Thursday, August 23, 2007

What do SharePoint, Facebook, Myspace and Youtube have in common?

The times they are a changing and I am loving it. I keep saying it but we are truly going in the throws of a revolution that history will truly measure. The internet revolution is alive. By my approximations the public net is only around 10 years young, so its still a young pup. But look whats happening - have you noticed how quickly things are ramping up and how much information we now have at our finger tips.

I was asked a bunch of questions the other day on the Web 2.0 technologies and platforms like wikis, blogs and RSS and how they could be used to advance an organisation's collaboration strategy and it got me thinking more and more about this wave of technology.

I was having a conversation with my sister in law, her uni semester involves doing an online class, taking part in another subject online forum and collaborating for an assignment in another subject on facebook. It really dawned on me what is happening here. We finally have content for the masses by the masses en masse. Ok some of this stuff isn't new, its just that its really catching on. The ability to easily produce and broadcast mass amounts of content has arrived and its social. If you look around on the net you can see its kind of taken off like wildfire. Ok, first there was the deluge of myspace and Youtube. Now facebook is having its time in the sun. And the one close to my heart, good old SharePoint is standing in the shade but I don’t think it will be for long.

As a matter of fact SharePoint isn't far away from hosting a party of its own and being on the A list to a few others shin digs.

SharePoint shares those ingenuus character defining elements that all web 2.0 killer apps share - market share and differentiation!

Size goes without saying, its come from the Microsoft stable so global computing reach is a given.

The differentiation of SharePoint is a little more subtle. There's a whole bunch of collaboration tools out there, but you see this little guy is different. This little guy is designed to sit inside your organisation and is integrated directly into your organisational security and directory and then what this little guy does is it works with the applications most of us already know like Office, Word and Excel.

So the platform is just kind of sitting around waiting to be used for inside the organisation and when everyone starts to cotton onto this - look out, its going to be a keeper.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Error in PortalCrawl Web Service

I experienced some strange behaviour with People Search in MOSS 2007 recently and wanted to share my thoughts on how you can resolve it.

I had configured the user profile import, which imported over a 1,000 profiles, configured an instance of search and began a full crawl of the environment to create the index. Once this completed I then went into the portal site and tested profile searches were working by querying user names. At this stage everything was ok.

Later in the day I went back into the search configuration and edited some of the addresses in the Local Office SharePoint Server sites content source. A day later I noticed user searches were not displaying any results.

I went back into the SSP to have a look at this, it seems at this stage everything was ok, so I tried to reset the index and re crawl. It was here I got the message ‘Error in PortalCrawl Web Service’ for each of the user profiles I had imported.

The resolution for this was to delete a batch of the user profiles and then re crawl. This did the trick of sticking the user profiles data back into the search index and I was away from there.

There’s quite a few blog posts out there on this issue but a lot of them are related to SharePoint Portal Server (SPS 2003) and I think you can save yourself a lot of time but trying this approach early on.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Enterprise Search awareness

Whilst catching the latest new headlines on the following advertisement caught my eye!

It looks like Microsoft is running an awareness campaign for an Enterprise Search on SMH and who knows what other sites. The click through for the ad takes you to

The call to action is a complimentary 3 hour Enterprise Search workshop offer provided by key Enterprise Search partners. I was involved in one of these about a week ago and its great to see SDM listed as one of the partners so we can do a whole bunch more.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Enterprise SEO - SharePoint Search

A heads up to invite everyone to the next meeting of the Sydney Business & Technology user group where I will be giving one of the sessions on using SharePoint as an enterprise Search platform.

Feeling rather inspired by the SEO & SEM (search engine optimization/marketing) from the last user group by Fred Schebesta, I am going to talk about using Search within the boundaries of the organisation, so this should be quite interesting as we talk about some of the subtle differences between whats needed within the company as opposed to what works out in the web landscape.

When: Wednesday 29 August 2007

Where: 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Microsoft Sydney Office
Theatre 2
1 Epping Road
North Ryde NSW