Refresh April: HTML5 and the Wonder of Web Standards

Before we get on to April’s Refresh, I want to send a huge “thank you” to Brad Taylor of Rails Machine for giving an updated version of his Geek Metamorphosis talk. It was awesome, and the conversation afterwards was great. Thanks to everyone who came and participated!

Brad also suggested the topic for April’s Refresh, which was quickly second and thirded. I’ll be presenting something I’m currently calling HTML5 and the Wonder of Web Standards. We’ll go over the major new features of HTML5 and a brief history of the HTML Working Group (including the WhatWG), what you can use today, how to get IE to play nice with it, and what we can expect in the next year or so.

April’s Refresh will be April 20th at 7PM. Right now, I think we’ll have it at our office again. There’s one more downtown option for a venue I want to look into, but you’ve got plenty of time to coordinate your attendance strategy.

Oh, and Dave Malouf’s set up a Google Moderator to help gather and vote on ideas for how to bring Google fiber to Savannah. Go vote and add an idea or two!

Refresh March: Brad Taylor’s Geek Metamorphosis

Brad Taylor from Rails Machine is going to speak at March’s Refresh (3/16 @ 7PM)! This is great news for everyone, because Brad’s about as smart as they come. He’s going to share the talk he gave at last year’s Geekend, which was awesome. If you missed it, you should come check it out. If you didn’t, you should come anyway since I’m sure Brad will have some new stuff to say and the discussion will be interesting as usual. Here’s Brad’s description:

Being a geek is only half the story. Although our passion and intensity drives our work and interests, we can often be uncomfortable in environments that may come more naturally to non-geeks. This talks explores how to push beyond your comfort zone by exploring new skills and hobbies.

I think we’ll have March’s Refresh at the Music Intelligence office, just to spice things up. We’re at 208 E Broughton St right downtown. Be there at 7PM on 3/16 for some good geeky camaraderie!

February’s Refresh: Jim Goodlett on Key Performance Indicators

Update: Since we have 3 votes for the SEDA board room, 4 votes for MIS and one vote against MIS, we’re going to stick with the SEDA board room this month. So… I hope to see all of you there on 2/16 @ 7PM! If you’ve never been to the SEDA building before, they have directions on their site. I hope to see you all there!

February is coming up, so it’s time to get the word out about February’s Refresh Savannah!! Since last month’s meeting had to be canceled, we’re trying the same topic again… Jim Goodlettâs going to speak about KPI (key performance indicators) and all their power. This should be a really interesting talk and hopefully inspire some folks to consider striking out on their own.

I’ve been thinking about Refresh and where it should go. I’ve heard from several people that driving across the bridge to the SEDA building could be dampening attendance, so here’s a poll. Please fill it out and I’ll figure out where we’re going to hold February’s Refresh. It’ll either be at the SEDA building as usual, or we’ll have it at the Music Intelligence office. It’s a smaller space, but we’re right downtown and there’s ice cream downstairs. It honestly doesn’t matter to me. I want Refresh to work for the people who want to attend, without being a giant time suck for me. So, let me know your preference. Either way, we’ll be meeting at 7:00PM on February 16th! I’ll update this post with the location later.

Refresh Savannah for August: An Introduction to Ruby on Rails

Since Ron asked so nicely, I’m going to do an introduction to Ruby on Rails for August’s Refresh. The presentation tries not to assume anything about the audience, so it should be suitable for just about any level of experience with programming languages or frameworks (meaning – you don’t have to know anything about programming to get something out of it). Most of the presentation is a live coding demo, which is always a lot of fun (it’s like magic).

If you’re planning on coming, please RSVP again.


  • When: August 18 @ 7PM
  • Where: SEDA Board Room (directions to the SEDA building below)
  • What: An Introduction to Ruby on Rails… redundant, I know

Directions to the SEDA Building, again courtesy of Fitz.

  1. After crossing the Talmadge Bridge, exit at Hutchinson Island/Convention Center.
  2. Stay in the right lane but veer left at fork onto Wayne Shackelford Blvd.
  3. Make first right turn on Hugh Tracy Blvd.
  4. Continue straight and turn left into SEDA Building parking lot.

I hope to see you there!

Oh and one more thing – how many refreshers are on twitter? I am, and I know Dale, Leigh and a few others are. Are you? Post a comment with a link to your twitter accout and I’ll start a list in the blogroll.

July’s Presentation Has a Name!

Remember, this Tuesday (7/21) at 7PM, in the SEDA Board Room, we’re having our July meeting! I just got an e-mail from Janna and the title of this month’s presentation is: You don’t have to be called DESIGNER to think & act like one!!

See the previous post for all the gory details, and I hope to see you there!

Update: And here are the slides from July’s meeting. Thanks to Susan and Janna for presenting!!

Now Find This! Search Engine Optimization

Phil Peterman was kind enough to volunteer to present and host the next Refresh meeting!! He’s going to present on Search Engine Optimization and he’s assured me that it will all be kosher, web-friendly, white hat stuff (that works and won’t get you banished to the hinterlands by Google – or ‘the goog’ as we like the call them).

We’re moving to the banquet room at Lady & Sons this time, as we just about ran out of chairs in our tiny conference room. Phil says it can hold 150 people, but it would still be nice if you RSVPed on Upcoming or here in the comments.

And here are the details:
  • When: 6/16 @ 7PM
  • Where: Lady & Sons
  • Topic: Search Engine Optimization
Hope you can make it!

Refresh Savannah… What’s This?

Hi there.  My name is Kevin Lawver and I’m fairly new to Savannah.  I’ve lived on the web for almost fifteen years now and been building web sites and applications for over a decade.  I love the web.

So, what’s this Refresh thing all about?  Refresh is about sharing knowledge – about all aspects of working on the web.  I’m a developer, so I’m most interested in web development, but Refresh can be about anything.

The basic premise is: people get together once a month, someone volunteers (preferably before we all get together) to present on something they’re passionate about for anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour and then everyone goes out and gets food and/or beverages.  It’s more than just a networking event.  The goal is to grow the skills and knowledge of everyone in the community so we can all build better stuff, get to know each other and make Savannah a cooler place to work on the web.

There are Refresh groups all over the world, and I’d love it if we could get one going in Savannah.  Since I’m fairly new here, I’m not sure what the good venues are or how to get the word out.  I’m thinking we should have our first meeting at the end of May, and I’ll gladly volunteer to give the presentation… probably on The Social Networking Food Chain (I still need to write it, but I can raid some of my other presentations).

I’ll be creating an event on Upcoming in the very near future.  If you have ideas on a venue (preferably downtown near food and/or beverage facilities and with a projector and internet access), please post a comment or e-mail me (kevin at!