This is the first article in a series which explores the SharePoint 2010 MySite features. SharePoint 2010 has brought with it vast arrays of improvements and several of these are focused around ‘Social’ features. Many of us are familiar with Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites which bring people together to share personal information. Within SharePoint this is provided by the MySite concept.

Series contents:

  1. Overview, which details the MySite functionality provided by SP2010 – This Article
  2. Anatomy, we delve inside the MySite and dissect its inner secrets
  3. Customisation for Branding, how to change the look and feel
  4. Customisation of My Content page, how to change the page layout and contents
  5. Customisation of a MySite Blog, how to alter the Blog
  6. The MySite centric intranet, putting the MySite at the centre of the universe

What are MySites?

 

SharePoint MySites are commonly referred to as ‘Facebook for the enterprise’, they provide each user a personal space to store private and public information such as documents, pictures, status updates, information about themselves and blogs.

Microsoft say:

My Site Web sites are personal sites in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 that provide users in an organization with a rich set of social networking and collaboration features. These features give users a way to discover areas of expertise, projects, and business relationship from one central location. Each user can view his or her My Site Web site by clicking the corresponding user name in the top, right corner of any page and then clicking My Site.

Why would my organisation use MySites?

 

The use of SharePoint 2010 MySites allows users to share information about themselves and their work. Sharing this kind of functionality fits well within collaboration strategies where connecting people and skills together becomes important. A MySite also helps end users feel some kind of ownership of a corporate system, that little bit is all theirs to play with.

MySite features

 

The MySite consists of three distinct areas

My Newsfeed page

SharePoint 2010 introduces a new social feature to the MySite called the activity feed. This feed is similar in concept to the news stream on Facebook or LinkedIn. It displays activity from your colleagues, such as new tags, changes in profile information, colleagues being added and new blog posts from the user.

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My Content page

The my content page is the personal space for the user. This site collection contains document libraries for private and shared documents, pictures which can be linked to Office applications. The main page provides a page where a user can add whatever web parts they need. The user is also able to create a blog site under their personal space to allow others to read about their experiences.

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User profile page

The user profile page displays various information about the person. Such as an introduction, skills, interests, past projects, contact details and personal photo. This information can be sync’d from Active Directory as well as several other sources using the BCS capability. Another feature of the profile page is to allow the user to display different levels of information depending on social distance. For example you can restrict your mobile number to only those users who are colleagues.

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What’s next?

 

Hopefully this has given you a 1000 foot view of the SharePoint 2010 MySite. In the next article we’ll examine in more detail the features and components that are brought together to build this MySite functionality.