Category Archives: Twitter

Announcing #SPJam on 5/21: The Future of SharePoint, Yammer and Mobile in the Social Enterprise

 

Editor’s note: Follow contributor Mark Fidelman @markfidelman

With Microsoft’s recent announcement of the Yammer integration roadmap, several questions remain as to how to best move forward with your social enterprise strategy. Many community members applaud the integration while others believe it’s a mistake. Which solution will your business choose for enterprise social and how will you prepare?

Social SharePoint Tweet Jam (#SPJam)

Join me Tuesday May 21st at 12 pm ET for #SPJam! It’s sponsored by my client harmon.ie, the platform independent social software company.

We welcome the global SharePoint community to participate. All experience levels are welcome to connect with the experts that will be on hand to get the conversation rolling. The easiest way to join in is by following or including the #SPJam hashtag.

The Questions

Among the questions we’d like to explore:

  • Is Microsoft making the right moves in Enterprise Social Networking (ESN)? Why or why not?
  • Any holes in Microsoft’s social strategy?
  • How can organization best take advantage of the new SharePoint solutions and tools?
  • How will Office 365 play into this new social shift?
  • How will these Microsoft/SharePoint developments affect the community?
  • How important is mobile in an enterprise social strategy?
  • Why/how should every business prepare for mobile as part of its enterprise social strategy?

If there are additional questions you’d like to have asked and answered, tweet your suggestions to @teamharmonie.

The Experts

We have gathered together a great group of SharePoint community leaders and experts to take part in the Social SharePoint Jam, including:

  • Ant Clay, Founder of SoulSailor Consulting Ltd, @SoulSailor
  • Bjorn Furuknap, SharePoint Consultant, @furuknap
  • Corrado Iorizzo, Senior Manager - Solution Architect at Cambridge Technology Partners, @corradoi
  • Falak Mahmood, SharePoint Architect at CGI, @falaky
  • Joel Oleson, SharePoint Evangelist & Managing Director at Salient6, @joeloleson
  • John Anderson, Managing Editor at Bamboo Solutions, @SharePointBlank
  • Laura Rogers, Senior SharePoint Consultant at Rackspace Hosting, @wonderlaura
  • Michael Greth, SharePoint Specialist, @MySharePoint
  • Mike Watson, Co-Founder of Seriouslabz, Ltd @jmikewatson
  • Paul Keijzers, SharePoint Specialist at KbWorks, @kbworks
  • Paul Swider, CTO at RealActivity, @pswider
  • Richard Harbridge, Trusted Advisor, Microsoft Partner Technology Advisor, Microsoft Technology Specialist at Microsoft @rharbridge
  • Rob Howard, Founder and CTO at Telligent Systems, @RobHoward
  • Sadie Van Buren, Director of Marketing at BlueMetal Architects, @Sadalit
  • Wilco Turnhout, Owner at Rapid Circle, @wturnhout
  • Yaacov Cohen, Co-Founder and CEO at harmon.ie, @yaacovc

Participation Guidelines
At 12 pm Eastern Time (US), I will open #SPJam and invite participants to introduce yourselves in your first #SPJam tweet. Include your name and the organization you work for.

Then, I will introduce topics one at a time. Start subsequent tweets with the question number you are responding to and the #SPJam hashtag. For example, "#SPJam Q1 “Microsoft is movin’ and groovin’…”

Remember that this is a public chat — remain professional, be thoughtful and stay focused on the subject at hand.

And avoid pitching your commercial services or products.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Social Media Dashboard for SharePoint

 

Part of my keynote at SPTechCon last week was a demo of a social media dashboard created by Marc Anderson. He was able to incorporate live feeds from Twitter and Yammer into a page while manipulating the interface so that it didn’t look like SharePoint. He also created a little magic by making it possible to send SMS messages from the tweet streams.

There has been a lot of talk since his presentation, so we decided to update the interface and present a live, online walk-through so people can hear Marc talk about how he created it and then watch him step through the construction of the page so you can try it on your own.

This will be a fast paced, fun session that will give you some new ideas on how you might manage your own SharePoint interfaces. Register for the session and we’ll send you the URL for login the morning of the event.

