Browsing articles in "Social Networking"

Join #TEAMDATA #PiDay5k Virtual Run/Walk/Crawl

Jan 24, 2016   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, DLBlog, Fun, Social Networking  //  No Comments


NOTE: There’s a 10% savings if you do early registration by 27 January 2016.  CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW TO REGISTER.

Due to event rules, you must have a Canadian or US address to go for the medal/swag option, but if you live elsewhere, you can register under the “no swag” option.  So anyone can join us.

We are repeating our efforts to be math-y runners by creating a team for #PiDay5k.  Join us for a virtual run/walk/crawl.  There’s great swag (Medal, t-shirt, stuff) and a chance to be part of a nerdy effort to move on Pi/Pie Day, 14 March 2016.

This isn’t competitive, much (there are some great prizes for special categories). You can cover your 5k distance how ever you want, at the pace you want…you can even spread it over several days. You can complete it on a treadmill or at your gym.  Last year this fell just before a race, so Josh Fennessy (@joshuafennessy | blog ) and I walked a 5k.  Then we ran a half marathon a few days later. 


This year you can register for a 5k or a 10k, plus you can choose to register with a no-swag option.  Just click on the button below to get signed up for the distance and package you want.


As a virtual race, you register before hand, they ship you the goods (including a race bib) and you complete your distance, then share that you completed it. It’s all on the honour system.  We on #TEAMDATA (that’s you!) think the honour system is a good thing.

There’s even a kids option!


BTW, ladies, like all promotional shirt things, I recommend you size up two sizes if you want a shirt you can actually wear. Men, you likely want to size up, too.

I’ll update the #TEAMDATA roster here as we get signups.  Join us in all the #nerdshirt glory of Pie, Pi and a 5k

Have questions? There’s a FAQ for that.


Registered Awesome Data Professionals:

@datachick Karen Lopez

@projmgr Rob Drysdale

Barbie Buckner, CA

Tom Bilcze, OH

Corine Jansonius , AB

Kim Medlin, NC

The Discussion Groups are Closing

Frequent postersI’ve been posting about this for the last few years and I’ve finally carved out some time during my staycation to decommission our discussion group servers.  This is long overdue, I know.  But like any caring ListMistress, it’s been hard to say “it’s time”. It’s about 5 years past time, actually.

I know that some of you have expressed an interested in having me just continue to host these with no updates.  But the technology the WebBoard software runs on is too old and out of support to do so.  While there have been several physical servers over the years (starting with just mailing list software running on a PC in my basement), the vendor of the most recent software has been out of business for more than seven years.  The software was running last on Windows 2003 and SQL Server 2000.  And while I could likely install the software on an updated server, the installation process for this application requires a call home to a mothership that has long left the universe. So that’s not an option.  There are also other considerations in that the original vendor took no steps to make the software very security-mindful and that has always bothered me.

The server (and database) I’m decommissioning today was put into production in 1998.  Clinton was having a bad year, the International Space Station was just being built and InfoAdvisors had been incorporated for about a year.

Looking Back

I wish I had time to sort through some of our posts to see what the most fun, debatable or encouraging ones were.  But what I do remember is that we built a community of data professionals who worked to make sure that everyone else working in the data field had the right resources to be successful.  I will keep my database backup around and might spend some time rooting through it to find some gems.  If you have some memories you’d like to share, please do so in the comments below.

we built a community of data professionals who worked to make sure that everyone else working in the data field had the right resources to be successful.

Many of you were just lurkers, reading the content, occasionally asking for help (printing with ERwin, getting macros to work in ER/Studio, figuring out what the heck a conceptual model is, etc.)  But some of you did wonderful things by answering so many posts and providing user-to-user support to help others get stuff done (image shows some of our most frequent posters).  And some of you came for the debate. You know who you are.


I thought I’d share some stats with you about our community. Not all of these were data boards, but since our non-data ones were trivial, I’m not going to bother filtering out. While we’ve archived a great deal of content over the decades. And, again, this is data active on the server right now, not over the entire life of our communities.

Registered Users:  10,175

Boards: 15

Forums: 126

Messages: 326,013

Attachments: 2,086


These also were adjusted over the years, but we hosted communities for:

Casewise Corporate Modeler

Data Modeling (various boards)




IT Methods

Other Data Modeling Tools (various boards)

Platinum Repository


Rational/InfoSphere Data Architect


Visible Analyst

Zachman Framework


Unlike almost all other online communities, we actively moderated every post to our boards.  That means that a human being read every post to ensure it was on topic and not spam.  We could have not have done that without the help of our volunteer moderators:

Rick Davis

Rob Drysdale

Scot Fearnside

Garry Gramm

Jeremy Janzen

Carol Lehn

Ray McGlew

Fran Palmeri

Karel Vetrovsky

Many of us are still active on other boards and social media.  You should reach out to them and say thanks.  They made this all happen.

