Just returned today from NYC where I presented “PowerShell and SharePoint”. I was also honored to be a member of a four person panel called “Jumpstart Your SharePoint Community Efforts” including SharePoint Saturday cofounder Susan Lennon, SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles organizer Nedra Allmond, and Sharing the Point founder Paul Swider who travels the edges of the world spreading his SharePoint knowledge. The panel was moderated by none other than Christian Buckley, SharePoint Saturday world traveler, Microsoft SharePoint MVP and Director of Product Evangelism at Axceler.
JumpStart Your SharePoint Community Efforts
This panel was quite fun. I tried to focus on the difference between commercial trade shows like SPTechCon and free community events like SharePoint Saturday. One of the views I expressed is that it is important for SharePoint Saturday organizers to be cognizant of the role of SharePoint Saturday, which is not to compete with commercial trade shows, but to compliment them. For example if you are organizing a SharePoint Saturday, try to plan it so it does not fall near the date of a commercial trade show. Otherwise it will hurt their business. Also, professional conferences are designed to make money, so it is their responsibility to there paying customers to bring in the best and most experienced speakers. While the opposite is true with SharePoint Saturday and other community events, which are responsible for building the community by giving inexperienced speakers and local experts the opportunity to present on SharePoint. As the co-founder of SharePoint Saturday Boston and SharePoint Saturday Hartford, I feel it is our responsibility to provide a mix of experienced globe trotters with first timers and people who are trying to break into the speaking circuit. SharePoint Saturday is about community and offering a free place for like minded people to share there experiences with each other during non-business hours for those who can’t afford to miss work.
One of the things that we at the Boston Area SharePoint User Group (BASPUG) do to provide a synergy with commercial tradeshows like SPTechCon is to work with them to have our monthly meeting at the trade show. This brings in more people into the conference vendor area where they can browse the booths, but in return, we get a change of venue and some wonderful speakers to form an “Experts Panel”. So if you are starting a SharePoint Saturday or SPUG, work with other tradeshows and vendors in the area to create a win-win scenario to help build the community. Geoff Varosky, spearheaded this effort, and it has become a tradition for us at BAPSUG.
Another thing that is important successful community groups is leadership. I am fortunate to be on a team of incredible community leaders at BASPUG, including my other co-founders Geoff Varsoky and Eugene Rosenfeld, and our new co-organizer Dan Diachenko. It is really a team effort and these guys are fantastic.
I have worked very closely with Michael Lotter, the other founder of SharePoint Saturday, who helped me launch SharePoint Saturday Boston. But until this weekend, I haven’t had the opportunity to spend much time with Susan Lennon, the other founder of SharePoint Saturday, who now works for Microsoft. So it was quite a privilege to be on the panel with her and hear her views on SharePoint Saturday, the original goals of SharePoint Saturday, and her advice regarding organizing community events.
Nedra Allmond spoke about her efforts organizing SharePoint Saturday Los Angeles and dealing with the challenges of a SharePoint user group in San Fernando Valley SharePoint Professionals User Group which is very spread out. So if you are in the Los Angeles area, check out their meetup and provide her with feedback on what topics you would like to see presented, locations and times that are convenient.
Paul Swider talked about Sharing the Point Africa 2012, which although is sponsored, requires many of the speakers to pay out of their pocket to bring SharePoint to places that don’t have the luxuries of SPUG’s (SharePoint User Groups) and huge conferences that USA and Europe afford. So big up to Paul Swider, Jim Bob Howard, Michael Noel, Mark Miller, and all the other Sharing the Point presenters.
PowerShell and SharePoint
I have been presenting on this topic for a while, and while I usually like to present on something different every time I speak, it requires a ton of effort and is not always perfect the first time. So I have had a lot of time to practice this talk and it paid off, the reviews were all 5 of 5 (except for one who gave me a couple of 3’s). I have included my slides below on SlideShare, and you can download the source code from Box:
Here are the slides from PowerShell and SharePoint presented at SharePoint Saturday New York City:
Rhode Island SharePoint User Group
If you missed the presentation and you are in the Rhode Island area, I will be presenting it again on this Wednesday, August 1st, at the inaugural meeting of the new Rhode Island SharePoint User Group (RISPUG) founded by Joshua Cliff. It will be held at Providence College. For more information check out the meetup site. Hope to see you there!