Moving this blog forward

Office and business

Which path to follow?

I have been thinking and re-thinking a lot about the purpose of this blog, the reason I have this blog and how I can push it forward to the next level. Then again, I also thought a lot what the next level could be.

To make a long story short, I have decided to widen the scope of this blog and use the categories (the menu’s) to create the distinction in the content.

At this moment I am a (functional) SharePoint consultant (and business owner) and am working on a very interesting and challenging SharePoint 2013 project. Besides working on and with SharePoint during my day activity, I am also very interested in other software, applications and gadgets.
Right now, I feel like writing only about SharePoint is not the real motivator for me.  Although most people might say that it is easy to write about your passion and what you do every day, but I consider this not an easy job. Maybe that is because I read a lot of qualitative blogs about SharePoint and they are written by people who have English as their mother tongue.
English is for me a second language. So I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the vocabulary that these people know, and my limited knowledge of the English vocabulary.  And since I consider myself a SharePoint professional I engage myself to feel 100% comfortable with the articles I post on SharePoint and that is one of the reasons why I procrastinate on writing these articles.
The relation between my current professional activity and the SharePoint content of this blog is important,  but for some reason I do not feel very comfortable with it.

What are you really saying?

Well, I’m not saying that I’m going to stop writing posts. My plan is to extend the scope of this blog and write more about topics that are not SharePoint. I will still write SharePoint articles but will also write more posts on other topics that interest me. Like software, Apps, gadgets, ….

The real reason

Well, I’m not sure if this is the real reason or not, but it is something that made me think. I have written an article about the comparison of some on-line backup and synchrinization services. This article is by far the most visited page on my blog. This made me think. Yes, I know, you should not write for the main purpose of getting a lot of hits and that you should see you blog in a bigger picture about providing content that matters, but still, it is something you look at.
So my plan is to write more on other topics (where I don’t feel the virtual pressure of being judged since these articles are job related) to enhance my writing skills so I can create better content, and thus also better SharePoint articles.
To enhance my SharePoint related writing skills I have started a website about SharePoint books where I can concentrate on a specific topic (books and authors).

For the people who read my blog specifically for the posts about SharePoint, I hope I don’t let you down with this decision.

When you want to provide some feedback about this , please feel free to leave a comment.

How to get SharePoint attention from IT and business

Go get SharePoint attentionSharePoint attention

Getting SharePoint attention can be a hard thin. This blog post is written after having an very interesting conversation with Mark Miller and Sarah Haasse. It covers a small and simple yet interesting way to promote your SharePoint solutions in your organization and get management attention.

With solution I don’t mean per definition your WSP files, but I mean a solution that enables the business to do their work on a better, more efficient way. The form it is deployed to your farm or site does not matter. It can be a wsp, but also customization in the graphical interface, a workflow, or just a simple list to track non-conformities.

How to get SharePoint attention from IT but also from the business

A good way to get SharePoint attention from management and from the business is to have testimonials.
Write down, in simple language what to business problem was, how it was solved and what the (tangible) business value is. The business value can be financial, but does not have to be. Saving time and reducing stress are also very important results that improve the Return On Investment (ROI) and increase the productivity of employees.

Depending on your corporate culture, the testimonial can have different formats. It can be a Word document, one or two PowerPoint slides, a wiki page…
Also make sure, these testimonials are visible on your Intranet or Information Center, that they can be accessed by everybody without having to click ten times.

Now, to get the SharePoint attention it doesn’t stop here. Just like user adoption, you need to actively promote these testimonials.

A first line of promotion is the IT chain. Probably IT pays your wage or invoice, so use your hierarchical line of command and don’t just stop at your line-manager. Make sure the IT management team also receives this information, either on a formal or an informal way.

The second promo-tour is the line of management of the business you helped. Ask your main stakeholder or business project owner to send the document or a link to that document if you uploaded it on the Intranet to their line of command. Make sure the business knows what you achieved and also prepare for new or extra requests.

So, don’t just stop with promoting it within IT, but also include business in it. And this is a great way to start or feed the Champions network and the SharePoint community in your organization.

Summary

  • Engage the business to write and/or assist them to write testimonials
  • Promote them within the IT line of management, but also on the Business one.
  • Prepare and get organized for new requests and possibly extra workload.

