The Sharing the Point (STP) team arrived at the Microsoft Philippines office in Manila bright and early on a beautiful summer Saturday morning in Manila. Given the fact that it was a beautiful Saturday at the beginning of the Philippine summer, the team was moderately concerned about the turnout. As it turned out, we needn’t have worried in the slightest, as the advance event promotion of the event locally our host for the event, Microsoft Product Manager Femee Cruz drew a near-capacity crowd to what we later confirmed was the first-ever large-scale SharePoint community event in the Philippines.
Worth mentioning as a side note is that, as with the STP attendees in Beijing, it was impossible not to take note of the youthful appearance of the vast majority of the gathered SharePoint community. One can only imagine this to be very good news indeed for the future of SharePoint community in general, and the future of the SharePoint community in Asia in particular. We would later learn from Dux, however, that the incredibly youthful good looks of the crowd may have been at least slightly misleading to our Western eyes, as Dux proved when we met his sister and cousins the next night and had them pegged as being 5-10 years younger than their actual age. Regardless, as compared to the average age of attendees at a typical SharePoint gathering in the states, whatever the reason, the SharePoint community in Asia skews much younger.
Once registration was complete, and all of the caffeine junkies were sated with the excellent (strong!) coffee being served, Femee provided an introduction to the event, explaining the two tracks from which attendees could choose to follow, mentioning the end-of-day giveaways (including an Xbox), and the free ebook that each attendee would receive, wrapping up introducing Dux. As the Manila native on the STP team, Dux greeted the crowd with a few words in Tagalog, but mostly spoke in English, as he had explained to the team in advance that English is a first language in Manila, and is every bit as common as the indigenous Tagalog.
In his introductory remarks, Dux explained that the STP team was “doing this [tour of Asia] using some of our own money, but most of Rob’s” (eliciting laughter throughout the room), and said of his fellows on the tour that we represent some of the “best of the best SharePoint people in the world. Explaining that he wasn’t “saying that in a boastful manner” Dux offered some brief remarks on each of the tour participants, mentioning the 17 books that Michael has authored, Joel’s status as the first-ever SharePoint administrator in existence, Mark as being the founder EndUserSharePoint, the largest SharePoint community in the world, Paul as having written the book on social computing and SharePoint, Rob as having founded the first hosted SharePoint company in existence with Fpweb.net, and me as being someone “who writes really well … and runs Bamboo Nation,” Bamboo Solutions’ SharePoint community.
Each of the team members then provided a few introductory remarks of their own, and the speakers all included a few words about the topic of the session they’d be presenting. Continuing a tradition that he started in Australia at the SharePoint Conference earlier in the week, during his remarks, Mark asked the crowd to sing “Happy Birthday” to his daughter (who turned 6 while Mark has been traveling) in their native tongue. I know I’ve said that each time Mark has asked this of a crowd, that the performance has been better than the one before, but the Manila crowd really did crush it, including spontaneous rhythmic clapping during the song and a burst of applause at its conclusion. The energy in the room at the start of the STP event in Manila was palpable at this point and, borne aloft on that energy, it was time to start formally sharing the point with the speaker sessions.
In Manila, I had opted to cover the first two tracks on the business track, namely Dux’s session on Empowering Your Organization with SharePoint 2010 and Mark’s session on The Missing Link Between SharePoint & Your Business. I’ll be posting session reports as soon as time permits.
As a final note, slide decks for all STP sessions will be made availabe here on the site soon, and complete videos of all of the sessions in Manila will also soon be made available on TechNet.
Read our complete coverage of the Sharing the Point Tour:
- Microsoft Hosts a Fantastic Inaugural Sharing the Point Event in Beijing
- Michael Noel’s ‘Best Practices for SharePoint 2010 Virtualization’
- Paul Swider’s ‘Developing Social Applications with SharePoint’
- Microsoft Philippines Hosts the Second Sharing the Point Event in Manila
- Dux Raymond Sy’s ‘Empowering Your Organization with SharePoint 2010’
- Mark Miller’s ‘The Missing Link Between SharePoint & Your Business’