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Don't forget that we are starting a regular social hour called the UMCF Monthly Mixer, and the first one will be this Thursday, Sept. 26.
There's no program, just networking, and you don't need to a UMCF or Campus Club member to attend. Starting in November, these will be held on the first Thursday of every month. Snacks are provided, drinks on your own.
Please let us know if you can come, so we can order enough nachos:
--Ann Nordby, UMCF board
Communicators Forum Monthly Mixer
Check back here later for more details (including RSVP form); or find us on Facebook or Twitter!
You already know the advantages of attending the Year of the Communicator conference on June 25, 2013, but you may need some help convincing your supervisor.
Here are some tangible benefits of attending this year's UMCF conference:
1. It is affordable!
With airfare consistently on the rise, attending the conference means you won't only save on airfare, but hotel and food costs as well. Plus if you register before May 30, you receive the early bird discount.
2. Expand your professional network.
Because the conference is for communicators at the University, you expand your professional network across campuses. We rarely get a break to talk with our fellow colleagues and this is an excellent opportunity.
3. Keep up with the trends in the communications field and be
inspired by inspiring people.
This year's conference has two keynote speakers that are industry leaders. Krista Neher is an expert on social media and will be addressing how higher education institutions can make social media work for us. Debra Frasier, author and illustrator, will help guide you on your path of creativity, something every communicator needs.
4. Attend together as a teambuilding activity.
Attending the conference as a team means you can talk about which sessions will provide you with the most skills and choose your tracks together. Creating a report for your supervisor about the sessions you attend also helps outline what you learned. Then you can discuss your day at the reception, surrounded by inspiring art at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery.
5. Gain topic-specific experience.
The strategies, tools, and skills that you learn can be taken back to your department and applied immediately. The conference offers you two keynote speakers and three breakout sessions geared to give you the tools that you need to be the best at what you do.
Remember that awards entries are due by noon on Thursday, March 21. We know that you are doing great work, and we want to recognize you for it!
We particularly would like to see more entries for use of the Driven to Discover campaign theme, "Discovery illuminates everyone". Read about the categories and judging criteria.
Won't your boss be pleased when you tell her that you've won an award? By the way, you can invite her (or him) to the awards ceremony at our fabulous member appreciation party on May 29 at the Weisman Art Museum.
Don't forget, entering is free. Learn more and enter.
--Ann Nordby, co-chair, awards committee
Have you produced good work in the past year? Of course you have, and you should be recognized for it in front of your peers! Start picking out your best work of the past year to enter in the 2013 Maroon and Gold Awards. The submission period is March 1-21.
Entering is free, and there are 22 categories all told for print, web, campaign, writing and more. See all the categories, past winners and details on the UMCF website.
This year we will give a new award for best use of the "Illuminate" Driven to Discover campaign theme. Also new this year, the "people's choice" MIKE award is going fully digital. Once submissions are in you will be able to see all the entries and vote for them online.
All the winners will be revealed and winning entries displayed at our fabulous Member Appreciation Party on May 29 at the Weisman Art Museum. (Along with mulling your MAG awards entries, you should start selecting your +1 now.) Watch for an e-mail on March 1 with complete instructions for entering.
Here are some tips for entering (and winning) a MAG award:
- You can't win if you don't enter. And people who win a lot of awards have usually entered multiple times in multiple categories.
- If you produced anything using the D2D Illuminate campaign, be sure to enter it. One of this year's MAG judges is from Olson, the agency that created the campaign.
- Crying when you receive an award is completely optional.
The UMCF Programs Committee has put together a list of some of their favorite programs in recent years. Do you have a favorite program? Join the discussion!
Cullean Colby, Associate Administrator, Carlson IT
My favorite program was last year's "Beginner's Circle: Videography 101". Michael Teachout, the Carlson Instructional Media Coordinator, created a presentation based on the questions and topics gathered from attendees via a participant survey. The event topics were perfectly catered to those who attended! We discussed camera options, general planning for a video shoot, necessary video software, and University resources. Most of the attendees were able to stay for lunch where we continued the conversation with more questions and shared similar video related struggles and issues. I loved watching the attendees collaborate, share experiences, formulate ideas, and make connections while enjoying pizza!
