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Insights from the Microsoft SharePoint Conference

"Working like a network" and other exciting possibilities for knowledge management.
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Mon, 03/10/14 - 12:58pm.

There was an overwhelming amount of information to process at the recent Microsoft SharePoint Conference 2014 in Las Vegas. This conference continued the themes of the last SharePoint Conference in 2012: cloud, mobile, and social. But at this conference, and for the first time, Microsoft did not just show solutions and features that were ready for prime time. Instead, we caught a glimpse of the future - and not just the future of SharePoint - but the related technology advances that have the potential to transform the way we work.

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Hashtag Helper: 7 tips to get more value from hashtags in SharePoint 2013

Using hashtags in SharePoint 2013: Put the cherry on top of your SharePoint social sundae.
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Thu, 01/30/14 - 6:58pm.

The organizations I'm currently working with are seeing some tremendous value leveraging the social capabilities of SharePoint and Yammer. I'm going to share some great stories about how they have overcome barriers to deliver meaningful business value at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas.

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Essential Intranets by James Robertson: Essential reading for intranet planning and design

Best practices, recommendations, and examples from leading intranets by a leading intranet expert
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Thu, 10/31/13 - 8:56pm.

I was lucky enough to get a copy of Essential Intranets by the always brilliant James Robertson to review.  If he hadn't given it to me, I would have bought a copy, and you should too, because this book is a must read for intranet designers and the executives who sponsor intranet projects!

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SharePoint Trick: Link to an Image Thumbnail

Creating a link to an image thumbnail in SharePoint
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Fri, 08/30/13 - 5:57pm.

I am working with a client where we have a SharePoint list and each list item is associated with an image in an image library. We can easily create a link from the list to the image itself using a Hyperlink column in the list - but when we do that, the default URL for the image displays the image in full size mode - not the cute little thumbnail that you see in the image library. So our challenge for the day was: can you link to the image thumbnail instead of the image itself?

Turns out, you can - but the thumbnail link is not very easy to find. Here's how we did it:

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The book is launched! Essential SharePoint 2013: Practical Guidance for Meaningful Business Results

New SharePoint book with practical guidance for business users and IT Pros
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Fri, 08/09/13 - 6:45pm.

Essential SharePoint 2013: Practical Guidance for Meaningful Business Results is finally available in print! As with the two earlier editions, I'm responsible for pretty much all of the "non-technical" chapters - governance, IA, user adoption, measurement, strategy, etc.

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Why We Are Disabling Reputation Settings in SharePoint 2013 Discussions Lists

Practical experience with the “gamification” features in SharePoint 2013 Community Sites
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Thu, 07/18/13 - 2:36pm.

Even if you don't enable "community features," SharePoint 2013 Discussion Lists have a much improved user experience over SharePoint 2010. However, if you enable Community features in a team site or start your site with the Community Site template, your site and discussion list get some nice enhancements that create a much more engaging user experience for conversations.

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SharePoint Governance: To get started, it’s important to have the right conversations!

Questions to address when developing a SharePoint Governance Plan
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Sun, 06/16/13 - 2:02pm.

Just like pretty much everything else when it comes to successful technology solutions, the focus of governance planning for SharePoint needs to start with the business outcomes you are trying to enable. Understanding your business outcome goals are the first step to figuring out how to even think about governance for SharePoint. Once you understand the vision and outcome goals for your solution, you can define your governance plan to help you achieve them.

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Practice Safe Search: 10 Essential SharePoint 2013 Search Hints

End-user tips for creating search queries in SharePoint 2013.
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Sun, 04/07/13 - 4:08pm.

A recent Nielsen Norman Alertbox post talked about how most "users are incredibly bad at finding and researching things on the web." The article mentions that most users have learned to limit their use of search on intranets because intranet search is so poorly implemented. I have also found this to be true. SharePoint 2013's search engine allows search designers to truly optimize the search experience for users, provided that sufficient time is allocated to designing and implementing search.

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SharePoint 2010 vs. 2013 Feature Comparison Summary for Business Users

Examples of some SharePoint 2013 experiences that business users will appreciate
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Mon, 03/11/13 - 5:03pm.

Recently, I was asked to document a summary list of the key differences between SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013 from the perspective of the business user. Clearly, the modern UI of SharePoint 2013 provides an engaging user experience, but that won’t be enough to explain to your users about how their day-to-day experiences with SharePoint might be improved with an upgrade to 2013.

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10 Key Things You Need to Know About SharePoint 2013 Community Sites

Tips for using the SharePoint 2013 Community site template
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Wed, 01/09/13 - 2:20pm.

The new Community site template in SharePoint 2013 provides some really cool capabilities to promote and encourage collaboration for organizational communities. I considered two alternate titles for this blog post: "Member, member - who is a Member?" and "Will the real Member please stand up?" The reason is because one of the key nuances for SharePoint 2013 Community sites is that Members in Community Sites are not the same as Members in Team Sites - and you need to understand the difference if you want to avoid the "security cliff" in Community sites.

