The Collective vs. the Individual
Is it that difficult to get along and agree to an idea? Probably not. What the hell am I talking about? The SharePoint community of course. No, there's no rebellion going on with some twisted and evil Sith Lord reigning supreme and the rest of us are just battling it out in the trenches, waiting for some rebel group to topple the regime and take down the Emperor. Oh, sorry. Had something on my mind. Okay, I'm back now.
A while ago I threw an idea out (I think it was through the newsgroups, which I've horribly been vacant from but will return shortly). The idea was that we (i.e. the more active SharePoint we) should put together a central resource for all stuff being SharePoint. Recently I've seen a lot of updates to tool lists, resource lists, lists of bloggers, you know, the usual. It seems like everybody and his brother have a list of bloggers, there are several (very good) lists of tools and resources, and almost everyone who's anyone will have a page of SharePoint resources with links to various places on the net.
I guess I'm just somewhat astonished at how difficult it is to get information sometimes. I mean, Google is my friend and the first place I turn to to find something if I don't have it on the top of my brain (and it's really embarassing when you google for an answer only to find your own blog entry to have it). However I just keep stumbling over multiple resources for the same thing. Is this a good thing? Maybe. The problem is that if I put my SharePoint newbie hat on and try to find info I sometimes can't see the forest for the trees. I looked at a few of the SharePoint blogger lists out there. Great resources but they're all individuals view of the world. Some have most of the MVPs, some don't; some have links to some really smart dudes, others don't. Again, a great resource but it's hit and miss for anyone looking for the best set of information.
Given that SharePoint is all about collaboration I just get torqued over the fact that we, as a community, can't do the same. I don't know why we can't agree to a single resource location so that a) it's consistent b) it's as complete as it can be and c) it's organic and not someone's page that unfortunately hasn't been updated because they don't have time or forgot they even had it. I believe the collective view of the SharePointVerse is a better thing, in any dimension, than one mans (or womans).
It's a pretty simple concept. An open system that follows the following principles:
- Anyone and everyone can contribute to it. Sure there needs to be a group of people that keep an eye out for dupes, malicious posts or spam but that can anyone with some time and passion.
- If you contribute something you should be responsible to keep it up to date. Like a good boy scout, clean up after yourself.
- If you see something out of date, update it.
- If anyone asks about something that would be on the list (where can I find a list of SharePoint bloggers which gets asked a lot) you point them at the list. If it's not on the (and you know the answer) that would be a trigger to add it.
Doesn't seem that difficult however there were a few hurdles that never got this idea off the ground. First, nobody wanted it hosted by a single person (i.e. it shouldn't be say a site Bil runs, or Mike, or Patrick, or whomever). Second, nobody could seem to agree that a single resource is the right thing. Anyways, it may not be the "right" thing but in my meager mind, it's the correct thing.