St Milwaukee, WI

All are welcome! There is no fee/charge for the event. Please RSVP here via the website to let us know you are attending.

This will be an open forum meeting where Wordpress users, enthusiasts, designers, clients, developers can all participate.

The attendees of this meetup (yes, you!) will be able to share from their own Wordpress experience and the beginners (yes, you!) will ask the experienced Wordpress fans questions about how to better understand this wonderful web publishing platform.

5:30PM-6:00PM - Open networking - come meet other Wordpress enthusiasts, light snacks will be provided by Aquent (Jerry Broitzman)

6:00PM-6:50PM - Clients, Wordpress Newbies, & Wanna-Be's: Open FAQ time. Ask your questions and the web designers / developers will answer with feedback and other ideas.

6:50PM-7:10PM - Heather Action from 2011 Chicago WordCamp will share about the upcoming event July 30-31

7:10PM-8:00PM - Designers / Developers discuss their favorite/must-have plugins and share advanced Wordpress tips and tricks]

The meetup will be held in Room M540. (It's a 40 seat theater with internet and projector!)

All are welcome to come!

Milwaukee Wordpress Meetup: June 15th, 2011 event

June's Waukesha Area Internet Marketing Meetup: Email Marketing

Waukesha Area Internet Marketing Meetup: Email Marketing

Email is a widely misunderstood or abused platform for communication and marketing. Attend this meetup to get a better understanding of which email marketing platforms are the best for you and your clients.

If you are at all interested in tracking open rates, click-through rates, split testing subject lines, and determining the most meaningful and impacting layouts and content for your email blasts, this meetup is for you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

N69W25055 Indian Grass Lane Sussex, WI

RSVP today to reserve your spot at this meeting. Space is limited.

This will be a Meetup jam packed with email marketing goodness.

Does anyone have a favorite system they use? And why?

Waukesha Area Internet Marketing Meetup: Email Marketing


Good Morning,

My name is Dave Brixius, and this is my Web414 blog.

Thank you,

Dave Brixius


A Poor Craftsman (Sometimes the syntax IS the problem)

"It's a poor craftsman who blames his tools."

An old adage, but one I also believe. So don't take this as me blaming PHP for the bad PHP code I've written through the years. I'll take ownership for it, just like all the other bad code I've written in all the other languages before and since.

But sometimes PHP seems to actively discourage good coding habits.

Michael Booth, over at, is seeing the same thing.

He was writing a Drupal utility in ruby (pacem, read the post if you're outraged; I'm just being the messenger, here) when it occurred to him to wonder what kind of good testing tools he could find for PHP.

His quest led him to compare what he had known in ruby with what was in PHP, and the difference is drastic. Have a look at the differences between the two testing files and see what he means.

I know I've run into it more than once. It's quite possible to write good, even elegant, PHP code. I've seen and I've even done it myself. Still, the klunky syntax doesn't help; in fact it often gets in the way.

But the point here isn't to hammer PHP. I just want to encourage you to expand your horizons. Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote "A mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its former shape." In this specific case, someone who had encountered testing tools outside of PHP, brought the ideas back and is hopefully enriching the PHP culture with it.

Matt has a BarCamp session on exotic languages. Come on out for it, and if you happen to know about something off the well-travelled PHP/javascript/C# track, bring it along and show us why you like it.

Or, if you don't, come on along anyway. Get your mind stretched. And then bring that bit of stretch back to your corner of the dev world, and see what it comes out looking like.

You'll be better off for it.

Phil makes Biz Journal Great

You Go Phil!

Our friend, and patron Phil Gerbyshak (The Make it Great Guy) brightens the July 9th Milwaukee Business Journal with his trademark smile.

What to go Phil! Keeping Social Media real in the Cream city!

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