Thursday, 25 November 2010

Preview tabs in Google Chrome

After much head scratching I finally worked it out!

I recently had my laptop rebuilt by our Internal IT team at work, obviously they don't add such non-standard things as Chrome and Tweetdeck, so these were first to be added by me ;)

On my previous build I had the preview tab (Windows 7 "peek" thingy) working in Chrome, but couldn't remeber how I did it, well, after much searching I found it here:

Basically, add the following to the application shortcut:


This sorting things out and normality was restored...


Google Chrome "peek"


This post is as much for my own future reference as it is to help others!!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Protecting your Blog content

After a couple of recent incidents where renowned/respected bloggers that I know have had content ripped off I thought I’d share my thoughts on what we (as bloggers) can do / should do about it…


The incidents I am referring to happened to Chris O’Brien (@ChrisO_Brien) and Dave Coleman (@davecoleman146).


So… What protection do we have?


… thinking about it, that’s probably a bigger question than the one I’m going to answer, so let me re-phrase: what does Matt Groves do to protect himself?


self-protection - Image from Microsoft Clipart

Obviously, I can answer that question, whereas the broader one is a bit too much for me to handle today!


Before I get into the main body of my inane ramblings this post I want to say something about voice.

Everyone speaks with their own voice. Everyone writes with their own style – especially in blogs where you’re not shackled by corporate conventions/standards and can truly write in your own way.

Therefore, it stands to reason that anyone looking at the blog full of plagiarised content will “feel” that something isn’t quite right, the language structure and prose will change from one post to the next, to say nothing of personality coming through…

I tend to write blog posts in quite a conversational style, which is (obviously) in stark contrast to the authoring I do in my day job, therefore it will be easier to tell if a blog post was written by me than it would to tell if, say, a proposal was my handiwork (although that ought to be easy enough – they’re freaking awesome!!!!)


^^^^^^^^^^ Look: personality, voice, that’s me speaking!! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^


You can tell it’s me because it’s wanky and arrogant my voice…


So, onto the main body




Firstly, licensing

I use a Creative Commons Licence on my Blog and on my Picasa web albums, you can read more about Creative Commons here:

I personally use a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales Licence (see:, which basically means that:


- I must be given credit (attribution) for my works. So you can use what I've published, as long as I am given credit (I like to get link love!)


- You cannot use my works commercially


- You cannot alter or transform my works


All of the above CAN be done if a waiver is obtained (i.e. permission sought). I’ve had 2 requests of this nature, and I’ve granted the rights requested on both occasions. Why wouldn’t I?


After signing up for a CC Licence, make sure it’s visible. Mine is at the bottom of the page template in Blogger (like a master Page in .net)


CC Lic at the bottom of Matt's Blog


Note: attribution to the people who created the theme I use ;)


Aside: this made me notice that the date was still 2009, so I’ve updated that with a bit of js that automatically updates the year!!




Secondly, CYA with a disclaimer


Mine is here:

This is expertly crafted random text thrown together by me, in no way does this constitute a legal statement written by a qualified IP lawyer!!!!


Lawyer - image from Microsoft clipart


The relevant bits:


“Given that it is a personal blog, the content is mine (and licenced under the Creative Commons Licence), and does not represent the views, opinions or positions of my employer (past, future or present) or any other organisation/body to which I may (or, indeed may not) be associated.”


This protects all parties from anything I say impacting my employer or other body/organisation. It re-iterates the licence point made above.


“I am a human being, albeit an amateur and constantly learning and evolving. I am therefore prone to error. Some of the content here relates to technology. Technology is always changing. Any information (technical or otherwise) I convey through this or any other channel is consumed entirely at your own risk.”


Use at your own risk. If i was to write a post that said to solution to SharePoint error 0x800xxx was to jump out of the window of the tallest building you can find (I know it feels like that sometimes!!) then I’ve covered myself with a “use at your own risk” statement.


“Some people comment on my posts, they are (as you are) free to say whatever you like in comments, I do not moderate comments or take any responsibility for them as I didn’t write them!”


So, if you (unlikely, as I'm sure you’re a sane and rational person) or anyone on the internet (there are a few now, so I’m told) comments and they say something offensive (etc) then I’m taking no responsibility for it!




Thirdly, analytics…


I use Google Analytics, it works for me (although in some respects lacks things I’d like) but it is available to anyone and is at my favourite price ;)


Screenshot of the Google Analytics for this Blog


Tracking usage is a good way of spotting abnormal behaviour, and is, I understand, how Dave spotted what was going on with his content.


