Switching the Feedbag

I just updated my FeedBurner account to utilize the new blog posts feed.

Feed Address:  http://feeds.feedburner.com/OwenAllen

New blog address: http://owen-allen.com

Old blog address:  http://blogs.msdn.com/oallen

My blog is going to be a great place to hang out.  Especially of all of you on SharePoint Saturdays!

A Month of (SharePoint) Saturdays

The SharePoint Saturday phenomenon continues to amaze me.  Tomorrow morning (today, actually, a SharePoint Saturday will be held in the Oakland/East Bay region, all because two community members decided that they wanted to bring a SharePoint Saturday to this location.  They found the space to hold the sessions, they secured speakers and invited companies to sponsor the event, and they are offering the event free to the local community.  Anyone can attend. It’s like a mini-SharePoint Conference.

These have been going on for over 12-18 months now, and have been received with more and more success.  There certainly is a need within the local communities to provide more SharePoint instruction and stories – SharePoint Saturdays are addressing part of that thirst.  You can see the schedule of past SharePoint Saturdays and upcoming events on the website at SharePointSaturday.org.

In an effort to try to follow my own advice and be active in the SharePoint community as a business development exercise, I’m participating in three SharePoint Saturdays this month. — All on the West Coast.

I can’t wait.  This is going to be an opportunity to tell the story about SharePoint that I’ve been anxious to tell.  I’m an evangelist (but that doesn’t pay the bills for me yet), and I’ve been selling products as a vendor representative for the past 14 years.  I’m actually curious to see how different, if at all, my speeches end up being from the company line that I’ve been delivering for the past decade+.  Maybe they won’t be at all – but maybe they will.

Come join me on Saturday!  See you there.

Seizing the White Space

Seizing the white space

I’m reading the book, “Seizing the White Space: Business Model Innovation for Growth and Renewal,” by Mark W. Johnson.

Chapter 2 opens with an example from “An Actor Prepares,” by Konstantin Stanislavsky, which describes an actor who can’t get motivated appropriately for a scene. The actor and the director know what needs to happen, but the actor can’t find the right character preparation to play the scene. It requires him to be frightened of something off the set, and to jump under a table. The director instructs the actor to go through the motions of jumping under then table, and when he does, the actor finds that he then can feel the fear that he was trying to generate.
“sometimes you feel afraid and you dive under the table, the master conceded, but sometimes, if you dive under the table, you will feel afraid. Stanislavsky’s great contribution to Western art was to propose that while creative inspiration often leads to structure, just as often, structure unlocks creativity.”

I am an extremely successful procrastinator. I try all sorts of methods to shake myself out of a rut, to stop being distracted by the shiny and the new, at the expense of my current projects, but it is difficult. — often because I am at the place where the actor was — unable to generate the creative blast that I felt was needed to see into the project and to provide the desired thrust.

This quote shook me up a little bit and perhaps I can take away from it that by diving into the project, I can trust that the creativity will follow. This may seem like a simple concept to many, but to me, it might be more important. We will see. However, it’s good for me to observe that I did get this blog post done!

(I still haven’t finished the web site for the new company, SharePoint Directions, but that’s another story…)

See you again online!

Hello, World!

This is the new blog for Owen Allen.  I’ve had a great past few years over at http://blogs.msdn.com/oallen (I started blogging in July 2003), but it’s time for my own blog URL, as I’m taking the next step in my career and finishing an 8 year career with Microsoft.  I’m looking forward to learning how to use wordpress and I’d welcome any suggestions as to how to do blogging ‘right’.  🙂  See you online!