Following Adrian and Erica’s previous blog posts was intimidating. They’ve both done such a wonderful job in pointing out important elements of the ODTUG community. What can I offer newbies that is both helpful and new? For this post, I thought I’d take you all on a tour of the ODTUG website! :)
The ODTUG website is in a constant state of evolution. It’s full of wonderful information (most of which is available to free memberships), and it changes based on need. Technical information, blog posts, articles, tweets, and advertisements get published here, keeping the site fresh and up-to-date.
Across the top bar, you’ll first notice menus that each have their own purpose.
The Home menu will take you to the homepage, shown above. The banner advertises the latest events. And the page body points you to a series of recent blog posts.
The About menu opens up a mountain of goodies.
Here, you can find out more about ODTUG, join the community via a free or paid membership, meet the current board members, sign up to volunteer, learn more about the Leadership Program, see a list of past Kscope award winners, buy official ODTUG gear, etc.
If you’d like to join ODTUG, you can create a free Associate Membership that will allow you access to many elements of the website. You can also sign up for an Individual or Corporate (paid) Membership. One of the cool things about the Individual Membership is that the $99 annual fee will get you $150 off the Kscope registration price. Seems like a no-brainer to me. :)
Note: If you’re curious about the differences between paid and free memberships, please read Adrian’s blog post here. You’ll also see some called-out areas in the remainder of this blog post.
If you’re like me and love social media and want to stay connected to the community, navigate to the Social Media menu option. Here you'll find links to each of ODTUG’s social media avenues.
The next menu is the Communities menu. Official communities include:
If you’re not sure which community you should join, click on the first link. You’ll see a list of all communities as well as a link to a volunteer form, in case you’d like to get more involved with a specific community.
There have been some recent changes in this area of the ODTUG site since Kscope14, and for very good reason. ODTUG is now formally recognizing each of its technology centers (I’m personally very excited to see growth here). Each community has its own ODTUG board leader, volunteers to run initiatives, and budget. You will see a lot more traction in this area during this first year. :)
Note: In case there is any confusion, you do not formally join a community at ODTUG. You can follow the community of your choice by subscribing to its RSS feed. You can also nominate your blog and Twitter account for your chosen community.
You can navigate to each community’s website for more helpful information on goals and events, to see helpful videos, and even to find out how to get involved! Below is the welcome page for the BI community.
The Events link will take you to a menu of tantalizing options for fun get-togethers. These events might be in-person or online.
One of the cool items within this menu is the link to Webinars. Here you can send in a suggestion for an ODTUG webinar and view full-length past webinars (with a paid membership).
The Tech Resources menu is perhaps one of the most popular areas of the ODTUG website. Here you will find a multitude of technical resources that can help you. In addition, if you’re a paid member you’ll have special access to a couple of extra links.
Free Membership Tech Resources Menu
Paid Membership Tech Resources Menu
In the Tech Resources link, you can select a community and see numerous related files/recordings. For instance, you can download all of the Kscope14 presentations for the community’s specific track.
In the ODTUG Technical Journal section, you’ll find a host of interesting items, including articles from current ODTUG members, volunteer spotlights, book reviews, etc. You can also submit your own article. This menu is one where it pays to have a paid ODTUG membership. Most of the items are not fully accessible otherwise.
Need help finding something? With a paid membership, you can access the Technical Search menu. It’s pretty cool - take a look!
Looking for a job? Then the ODTUG Job Board is for you. With a paid membership, you can see jobs by community.
Have a Twitter account? If you’d like to see the full listing of hashtags used by ODTUG, you can find them in the #Hashtag area. One of the most underused hashtags is #OrclHelp. Use this hashtag combined with your community hashtag to seek assistance with a problem you might be experiencing.
And finally, we come to the last menu, Contact Us. Here you’ll find two links to help you connect with the ODTUG team.
You can see the great folks at YCC here. The YCC team makes up the core of the ODTUG world, and they help the ODTUG community plan for each Kscope conference, as well as keep the lights running behind the website and social media channels. You can also send an inquiry to the team.
In addition, one cool section within this menu is the Marketing Opportunities area. Here you can see a variety of stats about the ODTUG community - website traffic measurements and opportunities to get your company’s name out in the community.
Hopefully you’ve learned something new about the ODTUG website. I hope to meet you personally at one of ODTUG’s fun events! :)