Friday, 31 July 2009

Viewing multiple calendars in Outlook 2010

I really like the calendar over-lay in Outlook 2007, it makes it so easy to see what your team are up to and where you can schedule time (without the constraint of the Outlooks “find next free time”, which doesn’t take into account ‘provisional’ or ‘flexible’ bookings, etc).


The view in 2010 is even better!




The row based view kicks in after you add the 4th person (5 calendars, in addition to your own, if you see what I mean!).


This makes looking at multiple diaries much clearer than the column based layout.




The other really useful feature of calendaring in 2010 is calendar groups, this looks just like ‘groups’ did in 2007, but rather than someone else's calendar only being able to exist in one group (I had groups based on organisational departments/teams), this allows the creation of groups where a given calendar can exist in multiple groups.

What I mean by this is that I still have organisational based groups (sales, PMO, developers, etc) but can now add client based (or project based) groupings, see the screen shot to the left for an example.

Here you see the “XXX management” and “XXXX Projects Team”, these are custom groups, all of the ‘members’ calendars exist in the organisational groups as well.

This makes it very easy and quick to see what a given team are up to. Whereas in 2007 I’d have had to tick the individuals within the organisational groups to build an equivalent view.

The only mild disappointment is that if someone appears in multiple groups (and you have multiple groups selected) they appear in the view multiple times.

In the screen shot to the left you’ll see Edd C is in the “Management” and “Projects Team” groups, so his calendar shows twice in my view. Obviously this can be lived with for the few times it occurs, but it would be nice (IMO) to have logic to only show Edd once…


More Office 2010 stuff to follow, now I am allowed to talk about the Office 2010 Client apps, you’ll have to wait for the public beta of the servers before I can start posting about them.




If you have server side questions, please wait, I will not breach NDA to answer them.

Until the NDA is lifted (probably in the public beta timeframe),you can feel free to post questions, but don’t expect a response, yet ;)

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Xing… Yet another social networking site.

I signed up for Xing yesterday after it cropped up again in several of my information feeds:


Matt Groves on Xing

Is this just “yet another social networking site” ?

What value will it add? Why did I sign up?

What is it’s USP?


After created (yet another) profile, I was inputting the usual web links (blog, Twitter, Facebook) and was actually surprised to find some notable omissions:




LinkedIn is missing! Now, Xing are saying the site is a professional social networking site, the exclusion/omission of LinkedIn indicates they are worried of the competition with them (?), which, considering the nature of social networking sites (where being “open” is part of the deal) and that the majority of their user base will also be on LinkedIn (an assumption on my part, but considering that the LinkedIn user base is ~43 million compared to Xing’s 7.5 million I think it’s a reasonable one) why not show a LinkedIn profile link?

On the other hand, it may just be an oversight…


It also struck me as surprising that some of the other services were included while those like FriendFeed weren’t…


Either way this seems a bit strange to me as LinkedIn is, to me, the standard in professional networking sites, in much the same way that Facebook is the standard for “personal” social networking…

Both are IMO mainly because they gained critical mass, crossed the chasm (see below) and “everyone I know is using it”.



Craig Chelius’s graphic describing the ‘Technology adoption process’, as described in Geoffrey Moore's book Crossing the Chasm


Xing has existing for a long time (since 2003), which shows they must be doing something right else they would have fizzled out like so many others, but where are they on the curve?


Clearly, they have successfully crossed the chasm, with the recent drive to include other social apps (through the Open Social platform API), which the cynic in me could describe as being a year (plus!) behind LinkedIn and a long way behind Facebook, it shows a renewed push.


Xing is a German service and some of the social apps supported deliver their content in German (or are scoped to German News for example) which will limit the adoption outside Germany (and/or Europe).


The Outlook plug-in (free download, much like LinkedIn’s really, but not as good, but then I am a massive fan of the “Grab Contact” feature of the LinkedIn plug-in!) trawled through my contacts/mailbox and only found 2.

Yes, just 2, both recruitment consultants…


I’ll see how it goes in the Xing groups (same concept as LinkedIn groups) and other areas, but I’m not at all convinced that my participation will last…

Meeting requests in Outlook 2010

These are quite nifty, I’m liking it…




The meeting request shows with a diary/calendar view embedded.


Shame you can’t resize the calendar (the bottom border ought to be drag-able).


Frown sent ;)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

RIP Email…

Just read this - Killing Email: How and Why I Ditched My Inbox by Leo Babauta (blog, twitter).


I wish I could make the leap, but I’m just not ready, in many respects I still like email, but I like the other communication channels much more and them easier and more effective.


RIP Email? When I pluck up the courage to abandon you, I won’t miss you…


Dear Email,
Like the dinosaur, evolution makes things that are no longer relevant extinct.
Your time has [nearly] passed...



Tips for spammers

My email address is mail [at] matt-groves [dot] co [dot] uk


If you send me an email starting “Dear mail” you #fail.


If you send me an email with the subject “we can help you matt-groves”, you #fail.


If you send me a mail claiming to have a ridiculously large sum of money for me, you #fail (this one really doesn't compute with me, why not claim to have a realistic figure)


Please try harder!

My anti-spam software needs a fresh challenge ;)

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Twitter follows

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll already know this…


I will not follow back as a matter of course. I will have a look at your profile, tweets and website/blog (if you include a link) and try to make an informed choice. If it looks good stuff that will add value to me, I’ll follow. If it doesn’t I won’t.

If you fall in between I may follow for a while and then unfollow later.


If your profile info is sparse (or full of crap) I am unlikely to follow.

If you protect your updates I almost certainly won’t follow (if you don’t want to share publically then I question if you “get it”).


Sorry for being blunt. That’s just me…

It’s coming home, it’s coming home!!!