Melissa Pierce, Communications, Extension Center for Youth
My favorite program was "How to avoid death by PowerPoint: Tips for giving better presentations" in April 2011. It was very engaging, funny, and useful. I refer back to many of Todd Reubold's tips when creating presentations.
Sarah Howard, Communications Manager, School of Journalism and Mass
The most helpful program for me was the Communications Job Study Panel. Within the U, the communications jobs family had just undergone a restructuring and some changes were made. UMCF gathered those who were behind the changes and had them explain the changes and what it meant for communicators. All of my questions were answered and I learned a lot about how jobs are structured across the University. I'm not sure where I would have gone for this information without this panel! With this type of event, I really felt like UMCF was watching out for me!
O'Donnell, Executive Office & Administrative Specialist, Extension
I joined the Communicators Forum earlier this year and have already had the privilege of attending several great programs. My favorite thus far was the "For the Common Good" Exhibit at Anderson Library this fall. Not only did I benefit from hearing more about the archiving services the University libraries offer communicators and departments on campus, but I also appreciated the guided tour of the exhibit and the subsequent discussion surrounding the history of the University of Minnesota as a land grant institution. It was a great way to feel connected to the University and its strong community of communicators.
Katie Evans, Lead Events Coordinator, Institute for Global Studies
The Communicators Forum program that I found most useful was the "Working with University Relations" on November 15, 2012. It helped me get a better sense of what types of stories the University was interested in promoting on a larger scale. The program was also great to put faces with names and be able to know who the direct contacts for different needs are.
Here are five steps to maximize your membership.
STEP 1: Complete this brief member survey by Friday, November 16.
STEP 2: Save the date for these signature events:
- Member Appreciation Event - May 29, 2013, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis
- Annual Conference - June 25, 2013, all day, Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis
STEP 4: Attend a program. The next two are:
- November 15, 12-1:30 p.m., 100 Murphy Hall - Beginner's Circle: Working with University Relations (panel discussion)
- December 5, 12-1:30 p.m., 2-233 Carlson School of Management - Expert Insights with Dave Pyle, former bureau chief of the Minnesota/Wisconsin Associated Press
Go for the Maroon and Gold
Communicators Forum 2012 Conference
Thursday, July 26, 2012
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
St. Paul Continuing Education and Conference Center
Parking Map and Directions
The early bird deadline has been extended! Register by May 18 »
Session topics and speakers are now available online »
A great example is Twin Cities illustrator and print maker Adam Turman who tells the story of biking in the Twin Cities through his collection of cycling prints.
Check out how to create the final product in this screen printing tutorial written by Turman.
And, plan to attend Turman's UMCF conference session "Let's Print" where he'll talk about the process of screen printing, but more importantly, he'll be teaching how to pull some actual prints that attendees can take with home.
Register by April 23 for the discounted rate.
Learn how to build a social media strategy in three steps and plan to attend the UMCF conference session on developing social media strategy. Rita Greenberg, interactive media specialist at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, will present.
To register for the conference, click here. If you register by April 23, you'll pay the discounted rate of $120. Go for the Maroon and Gold!
In light of the upcoming "Go for the Maroon and Gold" conference, happening a day before the 2012 Olympic Games begin, some Olympic design-related links:
- 39 Olympic Logos From 1924 to 2012
- Summer Olympic logos from 1896 to 2012, including many of the more colorful posters and logos
- The London Olympic Games Organising Committee on the 2012 Olympic brand: "The number 2012 is our brand. It is universal and understandable worldwide."
- According to an Olympic medals timeline, the London 2012 design is the largest Summer Olympics medal to date.
- Finally, who doesn't love the 2012 Olympics logo?
And don't forget to register for the conference. Rates go up after April 23!
"Go for the Maroon and Gold"
Thursday, July 26, 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., St. Paul Continuing Education and Conference Center
This year's keynote is Michele Norris host of NPR's "All Things Considered." To us communicators, she is an Olympian. She has done so much to advance the field and reach her goals that she is an inspiration, much like a traditional Olympian, to communications professionals.