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How do I ask you? Let me count the ways – Multiple ways to have conversations in SharePoint 2013

Different ways to have conversations when you are using SharePoint 2013
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Wed, 12/26/12 - 6:39pm.

For the past four months, I've spent a lot of time focused on conversations and communities. I have a client in the early adopter program for SharePoint 2013 and we've been piloting a replacement for their current listservs with SharePoint 2013 community sites.

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Let’s Play! Using Gamification to Encourage KM and Collaboration

What can we expect from the new gamification features in SharePoint 2013?
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Fri, 10/19/12 - 2:02pm.

Games were an interesting theme at KM World 2012 this week.

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SharePoint and Office 2013 Release to Manufacturing: Let the Conferences Begin!

Fall of 2012 provides multiple opportunities to network and learn more about SharePoint and Office 2013
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Fri, 10/12/12 - 6:34pm.

Yesterday, October 11, 2012, was a big day for the Microsoft Office engineering team as the Office 2013 suite, which includes SharePoint 2013, was released to manufacturing. General availability will not be until the first quarter of 2013, but some customers and IT professionals and developers with TechNet or MSDN subscriptions will be able to get access in mid-November.

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Upgrading to the iPhone 5? Eight Simple Steps to Make the Upgrade Easier

A little planning can save time - and voice messages - when you upgrade to the new iPhone 5
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Mon, 09/24/12 - 5:22pm.

I was one of the "lucky" people to score a new iPhone 5 on the first day  but if you weren't, then you might actually be even more lucky - because it took me more than four hours to activate my phone due to the millions of other people trying to do it at the same time. The upgrade process was more or less seamless once I could activate the phone with Apple, but I learned a few lessons that might be helpful to others - especially if you have any old voice mail messages that you want to preserve before you upgrade to your new phone.

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So, you want to be in the movies? Or just use them on your intranet? Check out Video Nation

Video Nation by Jefferson Graham – excellent guide to planning, shooting, and sharing great video
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Wed, 08/29/12 - 8:05pm.

Virtually every company I work with these days wants to be able to share video content on their intranet. The reasons are broad - messages from the CEO, introducing new intranet features, training, and sharing best practices, experiences, and "culture stories." The equipment is ubiquitous - almost everyone has a pretty decent video camera in their cell phone.

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10 Essential SharePoint Search Hints

Helpful syntax for SharePoint search – comparing SharePoint 2010 Foundation, SharePoint 2010 Enterprise, and SharePoint 2013.
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Sat, 07/28/12 - 4:52pm.

I'm on a mission - I want to make sure that all SharePoint guidance (or the other G-word, governance) plans include training about a key information literacy skill: the ability to execute an effective online search. Improving "findability" is a key outcome goal for most SharePoint deployments. We often talk about metadata as the key to improving findability. But, to paraphrase a common expression, it's not just about having all your fish tagged so that they can be found, it's still about teaching people how to fish.

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Designing SharePoint Solutions: Start with the business problem and look backwards!

Recipe for SharePoint success – work backwards from the business problem
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Sun, 06/17/12 - 6:18pm.

This week, my friends from Microsoft invited me to participate in a customer meeting at one of the Microsoft Technology Centers. The challenge: helping a large global organization new to SharePoint understand the information architecture and design trade-offs for deploying SharePoint to support distributed teams. The overwhelming theme was the following: if you want to make the best possible design decisions, start with the business problem and work backwards.

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Iron SharePoint at the SharePoint Summit: What can you do and learn in 3 days?

Rapid development and immersive learning project for SharePoint
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Fri, 05/25/12 - 10:37pm.

Last week, we wrapped up an incredible Iron SharePoint competition at the SharePoint Summit in Toronto. I had the honor of serving as a judge for the second time and though we selected a well-deserved overall winner - the G-Niuses from GSoft Group, every one of the warrior teams did an amazing job worthy of major kudos. 

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SharePoint Governance (again) – is it time for a new “G” word or just an expanded definition?

Guidance - the new “G” word for SharePoint
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Sun, 04/15/12 - 4:06pm.

Simple Naming Conventions that Improve End User Experience in SharePoint Sites

How simple naming conventions can optimize URL length, readability and both power users and end user experience in SharePoint
Submitted by Susan Hanley on Sat, 02/18/12 - 12:50pm.

Inspired by a great blog post by Veronique Palmer about removing %20's from your SharePoint URL's, I've decided to document some additional naming convention best practices that improve the user experience for SharePoint end users and power users alike. The tips are grouped by permissions because not every user has the power to apply these best practices.

If you don't want to read all the details, here are my recommended naming conventions in three sentences:

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