BPC: ‘Making SharePoint 2010 My Sites Work for Your Organization’ with Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle presents on Making SharePoint 2010 My Sites Work for Your Organization at #BPC10Michael Doyle, aka the SharePoint Ninja (for reasons he is himself uncertain) delivered a session on Making My Sites work for your organization at the BPC this morning.  In the course of his session, Michael raised a number of considerations you should be aware of when approaching My Sites in SharePoint 2010.

Michael aknowledged the social media improvements in SharePoint 2010, opening his session by noting that "2010 has really elevated My Sites," describing them as serving to "enable you to harness social computing within your enterprise."

Michael suggested that the most essential best practice for making My Sites work within your organization is to enable users to get to their My Site with one click from their home page.  Michael recommends doing so by removing the need to sign in/out, changing the EnableViewState welcome setting to "false," and writing a bit of HTML code.  It doesn't look like this is a topic Michael has dedicated a post to on his blog yet, but given how many of the areas he touched on in his BPC session are covered in great detail there, I can only imagine it's only a matter of time before he covers the specific code necessary to achieve this result.

Another best practice recommendation of Michael's is to create a Personalization Site for human resources needs.  Additional suggested uses for Personalization Sites include new hire pages, team calendars, and timesheets.  The path to create a Personalization Site in SharePoint 2010 is: from Central Administration, navigate to Service Applications -> User Profile Service -> My Site Settings -> Configure Personalization Sites.

Considerations and recommendations that Michael advises taking into account with My Sites sub navigation include:  phase in tags and notes (or don't use them); redundancy of the org chart (it shows up by default in more than one location); and value of membership (SharePoint site memberships and Outlook distribution lists are shown).

In discussing tags and notes considerations further, Michael noted that these are new concepts in SharePoint 2010, and that adding a note also sends an email by default.  As a result, while they may not take up much space individually, as they add up, the sheer number of items can increase crawl time on your site.

Regarding the notion of "everybody or not everybody" in terms of who can see what My Site content, Michael said that controlling visibility is often seen as an unnecessary complication and, furthermore, may inhibit My Site adoption.

Discussing Additional Properties, Michael recommends sticking to what's relevant, and to not overdo additional properties.  If you do add them, however, spend the effort to get people to populate those properties.

Michael pointed out that profile pictures are no longer tied to your personal content area in SharePoint 2010, and are now stored in a central location.  Profile pictures are not surfaced by default in the User Photos area, but running the PowerShell command Update-SPProfilePhotoStore will surface those profile photos.

In a brief discussion of CSS, Michael cautioned that CSS should only be modified when it has to be, and that especially if you're going to make any changes to files in the _layouts directory, be sure to make copies of the existing files before making any changes, as there is no version history on these files.

Regarding themes, Michael said of the 2010 (e.g., the Office) model that they're now easy to apply, and recommended that "PowerPoint offers the best and easiest to use" theme editor.

For additional details on (many of) these and other topics, please visit Michael Doyle's blog.

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