What’s Next?

I looked at web-based discussion software for my blog.  I may still install some, but they all miss the feature that I really want – Email and web-based discussions, all integrated.  The other issue is that there are now so many places on the web with data-focused discussions that I’m not sure standing up another one will add much value.

Here are some of the places you can go to get some data modeling community vibes:

There are also the usual internet locations of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.  But most of these are, let’s be candid, full of spam.  I can’t really recommend any single source there.

I’m also still the moderator of dm-discuss on Yahoo Groups.  I suggest you join that group if you are looking for vendor-independent discussions about data management and modeling.

Thank you!

I ran the infrastructure for these online communities, but you, readers and sometimes posters, delivered the content, which was the most important part. I’m hanging up my ListMistress tiara and using my Twitter to influence IT professionals to love their data now.   I encourage you to find some non-data oriented communities and start influencing them to think about data, too.  Then join some of the data ones and start helping each other, too. 

I’m still here, still loving data.  It’s just the server that is moving to a farm where it can play with other servers.  I hope to see you in one these other communities.

So Long, and Thanks for All the Data

ListMistress (ret.)

#SQLPASS #SUMMIT14 #MVPSUMMIT Checklist–50 Things Not to Leave Behind



shared some of these on Twitter, but I decided to pull them all together in one place.  There’s be a lot of tips shared prior to these events, but I think these haven’t been covered nearly enough.

  1. Laptop Power cord
  2. Spare batteries
  3. USB charger ends
  4. VGA adapter/dongle
  5. Presentation clicker
  6. Presentation on thumb drive
  7.  Compassion for those with difficulties
  8.  Bravery to meet people in person
  9.  Spirit to lift others up
  10.  Daring to try something new
  11.  Firmness to speak up
  12.  Care for not insulting others
  13.  Humility to ask real questions
  14.  Talent to discourage Strutters
  15.  Expertise to think of audience, not self
  16.  Restraint not to sell from the podium
  17.  Civility to be nice to everyone, not just the celebs
  18.  Class not to spam the crowd
  19.  Excellence to understand that not everyone speaks English well.
  20.  Integrity to disclose your biases and affiliations
  21.  Professionalism not to cuss
  22.  Readiness to help others
  23.  Genuineness to show your real self
  24.  Trust that others want you to succeed
  25.  Diligence to keep your promises
  26.  Concern for others who have less experience than you
  27.  Coolness to get through tough discussions
  28.  Kindness for others
  29.  Goofiness to have fun
  30.  Self-discipline to take care of your body
  31.  Prudence to take care of your mind
  32.  Sincerity to admit your mistakes
  33.  Preparedness for your presentation.
  34.  Openness to constructive feedback
  35.  Honesty to admit “I do not know”
  36.  Expertise to answer questions
  37.  Mindfulness to know when you are not helping
  38.  Charity for others who disagree with you
  39.  Expertise to know when to not try to answer questions
  40.  Empathy for others
  41.  Respect for self
  42.  Wisdom to know that you can’t have self respect without empathy for others
  43.  Forethought to pack well
  44.  Vigilance to call out bullying and disrespect
  45.  Courage to meet others who are different than you
  46.  Strength to deal
  47.  Moderation to get to tomorrow
  48.  Stamina for long days
  49.  Thankfulness for volunteers and staff
  50.  Joy for cheering on others

What did I forget on this list?

Data Management Career Success…in Turbulent Times

Slides from my frequent DAMA and Enterprise Data World presentation on data management career success.

#CERNTweetup: A Visit to CERN

Sep 26, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun, Social Networking  //  No Comments


Starting today I will be visiting CERN, the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire with 11 other STEM social media advocates. What is CERN? It’s the location of the Large Hadron Collider and the birthplace of the World Wide Web. From the CERN Website:

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. They use the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments to study the basic constituents of matter – the fundamental particles. The particles are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives the physicists clues about how the particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature.

I will be sharing facts, images and videos via this blog and other social media.

I will be tweeting about this event a lot using the hashtag #CERNTweetup. If you aren’t interested in this sharing, you can use the filtering mechanism of your Twitter client to avoid those tweets.

…or your can use the search feature of your client to follow the tweets of all the invitees. Isn’t metadata great that way?

