I've been thinking about how I could summarize my experience at this year's SPC, and I've come to realize –given my Sharing the Point-related activities at this year's Conference, combined with my blogging of and tweeting from the event, along with meeting and speaking with Bamboo customers, partners, and friends both new and old– that SharePoint community is the connective tissue that binds SPC together for me.
I've already written about the terrific Sharing the Point Africa Executive Luncheon that Colligo sponsored on Tuesday (and my colleague Julie Auletta has generously shared her own experience of the event), but there was also a another scheduled STP panel discussion that occurred the next day, on Wednesday. The STP team's second STP session took place at the SharePoint TV booth in the Community Lounge (kudos to Microsoft for the community recognition that was represented by the prominent existence of the Lounge and its extensive slate of SharePoint TV programming), and though our band of brothers was sadly short by one at this second event (we were missing Paul Swider), we had a great discussion about the past, present, and future of STP.
During the 30-minute panel discussion, which was moderated by STP member Eric Harlan and also featured Joel Oleson, Mark Miller, Michael Noel, and me, we touched on a variety of topics. The topics ranged from reminiscences of some of our most successful community-building events to date (with Nairobi and Manila both getting lots of love) to how the tours are set up (from funding to logistics), and from the nuts-and-bolts of starting a SharePoint user group to what each panel member's biggest takeaway has been from the STP tours.
Complete video of this STP session will be coming is available below from SharePoint TV (and I'll aim to update this post with the embedded video when it becomes available), but I'd like to offer an "extended cut" here to the off-the-cuff response I gave to the question regarding my own biggest takeaway from the three STP tours (Asia, South America, and Africa) we've been on so far. In the moment, I boiled it down to "the global SharePoint community rocks," but I'd like to augment that statement by adding "...and helping to 'give back' by growing and strengthening that worldwide community through the efforts of STP is not only incredibly fulfilling, it's also incredibly humbling."
The community was also fully present at SPC in the form of a steady stream of visitors to the Bamboo booth in the exhibit hall, and in the attendees of the Bamboo Way party which took place at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay. That party was such a success that we decided midnight was just too early to call it a night, and ended up extending for an additional hour of festivities (at which point, on the eve of the Latin Grammys, those of us with the most stamina were escorted into the sold-out Enrique Iglesias show in the club's intimate performance space). Thanks to everyone for stopping by the booth and/or the party, and thanks to the House of Blues for the unexpected live-music capper to what had already been a memorable night.
And since giving thanks reminds me of tomorrow's Thanksgiving holiday here in America (and my mention of the Grammys reminds me of awards-show acceptance speeches), I'd like to close this post by mentioning a few more people and organizations to whom I'm thankful. Thanks to: my brothers in globe-trotting SharePoint evangelism, aka the STP team members; all of the supporters and sponsors of STP (most especially to our global sponsors, Colligo, Fpweb.net, and AvePoint); to the Bamboo leadership team for recognizing the importance of the STP initiative from the start, and for allowing me to disembark for extended leaves on the tours; to all of my colleagues (aka my Bamboo family) for being awesome; to Bamboo's customers and partners for your unwavering support; and, of course, to everyone at Microsoft who works on SharePoint for making all of the above possible.
And with that, I'll just say to my Bamboo family, my STP brothers, and to everyone in my extended SharePoint community family, have a happy Thanksgiving, one and all.
Missed any of Bamboo Nation's SPC 2012 coverage? Catch up here:
Nov 21 2012, 02:15 PM
John Anderson joined Bamboo Solutions as Manager of Content & Syndication in May of 2008 after a 12-year career at AOL. New to SharePoint at the time of his hiring, John was tasked with creating a new blog for the just-launched Bamboo Nation community in which he would document his daily SharePoint learning process. Thus was born the end user-centric SharePoint Blank, for which John authored 200 posts within a year, and which he continues to write today (albeit much more sporadically). Currently serving as Managing Editor, John sets the tone for Bamboo Nation as its lead blogger, and oversees content across Bamboo properties.