In his session, Overview of Social Computing in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft Senior Technical Product Manager Dave Pae engagingly addressed the topic of enterprise collaboration and what it means from a Microsoft perspective. Per Dave, at its core, "SharePoint allows [you] to locate assets and identify what [you] what to share out, with security [in place]." In other words, SharePoint is the mechanism to connect all of the various assets involved in a business, be they documents, people, or organizations. From a social perspective, Dave suggests that through such features as tagging and note boarding, "SharePoint sort of becomes that water cooler" where people can come together and share.
Dave said that the four central components of SharePoint as a community platform are its ability to allow users to create, share, find, and network. Dave pointed out that wikis are now native to SharePoint 2010, and are central to the SharePoint 2010 user experience. As central as wikis are to the experience, it was social feedback that Dave referred to as being, "the heart of our social investments in SharePoint 2010" … and rightly so, as he would go on to demonstrate.
In his first demo, Dave showed a team site (which is, you guessed it, a wiki) in 2010 and jumped right into showing off my beloved Web Edit functionality. Dave began his demo by showing the "one-click [access to the] editing mode" via the Edit button, providing "a rich text editing experience." Dave went on to show the ease with which one can edit and apply styles to text in SharePoint 2010, including the "real-time live preview mode" before also demonstrating the ease of inserting a picture (or video, or table, or Web Part, etc.).
In response to a question from the audience, Dave demonstrated the addition of a Note Board Web Part to a page, and how this Web Part makes it possible to create a running series of notes on the page. Any user with access to the site in question can leave a note on the page, but only a user with edit rights to the page can add the Web Part to a page in the first place, and admin rights are required in order to edit or delete notes. Dave also discussed the I Like It and Tags & Notes features, saying that, "you can pretty much tag anything in SharePoint 2010." Dave pointed out that while tags can be marked as private, they are public by default.
Dave briefly showed Outlook Social Connectors, which functionality surfaces popular third-party social content (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace) as read-only content directly within Outlook (in addition to SharePoint social content, of course), and pointed out that such proactive mechanisms really help with the adoption of social features in the enterprise.
Dave also provided a tour through the revamped-for-2010 My Sites, touching on status updates, mentioning that all profile data is indexed for searchability, and that the "Ask Me About" feature allows users to indicate their particular areas of expertise. Dave showed the privacy controls, which end users can set at the content item-level, and also demonstrated that end users can choose what activities to surface within their Profile on the My Site.
Dave continued his tour of the My Site by demonstrating: the dynamic Silverlight org browser; the content tab (which shows your individual activity such as blog posts you've authored); the Tags & Notes area (including your tag cloud and your recent tag activity); Colleagues (the equivalent of your Facebook friend feeds for the enterprise); and Memberships (SharePoint groups you belong to).
Dave wrapped up with some quick hits, such as: a demo of the Tag Profile page which allows you to see everyone following a given tag; Fast search, shown to demonstrate its expertise finding capabilities; "Refiners" on search results, which allow you to hone on specific areas of the results on a given search; and a brief overview of the social search systems in SharePoint 2010, as previously blogged in my post on What's New in Enterprise Search in Microsoft SharePoint 2010.
Bamboo Nation's complete coverage of TechEd 2010:
- What's New in Enterprise Search in SharePoint 2010
- Overview of Social Computing in SharePoint 2010
- SharePoint & Azure – 'How Do They Play Together?'
- ECM for the Masses – How Microsoft SharePoint Server Delivers on the Promise' in SharePoint 2010
- Fine Tuning Your SharePoint Server 2010 Environment
- SharePoint Security – Permissions, Identities & Objects…Including a 'Gotcha' that Breaks Security Trimming
- Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM & SharePoint 2010
- Outlook Social Connector – Deployment & Development Overview
- SharePoint 2010 as a Social Computing Platform