It’s something I’d recommend you do anyway, stats will help you understand your audience better (although nowhere near as well as direct interaction!), and as you get really good analytics for free I see no reason not to do so…




Fourthly, do something about it


If you find that someone has ripped off your content, explain to them what they’ve done and ask them to correct it (e.g. by removing their post or by giving proper attribution).

Some people will do it out of ignorance and educating them in a polite and non-confrontational manner is (in my opinion) the proper first step. this could an email, a tweet, a comment on the post, whatever you feel is the most appropriate communication medium.


If they fail to take corrective action, that’s when you should (in my opinion) name and shame, use the social platforms to their full effect ;)


Dave’s solution was quite innovative, he replaced the images with the one below, nicely done mate!!




Dave has also blogged about this, here:


It seems that Ant Clay (@soulsailor),  Paul Grimley (@paulgrimley), Mark Miller (@eusp) and I agree on this – not much of a surprise there then!!!

Mark’s post on the topic sums things up quite nicely:


And if you still get no joy, then as Ant Clay put it (in Dave’s post) “go legal on their ass

I am assuming he means ‘seek legal advice’, and nothing like Ving Rhames (as Marsellus Wallace) said in Pulp Fiction about ‘getting medieval’ – violence isn’t normally in Ant’s character ;)


And, of course, if you’ve got as far as 'name’n’shame and they then correct things, I strongly suggest a retraction/correction of your public statements (as Nick did in the Lightening Tools example below).




Lastly, something that was brought my attention today by @paulgrimley and @jimhirshfield – automatically adding attribution when content is copied from your blog/website.


Get it here:


Screenshot of the tynt wizard from


What tynt does is use some js to grab the copy event and insert additional text into the copied text, so when someone copies and pastes into a blog post/email/etc it includes the attribution and they have consciously remove it (which would therefore breach your CC Licence!).


I implemented this today on this very blog – try it now, copy this post and paste it into Word/Notepad/whatever, I quite like it ;)


Sooooooooooooo much better than what many people did years ago in using js to block right-click which was (is!) really annoying where you were wanting to “open link in new tab” as I often do…


Obviously having other websites reference and link you is good for SEO, except in an example (earlier this year) for Nick, Brett and the guys at Lightening Tools where a an Agency hired by another Gold Partner were using underhand tactics to increase search engine ranking – read more here: (and Nick is right, they are nice chaps down there!).

This tale goes to show the risks of hiring external agencies to increase your traffic, whereas what I’m talking about here is the use of linking to promote page ranks in a legitimate and above-board manner. And to give link-love and proper attribution!!



In summary


Most of your readers won’t steal/plagiarise your content, but like so many things in life, it’s the few that you need to worry about, not the majority.

Apply a Creative Commons licence to your blog/website/photographs/content.

Have a disclaimer.

Monitor usage with analytics tools.

Check out the Tynt tool.


And, if it happens to you, do something about it!


But be calm and reasonable – don’t fly off the handle…

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Nice Cloud overview from Brian Prince

Just happened across this, a worthwhile use of 9 minutes…


Joey Snow (MS It Pro Evangelist) talks to Brian Prince about the “Cloud”


Obviously MS centric, but a decent overview ;)



It seems I’m not the only one who cannot talk for more than 3 minutes without having to use a whiteboard ;)

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sponsor MO-bi Wan Kenobi – he’s your only hope

I am participating in Movember (the month formerly known as November), which is a moustache growing charity event held during November each year that raises funds and awareness for men's health.




Keep up to date with how daft I look:

Sponsor me:


I am amber of the 21apps team and started the SharePoint Movember network


A few samples of my silly face fuzz:


960746[1] 867748[1] 784782[1]

Day 10

Sponsor MO-bi Wan Kenobi – he’s your only hope

Day 8

Looking a bit scary early in the morning ;)
Day 5

<big brother voice = on> Day 5 on Matt's upper lip, the challenge of shaving chin is proving difficult for Matt, he's cut his chin again and it won't stop bleedin'


You can also follow my progress mo-gress by connecting with me on:


twitter | Facebook | LinkedIN


Finally, a plea:


It would be great if all the mo-bro's attending SUGUK on Dec 2nd could hold off shaving until Dec 3rd, would love to get a photo of all of us enjoying a SharePoint sporting some bad-ass mo's (which they will be come next month!!)

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Men in black suits, wearing sunglasses…


“It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.”