Jennings says to find out if you have a story, ask, "Why does this matter?" and "Will people care?" Then, find out the players and how to tell it. Think about visuals or artwork from the beginning, he says--about how to tell the total story. And when it comes to characters, he says, "Don't tell the story of the army. Tell the story of the soldier." Tell the story from a unique perspective and show the audience things they would not see otherwise. A recent story on Northrop Auditorium's renovation is a pretty good example here, as the photographer and I were lucky enough to get access to the interior during demolition. Do all that, and one gets the idea that in the end, you'll be telling the story of the army more effectively simply by telling the story of the soldier.
But first! Our new members might be curious about what the "awards" are. Maroon & Gold awards are presented annually to University of Minnesota Communicators Forum members whose work best embodies the University's core values: excellence, innovation, integrity, diversity, academic freedom, collaboration, sharing of knowledge, accountability, stewardship, and service. Awards are submitted annually, judged by an independent panel of outside experts in communications topics, and awarded during the annual conference. Receiving an award is kind of a big deal...not only personally, but professionally. In this day and age where we are all justifying our value to our colleges and units, an award from the UMCF says to your leadership that you and your work are highly valued and respected.
Here is the UMCF Awards website, where you can read all about the categories, eligibility, etc. Please note that we are in the process of updating the pages.
So, the big news for 2012 is that awards are FEE FREE!! That's right! You do not have to pay a single cent towards awards submissions this year. That means you have no excuse not to enter all your fabulous work! The awards submission window is March 1-March 30. The one change to the process due to the free fees is that we had to do a little something different with the MIKE Award. The MIKE Award is the "People's Choice" award, voted on at the conference. In the past, it was an additional $5 fee for an already entered item. This year, we have decided to cap the MIKE entries at 30. Each college or unit may submit up to 2 entries to be considered for MIKE. These 30 entries are first come, first served, so don't procrastinate!
Our last bit of news is that we are adding a new subcategory to the Writing category. In the past, we have noticed that articles of a more technical nature were not receiving the recognition deserved because they weren't as "captivating" to the judges when compared to other work, like magazine features, etc. We feel that technical writing, while maybe not as glamorous as speech or feature writing, is very much worth recognition because when done well, it is really amazing. More information and criteria will be added to the website soon.
We'll be sharing more information on the Listserv once we get closer to awards submission month! Have a happy February!
Expert Insights: Maximizing Your Social Media Influence
November 30, 3 p.m
Akerman Hall, Room 319 McNamara Alumni Center, Room 235
Presenters are Jennifer Kane and Kary Delaria of Kane Consulting
Jen and Kary are social media
consultants with an impressive client list. They will talk about how to
set goals and measure success in social media beyond return on
investment. For those of you who haven't heard them speak -- they are
insightful and entertaining. Heavy appetizers will be served.
Sometimes when we think about communications we believe them to be the sole job of professionals with focused job titles like "communications specialist." But communications--helping others understand the value and role of an organization--are most effective and persuasive in numbers.
Anna Kucera, director of marketing and public relations with the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, had a clear message for the several dozen attendees at the Oct. 20 UMCF event, "Promoting Strategies on a Budget: Internal PR."
Everyone in your department should be involved in communications, and ultimately, everyone in your organization is anyway, she said. A conversation is happening--online, in coffee shops, and in backyards--people talk about work. Providing the tools to enable employees to lead the conversation, and to advocate on behalf of [the U], is ultimately a communicator's job.
"The people who work for the University need to be able to speak about what they do for the U and why it matters," Kucera said.
At her own organization, Kucera said "A lot of times our employees are the people best connected to the communities we serve. We want to empower them to get the word out about upcoming events, and our agenda."
Her advice was to train everyone, in the key messages (the value) of the University, and in the use of social media (by holding social media brown bags)--an inexpensive way to amplify 20,000 faculty and staff (and 60,000 students) who make up the U.
"Social media policy should be not only a list of what not to do, but "to do's" and "how to's." Facilitate interactions among employees. Empower them to reach out to their own networks in a way that positively represents your organization," she said.
Certainly food for thought as the U approaches another important legislative session, with tens of millions of dollars on the line.
One way to get involved is to join the U's Legislative Network, get informed, and get ready for action at the U's 2012 Legislative Briefing, coming Feb. 1.
Follow the U's new legislative network on its new Facebook page, and continue the conversation online.
