Last week I attended the SharePoint Best Practices conference in Washington DC. I learned a lot and I had a great time. This was the first Best Practices (BP) conference put on by Bill English and Ben Curry of MindSharp. The BP conference was a great follow on to their recently published book: SharePoint Best Practices. I found the conference to be well organized and well run. I heard that there were a couple of glitches, but none were obvious to me. If you can get yourself down to the next one in California (in February, I think), I would highly recommend it.
The 350 attendees were a mixed group, without about 2/3 being “technical” and 1/3 being in the “CIO/Information Architect/Project Manager/Director” category (if you can call that group a category).
I also presented a session on “Mind Mapping for the Information Architect”. I felt that the presentation went really well: I had some great discussions with many attendees afterwards. I promised the attendees that I would make my material available after the conference. I am currently working on that; look for a new post soon.
During the keynote, Tom Rizzo, Director of the SharePoint group at Microsoft was describing how difficult it is describe SharePoint concisely. When you point to “Exchange Server”, you can say “that’s an e-mail server” and when you point to “SQL Server”, you can say “that’s a database server”. But what can you say when you point to a SharePoint Server? I know that we’ve all had this problem… So, here was my single favourite line from the conference: According to Tom, the reason that it’s so hard is because “SharePoint is a floor wax AND a dessert topping”. Ok, you may not find that funny, but I thought it was hilarious.