SPoint the Way, Arno!

In these days of Twitter and ‘anything older than 5 minutes is history’ rapid updates, you may have heard about this already. However, since I have far more readers of this blog than I have twitter followers, I’m assuming that at least not all of you are dying for latest-second updates.

Regardless, Arno Nel, the founder of SharePointMagazine.net and the first person in the SharePoint scene to take a chance at publishing my writing, has launched his new site, SPoint.me. It’s a social interaction site, and frankly, from my first impressions, it’s an absolute godsend to a community that’s currently limited to 140 characters and an attention span of about one minute.

SPOINT, the SharePoint Social Network, offers news, grops, forums, blogs, and other stuff. What’s cool, and what I think is Arno’s real genius here, is that all the content is user created. I’m thinking that this is as close to ShareBook as one could get.

Update: Someone asked me what’s so great about spoint.me, so to prevent sounding just like an ad board, let me give you a couple of goods and bads about spoint.me.

Good Stuff

I’ll grant any doubters the point that spoint.me is new and it may fall flat on its face tomorrow. I doubt it, and here are a few reasons why.

First, spoint.me gives you groups that feature forums, wikis, calendars, etc. Basically, a place where you and whoever finds it interesting can share info. What’s even better is that these groups can be private. For example, I want to keep a private group for the USPJA faculty, and spoint.me gives me exactly that.

Second, it’s real easy to hook up with people. From the members list, you can friend people just like you can on FaceBook. I should, at this point, say that I stay away from FaceBook because I don’t trust them. If I were to use FaceBook, it would be to hook up with SharePoint friends. Now, I don’t need to.

Third, the forum interface is refreshing. It’s real easy to add quick answers and questions without clicking too much and at least from the limited number of topics I’ve watched, it’s quite ease to get an overview.

Bad Stuff

First, I miss twitter integration. I do most of my communication through either email or twitter, and it would be great to have spoint.me keep track of at least my twitter updates.

Second, I’m not really sure why I can only invite users from my friends list into a group.

Third. Well. Not really sure. Perhaps I’ll find a third bad thing later. For now, however, I absolutely love it.

During the first day alone, hundreds of people have signed up. So should you.

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PS: Arno also told me he’s going to revive sharepointmagazine.net, which has been sort of barren for new content for several months. Just don’t tell anyone, I think it’s a secret, but I think it’s because he’s become a father in the meantime 😉

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User Experience Week on SharePoint Magazine – One week of SP User Experience articles

Some of you may have wondered what happened to the Customizing the SharePoint User Experience series that started last fall. The first two articles looked at sites architecture and modifying the default user experience, but then there were no more articles.

That is all about to change, however. Starting on Monday, SharePoint Magazine will hold a User Experience week, each day publishing a new article from the series.

The Customizing the User Experience of SharePoint series aims to explain how the user experience works, from how the interface is built down to details on how columns of lists get created.

Here is an article outline for the six parts:

Part 1: Overview of the default SharePoint interface from a technical point of view

In the first article we will look at how the default SharePoint interface is built. We will look at a site, going from top-down, explore some of the the default lists, the fields used to create the basic field types, which content types are available, and how list forms are rendered.

Part 2: Modifying the default experience

This article will show you which options are available for you to modify and improve the default setup. Learn how to override the default rendering of fields or forms without voiding your supported state.

Part 3: Lists and custom list forms

The third article will cover the basics of customizing lists using different views, custom list forms, and fields.

Part 4: Content types user interface

The next article will explore how you can utilize content types to display different input forms and display forms.

Part 5: Custom fields deep dive

Ever wanted to create a new field type? SharePoint enables you to do this and it is a very powerful tool for customizing the user experience.

Part 6: Fast track to feature generation

Writing custom lists with content types by hand can take a massive amount of time. In the final installment I will share with you some tools and techniques that makes list, field, and content type generation very fast.

The first two parts are already out, and if I remember I will update the links as the articles are released.

Oh yeah, to the math geniuses among you: I know there are only four articles left and there are five work days next week. You’ll just have to hang around to see how that’s going to be solved.

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Next article in the “Customizing the SharePoint User Experience” is out

The next article in my series, titled "Modifying the default experience", has now been published on SharePoint Magazine.

This time the topic how you can customize the default experience with or without breaking supportability. Let me know what you think, reader feedback is really important to write better articles for you all :-)

Oh, and If you haven’t read the first article in the series you can find that in the magazine as well:

http://sharepointmagazine.net/technical/development/customizing-the-user-experience-of-sharepoint-overview-of-the-default-sharepoint-interface-from-a-technical-point-of-view-part-1-of-6

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