In this economy, volunteers are highly desirable; therefore, we need to treat them well. It's taken me time to understand how to effectively communicate and treat volunteers in order to best manage them. Below are some tricks of the trade compiled from both my experiences and from the Donor Relations Guru Blog that I follow.
1. Have realistic expectations of your volunteers. Volunteers are donating their time; therefore, don't overload them with several projects or tasks.
2. Clearly define a volunteer's role. Manage their expectations along with your own. Define what the role's tasks are from the beginning and talk to the volunteer prior to your event to make sure they understand of what's being asked of them.
3. Appreciate your volunteers. I understand - we're all busy, but taking some time to write a personal note of appreciation and thanks to your volunteers goes a long way and helps to develop a relationship. Remember - a happy volunteer = a repeat volunteer.
To learn more volunteer tricks, go to www.donorrelationsguru.com/.
Have any volunteer horror stories or best practices (either your own volunteer experiences or managing volunteers)? If so, let us know.
Where: St. Paul Continuing Education and Conference Center
An official save the date will be emailed to all members during fall 2011.
Registration will open early 2012. RSVP on Facebook to view ongoing updates about the conference.
This program and all other Expert Insight events will be available by UMConnect.
Hope you all join us at Coffman Union on Thursday, May 12!
"How to avoid death by PowerPoint: Tips for giving better presentations"
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Networking and registration: 3 p.m.
Program: 3:30- 4:30 p.m.
3-180 Keller Hall
First Wednesday Happy Hour
Call it networking, socializing... whatever you wish. Just be there.
Campus Club Bar
Wednesday, March 2, 4:30 p.m.
The Forum will provide delicious Campus Club appetizers--you cover your drinks.
See you there!
So, why not beat the dark and join other Forum members for riveting repartee in a comfortable, well-lit establishment such as the U of M's own Campus Club?
The event is the Communicators Forum First Thursday Mixer and starts at 4:30 p.m. this Thursday. We are sure to bring the "fitness comfort" level up to at least 3!
See you there!
My thought in starting the column was to highlight the incredible variety (see title of post) of events happening every day at UMTC. I also wanted to engage readers, and so the column offers an open invitation to faculty and staff to contribute; so far, I've had a few takers, but I'd love to get more.
I've also established a few (flexible) guidelines to get the most out of the column, foremost of which is to have fun with the writing.
Events must be on the TC campus
Events should not have previously appeared in Brief.
Events should help to make the U more accessible to, and encourage connections among, faculty and staff.
Reviews of events that offer a link to more information from the event, such as a live recording or materials from the presentation, will be favored over those without more information.
Free events will be favored over pay events.
Events should have interesting and snappy descriptions, and be a little offbeat (according to the editor's admittedly subjective idea of offbeat). For example, the "27th annual..." anything will likely not be included.
Events should be sponsored by or directly involve faculty/staff and appeal to faculty/staff.
If you have a TC event you want to rave about, let me know.
After four years working for the Institute for New Media Studies research center in the U's School of Journalism, I have yet to meet someone who understands all the social media tools and is maximizing all the platforms and their potential.
Over the years I have looked to the Forum programs to expose me to the missing pieces.
The Forum's first program of the year, held in Duluth, did just that with guest speaker Marty Weintraub, the frenetic owner of AimClear. Weintraub, along with one of his bright, young staffers and blogger Manny Rivas for Search Engine Watch wowed attendees with their energy and command of social media and especially their work in search engine optimization (SEO).
My interest in attending this program was piqued when I read the words "reputation monitoring" in the promotion copy. Straight up, there was so much to cover in one hour that Weintraub didn't even touch upon this topic. However, I was not disappointed.
He opened the presentation with the apropos analogy comparing their agency's online marketing efforts to an ecosystem: Like nature, all social media is intertwined and interdependent, with Google as mother earth. Although Rivas was careful to remind us that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
Weintraub also delineated online marketing into two types: free (or organic) and paid. It sounds simple enough. But as he dove deeper into their practice and strategy for search engine ranking, driving traffic, creating content, engaging communities, and harvesting high quality inbound links, I knew he was way over my head.
