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The SharePoint Hillbilly Fewer Big Words... More Pretty Pictures...

So, lots of tweets going on today about an article over at CMS Wire : The SharePoint Community: What it is, Why It's Important and Microsoft's Role. Now, aside from the fact that the CMS web site is a php web site, this article got me thinking…

It’s well written and authoritative, with comments from the experts, and is spot on… but couldn’t it basically have been written verbatim two years ago? And if it could have been written two years ago, how has the SharePoint Community changed in those two years? And are those changes for the best? Like I said.. It got me thinking.

You may be thinking “Why the heck (yes I said ‘heck’) should we give a darn what you think! You redneck!” First of all, no need to get personal.. okay? Second of all I am a Child of the SharePoint Community. I struggled and hated SharePoint for a long time before finding the community around 3 years ago. I started tweeting, blogging, speaking, and drinking that SharePoint Kool-aid with a Community chaser. There is no way I would know half of what I know were it not for these amazing people. In fact, I’ve been espousing the importance of said community since discovering it… and correct me if I’m wrong, but this was also when the community was fairly new? Some of the best friends I’ve ever had have come directly from this Community.. Lifelong friends… almost like family… brothers from another mother… sisters that I feel the need to protect like a big brother… even a couple of crazy aunts and uncles that no one likes to talk about… I am indebted to the community.. and I love you guys…

So, why do you think the community is past its prime?

Okay.. maybe “Past Its Prime” is not entirely what I believe, it just made a good blog title, but I do think the “Good ‘ol Days” may be behind us. The community has been rapidly growing for a few years and I’m afraid it’s reaching a size and maturity level that may NOT be beneficial, and BECAUSE I care about you guys I wanted to say something and hopefully step on as few toes as possible. This blog post is NOT about stirring the pot (although we know I enjoy a good stir), it’s about bringing attention to some red flags I see and trying to figure out how we can fix some things before they get broken. I want the community around for a long time… maybe we can even start some sort of pension plan seeing as how I have no hope of getting Social Security some day.

What are these red flags you speak of?

So, back before I was a SharePoint Junkie, I had attended a .NET event or two, nothing to immersive though, mostly user group meetings. Do you know what I found? It seemed there was always that “one” guy in the crowd that wanted to play “Stump the Chump” and try to look smarter than the speaker. It never failed, and I hated that. These people were trying to help and here’s some moron in the back trying to make sure everyone knows how smart HE is… When I found the SharePoint community there was NONE of that, in fact is was VERY common for some guru to sit in on sessions and root for the speakers and help them along the way. They weren’t trying to make themselves look smart, they were trying to help other people learn. That’s awesome, and one of the things that encouraged me to get started because I knew there would be some support there…. and that’s how it was… for a while at least. I have recently seen a growing trend of that “one” guy popping up in sessions. The one who knows more than the speaker and has to make sure everyone knows he knows more. The guy asking the leading question to try and trick the speaker. The guy who tells the speaker “Well… a better way that *I* use is this”.  ugh… really? Are you so wrapped up in yourself and so threatened that someone is doing the same thing as you that you have to try and belittle them? I’ve had this happen to me a couple of times and have heard it from other speakers as well. I understand, it’s part of the community growing and bringing in more people. You are going to get some riff raff… ahhh.. but it wasn’t like that in the “Good ‘ol days”.

Egos

So yeah, as SharePoint matures and the technology matures the egos are starting to grow.. I’m sure I’m not immune to it and please feel free to slap me silly if I ever come off as “better than thou”. It just feels that there is less room and comfort for new people to be able to step in like I was able to. You have to play the political game with some people and you get to the point where you have to think about how everything you do might offend SOME person. At one point, SharePoint Saturdays were a proving ground for new and upcoming speakers, it has morphed into all-star lineups that have rock stars offended if they are not chosen to speak. I totally understand this and would have my ego bruised as well, but those of us who have proven that we can keep a crowd halfway entertained and educated get the honor of speaking at major conferences, it’s okay to let someone else have a turn. right?

