This week, I invited designers and developers in my Media and Entertainment accounts and creative agencies that work with them to a workshop in Los Angeles where they learned about Expression Blend and Silverlight.  It was a great mix of designers and developers and we had some real lively discussions.  I tried to make workshop that both inspired and educated the audience and I think that worked but I also realized that Expression Blend has a bit of a learning curve; once you learn it, you can do great things with it but getting up to speed can be challenging.  Here's how I personally learned Expression Blend and Silverlight:

  1. I created demonstrations that combined what I already knew and cared about with what I wanted to learn: Silverlight Ribbon and Silverlight Map: Office 2007 Fluent Ribbon in Silverlight
    A MindManager Map in Silverlight
  2. I watched all of the video tutorials on Expression Blend on the Microsoft Website.
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  3. I looked at tutorials, demos, and sample code posted on Silverlight.net.
  4. Most importantly, I met with customers and partners to hear what they wanted to do.  For me, customers and partners and sometimes competitors give me my greatest inspiration and challenges - and that leads to the synergies that I uncover.

I'll be posting some video shortly of some of the participants in the workshop.