Heyweb Reboot 2014 in Progress

It is 2014, and it is time for a change. The previous branding was put together in 2010, and the theme doesn’t take into account responsive design or improved page layouts. This is also an opportunity to do some housework on the site and do some organisation. The Heyweb Reboot 2014 is in progress.

Here is the immediate plans of the reboot program, in no particular order:

  • Update to WordPress’ Twenty Fourteen theme
  • Make use of featured content for front page of the website
  • Build an index of content to make it easier to find information
  • Rebrand with a focus on delivering SharePoint related content
  • Consolidate information on projects and experience

Apologies if things go askew. The aim is to have everything stabilised by end of April 2014.

The failed SharePoint blog experiment

It is almost a year since I launched my dedicated SharePoint blog, www.HeySharePoint.com. Alas, I had strong momentum for about six months but was unable to gain traction. I don’t want to use the term “competitive”, but there are a lot of people blogging about SharePoint. This is not a bad thing, as it shows the strength of the community behind this great product. It just makes it harder to get heard.

One of what I thought would be a great drawcard to HeySharePoint.com would be a weekly newsletter aggregating the top Tweets of the week for SharePoint. I tried to promote this as best I could but couldn’t obtain lift off. In the last few months Twitter has updated their API, completely breaking my interface which collated the data. I do intend on bringing this back and making it available on this site, however won’t be publishing it on a weekly basis as I was on HeySharePoint.com (you can see a sample of the results over there). If anyone would be interested in receiving a weekly email, please leave me a comment on this post.

So, I have decided to indefinitely halt any further work on HeySharePoint.com, but will leave the content there for as long as I can. I intend to get back into blogging, however I have had a slight career shift, now focusing on a SharePoint pre-sales role that I am really excited about. I intend to write from a less technical perspective as I have in the past, and add less SharePointy stuff as well.

For everyone who has left their kind words and found this blog to be useful, thanks for your readership, and I hope that you find future content as equally as helpful.

Failure to Launch

I’m trying to make a fresh start with my writing.  I have not blogged as frequently as I have would have preferred, and my eye problems do not make it conducive to using LCD screens at night (RCE).  Thus, I am attempting to re-vitalise my writing, at least on paper.  Sadly late at night is the only time it seems I have to be alone with my thoughts.

The problem now lies with getting this material published.  The most straight forward method will probably be to scan my scrawl and send it to someone to have it typed.  Of course I will still need to edit, but that should be afforded during the other parts of the dat when I am less creative and expressive.

I have tried multiple types of mobile devices to try and take advantage of when I am in transit, or have a few moments of free time.  I tried the keypad of the Nokia E71, and even managed to punch out an article.  The iPhone text entry is still a problem for me, between its predictive text and my fat fingers, it is quite a long haul.  For any serious technical writing, I just don’t think small form factor mobile devices are ready just yet.

In today’s world, in this attempt to write this blog by hand, there is something special about writing in pen.  I don’t get to do it much these days, but it feels refreshing after a day on the computer.  Incidentally, my four year old son received his first letter in the mail today, handwritten by his Pop.  A great delight that will be a rare occurrence for his generation.

So if it all goes to plan, I will write a number of these posts and eventually have them published in a batch.  For now, this will only see the light of day in my notepad.  All I need now is someone who can read my handwriting!

Addendum:  Four days after I penned this, I typed this article myself during a lunch break, when I was alert and had lots of natural daylight available.

Joomla to WordPress

My website, heyweb.net has been around for some years now (6+) and taken many different incarnations.  I have used it to host family photos, details of important personal events, and now my blog and portfolio of my work.

For the last year I had been running Joomla, an excellent content management system in it’s own right. It had initially done a fine job for what I wanted and very feature rich. However it wasn’t perfect.  I repeatedly experienced a lot of formatting issues and it was always a pain to make what should be a simple change.  I also found it cumbersome to write blog posts. It was such a chore, so the notion of blogging was soon abandoned.

However, the desire to blog became too great, and I wanted to do something about it.  I had previously played around with WordPress on a virtual, and admired the simplicity.  I yearned to use it, but I had invested a significant amount of time in setting up Joomla so I had a difficult time convincing myself to make any sort of transition.

Very recently, I decided that enough was enough, and if I really want to make the change, I just need to get in and do it.  I sat down a few weeks ago, setup WordPress and test-drove a few -templates.  After several hours of not getting quite what I wanted, I came full-circle with the TwentyTen template, with minimal customisations.  The content I had on my Joomla site was fairly lean, so I figured some good old fashioned copy and pasting would be much quicker than trying to find a migration tool.

I was now ready to upload WordPress to heyweb.net.  A quick SQL export/import and FTP and I was pretty much done.  Just needed to make a few configuration modifications but overall the experience from my development machine to live was fairly seamless.

I felt a sense of satisfaction and joy.  The WordPress experience was much more streamlined for what I was wanting to do with Joomla – and the overall effort took much less time.  I’m very happy with this experience.

Now that I am a convert…I just need to keep the content up!