This week, EndUserSharePoint.com is celebrating the publication of its 1000th article on SharePoint. Mark Miller, Founder and Editor, talks about how the site was created, how it become one of the largest SharePoint communities on the internet, and how you might use those lessons on your own SharePoint site.
I get questions every week about how EndUserSharePoint.com has grown so fast. In less than 2 years, we have about 350,000 to 400,000 page views a month. The unique visitor count is a little over 80,000 per month. There�s almost 8000 people registered to receive the Weekly Newsletter
. Hundreds of people a month participate in the live online workshops. Stump the Panel
has become an essential resource SharePoint Site Adminstrators.
Because of this, I get asked for interviews from companies like EventBrite
who manage the ticket sales for my live online workshops, MindJet
because of the work I�ve done with MindManager to create templates for SharePoint site planning, SPTechCon
for the presentations I give at SharePoint Saturdays
, and Bamboo Nation
, asking about the background of EUSP and where it is headed.
I�m just going to ramble for a couple minutes here to give you an idea on how all this came about and hopefully give you some ideas on how you can grow the audience for your blog or SharePoint site. Sit back, relax and enjoy the tangents.
How It All Started
When I started EndUserSharePoint.com I had a core group of people in mind that I wanted to reach: SharePoint End Users. As the site has progressed, I�ve broken that into three groups: Information Workers, Site Admin/Power Users and Site Collection Admin. If I were to be completely honest, I�d say that when I first started the blog, I was confusing Information Workers with End Users. SharePoint it so broad and deep, there are several levels of End Users, thus the differentiation.
A pyramid gives the best visualization of how I think about End Users of SharePoint. At the bottom of the stack is the Information Worker, the person who must use SharePoint because it has been mandated within the company. This is the broadest base of users of SharePoint, but the hardest to reach because they don�t care about SharePoint; they care about getting their job done. The technology doesn�t matter. �Just show me what to do and let me get back to my work.�
The second tier of users is the Site Admin/Power User. This is the group that has been �volunteered� to lead the charge on the use of SharePoint. In many cases, they requested access to a site for managing their projects or documents, IT told them that there was no such site available, but if they wanted one, they could have one. Sound familiar? You�re not alone because that�s the way most internal sites get started.
The third level of SharePoint End User is the Site Collection Administrator. Again, this person is usually forced into the position because in order for there to be sites, there must be a site collection.
I�ve heard all the talk about getting End User buy-in: �Manage your sites so it�s easy to find information�, �Get a good governance policy in place before you begin�, �Make sure you have a good Information Architect in place to build the hierarchy of sites�, �Provide great content to get people to come to your site�.
Yeah, right, and while you�re at it, why don�t you bake me a cake, with my favorite frosting, but you�ve got to guess what kind of cake I like and what ingredients I�m allergic to when you make the icing. Come on, give me a break! I didn�t ask for this job. All I wanted was a place to put my documents.
Let�s get down and dirty here. You�ve got a site that you didn�t want in the first place, but now that it�s setup and part of your responsibility, you want people to use it. Who are you going to try to attract and why would they come?