SPTechCon: Jeff Shuey on ‘Social Media and SharePoint – How One Tweet Can Bring Your SharePoint Server Down’

Continuing my tradition of ending conferences on a social-themed session, I wrapped up my SPTechCon on Friday with Jeff Shuey's session on Social Media and SharePoint – How One Tweet Can Bring Your SharePoint Server Down.  Jeff explained that the goal of his session was to provide information to help attendees build for the social stream, and to help end users use the power of SharePoint to get the most out of the social stream.

Referencing the now infamous tweet that was sent from an official Chrysler account several months ago which read, "I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to [expletive deleted] drive," Jeff noted that the employee responsible has since been "released to industry" (i.e., fired).  Given that the damage to the Chrysler brand had already been done, however, Jeff posed a series of questions including:

  • "How do you manage the damaging data from legal perspective?" "A PR perspective?" "An HR perspective?"

  • "If you're the corporate compliance officer, who informed you? Who do you inform?"
  • "How do you store these records? For how long?"

Addressing the provocative insinuation raised in the title of his session, Jeff asked, "Can one tweet really shut down your SharePoint server?," Jeff said, "Maybe, if viruses are introduced," but pointed out that your CIO or HR department may very well choose to pull the plug on access to social sites as a result of an errant public tweet. 

Jeff also pointed out that, traditionally, only documents were stored in SharePoint, but that more and more often, video, audio, and podcast content is being uploaded into SharePoint.  Noting that "Currently, SharePoint doesn't do a great job with digital asset management," Jeff suggested that you may want to store such files elsewhere and just link to them from SharePoint.

Another concern that Jeff raised involved the posting of company information on Twitter was that, "If you post a picture on Twitter, they own it and can do whatever they want with it."  Asking attendees if their company had a social media policy in place, Jeff said that 80% of companies don't have one and, of those that do, his suspicion is that "90% probably don't enforce it."

SharePoint 2010 features that will help social ECM efforts that Jeff discussed included:

  • Document ID, a unique identifier for every document uploaded
  • Managed metadata, which allows for the management of tagging, ratings, and keywords as an intuitive information organization method
  • Records management, which allows users to declare a document as a record and transfer it to the Records Center, and the auditing of associated metadata
  • Social computing, in which users: define social relationships and assess the relevance of posted information; tag content, post messages and notes, and interact with colleagues; and employ taxonomy and folksonomy in applying metadata to content
  • Ease of use, including tight Office 2010 integration, and the fact that given the simplified Web publishing authoring experience, everyone is a content creator.

Potential legal issues that Jeff discussed included:

  • Social media and intellectual property rights.
  • Approved devices. When Jeff asked, "How many people use non-approved devices for work?," one attendee owned up to using an iPad, a non-approved device in her company, for work-related business, and others owned up to using non-approved phones. Jeff pointed out that non-approved devices may even extend to accessories, i.e., "Is there a policy on Bluetooth?"
  • Blocked sites. Twitter, Facebook, etc.. People are probably still doing it at work on another device even if blocked on your network, and maybe using such such sites for work-related tasks at home, or on other devices. "People are gonna do it whether you want them to or not."

Jeff identified as the top 5 intellectual property risks:

  1. Who owns the social media account and the content that's posted on a public social network? (The company, the employee, or Twitter?)
  2. Cybersquatting. Social media sites are the new target, and people with no affiliation to a given company will register accounts under company names, to either hold them for ransom or to post fake "company" content.
  3. No backup of intellectual property, with Jeff cautioning that: your content may not be available indefinitely; it's necessary to review the Terms of Service; and that if the site shuts down, you could lose all of your valuable data.
  4. Unauthorized disclosures of trade secrets, which can come about both via intentional or unintentional sharing of information.
  5. Brand damage. As the Chrysler tweet proved, employees can cause damage to a brand, so be prepared with a plan for when the brand takes a hit.

Jeff also reminded the audience that, as of last year, the Library of Congress has acquired and archived every public tweet since Twitter's inception, and will continue their archiving effort indefinitely.

Addressing the topic of "visual search," Jeff said that good metadata leads to good searches.  In addition to the out-of-the-box search features of SharePoint 2010, Jeff recommended third-party search add-ons from BA Insight, Vizit, and Newsgator.

In conclusion, Jeff strongly advised that your company have a rapid deployment center in place for your ECM, with the understanding that "You're already doing social media, [but] whether you're tracking and accounting for it is a different story." 


Read our complete coverage of SPTechCon Boston 2011:

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