I almost didn’t write this blog because it may not be seen as PC… but I think it’s too important to NOT say something. So, if your ego gets bruised and you want be mad at me.. fine.. be that way. I’m sure there’s a .NET user group you can go belittle as well. I’ve seen the community change people and not for the better. Is there any way at all to avoid this? Probably not! It makes sense that in the progression and maturity of a group like this that it would happen. I just wish it didn’t have to. Remember where you came from and who helped you get there. Any success I have in SharePoint is due to the community (and my massively huge brain of course)…

Conference Burn Out

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good conference (Even a THREE DAY SharePoint Saturday?) but at some point burn out is going to set in. Sponsors are going to stop sponsoring as they reach a market saturation and I know many sponsors are trying to sponsor less. Plus there’s a new crop of “For Profit” conferences popping up with people trying to make a buck off the back of the community without being involved in the community. I think it’s all culminating into something that’s not going to end well, but I think we as a community DO have some power here. Have some self control when planning your SharePoint Saturday. If someone close to you plans one first, don’t try to steal their thunder (and sponsorship dollars)… remember, it’s not about you.. it’s about the community? right? Also, community speakers should probably not help promote the fly by night SharePoint conferences just trying to make a quick buck and don’t’ care about the community. A good example of how it SHOULD be done is SPTechCon. BZMedia actually reached out to some of the leaders in the community about how to do their conference and are quite involved in the community in general and very vocal on Twitter. The Best Practices Conference also does an awesome job of embracing the community. Let’s keep the community strong by throwing our support in the right places.

Microsoft

Finally… how do I put this delicately? Microsoft, I love you to death but you at times are causing more problems than you are fixing. I realize Microsoft’s approach for the most part has been to stand back and let the community flourish. Well. it’s flourishing.. and it’s starting to get weeds.. and some of your practices contribute to some of the weeds. A good example of this is the *wincing as I type this* MVP program. Please don’t get me wrong. The MVP program is a phenomenal program and I think it’s really awesome the way Microsoft rewards some members of the community and the MVPs I know are so deserving of the title and I can only hope to be an MVP some day (is there enough brown on my nose yet?). Microsoft has created a problem with its own success here. You created SharePoint, you made this massive beast of a platform that necessitates the creation of this community in order for us to succeed with it, we join the community, we drink the Kool-aid, we get passionate about it, and want to share our passion.. evangelize if you will.. and you are stuck with a HOST of MVPs… and there is no way in the world everyone can be made an MVP… and people start to resent not being MVP.. and resent those they think don’t deserve MVP… and start competing to try to knock someone out so they can be MVP… it can be vicious… and not fun.. and can lead people to wonder why they are doing this if Microsoft won’t give them the time of day… I REALLY think Microsoft needs to step in here and do something before bitterness sets in and people start to resent the MVP program. I’m NOT suggesting you revamp the MVP program,but you GOTTA get more involved in the community, recognize those busting their butt for you, and take on some leadership role in the community. You can lead without controlling. You can reward without taking away from someone else. What about handing out some free SPC passes just for those involved in the community? Maybe doing “community member spotlights” or something to show you are taking notice. As it stands there are those with a secret disdain for the MVP program and those who’ll do anything to get in… I don’t want to see that rift grow… 

Again, I’m not saying Microsoft needs to change the MVP program or that I deserve to be in there… in fact, I can’t imagine this blog post helps my chances, but I do think it’s time for Microsoft to step in and take on a much more visible role in the community, without controlling it.

So..is there any hope? Can the utopia we’ve help create endure?

I hope so. I really hope the community has plenty of room to grow… millions of gallons of SharePints to be had… new rock stars to nurture and grow… billions of blogs.. trillions of tweets… plethora of presentations… colossal conferences… and the best darn friends a guy could have…

It’s not all rainbows and butterflies though… cracks are starting to show… let’s not spackle them over and pretend they aren’t there… let’s fix them before they get bad.. let’s take pride in what we’ve helped to create… and remember why we started doing this in the first place.

Thanks very much for all the comments, offline discussions, and polite deriding. Good to know I’m not shouting to the wind. I did want to quickly address a common thread I’ve read/talked about and that is "The things I see are common in a maturing community." I absolutely understand that. I really do. However, I posit that the SharePoint Community IS different and unique and important to the longevity of SharePoint. It is completely possible to be a proficient .NET developer without ever attending one .NET user group or code camp. I personally can write almost anything in .NET and I was never very involved in that community. However, when I did attend the few .NET events I went to, I learned some cool and helpful tips. You can also be a very competent SQL DBA without ever becoming part of the SQL community. It’s NOT a necessity. However… it IS necessary to be part of the SharePoint community to do it right!