-Elwood Blues


At SharePoint Saturday my session spawned a debate about access to your data if it’s in the Microsoft Cloud (e.g. SharePoint Online or BPOS), I made a reference to men in black suits and sunglasses, I wasn’t referring to Jake and Elwood ;)




More like the tall guy at the start of Half Life (G-man)…


Simon May (, an IT Pro evangelist at MS, and all-round nice guy, was of the opinion that as the data centres (for UK/EU clients) are here in the EU (Dublin and Amsterdam) the US agencies (the men in dark suits and sunglasses) have no rights to your data.


Matt Groves (, was of the opinion that as MS are a US based company they can be issued a closed subpoena that forces them to give the men in dark suits and sunglasses  access to your data, and prevents MS telling you (the client) that they (MS) have granted access to your data.


This is a complex issue.


Simon has blogged a very good explanation of the issues here:

I am the speaker he refers to, and IMO [although a complex issue] it boils down to: can the men in dark suits get access to your data? To which the answer (with caveats, of course) is “yes, if they issue a lawful request” (and MS can’t tell you about it).


To be fair to MS, they will fight your corner, where they can, I think Simon covered their position quite well in his post:


Microsoft is sensitive to the fact that companies want to control the parties to whom their information is disclosed and believes that its customers should control their own information. Accordingly, if law enforcement approaches Microsoft directly for information hosted on its systems for its enterprise customers, Microsoft will unless prohibited by law redirect law enforcement to the customer.


Microsoft will only provide customer records where it is legally required to do so and will limit the production to only that information which it is required to disclose.

In the event that Microsoft received what it believed to be an unlawful or otherwise invalid request for data from the U.S. government, U.S. law provides mechanisms for a provider to challenge a subpoena, court order, or search warrant. If necessary, Microsoft’s legal compliance lawyers will directly contact the requesting law enforcement agency to explain the issue and seek a resolution that adequately addresses Microsoft’s concerns.


[source for above quote:]




Where does that leave us on the cloud debate?


Realistically, no further forward, but, no further back.


I’ll still be on my guard though, and if a man like the one below comes knocking, I’ll be running for my crowbar ;)






Monday, 4 October 2010

SPSUK – SharePoint in the Cloud

I’ll get around to a full review of SharePoint Saturday later this week, in summary:


The event was great, lots of familiar faces and met several new ones!

Excellent attendance and great participation.

I thought Brett, Tony and Mark did a sterling job of organising it. A few (minor) lessons learned for next year but that will always be the case.

I only caught a few minutes of the other sessions but what I saw was really good, to my mind it speaks volumes about the vibrancy of the SharePoint community in the UK that so many top-notch speakers gave up there time on Saturday (and all the prep time!!) and over 250 people gave up their own time to attend.


My session (SharePoint in the Cloud) was well attended (I am told over 80!) and I thought went quite well.


My slides are available below:



If there are any questions please feel free to drop me a line, either here in comments or via the various social platforms ;)


If you want to trail BPOS, click:

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Help save HMS Alliance


HMS Alliance is a second world war vintage attack submarine that is now in dry dock at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum. And she needs your help!


Image from


Due to the very nature of Submarine operations they are often shrouded in secrecy and the men who serve in the Submarine Branch of the Royal Navy are not often given the recognition they deserve. The Alliance serves as a memorial to all those who have served in Submarines and especially the 5,000 who gave there lives for the freedoms we enjoy today…


By supporting the restoration of HMS Alliance you’ll be ensuring she is able to live on and provide future generations with the educational and moving experiences that I’ve had visiting her.


The Alliance Appeal has raised £1.7 million already and need to raise a further £100,000 by January 2011 in order to secure Heritage Lottery Funding (£3m) to start the restoration program.


You can donate online, it will only take a couple of minutes, and it will make a real difference.



JustGiving - Donate for HMS Alliance


Thank you.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Trinity Event: Building websites for success

In addition to speaking at SharePoint Saturday next month, I’m also speaking at Trinity’s “Building websites for success” event on November 4th.




I will be covering the business advantages of SharePoint 2010 for public facing websites and will be joined by other Trinity consultants (including Jason Flowers) who will provide the content for the other sessions.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

SharePoint Saturday in the UK!!

As many of you will now know, the first SharePoint Saturday in the UK will be held on October 2nd in Birmingham.


View more information:


It’s being organised by Brett, Tony and Mark. They were kind enough to ask me to speak!!


I'm%20Speaking%20at%20SPSUK[1] SPSUK_logo[1]


The speaker list reads like a who’s who of SharePoint in the UK:


-Andrew Woodward [blog]

-Brett Lonsdale [blog]

-Chris O’Brien [blog]

-Penny Coventry [blog]

-Mike Watson [blog]


I’m looking forward to it!!!


