SharePoint Connections 2013 Recap #SPCon13

Phew! Barely home long enough to catch my breath and write a quick post about SharePoint Connections 2013! It was great to meet up with old colleagues and friends alike, as well as make new connections.

So much happened and I talked to so many people, I’m just going to sum up the highlights – in no particular order!

I’m really sorry I didn’t get to see my colleagues’ session on Once You App, You Don’t Go Back, which was done by Daniel Sörlöv and Alexander von Malachowski. They were kind enough to show me the speakers room (it really wasn’t as impressive as it sounds) … so I brought all the speakers some fresh stroopwafels.

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Benjamin Niaulin

Benjamin Niaulin‘s session on the Search Content Webpart was just hands down awesome. He’s such a fun, passionate guy that you want to pay attention to him and laugh along with him. Plus, he did a little dance to illustrate how continuous crawl in SharePoint 2013 works. For this reason, I will never forget how continuous crawl actually works.

One of my notes from his session is a direct quote:


I already thought Benjamin Niaulin was pretty cool, because his blog post on Step by Step: Create a SharePoint 2013 Composed Look is my most referred-to resource for SharePoint 2013 design. Seriously, though: he’s even cooler in person.

Martin Hatch

I’d never seen or met Martin Hatch before, but his session on Dude, Where’s my Search Scopes – Walkthrough of the new Search Capabilities in SharePoint 2013 was excellent.  He did a wonderful job of showing us the different functionality and I do hope to see him again at more sessions.

Joel Oleson

I saw both of Joel Oleson’s sessions.

SharePoint 2013 Mobile Strategy and Responsive Web Design

The part about responsive vs. adaptive design was fantastic and I’ll definitely be looking into using this more.

Also, he got into the support for mobiles for SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013:


Upon seeing this, I promptly tried to find all of these for Android:

  • Newsfeed: is coming, but unsure when
  • Office Mobile App: awesome, works wonderfully!
  • SkyDrive Pro: couldn’t find it in the app store, but Office Mobile App was great anyway
  • Office Web Apps: meh, but it worked

SharePoint 2013, Office 365, Yammer and Social Compliance

I loved that he showed multiple videos and pictures within his presentations.

Compliance is like herding cats: 

And… lead the community with subtle movements, don’t try and control everything:

Joel also did a write-up of the event on his blog – he has more interesting pictures than I do: SharePoint Connections Amsterdam Event Recap and Slides #SPCon13

Dan Holme’s governance workshop

I participated in Dan Holme‘s governance workshop on the third day and I’m so glad I did.  Dan is a wonderful speaker and he did a great job of making this session work from both an IT-Pro as well as a business perspective.

I loved how he used the analogy of SharePoint as a sand castle and how he reused this analogy many times throughout the day.

I teach information architecture and occasionally information management. This diagram, which was the core of the morning section, was worth the entire price of the day for me:


There were plenty of other useful things throughout the day, but this was definitely the highlight for me.

Galaxy Note 3

I spent a fair amount of the conference playing with my new phone, the Android-based Galaxy Note 3. Yes, I realize it’s more of a tablet than a phone, but that’s ok – I do most of my calling via my Bluetooth Jawbone anyway.

I don’t really use most of the Samsung apps. I find that there is too much bloatware and they just don’t do what I want. However, while playing around, I found an awesome combination: Papyrus + Evernote.

I was able to use Papyrus to write notes on the screen, even to take a picture of a slide and then draw all over it. I could then export the entire note to Evernote, which can generally interpret my handwriting and make it searchable! At least, when I wrote somewhat neatly.


The thing is, I want an even bigger screen now. Something like the Galaxy Note 10.1 would do it, I think. That 2560×1600 pixel resolution looks pretty awesome.


There you have it, my summary of SharePoint Connections. I learned a lot, but the most valuable part was the networking and getting to reconnect with old colleagues and friends.

Hopefully next year I’ll be wearing a speakers shirt!