How many admins and power users are giving up their weekends for a .NET code camp? How many user tracks are available at SQL events? What’s the mix like at those things? I honestly don’t know, but I’d bet every last dollar I have or will ever have that it is NOTHING compared to SharePoint. Want proof? Take any single .NET guy to a SharePoint event and the first he’ll say is “wow, there’s a lot of women here”. I believe (however ignorantly) that the SharePoint community is by FAR the most diverse community out there with a rich blend of users, administrators, developers, and architects all with their own specialties. Also, as I’ve stated over and over, it’s really not possible to be an expert at all of it. I need the admins. I need the IT Pros. I need the guy down the hall doing the FAST talk, or the branding guru who understands the ins and outs. I need to know who to talk to about DR. The list goes on and on and on. No other technology I’ve experienced has necessitated a community like this. Let’s face it, you can write horrible .NET code and recover from it, you can be a lousy DBA and recover from it. There are a lot of mines in SharePoint that are VERY hard to recover from. Even the most awesome dedicated developer needs an admin. No person is an island in SharePoint. Is that true with the other technologies that have been listed?

This is also not to bash the other communities at all. If you want to be the best .NET developer possible or do whatever you SQL guys do to the best of your potential, then the community is very vital to that, but it’s possible to get along fine in those technologies without it. I DON’T think the same is true for SharePoint. I have conversations every day with people where I used to work that prove that point…

I want the SharePoint community to stay strong and inviting and growing. I don’t want the cracks I see to start causing division and fracture the community. I don’t want to see SharePoint Sundays pop-up because they don’t want to be associated with those Saturday guys. So I blog… I shout to the wind… and have a SharePint… or three…

Thanks again for all you guys do.

Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6:30 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Good pondering Mark. I hope the community can withstand the influx & continue to be supportive to all.
Left by sharepoinTony on Jun 14, 2011 6:48 PM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Great post, as a relative new comer to the SharePoint community (though not new to SharePoint), it has been an incredible resource of information, not to mention connecting with diverse people who like me, also see SharePoint in the brutal, funny, challenging, and ultimately satisfying way that I do. I would love to be a part of this thriving community for years to come, but even more so would love to get others connected into this community so they can share in the same benefits that I have even in the short time that I've been apart of it. Great Post.
Left by TechRevMarrell on Jun 14, 2011 7:31 PM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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I would also like to see the MVP program and other MS nominations (PAC) be more transparent. (not to open another can of worms or anything)
Left by @smilingval on Jun 14, 2011 7:32 PM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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As your original minion (I being present at your 1st SharePoint Saturday prezo and yours being the first session I attended), I think we epitomize what it means to be inspired and to be inspiring in this community. I LIKED that you admitted you didn't know everything and that you were talking from a learner's perspective.
I signed up for Twitter on your advice, and Heaven knows I've never stopped learning (or shut up) since.
Community events need to be open to the newly inspired. Without heckling. I sucked it up and spoke at my first SPS and was amazed at what the pressure of presenting inspired me to do. I contacted people on Twitter who graciously shared their knowledge and references. I was awed and befriend people I would have been intimidated to approach in another forum. I followed directions to a venue that included map points of "the Speed Lube" and "the Cum & Go." Pretty much a modern Iliad.
I still blush that some of my notorious speaker friends attend my sessions...just to support me.
Thanks Mark. We're not broken, we just got a sore paw.
And the idea for SPC passes as rewards is fabulous! We're not all consultants who can write it off, and I know several folks who will be paying out of pocket to attend. And/or taking vacation. Because we are gluttons for punishment, and we can't imagine a better "vacation" than tech sessions and SharePints with some of our favorite people. SharePoint People.
Left by Joy Earles on Jun 14, 2011 8:07 PM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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I am fairly new to the SharePoint community and have enjoyed the enthusiasm and passion that people bring to the seminars and conferences. I understand you points about the maturity of the community though and your thoughts have sparked some of my own pondering about the subject. I sincerely appreciate the time and effort that people put in to speak at user groups and SharePoint Saturdays and conferences and I can only hope that the passion and enthusiasm continues, even if it is eventually a new cast of characters.
Left by Doug Hemminger on Jun 14, 2011 8:34 PM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Great thoughts Mark- we create peers.
Left by Steven Fowler on Jun 14, 2011 8:43 PM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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I've never seen a community that surrounds SharePoint like in some other technology. The community involvement in SharePoint rivals .NET user groups. Silverlight seems close-knit but if you just watching it's disorganized at the user group level. I would like to see all technology groups to be as passionate about their craft as SharePoint peeps do. I think Twitter is responsible and the community speakers being receptive to criticism and "encouragement" is why the SharePoint community is so awesome! Thank you, Mark.
Left by Brian Bedard on Jun 14, 2011 10:19 PM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Couldn't disagree more about BZMedia. They are the poster child for making money off the community and giving nothing back. Their sole business is throwing conferences. Making speakers pay their own dime to speak only because their not well known, while paying in full for bigger named conferences. These are the types we need to do away with. I cant imagine why people even want to participate in paid conferences anymore other than to get out of work for a week and travel to a decent place.

