23 Lessons from SharePoint Saturday the Conference

This past Thursday-Saturday, Alison, Nick, Ben and I repped SoftArtisans and OfficeWriter at the inaugural SharePoint Saturday The Conference. Between speaking engagements, vlogging, dance parties and running demos on OfficeWriter’s SharePoint integration, there wasn’t a whole lot of downtime, but as Sandy Ussia told me, “I’ll sleep next week.” (Plus, unless you have Freudian recall, sleeping makes for a boring blog post.) Many attendees and speakers have already published their recaps, but this one is coming to you fashionably late, in a fashionable list.


1.       If you don’t have anything nice to say, look up. The cloud was definitely this conference’s hot topic, with everyone from Mary Jo Foley to Jeremy Thake to Joel Ward weighing in. One takeaway: Microsoft’s in-the-works Online Services Delivery Platform will bring all the hosted services into one infrastructure. Maybe it’ll be accessible through a browser-based tool bar, too.

2.       Driving on 495 is like Mario Kart, only without the scenic views and that nice birdie who lifts you out of the canyon.

3.       Age is a lot more than a number. Sadie Van Buren’s presentation on the SharePoint Maturity Model came loaded with user stats, including the facts that:

a.       Newest and oldest SharePoint users have most advanced community functionality

b.       Use of collaborative functionality peaks 6 years in

c.       Customization tends to be limited across the board.

4.       Out of the box, SharePoint is a primordial ooze, not Tenochtitlan. But Tenochtitlan is possible! (As is Bodie, CA.)

5.       Chris McNulty can really wail on that axe.

6.       And recommends that SharePoint admins grant marketing access to Active Directory. As a marketer, I am not quite sold on this.

7.       What looks like a normal poppy seed baguette may contain red bean paste.

8.       You can never have too many southsides. Even if you have to keep telling the bartender how to make them.


9.       More groups than I realized are backing Sharepoint as a platform.

10.   The Sharepoint crowd is a pretty eclectic bunch, with users ranging from hipsters to businessmen.

11.   Someone needs to get on generating HTML from word .docs (we had two people ask specifically).

12.   The new Dodge Charger can’t be parked in Virginia.


13.   Speaking at my first session and having it be packed

14.   Meeting up with a bunch of new sharepoint people

15.   Catching up with my sharepoint friends

16.   Putting a face to a bunch of the names on twitter

17.   Going to a number of great sessions

18.   Bowser….


19.   Next time I visit Virginia I better bring my flippers because walking in Virginia’s humidity feels like swimming.
20.   I truly appreciate having SharePoint 2010 and the fact that I’ve never had time to lament over the trials and tribulations of 2007.
21.   I picked up a few tricks for linking list data together for list view based web parts.
22.   The demo gods were definitely picking and choosing last weekend. #WHYISTHISCRASHING
23.   I had fun observing the ladies weekend fashion during my down time. #BeyondButtonDownAndSlacks

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