Where Has Amanda Been?

Well its certainly been a while since I have posted here.  This past year has introduced a wide variety of things that have slowed down my blog posts.

First up, we released our latest book! Beginning SharePoint 2010: Building Business Solutions with SharePoint.  This book was a major effort and consumed the majority of my non-business time related to the world of SharePoint in the past year.  Of course, it was a joint effort between my most awesome co-authors, Shane Perran, Jennifer Mason and Laura Rogers.  So far feedback on this book has been great and I think it is an excellent asset for anyone that is getting started with SharePoint 2010 that is either completely new or has had prior experience with a previous version.

Another reason for the slow down has been a major extension to our little family.  Shane and I now have a daughter, Dylan Perran.  She is an amazing little girl and a total breath of fresh air that was much needed in the past year between professional life and an illness in the household.  She has introduced a whole new role to my life as a mother and its one that I am enjoying tremendously.

So now that things have settled down a bit, I am looking forward to getting back into writing. I am currently on Maternity Leave from work so its nice to spend some time with technology that is more around discovery, research and investigation and less about projects and timelines.

Shane and I are also planning to launch a new site in the near future but we will be cross posting for a while on our existing blogs.

Coming Back Around

It’s been a while since I have posted. The past 6-7 months have been pretty crazy for me in a lot of ways and as a result, this blog has been neglected far more than I had hoped.

For a while, I was feeling a little burned out from writing after the book project. It was a great experience but I found that it took it’s toll on my whole work / life balance. Basically for 8 months, Shane and I became accustomed to working our day jobs and then coming home and writing for anywhere between 4-8 hours a night. Sometimes after a long day, it can be very challenging to think clearly enough to write about a topic. To help we would often go to our favorite coffee shop for a couple of hours in between to write so that it didn’t seem so repetitive. Plus during the time I was traveling a lot for work so that made things even tougher. So needless to say when we were done, there was a serious need for some R&R.

So that is what we did…

We went out and brought a new truck and a camper and spent whatever moments we could outside under the stars and next to a camp fire. We finally got to spend some time kicking back and having fun together as a couple rather than merely being co-workers or book writing partners. It was an amazing summer and I may have even set a new record for number of hours spent offline. Well as offline as one can get with a Windows Mobile phone that is always connected but you get the idea. :-)

Truck

Now that the ground is starting to freeze and preparing to turn a shade of white for the next 4-5 months, I will be spending more time inside and consequently writing. For a while I was having a hard time thinking of things to write since we covered so much in the book. Now I have collected a pile of topics that act as extensions or further details to those topics covered that I am looking forward to putting into something people can benefit here on my blog. As always if you have any requests for things you would like to see covered, please use my comments.

Breaking the Silence

Wow it has been too long.  My brother reminded me this morning that it has been well over a month since my last post.  Time flies eh?

Well as Shane wrote this morning, we have been pretty deep on a few projects this past while.  Highest in priority of course being the book which is slowly but surely coming to a state ready for release.  I truely cannot wait for the point in time when we can sit back and enjoy our efforts and see it released.  I am confident it will be excellent handbook for those of you looking to get your feet wet and understand how to effectively use Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 to support your team and organization. The book is very much focused on understanding how to apply the out of the box features to common scenarios and offers a LOT of hands on examples.   I know for me this is a way I like to learn which is why I have always been a fan of the WROX Beginner series.

In addition to the book there has been an extremely hectic work and travel schedule to keep things moving at light speed pace.  I really look forward to having things calm down for a while after March so I can start looking ahead to the rest of the year and making some positive changes in multiple areas of my life…one of which includes getting married which I am looking forward to.  Others will be announced when appropriate.  Stay tuned!

Weekend Time

It has been a LONG week!  My head is complete mush from many late nights and even longer days.  So while I had hoped to end the week off with a very cool and inspiring post…it just ain’t gonna happen.  :-)

Instead Shane and I have the car packed up and we are heading camping for the night.  Tomorrow I hope to go fishing with my dad and big bro (weather permitting) and then I shall get back to being productive tomorrow evening.

The Promise

When you are in a relationship with someone for a long time (like 8 or 9 years), then sometimes you have to make promises to the other person to ensure you hold up your part of the bargain related to a certain task.

So as a result I found myself making a promise to Shane tonight that I am hoping I can keep up.  I have to make 1 post a day on my blog for the next 3 weeks.  Yep that’s it.  Geek relationships are funny aren’t they.  But I’ve slacked off on blogging lately and since I guilted him into starting a couple of years back – it’s only right that he give me a kick in the butt when I slack off. 

Usually when I stop posting for a while it is hard for me to get back into the swing of things but once I start up again I can’t stop.  Given that there is so much stuff in this little head of mine these days related to SharePoint, InfoPath and all other beta goodness – it’s about time I start to share.

So starting tomorrow (I guess this counts tho too eh?) I will pick back up on my posting and I have promised not to stop for another 3 weeks.  Wish me luck!  :-)

Feed issues (teasers)

It’s come to my attention that in my *ahem*  tweaking of my feeds via feedburner I managed to click something which may be causing you to see only a little teaser text and be forced to view my site to read the rest.  This is not my intention and I’m working to fix it right away – sorry for the mix-up. Thanks to Andrew Connell for bringing it to my attention

This is as good a time as any to reiterate the fact that people should move to my feedburner feed, one of two available when you subscribe to this blog.  http://feeds.feedburner.com/sharepointcustomizationblog

How to live happily with a great designer (By Seth Godin)

For those of you that strive to create a pixel based purple cow each day, you should appeciate this article by Seth Godin dubbed How to live happily with a great designer“.

The only thing I would do differently is bold #8. After almost 15 years of designing professionally for the web I have come to the conclusion that contrary to popular, everyone is not an artist.

There’s a new “Online” RSS Aggregator on the Block, Newshutch

I noticed this will browsing around one of my favorite online application developer sites, 37 Signals.  Newshutch is a very clean RSS aggregator, very nice execution thus far.  I just hope the aggregator performs faster than the website, it’s getting muchos traffic right now.

Sign up for your own free account and take a look at Newshutch
http://www.newshutch.com/login