Looking forward to seeing you there,
Mark and Marc

Update: SharePoint Online 2010 - Twitter Web Part


You may also be interested in: The SharePoint Shepherd’s Guide for End Users from SharePoint Shepherd


 

Editor’s note: Contributor Jasper Oosterveld is a SharePoint Consultant at Wortell. Follow him @SharePTJasper

A while ago I wrote an article about adding a Twitter web part to your SharePoint Online 2010 site. I tried the instructions at a customer site but failed. I have no idea if they still work. I’ve got a new solution from Maarten Juurlink. Let’s take a look!

Create a new HTML file with the following code:


<script charset="utf-8" src="https://widgets.twimg.com/j/2/widget.js"></script>
<script>
new TWTR.Widget({
  version: 2,
  type: 'search',
  search: '@<UserName> OR #<HashTag>',
  interval: 10000,
  title: '',
  subject: '',
  width: 'auto',
  height: 300,
  theme: {
    shell: {
      background: '#ffffff',
      color: '#ffffff'
    },
    tweets: {
      background: '#ffffff',
      color: '#444444',
      links: '#1985b5'
    }
  },
  features: {
    scrollbar: true,
    loop: false,
    live: true,
    behavior: 'all'
  }
}).render().start();</script>

The only thing you have to do is configure the following:

‘@<UserName> OR #<HashTag>’

Use the @ or the #.

Save the HTML and upload to a document library. Use a Content Editor Web Part to refer to the location of the HTML file:

2012-11-16-2010TwitterUpdate-01.png

This did the trick for me.

NothingButSharePoint.com t-shirts for SharePoint Conference 2012

 

So, I’ve been busy this week chasing up sponsorship opportunities for this conferences must have personalized shirts.

A big thank you to MetaVis for supporting one set of t-shirts with the phrase “Working on it…” on them ala the new messaging from SharePoint 2013.

   The registration process will be open shortly to sign up for a FREE personalized t-shirt with your Twitter handle on the back.

[UPDATE] 100 lucky registrants got a shirt, if you didn’t make the cut there is still an opportunity to purchase your personalized shirt.

Pick Up & Volunteers

The shirts will be picked up at the SharePoint Community Hub manned by various volunteers. A big thanks goes out to all those that helped distribute the shirts with me last year.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact me so we can arrange time slots ;-)

Gallery

Here are some photos from previous SPC’s where people have been lucky enough to get shirts! If you have photos of you in the t-shirt, please contact me.

SPC 09

@waldekm

@rutherfordm – thanks to Vizit for sponsoring shirts at SPC09

SPC 11

@iOnline247

@cawood – Stephen Cawood posing in the “I’m just here for the SharePint” shirt!

@jennifermason & @wonderlaura from Rackspace posing for me cheekily!

SharePoint and Twitter


You may also be interested in: the only cloud-based Dev/Test solution for SharePoint by CloudShare


 

Editor’s note: Contributor Jasper Oosterveld is a SharePoint Consultant at Wortell. Follow him @SharePTJasper

Last week I showed you how to add a YouTube video into SharePoint. This time I would like to share how you can create your own Twitter web part! Let’s get started!

First go to this site:
https://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets/widget_search

You can configure four sections:

  • Settings
  • Preferences
  • Appearance
  • Dimensions

Settings

Define your search query, for example Office365, and give the web part a title and caption. You can immediately see your configuration by clicking Test settings:

Pretty cool!

Preferences

You can configure the following settings:

I set Behavior to Load all tweets and the Number of Tweets at 5.

Appearance

This section allows you to change the look and feel of the web part:

You can adjust the widget to the look and feel of your portal. The Test Settings button is really useful for this section because you can immediately see the new look and feel.

Dimensions

You can change the dimensions if needed. I just leave it at the default settings. Now click on Finish & Grab Code. You can copy the code and save it in a Notepad file. The following actions need to be executed:

  • Upload the notepad (TXT) file to a document library
  • Copy the link address
  • Add a content editor web part
  • Refer to the link address and save the web part

Behold the result:

This also works for SharePoint Online but you have to change the following url to https:

src="http://widgets.twimg.com/j/2/widget.js">

I hope this solution is useful for you.