 

My SharePoint links from this week (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Belgian meetup at SharePoint conference 2012 #SPC12BE

In a few days a lot of us will fly to Las Vegas and take part in the SharePoint Conference 2012. Last year there was a Belgian meetup in Anaheim. This year, there will also be a Belgian meetup at the SharePoint Conference in Viva Las Vegas.

SPC12 Belgian flag

Informal chats, good company and a nice drink (or a few drinks). The perfect setup to get to know the other Belgian participants (better) and to start or strengthen relationships.

This is a non-sponsored event :-)

We will meet at the RED SQUARE bar after the sessions on Monday. (that’s at 17:00 local time)
If I remember correctly, when you leave the conference area, you will need to pass this bar wherever you want to go.
There is no end time, but possibly some of us will go out for dinner later, or to the Red Party or to play Blackjack for a while. No obligations :-)

PS. If the bar is to small for us or fully occupied, we’ll move this meetup to the Eyecandy Bar. But first check out the Red Square bar :-)

 

Top 3 best selling SharePoint 2010 books for End-users

Since is almost Christmas I decided to create a reading list to inspire people, and to have a quick overview of available reading material on SharePoint 2010 and related products. Be early this year and buy your Christmas gift (or for your partner, friend…) now! This is the first post of a TOP 3 series post and it is all about the best-selling SharePoint books for end-users and power users.

Best SharePoint book for End-User/Power user: Top  3

1. Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Plain & Simple: Learn the simplest ways to get things done with Microsoft SharePoint 2010

Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Plain & Simple end user This is a basic book about SharePoint. However, this is perfect to teach end users on what SharePoint can do and how to do some basic things. The pictures make it very friendly to read and the step-by-step is simple and to the point. If you are a SharePoint professional, you might be disappointed in this book, but everybody who needs/wants to learn more SharePoint will be happy with this book.
More details

2. How to Do Everything Microsoft SharePoint 2010

How to Do Everything Microsoft SharePoint 2010 best selling book “How to Do Everything Microsoft SharePoint 2010″ is written specifically for end users who want to get the most out of their companies SharePoint 2010 implementation. The book offers a concise overview of everything that SharePoint 2010 has to offer, which is useful to new SharePoint use. It is not the best ‘How To’ resource, but definitely a valuable addition to other SharePoint books.
More details 

 

 3. Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 Step by Step

Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 best selling book “Microsoft SharePoint Designer 2010 Step by Step” is a solid guide for SharePoint Designer. It is straightforward, clearly written and full of very useful information about workflow, reporting and SharePoint Designer. Recommended for anyone who wants to learn about SharePoint Designer 2010 and all functionality it provides.
More details 

 

Don’t spam your twitter followers


Some people tend to re-tweet a lot of tweets right after they came on-line on Twitter. While re-tweeting is not a bad thing, it might be disturbing when somebody I follow spams or floods my timeline with 5 or even more re-tweets, posted in the same minute. At least, I find it disturbing.

On the other hand, clicking RT is very easy, and scheduling all these RT’s can be a huge and time-consuming job. Buffer solves the pain of scheduling tweets

What does do?

If you buffer a tweet, a Facebook or LinkedIn update buffer will add this post in your buffer queue. You define the time schedule, and buffer adds it in the next available slot. And when the time has come, buffer will post on the selected social media network.

Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find. Fill up your buffer at one time in the day and buffer automagically posts them for you through the day. Simply keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media presence all day round, all week long.

Integration in other software

Buffer is integrated in a lot of other software. Just to give an overview I will list some applications where you can buffer your tweets:

  • Pocket (formerly ReadItLater)
  • Reeder
  • Chrome , Safari, Firefox
  • IFTT
  • Instapaper
  • Twitter
  • Google reader
  • Shareaholic

And many more. For a complete overview, you can visit http://bufferapp.com/extras You can also email to a special buffer email address

Analytics

Buffer also give you analytics about your posts. For a tweet, you’ll get the number of re-tweets, mentions, clicks, potential readers and favorites. So you can see which posts are most successful.

Price

Buffer is free of charge for 4 social media profiles (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and App.net) and 10 buffers in each account. Create your Buffer account, for free.

If you need more than 10 updates, or 2 team members to post or up to 12 social media profiles, you can go Awesome for $10 a month or $8.50 per month paid as $102 a year.