Lawrence Liu's Report from the Inside

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Back in the saddle…

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   Wow, it's been over a month since my last post, and yes, I do have an excuse this time. I took a week off around July 4th and was completely "off the grid" (no cell phone, no computer, nothing). I really enjoyed the time off, and so did my family! However, I didn't enjoy having to get through about 1,500 e-mails the following week. Then I had a mad rush to finalize all the planning for TechReady3, which is our semi-annual week long technical training event for our sales and consulting folks. I was the content owner for the 22 SharePoint Server sessions, and I had to deal with speaker and content issues down to the last day prior to the conference kick off on July 24th. I also had to present a session (on what else? "building SharePoint-based community sites with blogs, wikis, RSS, and more" of course!), co-host an evening event for about 200 people (as usual, with Xbox 360 gameplay as a bonus), and run the SharePoint Insiders Summit. Fortunately, everything went well, but I was pretty stressed out. :-) So, blogging has been fairly low on my priority list for the past few weeks.

   But now I'm back! And I have the next few weeks to refocus my efforts on the community – in particular, the SharePoint Community Kit and the SharePoint Community Champions program. Progress on the SCK has been slow due to contributors taking summer vacations and/or attending conferences, but we now have a prioritized list of features (which will be posted to the SCK team site very soon) and even a logo (which is going through review by the MS branding and legal folks).

   As an aside, I had a productive concall with a Fortune 100 customer this morning, and while they're justifiably disappointed by the basic blog and wiki features in WSS V3 (click here for a quick screencast), they're very excited about the potential of the SCK to provide template-ized and prescriptive community solutions on top of SharePoint. And in addition to the SCK, there is an obviously need for a whitepaper or how-to guide on configuring and customizing SharePoint to support more advanced blog, wiki, and other community oriented requirements, so I have added that as a deliverable on my long list of activities for the next 6 months.

   Lastly, I'm using Word 2007 a post Beta 2 build, but this works on Beta 2 as well) to author and post this blog entry as you can see from the screenshot below. I just love the rich text editing functionality in word, specially the background spellchecking!

   [Update: Fixed a couple of typos and just saw Eric's update of prioritized features on the SCK team site, so please go review them and provide feedback.]

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