Tweet Jam 2012: The State of the SharePoint Community

 

Please join Mark Miller and an incredible panel of SharePoint community leaders on February 15th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EST for:

Tweet Jam 2012: The State of the SharePoint Community (#SPJam)

Hosted by Mark Fidelman (harmon.ie), the discussion will include:

  • Is the community still relevant? Why or why not?
  • How do we build a stronger, more effective community?
  • What Microsoft/SharePoint developments will affect the community?
  • How can we help community members introduce continuous, systematic improvements as well as benchmark advancements as their organizations progress along the SharePoint Maturity continuum?

If you have any questions or suggestions for additional topics please feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Panelists

John Anderson (Bamboo Nation)
Ant Clay (21 Apps)
Dave Coleman (SharePointEduTech Ltd)
Bjørn Furuknap (USPJ Academy)
Michael Greth (SharePointCommunity.de)
Richard Harbridge (Allin Consulting)
Scot Hillier (Scot Hillier Technical Solutions, LLC)
Mark Kashman (Microsoft)
Michael Lotter (B&R Business Solutions)
Mark Miller (Fpweb.net)
Jacob Morgan (Chess Media Group)
Joel Oleson (Church of LDS)
Veronique Palmer (Lets Collaborate)
Lee Provoost (Dachis Group)
Eric Riz (Concatenate, Inc)
Bil Simser (FortisAlberta)
Paul J. Swider (RealActivity, LLC)
Dux Raymond Sy (Innovative-e)
Marwin Tarek (SharePoint4Arabs.com)
Jeff Willinger (RightPoint Consulting)
Andrew Woodward (21 apps)
Chandima (Knowledge Cue)

We hope you’ll join us for an hour of Q&A with these experts from the SharePoint community.

The future of SharePoint

 

There has been a small increase in chatter on the web recently about the next version of SharePoint. Little is really known about SharePoint 15 right now, though it is probably deep in development with most of it’s new features locked down. Leaked screenshots of the next version of Office caused the most recent flap, but there was very little for SharePoint professionals to pick over. Still it is always nice to speculate about what we might see. I’ll focus on the end user and interface elements. An easy place to start is looking at some of the limitations of SharePoint 2010.

First on my list is the forms side of SharePoint, which I wrote about very recently. It would be nice to see this area beefed up a little, something like a native SharePoint form designer would be very welcome. Nintex are getting very close to releasing their fforms product, and something like this built into native SharePoint would be excellent.

Sticking with Nintex (no this post isn’t sponsored, they just create good products) it is surely time to see their excellent workflow tool built into SharePoint (more from me on this great addin here). Any project that has a workflow element would benefit from Nintex Workflow, but it’s great for putting a simple programmable layer into SharePoint that is accessible by power users. Integrating the workflow and form tools directly into SharePoint would surely make ‘SharePoint the platform’ a lot stronger.

More generally I’d like to see the taxonomy component beefed up in the next version. Right now it works well when it works, but it seems its hooks aren’t as tightly integrated into the core of SharePoint as they could be (so my developer friends tell me as well). Managed metadata is a real step forward for those of us that began to dread lookup and choice columns, but another layer of sophistication would be most welcome.

A seemingly minor thing, but something I would welcome, would be the ability to resize web part and wiki zones on the fly. I’ve lost count of how many times users ask me if they can change the zones to suit their own needs. Yes templates vary, and page layouts can be changed, but this feels like a missing option to me.

Another ‘simple thing’, but something that drives me mad, is when updating views used by web parts. If I alter a view, and a web part uses it, please SharePoint 15 can you let the web part make use of the revised view straight away. I don’t want to have it edit the web part properties and re-select the view again.

Back in the realms of the ‘big stuff’ I’d like to see an update to MySites. Right now they aggregate content from around the portal, and deal with ‘My colleagues’ and generally ‘My’ stuff. This works well and is important, but in addition users are looking at other social networking sites and features and expecting them in SharePoint. I’m not advocating making ‘ShareBook’ (read why I actually think the opposite) but offering ‘hooks’ to external sites might be useful.

