We Need an End User Content Revolution

I started my career as a technical writer, developing engineering and marketing materials in the telecom and BI spaces, and trying to translate confusing technical jargon into straight-forward and reader-friendly content. I realized very early on that the best content wasn’t just filtered for humans, but was put into language and real-world scenarios that end users could apply to their daily business.

I submit that we need this same strategy for SharePoint content.

I was chatting with Mark Miller at the SharePoint Saturday DC event last weekend, and it got me thinking that the community-at-large needs to do more to fill this gap in online content. While I am a huge proponent of what Mark is doing with EndUserSharePoint.com (and highly recommend you submit all of your salient content to the site), it’s not about building out a single online portal, but about creating and disseminating content wherever you have influence. Think globally, build locally! Talk about real-world problems, and how you’ve been able to use SharePoint to solve them.

I am grateful for the wealth of speakers we have within the SharePoint community who take the time to share their deep insights into every nuance of the SharePoint platform. We need them to continue doing what they do. But we need more of the shared knowledge and experience of deployment experts – people who develop systems, then train and mentor end users – and have them talk about their experiences.

We need an end user content revolution! For EUSP, its happening. Mark is re-architecting the site to improve search, and has already reached out to the community to provide a broader set of solution-centric end user content. It’s time for people to step up and help. Who’s with me?

Christian Buckley

Christian is the Brand Alliance Director for AvePoint Inc., and a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Apps & Services MVP based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He hosts the AvePoint Office 365 Hours (#O365hours) and #P2Pnow series, the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) live stream. He is based in Lehi, Utah (Silicon Slopes).

3 Responses

  1. Jay Simcox says:

    Not sure why “Negative” felt the need to take a shot at EUSP but I don’t think he’s giving Mark and what he has built a fair shake.

    As someone that has content posted there let me tell you why I do it. It’s not for recognition or money, it’s not for fame or fortune, it’s not to get the opportunity to be a keynote speaker at some high priced SharePoint event. Sure any of those would be great but like I said that isn’t why I do it.

    I do it because I want to give back to the community. In the 7 years I’ve been working with SharePoint I have benefited from the knowledge of others too many times to count. Whether it was assistance with trying to figure out how something worked or how to solve a particular issue or requirement. Now that I have some knowledge I want to help those folks out that need, want or crave assistance with the same types of issues I faced. It’s called giving back and it’s one of the things that make the SharePoint community so great to be a part of.

    Mark has provided us a platform to do just that and share our experiences with a far broader audience than I would ever hope to reach if all I did was post content on my blog and hope that someone would stumble across it via Google or BING.

    So what if Mark makes some money off of the site. I seriously doubt he’s getting rich doing it. He has provided me, and a lot of others, with a built in audience and platform to share what we know with those that either need the help, desire the knowledge or are insanely curious.

    As for the statement “It doesn’t surprise me that speakers/writers don’t support it more” I think that a roster of 37 authors, 83 guest authors, 1550+ articles and 11,000 comments would bely that comment. If you don’t feel that there is content there that’s worthwhile to end users back away from the all you can eat buffet and start contributing. Write some articles, comment there on existing content, or help out on the Stump the Panel forum.

    Or if you think you could do better you could always start your own site and see how it measures up to what Mark and everyone else that participates have built.

    – Jay

  2. Peter Allen says:

    Christian,

    Count me in. We met at the SharePoint Users Group in Sacramento this week. I too have talked with Mark Miller about the changes he is doing and will be proposing a series on 2010 that is geared toward the end user on how to use the rich features found in 2010. The series will start with the basics to help end users understand and adopt the technology. So many times when I talk with clients and their employees they are just trying to understand the basics to SharePoint. You and I have been doing this for years and I find it easy to forget where I am with SharePoint is not where they are. And since I am at the start of 2010, I thought why not take users through learning 2010 as I am with a series on the what 2010 can do out of the box.

  3. Negitive says:

    How can anyone take EUSP seriously as a content host when the business model is essentially get people to write for free while EUSP profits from it?

    We get it, its his livelihood but its shady. It doesn’t surprise me that speakers/writers dont support it more.

    The revolution needs to include “whats in it for me” for these content writers. Until then its just a site with a bunch of jquery written by other people.