Tag: Blogging

Erica Toelle webcast

Erica Toelle, a SharePoint consultant, specializes in the people and the interactive services side of SharePoint. 

Erica was interviewed by the good folks at CSTechcast.com, in their 72nd episode: “How to Find SharePoint Implementation Success”.

She has some good advice about how to ensure that implementations are taking the people into account.

The Erica goodness starts at about 12:10…and it goes for about 14 minutes!

Blogging Frequency vs. Work…

I was in one of those states the other day where I was coming down after a relatively long day of meeting with SharePoint partners, and I was enjoying the time before dinner with one of them, a friend from PTC (by the way, watch these guys – they are doing some cool stuff with SharePoint), when he commented that my blog was starting to dry up, and so he had figured that I had been pretty busy. 

He nailed me with the frequency of blog entry vs. time spent focusing on work, and it made me think how ironic it is that now I am in a marketing job, and my intent, arguably, is to speak to a LARGE NUMBER of people, and when I spend too much time in very small meetings, or with very few people, – when I think that I’m really working hard, I am actually only touching a few folks… 

Good, or bad?  Well, who’s to say, really.  (You guys, of course!) – I mean, some of both has to be done. 

Please feel free to tell me what you need more of and what you need less of.

See you online and perhaps anywhere else!

Brightwork – Manage Projects on SharePoint

Eamonn McGuiness, of Brightwork, has started his blog again about project management.  He’s launched it on a SharePoint – based blog site! 

His objective is to talk about managing projects on the SharePoint platform, as well as to discuss just how much project management is needed for projects.

A link to the Manage Projects on SharePoint blog.

The Twitter Phenomenon

I started using Twitter for the 3rd time a week or two ago.  The first two times, I stopped watching replies after a couple of days because they were too nosiy for me.  It took the third time for me to start to understand some of the dimensions that Twitter provides. 


To some of my family and friends, it’s difficult to explain what Facebook is, and why someone my age would use it. “Isn’t facebook for college students, or something?”  Well, I’ve ben struggling with explaining Twitter even more so.


Here’s an excerpt from a post by Angie Swartz, who is going on about her love affair with Twitter.



So, the next thing was a random encounter with a work colleague I hadn’t seen in three years. I started to update him about me. He stopped me and said, “I know all about you Angie. In fact, a bunch of us were just talking about you at lunch. We were talking about how often you update your facebook page. We keep track of what you’re up to and in fact I know who you had lunch with yesterday.” A bit embarassing for me that this friend thought I had nothing better to do than update my facebook page so I asked him if he knew about my friend Twitter. He did not.


This is one way to explain ONE OF THE WAYS that Twitter and Facebook can help all of us in this fragmented and ever-widening world we live in.  While Twitter and Facebook will never replace the face-to-face conversations and individual connections that we should develop, it will help keep us in touch and in tune with our friends and acquaintances around the world, or even in the next building, who we don’t have time to speak with as frequently as we’d like.

Sometimes private communication is a better approach than a public one

I’m flying back home this morning from a MSFT-internal training conference that was very good.  Orlando is an interesting place, but the weather wasn’t so muggy this time, and the venue (Gaylord Palms Resort) was great.  Nice job, event organizers!

This week has been an interesting one for me because it’s the first time that I’ve had a public presentation and meetings with other MSFT folks in my new role as a corporate person.  It has caused me to be thinking a little bit about how my interactions with folks are changing. 

So, I’m catching up on some blog postings in my offline and pre-fetched version of FeedDemon, and I read Ed Brill’s post from last week about public and private communication.  I thought it was simple and brilliant, and an example worth remembering about the importance of choosing the most appropriate channel for communications.   Please take a minute and read his post, if you haven’t already.

For the last 9 years, I’ve been serving as a technical representative for the companies that I’ve been working for with many customers, all geographically located in the pacific northwest.  I’ve been as open and approachable towards them as I could have been.  Now, my relationships and interactions are undergoing some change.  I now have a different, broad, worldwide collection of customers that consist of the Microsoft SharePoint specialists in the field, SharePoint ISV Partners, and SharePoint customers at a very broad level.   It will be an interesting few months for me as I switch gears into this new working framework.  I expect that the gear change will be smoothly, but this is a gear that I haven’t ridden many miles in yet.  Your feedback and suggestions and advice are appreciated.

It’s your choice as to whether your comments are of a public or private nature.  Please feel free to reach out to me at any time. 

(I don’t follow as many communication channels as Ed details in his blog entry, – I experimented with Twitter for a couple of weeks a while ago, but couldn’t figure out what it was providing for me as a benefit in exchange for the quantity of time that I was investing in it.  I’m probably just clueless.  Hence, the more appropriate it would be for you to send me your advice about how to help enable the SharePoint Partners in the world. )

Email Address:  owen.allen@microsoft.com

Inbox Zero

Well, all the excitement about starting a new job and letting ideas  start to sift through areas of my brain that I haven’t used for ten years has caused me to think about what bad habits to throw out and where I can start anew with some good habits.