By hooks I mean allowing select data and functionality from say LinkedIn or Facebook to be pulled into SharePoint. A good example is similar to how a lot of phones work nowadays. Your existing contact list can be beefed up with data pulled from other sites. Outlook 2010 does a similar thing and calls them ‘social connectors’. A SharePoint version would go down well, suddenly your usual staff directory is a lot more functional. The idea could be expanded further though. Imagine a dedicated Twitter web part to display a search result or hash tag (this can be hacked right now I know) or the ability to display and interact with a closed LinkedIn group from your team site.

I’m talking about MySites complementing existing functionality with ‘social media hooks’ rather than trying to it’s own private system, that only half does what user’s want. Why not license and make use of the good stuff that is out there. I’m sure some of the big web guys, LinkedIn especially, would welcome the exposure.

Ok that’s it for now, though I’m sure I could continue. Leave a comment if you have a feature or an idea for an improvement you’d like to see.

Building a Twitter Client In InfoPath

 

InfoPath 2010 introduced the ability to get external data from a “REST Web Service.”’ REST (REpresentational State Transfer) services became the darling of Web 2.0 a few year s back when Facebook exposed their API as a ‘RESTful’ service. Every other major site has since followed suit and we now have the ability to deeply integrate our projects with the social experience.

The exact definition of a RESTful system has become a source of contention among geeks. Proponents of ‘pure’ REST architecture point to Roy Fielding’s 2000 PhD dissertation. They cite things like reuse of HTTP verbs, meaningful headers, stateless protocols and identifiable resources. This group would be shocked at the InfoPath implementation. InfoPath has no idea what a header is, can only make GET requests, and you can return data in any format you want, as long as it’s XML.

I however, ask myself one simple question when deciding if I can call a system RESTful. ‘Can I hook that up to Twitter?’

We begin with a new blank form, and add a REST Web Service from the Data tab.

Compared to the SOAP equivalent, the REST Web Service settings are very simplistic. Simply add a URL to receive data from, and save the data connection. In this example we will point InfoPath to http://search.twitter.com/search.rss?q=twitter, and give it a name.

 

This URL can be broken into three distinct parts

  • search.twitter.com – the base URL that hosts the Search API
  • search.rss - this specifies that we want our response formatted as an RSS feed. ATOM and JSON are also available, but ATOM doesn’t have all the fields we need, and InfoPath doesn’t understand JSON.
  • ?q=infopath – here we specify what we want to search for in our query sting using the q parameter. We’ve chosen to search for “twitter” by default.

After saving the connection you’ll have a new Secondary Data Source.

Drag the item repeating group onto your form as a Repeating Section with Controls, and after expanding all the fields, preview your form.

If you receive an error when you preview the form, go under File > Advanced Form Options > Security and Trust and set the form to Full Trust mode. This certainly isn’t a best practice, but it get’s around InfoPaths reluctance to make cross domain calls in the simplest way possible.

This is neat, but what about if you want to search for something other than ‘twitter’? Users of SOAP web services are familiar with setting a query field in a data source, but REST Web Services are handled a little differently. Start by adding a field at the top of your page named keyword, and put a button under that. Click on the button and a new Control Tools contextual menu will appear. Click on Rules to open the buttons rules pane.

Under Add you have a new action for 2010, “Change REST URL”.

In this action, you will use the concat() function to build a formula that combines the text “http://search.twitter.com/search.rss?q=” and the value entered in the keyword field. Be careful when entering the URL, if you don’t enter the URL to the exact same RESTful resource, your data source will break. This is one of the drawbacks of the REST Web Service in 2010.

Add a second action to your rule to query the Twitter data source after modifying the URL. Without this the form won’t be refreshed with new data after you’ve clicked your search button.

Preview your form and try searching with a new value in the keyword field. I’ve made the Title field wider and multi-line to make it easier to read as well.

You now have a functioning Twitter search in InfoPath! However, there is one problem, it’s pretty ugly. To add a little extra visual appeal we’ll use another 2010 feature, the image control. Right click on the image_link field and change the control type to Picture.

I’ve also moved around some fields to make the tweet more readable, and but a border at the top and bottom of the repeating section to differentiate between tweets easier.

Preview your form and you have a sharp looking, enterprise-ready Twitter search.

