Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity This Weekend

This weekend, comedian Jon Stewart, from The Daily Show, will be leading a rally in Washington, DC called Rally to Restore Sanity.

Some opponents have made strong negative statements about this event, but I have to say that it makes perfect sense to me. From the perspective of someone outside the system, it seems quite clear that a portion of the media and some politicians in the U.S.A. have convinced a lot of people that they cannot have a rational conversation with someone who doesn’t share their ideology. This creates a toxic environment where people cannot reach reasonable compromises, and it also paralyzes the government because politicians are more loyal to the concept of fighting the other party than they are to their personal values.

So, why would anyone criticize a rally designed to promote rational conversation? Why wouldn’t someone support a forum for people who aren’t extremists? Perhaps because they’re part of the problem.

Jon Stewart Daily show RallyToRestoreSanity_TDS_RallyPoster Geeklit blog

Friday, October 01, 2010

Microsoft SharePoint MVP 2010

I’m happy to say that I’ve received a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for SharePoint.

What is that you ask? According to Microsoft:

“This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. We appreciate your outstanding contributions in SharePoint Services technical communities during the past year.”

In practical terms, this means helping with community-focused resources such as contributing to the SharePoint newsgroups, speaking at conferences, writing about SharePoint and contributing to CodePlex (an open source site used by the SharePoint community).

Getting into the MVP program has been a long story for me. Back in 2001, NCompass Resolution became Microsoft Content Management Server (MCMS) and I had started what became the MCMS FAQ. The FAQ was a searchable CHM containing hundreds of questions and answers. I created it partly for the consulting team, but it was mainly targeted at the community at large. When NCompass Resolution became MCMS, I wondered if I could be an MVP. However (and I’m not complaining), I was hired by Microsoft and employees aren’t eligible for the MVP program.

In 2004, the MCMS team was folded into the SharePoint team, and I started getting involved with the SharePoint community. But I took a break to do some writing, so it really wasn’t until 2008 that I was deeply involved with SharePoint community activity.

Thank you to everyone who helped along the way. My employer, Metalogix Software, has been tremendously supportive and I wouldn’t have received this award without their help.