Why sponsors even bother sponsoring them, paying for booth space and the like while there are SharePoint Saturdays to attend that actually have real impact (outside of the popularity contents and hurt egos that happen) is beyond me.

Agree with the MSFT MVP program. Its completely and utterly JACKED. IMO its a waist of resources and time. 1 in 10 actually deserve the award. Whether its stealing content to post on their own blog, stealing complete websites, or just mastering the CQWP there's no depth to the program anymore outside of maybe 10 people. One day these 90% will realize they are nothing more then a cheap MSFT marking tool and free support. They are not elevated by the knowledge they have, they are bound and elevated because they are community shills faking it till they make it (well most of them).

I actually enjoy getting the "one upper's" i have no problem putting them in their place in front of a few dozen people. They usually dont do it again. Try it, its pretty fun.

I do believe we're at a critical mass here, is there a fix? no. plain and simple there just isn't. At least from the community side of things, its the exact reason you see the people who actually MADE the community fading away. At the end of the day, there's too much noise.
Left by Kind of big deal, people know me on Jun 14, 2011 10:36 PM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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I've written a reply to Mark that is too long (or maybe boring) to fit into this comment box. Mark even tried to make it work.

So, read it over here: http://bit.ly/TooBadSoSad
Left by Ruven Gotz on Jun 14, 2011 11:23 PM

# re: Is Mark really a Hillbilly? You Betcha!
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Mark, great post, but I just do not believe we have reached a critical mass here. Having said that, I do believe that many *people* within the community have achieved their own personal critical mass, and are feeling some burnout. But don't confuse what individuals may feel and perceive as the reality versus what is actually happening in the community.
Talk to folks who are just coming into the community, where its all brand new and exciting and opens up a whole new world, etc etc. Two great examples: Thor Castillo, whom I met at SPS Houston, has tremendous value to bring to the community, and is excited to be here and share his rich experiences in the branding space. And Kim Frehe from Chicago was full of energy when I met her at SPTechCon last month, and thought she was alone in the world until just a couple months ago. Spend a couple minutes with either one and you can't help but be reminded of why we do what we do. I can see some speakers getting sick and tired of doing the same topics over and over again. But what's old hat for you is brand new (and much needed) for someone else.
Thor and Kim remind us all that the MAJORITY of users and burgeoning IT Pros out there are still not participating in the community. That is our opportunity as current community members -- to reach out, to share what we know, to bring more experts up to speed, and then to pass the baton.
Hopefully people who are feeling some level of burnout don't stop, but instead turn their focus back to their local communities. That's where is should start, that's where people should be careful not to forget.
Left by Christian Buckley on Jun 15, 2011 12:06 AM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Mark, I think you're doing great as part of the SharePoint Community. I'm just one voice in the community, so take that for what it's worth, but people who raise other points of view for honest discussion are important. Those who raise point and don't care about the benefits of the discussion (the smart-alecs in your user group meetings) take another, less-beneficial approach. I expect that the community, as it grows (and it will do a LOT more growing), will end up diverging into local groups, the cliquishness will not be as prevalent as the numbers grow, and there will be plenty of rewards wherever community members look for them. My advice to any community person would be to make sure you measure youself according to your own goals, and not solely by how others look at you. This includes the MVP program. Soon, the community will be so big that the waves caused today by MVPs walking through a conference will eventually be only ripples, and we'll look back on two-day discussions such as this topic with fond memories. "Remember the good old days when we could whine about the community before Mark was an MVP? Now, with Mark gone, who will lead us non-MVPs?" Yep - that's what we'll say. I'm just glad that I knew the pre-MVP Mark. Keep up the writing, friend.
Left by Owen Allen on Jun 15, 2011 12:49 AM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Mark-
Interesting post buddy... everyone has an opinion. I'd ask only that you take your post and do a search & replace for "SharePoint" and replace it with "ASP.NET" or ".NET" or "SQL Server" and take a moment and see if SharePoint is special here. IMHO, nope... not a bit. It's part of the evolution/maturity of a product & it's community.

