I wrapped up my stint at the BPC today with back-to-back sessions on my favorite SharePoint topic: social media. First up was my second session of the day to be hosted by Microsoft Business Productivity Specialist Mark Eichenberger, although instead of BPOS, this time his topic was making social networks successful in SharePoint 2010.
Mark began by polling the audience Family Feud style on what the top sources of social information are today, and lit up the "board" with correct guesses, ultimately revealing the top five as being:
- Instant messaging / text messaging
- Social networking sites (e.g, Facebook, Myspace)
- Media sharing (e.g., YouTube)
- Web 2.0 (e.g., blogs, wikis, forums)
Mark suggested that a successful social networking strategy will bear these results in mind, and stated that the cornerstone of Microsoft's approach to social information in developing SharePoint 2010 was "How do you aggregate it and how do you use it?" As such, the "social equation" in SharePoint 2010 looks like: social media + collaboration + media sharing + social networking + knowledge networking = social computing. On a related note, Mark shared that the "knowledge equation" looks like this: search + information storage + dynamic people profiles + security and privacy + collaborative communities = knowledge networking.
Mark presented a live demo of the social features in SharePoint 2010, touching on the My Site and its component parts (status updates, colleagues, feeds, tag clouds, profile page, Silverlight org chart, My Content, Tags & Notes, and "Ask Me About…," the expertise component which Mark referred to as "going beyond social networking and beginning to create knowledge networks"), and ratings, which Mark described as "a new column type that can exist in pretty much any SharePoint list."
Mark cautioned against users expecting SharePoint 2010 to be Facebook, stating flatly that "It's not Facebook for the enterprise … it's about tying internal knowledge networks together." Continuing that thought, Mark went on to say "SharePoint enhances knowledge and colleague connections."
Mark suggested that you'll gain adoption through training, and warns against expecting that people will "just start using it." In other words, "You've got to explain the benefits." Mark recommends beginning to do so with a company-wide campaign to let everyone know that it's coming. As well, Mark suggests this is your opportunity to openly explain the benefits, give it your own branding (Mark shared, and showed through his live demo, that My Sites within Microsoft are branded as "Mingle"), and then keep reminding your users of the benefits over time via emails, surveys, and the like.
Once you've prepared your users, it's time to turn those social features on. Mark pointed out that the social features are turned on by default in SharePoint 2010, but if you're upgrading from a 2007 site in which social features were disabled, they will remain disabled by default once you've completed your upgrade to 2010. They can easily be turned on once your company-wide campaign is complete, however, and all that's required is that your site administrator check the "Use Social Features" box in the Permissions for User Profile Service Application in Central Admin.
Discussing folksonomy and taxonomy, and the importance of managing them, Mark pointed out that you can lock down who has access to create new keywords in the folksonomy. Mark then provided a demo of the Term Store Management Tool (aka the taxonomy store), which was followed by his best practices recommendations for managing folksonomy and taxonomy. Those recommendations included: seed the Metadata Management Service with important and common terms, and included the suggestion that people are more likely to tag if auto-complete is working; and to combine common tags by employing synonyms, plurals, and acronyms.
On the topic of the Noteboard, Mark pointed out that it can be added to "pretty much any site" (and demonstrated how to do so via the Insert Web Part feature). Mark suggested that adding a Noteboard is "a great way of doing feedback for individual sites and pages," and pointed out that content entered there will show up on your My Site feed as well … which is important becase, as Mark summed up, what social networks really come down to is feeds.
Check out ourfull coverage of Best Practices Conference 2010:
- Dux Raymond Sy on 'SharePoint as a Gov 2.0 Platform'
- 'Enabling Social Media through Metadata' in SharePoint 2010 with Christian Buckley
- Mark Eichenberger on 'Making Social Networks Successful in SharePoint 2010'
- Managers' Quick Guide to SharePoint Server 2010
- Mark Miller Explains 'How to Build a Community in SharePoint'
- 'SharePoint 2010: An Administrative Odyssey' with Lori Gowin
- Building Solutions That Users Get
- 'Making SharePoint 2010 My Sites Work for Your Organization' with Michael Doyle
- Best Practices in Leveraging Microsoft Project 2010 With SharePoint 2010 for Project Management
- Building SharePoint Applications with InfoPath and SharePoint Designer with Darvish Shadravan
- SharePoint 2010 Workflow with David Mann
- Cathy Dew Answers the Question, 'SharePoint Branding – Where Do You Even Begin?'
- How to Best Gather Requirements for SharePoint Projects
- SharePoint End User Adoption with Kay McClure
- BPC Keynote: 'What the Masters Think About SharePoint 2010,' Facilitated by Spence Harbar
- Greetings from the Best Practices Conference! (AKA, Bill English Sets the Tone with His Introductory Remarks)
- The Coolest SharePoint T-shirt of the Year So Far
- Live Blogging Archives