I didn't expect to come away from the program as a social media scholar; however, I did pick up a few tidbits to share:
- Social media dovetails nicely with customer service
- There is stunning micro-demographic diversity in FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube to be mined
- Play with Facebook's amazing advertising reach-- add some off the wall likes and interests, or change your political or religious views, and watch what appears in that right hand column of ads on your page
- Don't rule out B2B marketing, there are tons of Facebook social segments in it
- Try Facebook advertising.
Finally, the best part of Forum programs is the networking. Afterwards, Weintraub and Rivas mingled with us during the reception. Weintraub may be a wiz at what he does, but he was very approachable and came across as just a regular Midwesterner.
Discover "The Meaning of 'Like': Social Media and the New World Order" at the CASE V Morning Mini-Conference Thursday, September 16.
Find out how blogging fits in with new social media. Discover how to measure activity and its impact. And, probe a case study on Facebook ads. Presenters:
- Mark Engebretson, Director of Electronic Communications at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health
- Amy Phenix, Director, Communications and Public Relations at Macalester College
- Paul Sorenson, Director of New Media and Brand Strategy at the Minnesota Medical Foundation.
8-8:30 a.m. Registration and continental breakfast
8:30-10 a.m. Panel presentation and Q&A
Events are in the Ski U Mah Room at the McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St. S., Minneapolis. Registration is only $30 for CASE V members and $35 for others.
Effective Outreach to Target Audiences
Friday, September 17, 2010
3 p.m. Program, Weber Music Hall:
Marty Weintraub, founder of aimClear, and Manny Rivas, aimClear SEO account manager, will explain the tools that build internet marketing success: pay per click, search engine optimization, online marketing, using social media, technical audits, reputation monitoring, and driving traffic. What works, what doesn't and why? Marty Weintraub is in demand as a speaker on this subject and we are grateful to UMCF member Cheryl Reitan of UMD for arranging this program. aimClear is an Internet-focused advertising agency with a national client base and is located in Duluth, Minnesota. It offers clients a full service array of state-of the-art services and best-in-class demographic research capabilities. Their practice centers around online marketing and their client list includes well known US publishers and household brands.
This program is co-sponsored by the UMCF, UMD Labovitz School of Business and Economics, UMD Communicators Counci,l and The American Advertising Federation.
4 p.m. Refreshments and networking with the Ad Fed, UMD communicators, and Labovitz School students
6 p.m. Drinks at Zeitgeist Arts Café
7 p.m. Dinner at Zeitgeist Arts Café
The Suites Hotel at Waterfront Plaza (Canal Park) is holding rooms at $85 (studio king suite, sleeps 2-4), $90 (studio double suite, sleeps 2-4), and $100 (one bedroom king suite, sleeps 2-6) for Friday, September 17. Reserve by phone and mention the UMD Communicators Forum. 325 Lake Ave South, Duluth 55802, 218-727-4663, www.thesuitesduluth.com. Booking deadline is August 17.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
9:45 a.m. Free tour of Glensheen Historic Mansion for UMCF members courtesy of UMD
Register online for the program. Book your accommodation directly with the hotel. We will contact registered members for dinner and Glensheen tour bookings. Carpooling is encouraged.
The entries for the Maroon & Gold Awards this year were inventive, innovative, and impressive. When the awards committee got done spreading them out, they were struck with how INCREDIBLE we are as a group of professional communicators. It was an amazing array of examples of how, in the face of budget cuts, layoffs, and the discouragement those realities have brought to us all in the past year, we have not only persevered, we have exceeded ourselves.
Congratulations! And the winners are...