As someone who's been involved in the SharePoint community since '03 I think I'm in a position where I can say I've seen it evolve. When I was first awarded an MVP there were 4 others in my space (MCMS). When they merged us with SharePoint in '06/07 we (MCMS+SP) were still only about 30 strong. Now the numbers are close to 200. What you describe is the natural evolution of a product. As you say in your post, I think you "got into community" around the time SharePoint was reaching its inflection point after the 2007 launch when it was becoming a very popular thing and more got invovled. My point? I don't think "past its prime" is a good way to say it. That's like saying the US was past it's prime in the late 70's (which they said back then). Looking back people would say "my that's myopic"... I think the same would be true here (sorry if that's too direct). To me it's more like "the SharePoint community has evolved & matured."

To your point about conferences, I agree that SP Saturday's have turned into a traveling road show of speakers... too few local talent. You think these speakers get miffed when the aren't picked? Man, you should see some of the organizers who get miffed at you when you pass on an invite because you can't spend all your weekends geeking out or because your company can't sponsor every single one. As good as these events are for the community, they are also killing the conferences. But,they are good for the product which is good for Microsoft & good for the whole ecosystem as a whole.

We'll see how it shakes out... I'd just encourage folks who look at this subject to compare it to other technologies and to look at it from all angles.
Left by Andrew Connell on Jun 15, 2011 5:13 AM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Mark, great post! I agree with your position completely. I could be rationalizing, but there is one point about the SharePoint Community that I think makes us different (that I am nt sure has been noted) and that is the product itself. As we all know, SharePoint at it's root is very much about collaboration and enpowering the end users of sites. I like to think that one of the inheriant strengths of our community is that we are is many ways simply following the priniples of the software in trying to collaborate and SHARE experinces and ideas. Just my 2 cents.
Left by Rob Roach on Jun 15, 2011 10:59 AM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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The title of the article had me pretty much against you but after reading it, I agree with your article most of it anyway but as AC says the title is misleading. A great attention grabber though.

I hate the smart $%*!£%'s that are becoming more prevalant. I find smaller groups still have that close helping community feel to them. I recently went to a SUGUK in Southampton UK - 30 people just looking to learn SP. We need to keep fostering the learning community and perhaps have a quiet word to the gent supplying the running commentary/self appreciating question fella.

Left by Paul Beck on Jun 16, 2011 7:48 AM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Nice blog post, definitely took some 'balls' to write some of the subject matter. Isn't it interesting that if if a blog title is perceived as negative, it will garner more attention than the others?

One item that I've noticed is that the SPS scene has changed since last year. It has to be related to 'speaker/sponsor fatigue' that you and Ruven speak of. There are just too many events. You have twelve months in a year. Pick your twelve areas based on market research and present there. Revisit the locations again the next year. If your city doesn't make the cut, then who cares? That is what the User Groups are for. Move your UG to a weekend.

At this point, why even have one brand: 'SharePoint Saturday'? It is not like a franchise (McD or Arby's) where I can go to one location and expect the same quality of food, same venue etc. So moving your User Group to a Saturday should not be that big of a deal. Perhaps the sponsor dollars are more if you brand it as SPS?

Perhaps I am making a big deal out of nothing considering it is a free event after all.

With that said, thanks to those that have allowed me to speak. I am sure that some of the haters will say that my involvement is deluding the brand as well. My motive was to attempt to give back to the .net & sp community that I have mooched off of for so many years.

Which leads me to ego. Nerds will always act with arrogance and attempt to display their perceived technical prowess like peacock feathers. There are no repercussions any more, they don't have to worry about getting hit with a dodgeball in gym class anymore. :-)
Left by Andrew Clark on Jun 16, 2011 10:51 AM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Last fall while I spoke in Ramallah, Palestine and watched as the SharePoint Saturday event was being streamed from Ramallah into Gaza strip via webcam I couldn’t help but consider how social technology had transformed business. It was an amazing experience which might not have been as successful had it not been for social media and community efforts.

This year I am presenting at many international SharePoint events. I would not have these opportunities had it not been for introductions made through social software. Amoung other things social media provides transparency and community. Before social media the speaker pools at local conferences was much, much smaller and handpicked by vendors to be sure their marketing dollars were spent in a way that would capitalize new products and services. This was the way business was done. After all conferences are marketing events.

