I’m on my way home from the SPSSV event (blogging at 30K feet!) and I wanted to take a minute to wrap up a few thoughts from the past couple of days. Some business, some personal.
If memory serves, I’ve attended six SharePoint Saturday events. Although I attend as a speaker with the intention of teaching others, not a single event has passed where I haven’t learned something new. For this event I learned about an interesting new product offering from Pingar and got a personal demo/discussion by Owen Allen, their VP of Solutions. Pingar works with some very smart people to develop algorithms used to extract relevant terms from text such as documents or websites. It isn’t exclusive to SharePoint, but works quite well with the platform to extract those pesky terms and can help ease the process of content tagging. There are similar products out there but this is the first I’ve seen that extracts terms based on pure language rules instead of business rules. I’ll definitely be looking into this offering further.
During the speaker dinner the night before the event I was sitting at a table with some folks that have been in the SharePoint space a while. Some knew me, some didn’t. Some knew everyone, some knew no one. It was interesting hearing how people stayed connected through technology. Email was not mentioned. LinkedIn was not mentioned. Twitter, Facebook and (surprisingly) FourSquare. I’ve never used FourSquare and probably never will, but it was interesting hearing that a check-in site was being used to communicate with a network of colleagues. An example given by Christian Buckley was telling: I’m forgetting the specifics, but he was visiting a building that had a private entrance and he didn’t have a code to get past the door. He posted his check-in to FourSquare and someone immediately came down to let him in. Like I said, interesting.
One last thought on the conference. It had a pretty low attendance, especially given the location. I haven’t heard final numbers but I’d be surprised if there were more than 150 folks that attended and there were never more than 100 there at any one time. I suppose that is a symptom of a new release on the horizon. However, what really surprised me was the attendance at my records management session. There were probably 15 – 20 folks that came, but it’s not the number that surprised me. It was the level of engagement. Every single person there had a records management story to share related to SharePoint. Some were starting the journey, some were well on their way. There was a wide range of industries as well: Pharma, banking, technology. It was great having meaningful discussions with folks who were passionate about records management with SharePoint. By the way, if you are interested in talking further or getting the slides I used (although my slides don’t have much, I tend to talk off the cuff more than anything (don’t tell my wife )) use the contact form here and let me know.
After the conference started winding down I chose to skip the SharePint (yes, Ryan is actually writing this) and drive up to San Francisco by way of the coast. The fog sucked so it wasn’t very scenic but I love to drive. It gave me some wind-down time and I always enjoy being next to the ocean. I ended up going through Golden Gate Park and across the bridge and spent a few hours fighting the fog trying to get some good shots of the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ll have to check them out when I get home, but I probably have one or two usable shots. I was really kicking myself for not having my tripod as I couldn’t do the dusk shot I had in mind without it, although I tried. We’ll see. Anyway, it was great to have a few hours to focus on photography. I need to do that more.
Edit: Here are some of the shots I salvaged.