My first Sway

Yesterday I made my first Sway, showing people how to create a discussion on our Intranet home page. Asking people to share their thoughts and ideas is one of the core goals for our adoption process, and in order to do so, we want to make things as easy as possible for them.

On Monday, Leap Day, we held ‘LEAP INTO SHAREPOINT’ day, where we held 3 sessions introducing people to this platform, talking about the differences between SharePoint and Office365 and showing them ways they interconnect.

Tomorrow, I will be conducting another 2 sessions, this time with site owners, whom we are calling SPOCKs – SharePoint Online Coordinators in the Know – and we will be completing the “public” versions of the team sites, so that every user will be able to at least see *something* when they click on a link, instead of first logging in, just to get an access denied message.

The departments I have spoken to so far are really looking forward to this version of the site. They look at it as a way to have control over their own site, and they want to collaborate more with other departments within the division.

The Sway that I created will undoubtedly be the first of many created by our division. When I showed it to our team this morning, they immediately took hold of the idea and have lots of ideas about how they would like to begin using this program.

It’s great when we can create some excitement around something within Office 365. That’s what we really like to see. We saw it this week, with those who attended the LEAP INTO SHAREPOINT sessions – we gave them homework to complete their Delve profile. Of the 64 attendees, 20 of them completed their profile so far, and they still have a day to go. To have a third of the people complete the homework, tells me that we are being successful at generating interest. Let’s see if we can keep the momentum going!

What does Sway do?

I was asked this question recently and best I can tell, Sway is like an online presentation system. Unlike PowerPoint, where you need a specific piece of software to play the presentation, Sway handles it all online for you.

Sway uses a card system, much like story boarding a movie, and you can embed all kinds of media in there including YouTube videos, Flickr photos, Google maps, and more. People make newsletters with it, or tutorials.

In doing my research, I came across Microsoft’s Sway YouTube Channel, and I posted the link in the learning resource site as well. I hope this helps you in your discovery of this new way of sharing information.

 The downside of Sway is that it doesn’t generate a file. You can’t take your presentation and store it on a server. It lives on a website. Another downside is that, while you can make some basic edits, you can’t really brand a sway with custom fonts or colors.