Although I am a big David Allen and Getting Things Done fan, if you were to get all “CSI” on my computer, you’d realize that I’m also a big fan of the “Keep Everything In Your Inbox and Weep While You Scroll Through It” theory.

So, as I was sifting through my old newsfeeds, fiddling with FeedDemon again – deleting some old feeds, and trying to bring to the top those that will help going forward, I ran across 43 Folders again.

If you’re a fan of the LifeHacker meme, you’ll probably recognize this feed.  Love ‘em, but I haven’t visited lately. inboxZero

Well, I ran across a video that Merlin Mann did last year where he describes Inbox Zero.  He describes his variation of GTD, and talks about the beauty of keeping your inbox clean.  Merlin mentions the insanity that can come with an Inbox that is too full, and that describes a portion of my life that I’d like to change.  Looks like I’m going to the Email DMZ – I’m too chicken to try Email Bankruptcy.  (Watch the talk to understand those terms!)

Even though this talk is old, it’s one of those that still applies – completely.

There’s also a collection of posts related to Inbox Zero on the 43 Folders site. 

Link:  Watch the Video

Tending a New Garden

For two years, I experimented with other sites to host my blog.  I am now back to this hosting address.


I experimented with www.canaltown.net, and wanted to mix some personal and some professional together in my blog.  That didn’t seem to work so well.  I had an interesting time feeling very passionate about the messaging when I was mixing the two types of posts.


I then switched over to an interim site on sharepoint.microsoft.com/blogs.  A fun little community, and one that I enjoyed, but one that isn’t ready to take me where I want to go next.


Last week, I accepted a new position within Microsoft as a Sr. Product Manager with the SharePoint Partner Group.  I’ll start soon after Labor Day, and I am very excited about my new role.


I feel a bit of sadness leaving my customers in the Northwest US after having worked with and served them for 6 years. 


I will be working with ISVs that are building software packages and solutions that integrate with SharePoint, and I anticipate some heavy blogging activity.  For this reason, I’m moving back to the blogs.msdn.com site for my blog, and I hope that the disruption (for my 15 readers!?) isn’t too intense.


If I can find a way to port my postings from my two interim blog sites, into this site, I’d like to do that.  We’ll see.  (UPDATE:  I did get the previous posts imported – Way to go, Live Writer!)


I can’t wait to see where SharePoint will pop up next, and which partner solutions will be instrumental in the next months and years in helping to carry SharePoint in new and interesting directions.  I hope to comment and bring you stories about this next journey.


Please feel fee to contact me at any time using the Email link on the sidebar of this blog.

Posting Again?

You’d think that I’d learn that posting on this blog is a dangerous thing, and that I’d learn to stay away from it, but I can’t seem to learn that lesson.  I’m back posting online again.  This summer has been a hectic and interesting one, and there has been enough that has been up in the air, that adding to the blogospher via my little channel found itself lower on my priority list.  I think that now that I am getting back on top of things, that the priority for the blog, and the general enrichment to the SharePoint community that it provides ;-), will come back up to the level that it deserves. (Put on your boots).  Thanks for your patience.  Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions.

MikeyG and 1,000 Posts!

I want to take a minute and congratulate Mike Gannotti on reaching his 1,000th blog post!  What a great job he has done for the SharePoint community and for SharePoint awareness. 

If you are not already aware of Mike Gannotti’s blog, you should add a bookmark to http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blogs/mikeg

Mike does a good job of blogging about a range of topics, but focuses mostly on SharePoint.  He has included video in his blogging, and has recently started a new video only blog site, called The System Spotlight.

Way to go, Mike!

The end of March is in sight

This has been an interesting month of SharePoint Hands-On Labs that I’ve been offering to my customers across the district.  2-Day sessions, Bellevue, Boise, Portland, and this week, Spokane.  For those of you who my communication this month has not been up to par, I apologize.  I’ve got a couple of things for tonight…

1. I signed up for twitter…  I couldn’t avoid the news stories about this thing…  what a crazy thing.  I’ve got one post on twitter, and will try it out for the next week or so, but my impression already is that the signal-to-noise ratio on this is way too low.  It seems to me that for this to be useful, you’d need "channels" that you could tune into, such as, "Attendees at SXSW," "My Workgroup," "My High School Friends," or "My Family" and have different notification settings for each.

2. I need to make sure that everyone here who is interested in SharePoint is also tracking Mike Gianotti’s blog at http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blogs/mikeg/default.aspx.  Mikey is a SharePoint Technology Specialist on the East Coast of the US who is doing a great job keeping the rest of the world current about SharePoint and other related technologies.  He writes much mroe frequently than I do. 

3. Mike G. did blog about Tahiti, so I checked it out.  It looks like a Live Services version of Live Meeting, and could be useful for quick application sharing and collaboration.  The price is right!  (At least, for now?)  It is in pre-beta stage. 

Read Mike’s blog entry and download it from here, while it lasts.