Web Ellis Trophy - from BBC news

England to host Rugby World Cup 2015!


Hope they host some games at Welford Road ;)




BBC Sports News


Sky Sports News


I wonder if the IRB / RWC Organising committee have any collaboration needs?


Friday, 24 July 2009

SUGUK slides

The SUGUK session was a great success! The golf was good, the evening sessions were excellent, another well organised SUGUK event – thanks to Steve and Nick for a stirling job once again.

Also big thanks to the guys that donated the prizes at the Golf, and congratulations to those that won!


Andrew Woodard spoke about SCRUM in his session titled “Agile SharePoint Dev – is it Wicked?” and had some excellent interaction from the audience and some great feedback afterwards (before he fell asleep at the bar!).

Andrew is really passionate about Agile development and TDD and his passion and enthusiasm really adds to his presenting.


My session “Leveraging Web 2.0 within your organisation” went very well and also had some good interaction from the audience, the ‘crowd sourcing’ element worked well I thought and there were plenty of good ideas, thoughts and comments – I would have liked to have carried on for a little longer but I wanted to finish on time (just out of courtesy to the attendees, and nothing to do with Andrew’s open bar tab!).


We had over 40 attendees for the evening session, and as usual, lots of great conversations in bar afterwards during the obligatory #sharepint


My slides are available below…




The feedback was all very positive in the bar afterwards and there were also several twitter posts while I was speaking (the back channel was very much open and active!), some of the feedback is shown below:


From: @mattmoo2 - @mattgroves has to be the most visually pleasing presentation i have seen :)


From: @danhaywood - @mattgroves Really enjoyed tonight mate, great slide deck and content, good to catch up, Enderby 9 holes...when u free?


From: @andrewwoody - Love the slides in matts session, #suguk


From: @m_macrae - #followfriday @AndrewWoody @mattgroves great presentations at #suguk we could have discussed for hours! Good banter in the bar too :)


From: @pinkpetrol - Shout out - #suguk last nite, another sucess thanks to the speakers @AndrewWoody @stevesmithck & @mattgroves - if you havent been you should


I am always seeking to improve my presentation style and knowledge of topics, so if you have any feedback for me please comment here or get in touch via the options on the About Me page.


Can’t wait until the next SUGUK – would like to hear peoples thoughts for future topics (not just for me!).

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

SUGUK Reminder

Just a quick reminder: Midlands SUGUK on Thursday, register here:


Myself, Andrew Woodward and Steve Smith will be speaking after the golf ;)


I’m sure healthy debate will continue in the bar long into the night…

Cluetrain at 10 – Happy Birthday!

The Cluetrain Manifesto is 10 years old this month, to commemorate the anniversary a special “10 Year Anniversary Edition” is available.


Get it here:



I recommend this book to anyone involved in (or interested in) internet and associated technologies for business. In my opinion this book is required reading!


I read this for the first time at the start of last year (it was recommended to me by my friend and colleague Antony Clay) and, considering it is 10 years old, the ideas and concepts being as fresh and as relevant today as they were revolutionary back then, it is one hell of a book.

I have the hard back and the audio book (which is excellent). I can only imagine the impact it would have had on me had I read it when it was published in 1999 – probably massive as I was buzzing on internet technologies while working at Freeserve.


Happy Birthday Cluetrain!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Blog issues

I have seen some issues with my blog, the header image and search "go" button do not show correctly, which is strange as I haven't changed anything and it was working yesterday! But then, search wasn't working yesterday... I'll have a look later in the week.

Edit: thanks to the lovely Nicola ( for help in resolving these issues!

Changes made to CSS, from:

#top {

#top {

And, secondly, from:

#searchsubmit {
float: left;


#searchsubmit {
/* float: left; */

Also added a width to:

.feed form {
margin: 0;
padding: 0;

I resolved the background image myself (after checking the CSS here: which highlighted the use of no-repeat on the same line as the image URL).

Thanks Nikki ;)

Blogging or twittering?

I think one of the reasons I haven’t been active on my old blog was that I have been finding Twitter a more compelling medium.


In theory it’s reach is no broader than a blog, however, the almost real-time nature and group based discussions are very good.

That said, over the past few months I have seen a massive increase in noise and people using it as a direct marketing tool (without the engagement element that Twitter allows), some just see it as another channel for their “push” / “campaigns” / “messaging”. Which is fine, but I would rather have engagement than another ‘email’ (with all associated spam/noise/malware).


If you want to engage with me you may follow me on Twitter or use one of the options on the About Me page.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Web 2.0 and Social Media in Legal

Myself and Antony Clay recently delivered a presentation at Trinity’s Legal Insight event.


The deck is available on Slideshare (embedded below, if it works!), both Ant and I would like to hear your feedback, and, if this is a topic that interests you, please get in touch with either myself, Antony or Trinity.



I need to give a shout out to Tom Short who helped with the word cloud, thanks Tom!

New Blog (or just a new URL?)


It has been a while since I actively maintained my blog over at, there are several predictable reasons for this (busy at work, busy at home, busy with kids) and one that may surprise you.


Although I continue to work with clients on strategies and projects that involve SharePoint, and will continue my active involvement in the SharePoint community - in fact I am speaking later this week, see:, better get cracking on some thoughts for a presentation! – I don’t feel that being so closely associated with WSS/MOSS is reflective of who I am, what I do or what I am passionate about.


So, can you expect any different content here?




Although there will still be the usual technology ramblings around the Microsoft Information Worker stack there will be more about topics outside it, and more about me (not sure if this is good or bad!).


I am also aiming to update more frequently.


Live Writer is my tool of choice on the desktop, and anything that can’t wait will be done via iBlogger on the iPhone.


Right then, I’m off the write the second new post to my new blog ;)