Leave Joel Alone!

OK, so, the beans are now spilled. It was all a game. I love Joel, always have, and I don’t think there is a bad bone in the guy.

So what’s with the bashing? Well, let me explain…

I have always respected Joel both for his knowledge and for his contributions to the SharePoint community. When he announced that he would be ‘retiring’ everyone was a bit shocked, but it’s still Joel’s choice and a very reasonable one.

In case there are still any doubts, the “Good riddance” post on Joel was very much satirical.

What wasn’t clear, however, was what that retirement entails. Joel isn’t leaving the community, he retired from his job with Quest, got another job, still doing SharePoint, and took on a less active role in the community, a role that would allow him to focus more on his family. He made that very clear in his blog post, but somehow people got stuck on the retirement thing.

Of course, it didn’t help that SharePoint Magazine later posted my ‘eulogy’ about his retirement, in which, I must stress, I never wrote that he would stop being part of the community, I just repeated the same words he used, that he would be much less active.

So, when I met Joel at SPTechCon, we decided to make sure everyone would really understand what was going on. We could post a blog post, but it wouldn’t have gotten the attention. Thus began the plotting…

Joel wanted to hit me in public to kill the ‘retirement’ thing, but even that wouldn’t be believable enough. We got several of the other speakers in on the plot and had them act really surprised, tweeting from the various events we staged (it was all staged and masterfully directed by Christian Buckley), and generally refusing to comment anything that would spill the beans early.

We recorded the final video first and then spun from that. Then we did the whole “Joel Oleson Sucks” blog post, but because I still don’t expect anyone to take me seriously, we needed support from the other speakers too, and have the audience here at SPTechCon believe something went on. Hence the event at the Boston Area SPUG, the ‘attack’ at the speaker party, and finally, the ‘fight’ in the speaker room.

So, just to repeat: The last few days of fighting between Joel an myself were staged. Joel is not ‘retiring’, he is slowing down. He’ll certainly clarify this on his own too, but I wanted to just make sure everyone knew, from both sides, that this was a publicity thing around the misunderstanding.

Thank you to all the speakers who were in on the plotting, for great times coming up with the plans and the tweets, and most of all, thanks to Joel for being a great sport about it and playing along 🙂


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Bjørn Furuknap

I previously did SharePoint. These days, I try new things to see where I can find the passion. If you have great ideas, cool projects, or is in general an awesome person, get in touch and we might find out together.

3 thoughts on “Leave Joel Alone!”

  1. Well said. Bjorne great job. I’m hoping people will leave you alone despite the odd or satirical humor. Hope everyone enjoyed the social media based soap opera.


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