Social media changed many of the traditional event and conference models. For me personally social media has given me a fair chance in presenting my ideas through tweets, blogs, forums and conferences. It leveled the playing field for me. I am fascinated at how it leveled the political landscape at a much, much larger scope during the recent uprisings in Egypt, Syria and the rest of the Middle East. This phenomenon is not a SharePoint phenomenon but a global force that affects many people at many levels around the world.

Across the globe communities are being formed in much the same way as ours. Photographers, journalists, technologist and trades that have larger number of consultants which travel have more opportunity to meet in physical groups. Our SharePoint community is a perfect fit and we seem to thrive and have many opportunities to meet in person. Do trust me, we are not alone. Sometimes I have grandiose thoughts and assume that I am part of the only technology community which is gathering, socializing and sharing ideas. It seems silly to write such a suggestion knowing how many millions of people are using the same social tools I am.

One shouldn’t confuse Microsoft’s MVP group for “the community” itself. In my opinion this is simply Microsoft’s contribution to a much bigger and broad community. Having Microsoft sponsor and supporting the broader community efforts with the MVP program adds much value to SharePoint efforts around the world. Many MVP's actively support the broader community at personal expense and effort. Some express concerns about the MVP process and get frustrated, this is not a new frustration and no process is perfect. It is worth nothing that most individuals thrive in the SharePoint community without the MVP title. I believe Mark’s contributions and his blog post prove this to be true.

If I could retitle Marks post it would be “How Transparency and Social Media are Evolving the SharePoint community.” I have noticed newer communities forming around Office 365 and Windows Phone. I have noticed more Office 365 tweets than SharePoint tweets this week, perhaps because I am looking for them. It would be great to share lessons learned and help these newer communities thrive as we continue to evolve. Who will host the first 365 Saturday?

It’s awesome to realize each of us can use the phrase, “Thank you for being part of my community” and It will mean something slightly different to each of us.

Left by Paul J. Swider on Jun 16, 2011 8:31 PM

# re: This would make a great survey!
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Mark, way to centralize the conversation! Great points, great dialogue, and I wanted to add my 2 cents -

1. I think these questions would be ideal for a survey to the community. For example, I've heard a lot of back and forth about whether SP Saturdays are killing the conferences. Would be fun to crowdsource and see some data on what people think. Something the nothingbutsharepoint folks could host and promote? All of the questions you & the commenters raise here could be included. (Fewer big words... more charts & graphs?)

2. I think there's so much evolution with the product and how people use it that the community will thrive for a long time. Right now a lot of us are seeing this trend from technology- or solution-based thinking to more business- or strategic-based thinking around SharePoint. There's so much room to grow into that, and who knows what it will look like 3-5 years from now?

Thanks again for putting this out there!
Left by Sadie Van Buren on Jun 17, 2011 9:19 AM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Mark, you were almost gentle in this post! It's definitely got a different subtlety to it, tender almost. You ol' softy you.

The MVP Program definitely needs a revamp, make no mistake there, but that's a subject for another day!! But Microsoft's support for user groups is unmatched.

It's only the US that has conference burnout, in our region we are starved for great conferences and we are only just finding our feet in that space. Our partners are clammering to sponsor. We're using one of those for-profit teams and they are treating our community with the utmost respect and the speakers like Gods! They are incredible and really showing us how things should be done! The conference circuit needs a shake up too and this crowd specifically are sure doing that.

The SharePoint Community IS the most amazing in the world but there sure are some out of control egos that could be checked.

I don't think the community is past it's prime, we're just all used to the same names and faces cos that's the circles we walk in. But there is bright, young amazing talent surfacing every day. I met one online last week, Lynn Warneke. It's up to the "oldies" to mentor and nurture and help them become rockstars so the community can keep growing in the best way possible.

The community built something incredible. Let's all be gentle, maintain it, and fix the cracks. There will always be one in every crowd, either tell them to buck up, or refuse to be associated with them. There's a few people I refuse to have anything to do with because they just break people down. Not interested in attitudes like that. But there are hundreds more that build people up instead, and I love them with all my heart too.

OUTSTANDING post Mark - as usual. Find a newbie and mentor them into greatness. You have a lot to share.
Left by Veronique Palmer on Jun 25, 2011 4:04 AM

# re: Is the SharePoint Community Past Its Prime?
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Good post Mark! Your points are very valid.
Left by Saifullah Shafiq on Aug 14, 2011 11:15 AM

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