See you there ;)

Friday, 23 July 2010

SUGUK session on “preparing your business for SharePoint 2010”

Great day at SUGUK yesterday, really enjoyed the Golf (although managed 9 holes due to urgent work matters needed attention) and the evening with the SUGUK crowd.

Went round with Penny and Alex and great fun (until work took priority).


After the Golf it was a case of quick shower, hit the bar then make the final tweaks to my deck for the evening.

I was up first and covered what organisations need to be thinking about and planning ahead of a SharePoint 2010 deployment, both technically and organisationally.

After a break for scran, which was excellent (as usual at the Ullesthorpe hotel), Steve Smith then kicked off his session on load/capacity/stress testing SharePoint 2010and some of the big ticket capacity challenges you may face. Great session by Steve and I think everyone learned a great deal from it, I know I did!


The slide deck for my session is available below:


View more presentations from Matt Groves.

I’ll try to get around to adding in some notes that cover off what i discussed on each slide as I appreciate that without seeing them delivered you may not get the full story.


From the feedback i had in the bar it would appear that the slightly less technical sessions that I tend to do go down quite well, certainly there was a lot of talk later on about how to attract more IW’s to the events while still offering relevant content for the (more mainstream) Dev’s and IT Pro’s. There were some good ideas and hopefully we’ll be able to make inroads in this area in the coming months.


Was great to see some old faces I haven’t seen in a while and meet some people for the first time, it’s really good to see new blood getting involved and growing the community.

As those of you that know me with already be aware of, I am really passionate about the SharePoint community and believe it is one of the most vibrant and active communities centred around a Microsoft technology out there. I’ve enjoyed some of the NxtgenUg meeting immensely and this is probably the only other UG I would say comes close to the SharePoint community (and specifically the UG in the UK and those over the world!) in any way.


Thanks (BIG thanks), once again, to Steve for organising the Golf, hosting the UG and donating the prizes. Without this guy there wouldn’t be the vibrant community that I’m proud to be involved in!

Thanks also to the Mostyn Hotel and the Ullesthorpe Court Hotel for donations of prizes!


On a semi-related note, the date for the inaugural SharePoint Saturday has been announced, it will be on the 2nd of October. More info will be announced next week when the guys have the site ready, follow @spsuk for the latest news…


P.S. I’d like to point out that although this post mentions both SUGUK and SharePoint Saturday these are in no way related to one another and neither endorses the other…


P.P.S. lastly I’d like to apologise and clarify something, as many of you will know Mark Macrae is a Krav Maga practitioner, I knew this was a martial art of some sort and described it in my session (in a off the cuff remark) as “jap slapping” as I had assumed that like many martial arts it was of Oriental origin. I meant no offense by this in any way. In the bar, and over a very welcome SharePint Mark clarified that is actually of Israeli origin, read more here:

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Is your solution “stuck”??

Had an issue with a solution deployment recently where the deployment got stuck, just left in the “deploying” state and couldn’t do anything via the UI….

Even the TSUF didn’t work ;)


So, reverted back to my old friend the command line…


If (for whatever reason) you're solution get's stuck in the "deploying" state - even after reboots and execadminjobs etc etc...


Do this:


stsadm -o enumdeployments


(note the job id)


stsadm -o canceldeployment -id <yourid>


You should now be able to re-deploy successfully...

Monday, 10 May 2010

Paging in Blogger!

Just started to make us of the new (well, it’s been there a while, but I’ve only just started using it) “pages” functionality in Blogger.


So, the About Me and Disclaimer content is now pages as opposed to blog posts.

Have also added my CV as a page, view it here:


The CV is also available by clicking: get Matt's CV in your email

SharePoint Evolution Conf – my review…


Steve, Spencer, Nick, Zoe (et al) and the rest of the CK guys had been planning the conference since last years Best Practices conference and they had done a sterling job. But the effort, thinking, planning and organising over the last 12 months was nothing compared to the 2 days leading up to the conference.

For me, the conference started a while ago, Steve and the guys selected me as a speaker last year, so it’s been a long wait, but well worth it…


SharePoint Evolution Conference Logo


With over 30 speakers not able to make it to the UK due to Eyjafjallajokull erupting there were a lot of changes to be made.


Lightning streaks across the sky as lava flows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokul April 17, 2010. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson) Lightning, smoke and lava above Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano on April 17, 2010. (REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)  This aerial image shows the crater spewing ash and plumes of grit at the summit of the volcano in southern Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier Saturday April 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Arnar Thorisson/


I travelled down on Sunday afternoon and headed straight over to the SPEVO 5-a-side Football tournament. Mark great idea really come off and a great time was had by all, big thanks to Mark for organising and ID for sponsoring.


