Social is all the rage. Microsoft’s $1.2 billion acquisition of business social-networking platform Yammer has highlighted their determination to keep their products updated with the latest evolving trends.
Collaboration and communication are two key features of business these days more than ever, and Microsoft has taken this on board for SharePoint 2013 too.
Here are four of the newly developed social features of SharePoint 2013.
Interactive Newsfeed: Very similar to your standard social networking platform, SharePoint 2013 has included a newsfeed feature so the users can keep up to date with the latest updates to documents or schedules. Users will have the ability to update the feed with a status – perhaps indicating they are tied up in meetings / booked off on holiday etc. – or a ‘microblog’ post, conversations, and so on. The ability to connect via ‘@’ and ‘#’ is also enabled on SharePoint 2013. This key social functionality is an interesting development and encourages smoother communication.
Following: Coupled with the newsfeed feature, users can ‘follow’ profiles or conversations to keep on top of their contacts within the organisation. Improved personal profiles indicate important basic information as well as showing past projects and key skills. If you follow up a conversation, it is dropped into the ‘tasks’ section for later reference. Users can also ‘follow’ sites.
Community Site: This is an extension of the ‘Discussion list’ feature on SharePoint 2010, and a direct replacement of the discussion board. Community sites allow the users to easily search the index of discussions linked to the community site without trawling through irrelevant lists. The administrator tools enable significant customisation and monitoring too.
Reputation Points: Much like Microsoft’s official forums, contributors can gain points for relevant and popular contributions to discussions. It is a nice idea, but it is unclear what the benefit of this is, apart from creating an online culture of competition within the organisation. However, users will be able to see who the most valuable contributor is, and slackers will have nowhere to hide!
SharePoint is a strong platform for organisational collaboration, and these new socially-orientated features enhance this greatly. It remains to be seen whether users maximise this capability, but people clearly love social media and this may be a popular development for Microsoft SharePoint 2013.
Do the new social features of SharePoint 2013 improve the platform considerably? How would you use these in your business. Please leave a comment below and register to stay in touch!