New Free USP Journal Issue – Becoming a SharePoint Professional

It turns out, I’m an idiot. I made another mistake. Make sure you write down where you were, your grandchildren will ask you about this.

I announced earlier that I was going to publish a brand new USP Journal issue and that it would be free, thanks to some awesome sponsors. In fact, they’re so awesome, I’m going to break one of my cardinal rules and link to them in editorial content right here:

The issue, and I’ll tell you where to get it in a moment, is a compilation and slight rewrite of several articles I’ve published in this blog previously that deals with that it takes to be or become a SharePoint professional. You’ll learn about the various disciplines, how to approach and interact with the community, how to land a good SharePoint job, and so on.

I sent out the link to the site to the USP Journal newsletter this morning, but like the idiot I have now shown that I am, I managed to send out the wrong link. I was lazy when I checked it and just typed it into my address bar, seeing that it was indeed a site I had visited before. Had I actually hit Enter I would have seen that it was the wrong site.

By a freak stroke of luck, though, the site I sent out wasn’t a scam site at all, but instead an actual and very related site from another community member. I guess it’s not a huge disaster, but I managed to get a new update out fairly quickly.

So, now that you have my full confession of my stupidity, let me give you the right URL.

There’s no registration, no hoops to go through, it’s just a huge button there that says Download Now! Click that and the book is yours, thanks to the aforementioned sponsors.

If you’ve read down to here, though, I’d like to ask you a favor. Help me spread the word about this issue by sending that link to whoever you like. Send an email to colleagues, friends, user groups, or anyone that would benefit from learning more about what it takes to become a SharePoint professional. Send it to your family so they can better understand what it is you are doing. Share the link on Twitter, Facebook, Yammer, or wherever you are socially active.

If you’re not comfortable sending the link, send the actual issue. It is free, distributed under a Creative Commons license, so you’re allowed to do that.

The reason I’m asking about this is that the sponsors are obviously looking to see if sponsoring USP Journal will give them any return. The more people read that book, the more people will likely visit them, and the more likely they are to sponsor future issues as well.

In turn, this means that I can more easily create new USP Journal issues for you that you can also get for free, so you are actually helping yourself as well. That’s what I call win-win-win.

Thanks again to the sponsors; thank you for downloading and reading, and thanks, as always, to the great SharePoint community that makes all of this possible.


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SharePoint Designer 2010 Workflow Issue Out

Phew… USP Journal issue 2/2 is out.

I announced the plans to write a journal issue on SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows back in February and started working on it at the same time.

I had originally intended to use this announcement blog post to complain and moan about how long it took, how hard I’ve worked, and so on, but honestly, that’s not what you want to hear, so let me just skip to the facts, deviously stolen from the journal web page.

This issue targets beginning developers and business users looking to save organizations time and money by automating business processes (that’s written for your boss, not you).

With your purchase, you will get the beautifully illustrated (not my words, honest) 143 page journal issue plus over four hours of video content, including a recorded lecture from USPJ Academy on SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow types.

Topics covered in the issue are:

  • Workflow in a NutShell
  • Introduction to SharePoint Designer workflows
  • Your first SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow
  • Initiation forms and parameters
  • Working with variables
  • Collecting data from users
  • Workflow lookups
  • …plus many more

What else do you need to know?

Ah, where to buy:

Go on, you know you want it. And I want to get rich, so why not buy two copies, so you can have one in your wallet and one in the bedroom?


PS: I searched for SharePoint Designer 2010 workflows and found an article I wrote over a year ago about SharePoint Designer 2010 workflow features, before any public beta, based on what I found in the menus of an early version of SPD2010. Funny how virtually everything is spot on, even thought at the time I hadn’t seen anything beyond two error messages :-)

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USPJA Publishing: Why We’ll Make A Difference

You may know that the team behind USPJ Academy recently announced that we’ve started a new venture by the name of USPJA Publishing. That may not be the final name, btw, but it’s at least a working title and the name of the company.

So, do we need yet another publisher in this market? Hell, yeah! Well, hell yeah, if that publisher brings something new to the market, and I think we have the ideas to do just that.

If you remember Napster, chances are that you remember the rebellion that ensued over whether the recording companies had any future at all. CD sales have plummeted proving, if nothing else, that the delivery mechanism wasn’t following the needs of its customer base.

The reason, I suspect, is that focus on delivery mechanism. Selling CDs or DVDs or concert tickets can’t be the business model, because what is the real value is in the music and the experience. If a business focuses on how that content is delivered rather than the content itself, I think that the business will die out. Apple understood this with ITunes – Don’t sell CDs, sell music.

I foresee a future when the same applies to knowledge as well. Traditional publishers focus too much on selling books or DVDs or delivering class room training. When knowledge becomes just what’s in the book, businesses will fail.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the people at APress, for example. They took a chance with me when I pitched an idea for a book a couple of years ago and gave me a great amount of experience with writing. However, when I go to their site, the headline reads ‘Book for professionals by professionals’. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would I buy a book? It’s just dead trees with ink on them, or a series of zeroes and ones in the case of a PDF download.

What I want to buy is ‘Knowledge for professionals by professionals’.

Stop Talking Crap, Gimme The Juicy Bits!

USPJA Publishing has a different idea. We want to give you knowledge first. What delivery mechanisms will we have? Well, what makes most sense to you? If you want to read shorter bite-sized blog posts, we’ll give you that. If you want to get specific in-depth knowledge, perhaps you’d like to get that through videos, journals, web based articles, structured courses… If you want to get a Master’s degree in SharePoint Architecture, look no further. We’re there to give you knowledge, not paper or PDFs or MPEGs.

Oh, and we’re not just done with bringing you that knowledge to you from us, we want to engage you as well and learn from your knowledge. You know something, likely a whole lot. In fact, you’re the reigning champion of the world in being you, if nothing else.

We have already announced our author mentoring program. That program will being in some extremely skilled staff who will help you on a path to share your knowledge with the world. You’ll have the chance to learn from and teach to experienced authors and presenters to help both you and us grow.

How you approach that program is also up to you – you may want to make a career as a columnist in your own blog (or one of ours even). You may want a book deal for the nostalgia of it. You may want to present to huge audiences all over the world, either in person or in online lectures. Perhaps you want to teach at USPJA for all we know.

Really, we want to make that choice up to you, but we’ll be there to guide you along and help you avoid pitfalls, some of which have our faces engraved in the ‘wall of fame’.

In the end, we want to be about knowledge. That’s why I think we’ll make a difference.

To accomplish those goals, we’ll need a network and a community. Already, we’ve acquired, the SharePoint Beagle, and USP Journal, some of the largest and most respected content platforms in the industry. In addition, we have a thriving community among the students and faculty at the academy. I won’t talk about other stuff now, but there may or may not be other things we’re working to include.

If you like our ideas and thoughts, we’d love to hear from you. Whether you want to contribute content, want to join the author mentoring program, or simply want to get in touch to hear more, well, let us know, for example by emailing us at or by getting in touch through any of our networks.


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