SharePoint, Hillbillies, and Community

Christian Buckley

Christian is a 7-time Office Servers and Services MVP, internationally-recognized technology evangelist and collaboration expert, and the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • One of these days I’m going to visit the SharePoint community. I couldn’t find it on google maps though. Should I try bing?

  • Very good response to the series of blog posts discussing the state of the SharePoint community. It was good that you linked back to the previous articles written by Barb Mosher and Mark Rackley so that the casual reader can follow the conversation.
    I agree with your 4 points and would like to add that most speakers go through a community discovery phase, then a constant travel phase to various events around the country, then return to enhancing their local communities while picking and choosing which events they’d like to travel to and support.

  • Mike, visiting hours are 11am to 3:30pm. Please take off your shoes.

  • Shadeed, you just gave me a great idea! I am going to reach out to Sadie about adding this to the SPMM discussion…

  • One of the challenges for some newcomers is gaining a voice in the community. I have been a part of the community for several years contributing via my blog and conversations with other SharePeeps. With that stated, I tend to lurk a lot more these days — unless I’m posting Marc Anderson’s [@sympmarc] blog posts before he does.
    I have co-workers who are incredibly gifted with the use of SharePoint having a difficult time gaining a voice within the community — but I think some of the old vets out there are doing a great job helping to promote some of these new voices (i.e. Mark Miller [@eusp]) and the new talent that has been seen at SharePoint Saturdays around the world. As vets, we should do out best to find the new talent and promote their ideas — point them to Nothing But SharePoint, help them promote their blog, validate their ideas, etc.
    However, the “noise” factor that Mark Rackley points out is very real — the #SharePoint hashtag has been hijacked by recruiters making it virtually useless. We have bloggers that are reposting blog posts as their own. There are some looking for free solutions and demanding community veterans to do free work. These are some of the things producing the noise and I really don’t know what we can do to squelch it.

  • I like your comment, “Your old stuff is somebody’s new stuff.” I’ll try to take it to heart, because sometimes, as a speaker, I’m not as enthusiastic as I used to be about the old stuff.
    @Mike Look for the SharePoint Community on bing at Disneyland in October 🙂

  • Super great article, Christian. For every moment I think the community is “full”, I have ten when I speak to a new crowd, find a new city, a new user, someone just joining the community. A year ago, I thought my local group might be at its apex, and the extremely huge turnout at the last BASPUG is a testament not just to Geoff Varosky, Talbott Crowell, Eugene Rosenfled and Ryan Tacy, but to the Boston area. Get the same feeling everywhere I go. Yes, some folks take a break, but the challenges, and new opportunities just keep coming!

  • I’ve enjoyed following the thread. Starting with Barb’s article brought back early memories. I remember my first session in Barcelona with a young wipper snapper MCS Consultant from NZ named Chris Johnson.
    Yep, I’m becoming an old man, but I believe Chris and Christian are right that it’s the next generation of energy that will continue to build this wave. I’m a SharePoint surfer and I’ll continue riding this wave, but I’ll catch a few less than I was previously.
    I’m definitely one of those guys that Shadeed points out that picks events they’d like to travel to and support. My favorite is hitting new communities. Looking forward to speaking in Minsk Belarus, Bled, Slovenia, Berlin, Germany, Chile, Argentina and Uraguay. There’s still a whole lot of the world to explore!
    PS. So glad to see Mike didn’t fall off the edge of the earth. IN Fact I see he’s speaking tonight at PSPUG. See we don’t completely burn people out. They can’t LEAVE! (Not a hint or reverse psychology.)

  • I get that there is a lot of noise out there in the channel, but I advise people to ignore the noise and just keep creating the content. Over time, the good content and experts float to the top, and as people start to dig, their filters (whether the tools they use or how they personally consume data) improve.
    As for gaining as voice, I find that most people just don’t know where to start, and how to get involved. That’s one of the reaons why I published an ebook on the topic (no registration required):

  • Tom, I think its good practice to recirculate old (good) content from time to time, introducing it to newbies. You have to be creative about how you do it, but one way is to deliver the same old content to new channels. Re-post!