Conclusion:

InfoPath 2010 brought with it the ability to make calls to RESTful web services. However, ’HTTP’ web service would be a better name for this feature as InfoPath doesn’t support most features that make a REST architecture so appealing. Nevertheless, it does open the door to some interesting opportunities. In this article you’ve seen how to use the Twitter search API to pull data from twitter, then design a form to query the service and display tweets using features like the image control.

Knowing how to use REST web services in InfoPath enables us to use all kinds of data sources. InfoPath developers are no longer restricted to web services with a valid WSDL files. We can now request any valid XML (and potentially even HTML) and parse the response. Sources with rich, URL based identifiers like SharePoint list oData feeds are among the data sources that are opened up thanks to RESTful web servies.

If you would like to see the full form, please visit http://twinfopath.codeplex.com

Is Twitter for SharePoint dead?

​I use twitter everyday as filtering device for finding new things about SharePoint. You can follow me, @eusp, to see what I’ve found and the new ideas I’m having around community building. The problem now is, an 800 pound gorilla has entered the room. Everywhere I turn, Google+ is rearing it’s head, roaring, "Look at me! Look at me!".

 Jeremy wrote an article last week, Google Plus - Do We Need another Social Network, after we had a short discussion on the merits of Google+. When he was asking if I’d joined yet, I told him I’ve got enough to track already and didn’t see the value of adding to my daily load of Twitter, Facebook, Linked in and the 100s of RSS feeds I’m following. Enough is enough. I didn’t see the value of adding another 1/2 to hour a day creating and tracking "circles" of interest.

Twitter is invaluable to me at this point. The instant communication and flow of information is essential as I try to keep up with the community, where various members are, and what they are currently working on. There is a group of us who open each of our presentations with a push towards twitter, telling how it almost single-handedly helped the SharePoint Community build a solid reference network.

How does Google+ fit into instant information, network building? At this point, I’m not sure. As you can see at the top of this page, and all pages on NBSP, you can "plus" an article. Jeremy built that in after he started using Google+. From his article, I gather he’s finding value in setting up another network builder.

What this all comes down to is, when will it all stop? When will we have a referencing/referring/filtering system that will handle ALL aspects of ALL of my networks? Is Google+ it? If history is to say, probably not but it will be an improvement over what is currently available.

Technology is changing, change is good, blah blah blah. We are in an extremely compressed transition period now when it comes to social tracking. There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of ways to track various networks. Will there ever be a single point of reference? Probably not. I’ll just have to suck it up and add another tracker to my daily routine.

The final outcome of this: I’m going to be much more selective when adding people and business to track, selecting the true trusted advisors into each network to make sure the white noise isn’t overriding my daily needs. For now…

Sharevolution. An AppStore for SharePoint

 

On Saturday 22nd, at SharePoint Saturday EMEA, we’ll be launching a new store for SharePoint. We are calling it Sharevolution. Why? Because it’s a place for publishers to share solutions they’ve built, and a place for end users to go for solutions that make SharePoint just that little bit better.

The concept of a store means different things to different people. What we’ve tried to do with Sharevolution is to think beyond your standard Product Catalog/Download store, by imagining what a store built especially for SharePoint would look like.

Our store is different to any store you’ve visited before. It’s been built from the ground up to integrate tightly with SharePoint in the Cloud**. It knows what a list is, what site templates are, and it knows what to do with Masterpages and Stylesheets.

Our goal is to become the place you think of when you want to make SharePoint just that little bit better.

Our inspiration of course has been the Apple AppStore, a marketplace which created an enormous opportunity for developers and iPhone owners. It’s been the driving force behind making the iPhone the multipurpose device it is today.

So, that is where we started. Could it be possible to do the same for SharePoint? Could we build a store for SharePoint that made the installation of solutions as simple as a single click? The answer turned out to be “Yes”.

You start with a problem

To take you on a brief tour of Sharevolution, let’s begin where you do, with a problem.

Let’s say you have a geographically dispersed team, working across different time zones, but working on the same project. Perhaps you work on a sales team that uses SharePoint (BPOS), within a company that has many branch offices. In this situation communication between people in the team is always a challenge. How do you ensure everyone knows what everyone else is working on, and make it easier to share knowledge?