Slides from Karen’s #EDW13 Get Started Blogging Session

May 1, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Events, Fun, Social Networking, Speaking  //  No Comments


I was really happy to see such a great turnout for today’s session on how to get started blogging at Enterprise Data World (#EDW13).  I wasn’t just happy to have a full room, but that I got so many great, insightful questions and comments.

My Get Blogging slides are available for download now.

Some of the resources I mentioned during the talk:

  • This is my blogging platform of choice.  You can set up a blog in 10 seconds, for free. 
  • Same platform, but if you want to host it someplace yourself.  You can also find a third party host and they typically will have this ready to install from their catalog of approved applications.  It’s free.
  • Windows Live Writer  This is what I use to compose most of my blog posts
  • Home of Camtasia (video editor of my choice) and SnagIt (my screen capture tool).  You want these.
  • Go To page for all things ERwin, including their blogs (under the community page)
  • Where to find ER/Studio blogs
  • Home of numerous blogs and articles

Remember, if you start blogging, I want to hear about it so that I can share, comment, and help you promote your writing.

Get Blogging!

Friday Fun Contest: How Many TLAs Can You Fit In a Sentence?

Oct 19, 2012   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Fun, Snark, Social Networking, Space  //  10 Comments

TLAs are hard to understand.  It's OK.

It’s Friday again (we should have more of these) and I’m in the mood for a contest.  I have some mystery prizes, more than just swag, to give away.  But I’m not saying what it is until the contest is over. Let’s just say it will have data stuff, space stuff, and for certain one of those secret Canadian keychain bottler openers.  The value of the prize will be approximately $100… CANADIAN!!!!…which I think now is close to $100 million dollars USD.

How Many TLAs can you fit in a sentence?

Your challenge is to make a  grammatically-correct sentence that is dominated with TLAs.  What’s a TLA?  Why it’s a Three Letter Acronym, of course. But we’re going to be flexible.  You can use acronyms or initialisms and you aren’t limited to three letter ones.  You can also tack on verb endings and such. So things like RBARing, LOSed and SSDTed are fine.  We’ll have a group of prestigious fun judges to evaluate your submissions based on these guidelines:

  • Length of sentence
  • Length of TLAs
  • Higher ratio of TLAs to “real” words – in fact, I want to see very few real words
  • Higher weight given to non-product TLAs
  • Originality is a real plus
  • Higher weight given to a good mix of TLA “domains”.  If you can work in textspeak, space, tech, music, literature, arts and crafts, cycling and knitting, then you’re golden.
  • The more snark the better.

Your TLAs should be commonly known or easily to lookup.   If we can’t figure out what it means, you’ll lose points.


I REd a CRM DB to get the DDL for the CASE tool, FTW.



OK, my C4ISTAR PM FUBBARed* my PLoA due to a SNAFU* with a SME's PEBCAK bug.





The Rules

Entries accepted from locations where these sorts of contests are legal.  Check with local authorities.  If you are unable to accept the prize for a corporate or government restriction, just let us know.  We’d still love to honour your work.  Canadian residents must solve a particularly silly mathematical question.  Study up on square roots and factorials. But they won’t be in the question.

Decisions of the judges are final.

You must be 13 years of age or older to enter.

You agree to let us publish your entries, but you get to keep ownership of them.  We are nice like that.

Your sentence must be an original creation, by you.

No explicit, illegal or shameful content.  Yes, I know some of you are disappointed.

Contest closes on 29 October 2012, 2 November 2012 at midnight my time, wherever I am at that time.

* UPDATE * I’ve just received some new swag from vendors, so I’m extending the deadline for this contest.  We will now have 3 prizes to give away. *

Taxes, customs, duties and any other silly mandated stuff that makes it less fun to win are the responsibility of the recipient.

*The TLA example above has alternate, family-friendly definitions.  I looked them up. Trust me.

How to Enter

Leave your entry here as a comment.   Yes, you can enter more than once…let’s say no more than 4 entries per person.  Yes, you’ll have to use a method to post that allows us to contact you to arrange for the major award.  You can submit anonymously, but no prize for you.

The Judges

Denny Cherry (@mrdenny | blog ) Unofficial SQL PASS Party Planner and Trouble Maker

Joey D’Antoni (@jdanton | blog ) Biker, but not that kind, who architects on the side

Marco Frissen (@mfrissen | blog ) Opinionated space and tech geek. Token foreigner on this panel

Thomas LaRock (@sqlrockstar |blog ) DBA, Happymaker, and bacon lover

Shannon Moore (@ageekmom | blog )  SpaceTweep Wrangler and cyclist extraordinaire

Karen Lopez (@datachick) Loves Space and Data.  Almost the same. But Space Data is best. Another foreigner, sort of.


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