I recently found out about the office team allowing us – Microsoft FTE’s - to have an external facing sharepoint site with 200MB of storage.

 

That’s nice I thought, this is where I will post slides and demos from my presentations. Something people have been asking for a lot.

 

The site was serviced last night and with a few clicks I had my site: http://hansvb.officeisp.net/default.aspx.

 

I quickly wanted to achieve two things:

- sharing my documents with the public

- blogging from the sharepoint site

 

The first one was ease: I enabled anonymous access on the web site and then I added a document library to which everyone has at least view access.

 

The second one wasn’t too difficult either. The Sharepoint discussion webpart is perfectly suited for blogging. I configured it as follows:

  1. Enabled anonymous access. Everyone can view and add content.
  2. Configured the list so that content needs to be approved.

 

Now a blog ain’t a blog if the thing isn’t exposed through RSS. vNext of Sharepoint will enable this out of the box but for the current version you need to use a tool built by Microsoft partners.

 

I saw to good solutions:

  1. http://www.u2u.net/software.aspx. I would love to use this tool from my fellow country men but it requires installation on the server something I won’t even bother asking.
  2. The alternative is to use a webpart solution. The Syndication Generator from Bluedog Limited http://www.bluedoglimited.com/default.aspx does the trick very nicely. Installed and configured it in 15 minutes. I won’t be exposing my documents library through RSS. I think the Sharepoint alerts will be more appropriate for that.

 

(Read this article if you want to find out more about Sharepoint RSS readers and writers.)

 

Anyway, I’m thinking about only blogging through my portal from now on. It does seem easier to have a site all for yourself including storage for documents, images and so on.  

 

Hopefully people will know where to find me after a while!

 

Hans Verbeeck