Blogs / RSS Feeds
I am subscribed to over 500 active SharePoint blogs from around the World and try and ensure that I keep up with my reading on these on a daily if not weekly basis (depending on how busy I am). I find this is the only way to keep up with developments within the community.
There are some blogs that constantly produce awesome content and I have had to start prioritising which blogs I definitely keep up with every day over those that I try and cover in my spare time in front of the TV or by the pool.
There are some great aggregated feeds out there for those who want to get a head start and also some extremely good OPML files that are collections of SharePoint feeds.
There is also a great SharePoint Blog ranking site hosted in SharePoint itself which uses Technorati ratings to list the top SharePoint blogs and also which ones are growing the fastest. I'd recommend subscribing to at least the top 10 to keep up with what's going on in the SharePoint world!
Social Bookmarking - Semantic Retrieval
Over the last few months I've had mixed responses to my social book marking activities. @AndrewConnell has asked why I don't just use Google to find things when I want them again, my response to this was that by using social bookmarks I can store the posts semantically by keywords and then retrieve them in the same way. I frequently find myself using Diigo to go and retrieve bookmarks based on collections of tags such as InfoPath or Workflow.
On top of the advantages of retrieval, I also find it is a good way of indicating what blogs are focusing on and also what blogs I bookmark with valuable fresh content.
When I say fresh, I don't bookmark every blog that announces the VSeWSS 1.3 CTP or SPDisposeChecker tool. Check out the results on Google, way too many duplicates for the same information that you can get from the SharePoint Blog that pretty much everyone subscribes too - which posted it first. It's great if bloggers expand on the announcement with their thoughts, but when it's just a link, its just noise that should really be just stored as a social bookmark or twittered about in a micro-blogging fashion.
Therefore, following my, or others, Social Bookmarking RSS for all SharePoint tags is also a pretty efficient way of keeping up with reading with out all of the bloat...free of charge ;-)
SharePoint Community Discovery
I can also discover new people in the community who also bookmark the same posts and discover posts that other people in the community have found that I had not come across.
Twitter is a great way to microblog about all things SharePoint. @JoelOleson has done a great job of putting together a list of all SharePoint Twitter people. My twitter feed:
- announces new bookmarks that I believe are high quality content
- responses to SharePoint questions
- questions posed to the SharePoint community
- announcements of new blogs/rss feeds I discover
- general SharePoint ranting ;-)
Twitter is a great way to engage with the community and most of the top guys in the game will happily respond to you.
The MSDN Discussion forums are a great place to find answers to commonly asked quetions. It can also be a great place to find new developments and challenges in SharePoint.
There are other forums out there, my own personal opinion with this is that why dilute the forums when there are willing people who will respond in the MSDN ones and also with the extreme feature set that has appeared since the migration to the new platform including Rankings which encourages people to contribute.
Don't forget that you can subscribe to particular forum rooms via RSS and see these things pop up in your RSS Reader of choice ;-)
Other Peoples Opinions
I'd be really interested to hear other peoples opinions on how the make sense of the amount of content out there...