In the last two weeks, I attended the New Jersey SharePoint user group and the newly formed New York SharePoint Developers user group (as opposed to the more established New York SharePoint user group).
In New Jersey, the good people of NewsGator presented their product and covered a lot of very interesting social computing concepts. If you’re looking to incorporate social computing into your organization in a system-assisted way and can’t get out-of-the-box SharePoint to do it for you, seriously check out NewsGator. It’s very good stuff. A lot of great social computing functionality and (in a demo environment at least) very well done.
I’m personally convinced that companies that begin to adopt social computing attitudes and systems will outperform those that do not. It’s too useful to ignore or, at this point I think, to even delay. It can make a tremendous difference in day-to-day operations if done correctly. I’ll write some more about this later.
In New York last night, the NY SharePoint Developers group kicked off its inaugural meeting at the MSFT office on 52nd and 6th. John Bender presented on how to create a custom stsadm extension. I’ve read about it, but seeing it "live" clarifies things. It’s much easier than I realized. No need for features/solutions, just an XML file and a DLL. He walked through a process for recursively finding and displaying security settings for sites and lists in a site collection. He took it farther to describe how this could be part of an auditing process. This group focuses purely on development and so doesn’t come into conflict with larger more established SharePoint user group which is frequently talking at a higher level.
There are groups all across the world. Check them out.