CATEGORY: CAMPAIGN SERIES
Ampersand Campaign - Student Unions & Activities
- MAROON - INSTRUCTIONAL
Minnesota Medical Foundation Corridor Newsletters - Minnesota Medical Foundation
- MAROON - PROMOTIONAL
Game Day Party Promotional Materials - McNamara Alumni Center
Super Ball Drop on Facebook, Twitter... - Student Unions & Activities
- MAROON - WEBSITE
Office of Admissions Website Redesign - Office of Admissions
- MAROON - VIDEO/DVD
Big Question: Feast or Famine? - Institute On the Environment
Momentum Magazine Fall 09 - Institute On the Environment
- MAROON - MULTI SHEET
Make it Super! 2009 UMCF Conference - System Academic Administration
- MAROON - SINGLE SHEET
Personalized University Calendar - Printing Services
- MAROON - CARD
OIT Google Postcard - Office of Information Technology
- MAROON - POSTER
Stravinsky in Paris - School of Music
- MAROON - MAGAZINE
Medical Bulletin Spring 2009 - Minnesota Medical Foundation
Voracious Vegitation Article - Minnesota Sea Grant
- MAROON - INSTRUCTIONAL
Late Harvest Resources - CFANS Extension
- MAROON - SHORT FEATURE
Maxine Hong Kingston Article - National Center on Educational Outcomes
- MAROON - LONG FEATURE
Long-distance Learning - CFANS
- MAROON - PROMOTIONAL
TCF Bank Stadium Donor Thank you Brochure - University of Minnesota Foundation
- MAROON - SCRIPT
2009 Casey/Minnesota Awards Speech - School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Should I buy a hybrid car? - CFANS Extension
Renewable Energy Banner - CFANS Extension
Big Question: Feast or Famine? - Institute On the Environment
And for another little break, here are some links to sites that have NOTHING to do with work:
This is for anyone who loves fashion and how Michelle Obama has elevated it to height not seen in the White House since another Mrs. O who was then Mrs. K. (follow that?) A great site that I check in with about once a week or so.
A great video blog by Jay Smooth, host of the longest running hiphop radio program in New York, WBAI's Underground Railroad. Even if you don't like hiphop, this guy has a LOT to say and an incredibly self-effacing but sure-tongued way of saying it. Especially funny when you can watch his cat wandering around on the unmade bed behind him.
Because you never know when a Yiddish phrase might provide the perfect bon mot.
If you've ever struggled with weight loss, but especially if you haven't, read this blog. Great writing.
Dennis Cass is our keynote speaker.
Your claim to fame: Someday I will come to you and tell you that you must drop whatever it is you're doing because I have done something truly astounding. Today is not that day.
Favorite local outdoor activity: Walking the Lakes with my wife or playing at the "green park" with my son.
Favorite local indoor activity: Books, television, and video games are all viable options.
Favorite local hangout: Sea Salt in the summer time, CC Club in the winter.
Favorite local band: Not so much a band as a performance group but PowderKeg Live! makes me smile.
Briefly, what will attendees learn at your session? You will learn a variety of metacognitive strategies for overcoming creative block. But try not to worry about it too much.
Did you know the University of Minnesota's graphic design program has its own letterpress studio? You'll have a chance to visit it at this year's Communicators Forum conference on May 13. Associate Professor James Boyd Brent will be presenting a hands-on demonstration in the Session I Design Break Out.
Here's an interesting documentary about letterpress printing:
Tom Masterman will be presenting Dialogue Earth: Mining Social Media.
Claim to fame: Largest collection of never-worn Boston sports team championship tee shirts in Minnesota (thanks to his mother, who continually mails them to him)
Favorite local outdoor activity: Walking the charming streets of St. Paul. I love my neighborhood.
Favorite local indoor activity: Visiting the Cities' many unique local coffee shops
Favorite local hangout: Common Roots on Lyndale
Favorite local blog: MinnPost.com
What will attendees learn at your session? I'm going to show you some of the tools you can use to better understand how people are talking about your brand, and the topics related to your industry, in the social media.
- Dennis Cass :: @denniscass
- Julio Ojeda-Zapata :: @jojeda
- Kim Doberstein :: @kimdobie
- Elizabeth Giorgi :: @elizacomm
- Colin McFadden :: @cmcfadden
- Susan Tade :: @stade08
- Anthony Ticknor of The Nerdery :: @the_nerdery
- Tom Masterman :: @tommasterman
- Fred Haberman :: @fredhaberman
Here are a few links swirling around at the MinneWebCon conference today.
Keynote, Kristina Halvorson, CEO of Brain Traffic, gave a great talk about Web content. Here is the link to Brain Traffic's blog: http://blog.braintraffic.com.
Geek Girls: http://www.geekgirlsguide.com/
For the second keynote Wendy Chisolm spoke about accessibility: http://sp1ral.com/
Did any other Forum members go to MinneWebCon? If so, post any additional links you jotted down!