Enter TeamTalk

You may have looked longingly at Twitter as a model for sharing short burst of information, quickly and frequently, by way of sharing your status. Given this is sales, it’s not something you want to share on the internet. Could SharePoint be a little more like Twitter?

This is where most people get to. There is nothing to stop you creating an announcements list, and then having everyone post a short announcement whenever they feel like it. In my experience, this rarely ends up working. Why? Because it’s an announcements list, not a twitter list. SharePoint ends up being just not quite good enough.

But what if you could have a SharePoint site that looked like this?

TeamTalk, our “Assembly Free” or “Client-Side” solution makes SharePoint good enough, making it just that little bit better at sharing your status. On the left you can see all the messages from your team, scrolling down. On the right, a very quick and easy text box in which to write and post your message. Below that, any messages which mention your name. Finally, by using “Hashtags” you can start to arrange messages by topic, with these displayed on the left in “Trending Topics”. You can even subscribe to a tag.

Perhaps you are looking for a simpler way to manage your web content, or to transform SharePoint’s “look and feel” with a brand new theme!

SimpleCMS is an amazing add-on for SharePoint content management in team sites, and the support in Sharevolution for Masterpages should lead to a growing selection of new themes by designers.

Sharevolution’s best feature though, is how simple it will make it for you to install these solutions. Our “Direct Install” technology means solutions are up and running on your environment with just a single-click.

I can’t wait to finally go public with a project that has kept us busy for more than 12 months. We hope you can join us for the launch at SharePoint Saturday EMEA, on 22nd of January. Launching a store like this is both huge in scope, and massive in ambition. We are absolutely launching in true “Beta” mode (not Google Beta mode), there will be bugs and teething problems (it’s complicated), but we’ll do whatever we can, to be as responsive as we can.

Of course there is no possible way we can succeed without the community being totally behind us. We’re not some huge organisation with endless resources, we’re just passionate enthusiasts with an idea.

What I’m trying to say is…..we need your help.

If you are a Developer’s or ISV’s

We built Sharevolution because first and foremost, we wanted to see the SharePoint community served by a marketplace which supported small time developers. Just as the Apple AppStore created new dream careers for mobile developers, we want to see SharePoint developers, like ourselves, have the same opportunities. If this is you, then sign up to have one of our “Publisher Concierges” contact you by filling in this form:

http://blog.sharevolutionhq.com/index.php?plugin=formidable&controller=forms&action=preview&form=14rnn5
Community based solutions hosted for free of course.

If you are one of the SharePoint End Users!

EndUserSharePoint has done a great job helping you get more out of SharePoint, we hope that with Sharevolution we can take this even further, and make it even easier. We would love to have you browse our store, and we need your help and understanding while we work out the inevitable kinks. In return we will work as hard as we can to bring new and innovative solutions to SharePoint from developers everywhere. Feedback can be given via our User Voice forum, accessible via the feedback form which will appear on the left of the screen, or here:

http://sharevolution.uservoice.com/forums/68225-general
To thank you in advance, during the first month the store is live, all solutions are free.

If you are a SharePoint Hoster

There is a very good chance that Sharevolution works for your SharePoint customers today, if there’s a problem, we are committed to fixing it. Sharevolution offers your customers a great way to get more value out of the platform you provide them. We’re interested in partnering with you so that our store can be even more tightly integrated, making it even easier to use. Contact me, daniel@sharevolutionhq.com

Finally, I would like to say a big thanks to those from the community that have been supporting us so far.

Sam Dolan of PinkPetrol for the amazing design work, I never expected to launch with such polish.
Mark Miller of EndUserSharePoint.com for keeping the pressure on us to get this out the door, and his ongoing support and ideas.

Our launch publishers for contributing their great solutions:

Jose Morales with SimpleCMS
Christophe Humbert PathToSharePoint with EasyTabs
Andre Salomons SmartSharePointSolutions.com with the Financial Suite

Thanks also to Serge Salomons, our lead developer, the team at Codezeven, and Hans Blaauw, a mate never short of cool ideas.  

See you at SharePoint Saturday EMEA online.