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DNN Connect 2018

As the social media frenzy slowly begins to subside it is beginning to sink in that this year's DNN Connect is now well and truly behind us. From Facebook and Twitter it would seem you were either at DNN Connect or frustrated that you weren't. For those of you that missed it, you had to endure a barrage of pictures of friends hanging out together or exploring Ireland. I've never seen so many pictures of the cliffs of Moher by so many different people I know. In fact I didn't know about these cliffs at all until our event was underway. For about two weeks Ireland was at the center of our little cozy DNN universe.

There are many highlights from this year's event. And they are all summed up in the group photo we took on the bridge over the Shannon. The many smiling faces of those that made the event what it is. Thank you for coming to our event. This is what makes our work so rewarding. And we should note that despite downing no less than 11 barrels of Hop House 13 (a tasty lager made by Guinness) there were no mishaps. Due to unexpectedly good weather, we could even stay outside for most of the night and fill the air with chatter. DNN chatter mostly. Because there was a lot to talk about.

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It's been nine months since ESW took over DNN Corp. And it's in Ireland that we welcomed the new CEO Andy Tryba to our family. Because right after taking over, Andy had already made several statements to underline his commitment to the wider DNN Community. This was the moment we could welcome him, get to know him a bit better and see for ourselves if those words were more than mere words. And I'm elated to report that during face-to-face meetings between him and several community members we received the "keys" to the DNN Platform. I.e. we are now in full control of its direction.

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This is not a minor detail. In fact, I believe that when the history book of DNN will be written, DNN Connect 2018 will be seen as a turning point. In separate blog posts Mitch Sellers will go into details about this. But in a nutshell we now set the roadmap for DNN Platform, we decide which pull requests get accepted (even the ones from ESW), we control the release schedule and version numbering, and we have full control over the various platforms that the project uses (e.g. Github). "We" here is all of us. The DNN community, represented by the Technology Advisory Group. Currently this group is working on finalizing the procedures to channel our efforts so we don't end in chaos.

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And it is also in the leadup and during this event that it has become abundantly clear that DNN will opt to move to .net core. This has been a hot potato for years, but under the previous management this was impossible. Two roadblocks have recently been cleared: we now have control over the roadmap, and Andy has stated publicly that he's ready to accept breaking changes to move to .net core. I.e. Evoq will follow, not lead. This is hugely significant and has opened up a door for us. Again, it will be the TAG that leads on this. If you're interested, check out some of our meeting videos on Youtube.

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Speaking of Youtube: I wanted to highlight one more thing. This year we paid a videographer to record all sessions and we installed screen recorders in each room as well. This means that all sessions will eventually be made public on Youtube in a professional format. I'm sure you've already seen posts about these videos on Facebook. Not only does this mean you'll be able to check the sessions you missed, but it is also a significant boost to DNN visibility on the web. 30+ hours of new content about DNN on Youtube is a big deal. Check them out and please share them on social media.

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Rounding off this long-winded summary of this year's event we'd like to thank 4 groups of people. First the speakers. All the feedback we've had about the sessions was that attendees were impressed at the quality and frustrated they couldn't attend mote sessions. Well done and we hope to do you justice with the recordings.

Next we'd like to thank our sponsors (DNN Corp, 2Sic, Managed.com, Xcess, Bluebolt, 40 Fingers, IT&I, Glanton, Tjeps and Cantarus). Our goal has always been to provide our event for an affordable price as there are many DNN community members who cannot afford to fly to Vegas and attend a 2000 dollar event (excl hotel, drinks etc). Without our sponsors our event would be significantly more expensive for our attendees. So thank you again for your support.

Then we owe our gratitude to the kind people of the University of Limerick and those that helped us at the Tourism Board of Ireland. They've played a pivotal role in arranging this year's event. The staff of the University has been very helpful and we managed to tick just about every box we had on our wish list.

Finally I'd like to thank our attendees. You always gracefully accept what we serve you. In our quest for modestly priced venues this sometimes means a little discomfort. Whether it's sharing a room or having to drive for a few hours or being stuck without Wi-Fi for a weekend. And yet every year you shower us with gifts afterwards (by the way, Declan has some serious drinking to do this summer as we couldn't all take bottles in our carry-on luggage). It's you that keep this going. The prospect of seeing you again next year is what gives us the energy to do this again.

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We hope you've enjoyed this year's event and you'll continue to support DNN Connect by turning up at our future events.  Talks are already underway with several people about potential locations for next year's event. On behalf of the DNN Connect 2018 Team (Declan, Cathy, Timo, Vicenç, myself, David) I'd like to thank you all.

Peter Donker

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