New Article: SharePoint Quick Branding

I’m happy to report that an article I wrote for the SDTimes web edition was published recently. The topic of the article is a quick branding technique that uses the “Alternate CSS” capabilities of MOSS. This one isn’t for you pro SharePoint designers out there… this is for the folks that want to add some nice branding to their MOSS site as quickly and simply as possible. By using the Alternate CSS and a wide image that includes your company logo, you can accomplish a lot of design with little effort. SDTimes: Share Pointers: Quick Branding

Started using Twitter

Twitter is an interesting beast, I initially rejected it… but as of a few months ago I started to give it an honest look. While I don’t twitter my whole day away like some folks, I do seem to post at least once a day to it. I think its very good for posting topics that are too small or too personal for a typical blog. So, if you want to see my minor rants and personal stories, follow me at and if you want to stay focused on UI and SharePoint topics of worth (or so I hope) keep reading here at

New SharePoint tome – just in time for your holiday shopping 1

I just saw on Amazon that Wrox is putting together a “Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Wrox Box” which contains four of their best selling SharePoint 2007 books. While I doubt many folks will be plunking down the $100 for the book, I am pleased that the contents of my book, “Professional SharePoint 2007 Design” will be included with the likes of some of the best in the biz like Andrew Connell, Heather Solomon, and Shane Young (among many others).

New CodePlex Project: LyteBox for SharePoint 22

I decided to spend the weekend making an easy to use web part for SharePoint that allows anyone to add the LyteBox Javascript photo gallery to either MOSS 2007 or WSS V3. If you haven’t seen LyteBox before you should check it out, it’s used on many websites these days to create a nice Web 2.0 style photo gallery. In a basic Lytebox implementation you have to manually call out each image in HTML, but with LyteBox for SharePoint the images are pulled in automatically from a SharePoint picture library. I have packaged the whole thing up in such a way that you can use the web part even in many hosted environments because it involves no custom code (no DLL’s or web.config changes need). In my implementation there are two list templates, one that creates a document library with all of the LyteBox Javascript code and another that creates a picture gallery with some ...

TechEd 2009 Moving Back to Single Week Format

For those of you that aren’t doing the Twitter thing, I just saw Andew Connell tweet about his happiness in learning that TechEd 2009 will be moving away from the two week, two track setup that they had in 2008. Most of the folks I spoke with at TechEd 2008 were pretty bummed that they had to pick between a Developer week and an IT Professional week. I think this was also hurt by the fact that presenters often had to choose a track to focus on. So hopefully everyone will be excited to hear the news that it will be one combined week again! More info at the top of this page at

Extremely helpful hidden web part menu (browse, import, search) 1

Just when you think you have learned everything there is to know about a certain aspect of SharePoint, someone will casually mention something that you have never seen before. This was the case for me, when Ted Pattison pointed out a well hidden menu that adds some interesting features to the Advanced Web Part Gallery from the SharePoint web UI. To see it simply bring up the Advanced Web Part Gallery, and click the Browse bar at the top: I never even realized this was clickable before, but it brings up the ability to Search for web parts or to Import them (the default view is Browse which is the one you are used to). When you switch it to Search, you will see the following: This allows you to search for web parts, which is nice because sometimes they can hide in the gallery (at least they seem to for me). The other option ...

The Content Query Web Part is everyones favorite web part!

Well, at least according to all 30 of you that voted. An earth shattering 46% prefer it to the others! Here were the results: Content Editor WP 9 (30%) Data View WP 6 (20%) Content Query WP 14 (46%) XML WP 1 (3%) RSS Viewer WP 0 (0%) Image WP 0 (0%) Other 0 (0%)

SharePoint 2007 and Search Server 2008 Book Giveaway

Shane Young is having a drawing to give away copies of his latest book “SharePoint 2007 and Search Server 2008“. All you have to do is send an email to “freebook at SharePoint911 dot com” before midnight (Eastern time) on 10/15/2008 to be entered in the drawing. (US residents only). Original Post

Big Silverlight News on Monday?

Seems like Microsoft has a big virtual conference scheduled for Monday: My guess is Silverlight 2.0 being officially released. Good thing they didn’t wait until Tuesday when Apple has some big press release scheduled (new macbooks?).

What Does Branding Mean? 3

A friend of mine asked me today to define the word “branding” for them. Like any good friend the first thing I did was Google the topic. I stumbled across this image from Quick Sprout describing the difference between Marketing, PR, Advertising, and Branding: I think it pretty much sums up everything that needs to be said. My friend wasn’t very happy with that answer, so I gave him my own answers as they relate to branding in general as well as branding for the web / SharePoint: General Branding: The act of building a specific image that people identify with your company. Web/SharePoint Branding: The colors, fonts, logos, and supporting graphics that make up the general look and feel of a corporate website. Those are my definitions… what does branding mean to you?