SPEVO Football


I arrived in the ‘War Room’ late on Sunday afternoon and was met with a sea of laptops, cables, empty coke cans, post-it’s and whiteboards – the guys had been hard at it organising replacement speakers, re-allocating sessions and had just about got Monday’s agenda sorted while also planning out Tuesday.

It was hoped that some of the others would be able to make it for Tuesday and/or Wednesday so, rightly, the priority was Monday.


There were several amazing stories of what people had done in order to get over, the one that stands out for me is that of Tobias Zimmergren. Tobias wasn’t able to get a flight, or train, or boat, or carrier pigeon and so drove the 22hrs from Sweden to London!!


Dinner was a quiet affair, after a few drinks in the bar a few of us heading over to Cardinal Place for an Italian, as usual the conversations ran accross a braod range of topics but with @AndrewWoody, @mikewat, @diegotrashcan, @chris_OBrien, @nathanial and @draken around the table the topic of SharePoint did crop up occasionally ;)


The Keynote was delivered by Steve, Spencer, Brett and Eric and covered the evolution of SharePoint since Tahoe SPPS2001 through SPS2003 and MOSS2007 up to SharePoint 2010. Seeing 2001 and 2003 again was like seeing an old friend!


After attending the keynote on Monday morning I was head-down rebuilding my demo (my SQL VM was deleted 4 days before the conference!) and helping out the other guys with theirs, there was a really good atmosphere in the speaker room with everyone pulling together – a real ‘blitz’ spirit!


Spencer and Chris  Ben, Mirjam and Steve  Andy


The first day went so smoothly it was hard to tell that it wasn’t the day that was planned! The attendees I spoke to were all impressed with the first day, the evening kicked off with a games night at the conference centre, and then on to #sharepint


Recreating the SPC09 (Vegas) atmosphere!      Penny getting in on the action!


The second day kicked off bright and early, literally bright – it was a stunning day in London.


I started my session at 11:45 to a packed room.


Aside from the fire alarm going off (really quite distracting!!!) I thought my session on What does Web2.0 and Social Networking mean to the user went very well, some good audience participation and I’ve had some great feedback from several attendees.


John Anderson (Bamboo) has taken the time to write up and review of my session (read it here: – thanks John!!!


Managed to dip in to a couple of sessions in the afternoon, my old mate Andrew Woodward ( did a great job (as usual) of delivering Paul Culmsee’s session on “Wicked problems and SharePoint”.


 Andrew at SPEVO Penny presenting at SPEVO Steve Smith doing his 231st session of the week !!


That night was the official conference party! Steve organised stretch hummer limo’s for the speakers ;)

We certainly travelled in style!!!



A stretch hummer limo! Ben opening the Champagne!! 


We arrived at the Grace bar for dinner and frolics, and had that and more………..



A few of the speakers debating.... something.... Craig partying! Speaker dinner @andrewwoody partying Alex and better half ;) The band!

The live band was a guy from one of those X-pop-idol-factor-talent shows backed by Jamiroquai’sband!!!


There was also a Magician! – and if you’ve never seen a magician up close you won’t appreciate how “magical” it really is, seen loads on TV and never been overly impressed, but seeing tricks done right in front of you takes some beating!

He certainly impressed SharePointSara and I ;)



The magician @mattgroves - amazed!


As the night went on (and more beer was consumed) the conversations inevitably included some SharePoint but mainly revolved around the conference, volcano’s and the great job Steve, Zoe and the CK crew had done!



SPEVO PartySPEVO Party  SPEVO Party SPEVO Party SPEVO Party SPEVO Party SPEVO Party Tobias - telling me to leave ;)


The evening ended when Tobias told me to leave!

(at least that’s what I think it translated as!!!)


The Final day started with the majority of people nursing hangovers ;)


I had (stupidly) agreed to do the first IW slot in the morning with Steve Smith – I must have been drinking when he asked me!

So it was a very early start for me ;)


Our session went well – slides here:


After Steve and I had done our session I could relax a bit (until the Ask The Experts panels at least)…


Ben speaking Spencer speaking




After the ATE that was it, conference over….


There were a few people who were staying down on Wednesday night and Steve very generously took the remaining speakers (and a few other guests) out for Dinner!


I had a great time at the conference and the way that the speakers pulled together was amazing…


But, the most amazing thing was that the whole conference went off so smoothly, this is testament to Steve, Zoe, Craig and the rest of the Combined Knowledge crew – you deserve every credit for pulling it off! Well done guys!!!!!