Editor’s note: Contributor Ben Henderson is Manager of Sevices at Colligo Networks. Follow him @ben3003
When you are working with SharePoint you soon learn that there are some little changes you can make which will make a big difference to the way you end up working with the application. An example of this is Content types. Content types are not enabled by default within a document library but as soon as you turn them on they open up a world of opportunity, allowing you to store documents that have different metadata requirements alongside each other in a document library. And that’s just the start of things you can do with content types.
The example I want to explain and go through was brought to my attention as soon as I registered to blog here on NothingButSharePoint (you will see that this is my first post). After being sent the link I was greeted with the My Site homepage; the default out of the box one that has no content and is seen on the majority of the SharePoint 2010 installs that I have visited.
Now there isn’t a whole heap of work that is needed to turn this into a useful page which users will go to when they click on the My Site link. You need access to central admin, so for that you may need to convince your SP admin to do the work, but it really is just one tick box that needs enabling and it’s probably the case that the background processes are already working.
Have your email administrator go into SharePoint central admin and enable the newsfeeds (Central Admin > User Profile Service > Setup My sites)
This will make the My Site page useful, and not just an additional page stopping you from getting to where you want to go. If any of the people you have added as your colleagues are active on SharePoint or on their My Site then the content will be aggregated to this site, just like a Facebook wall. If users like documents, comment on documents, change their job info or anything like this, then that information will be shown here too.
I believe it`s the first step you need to make SharePoint a social platform, and it`s just a tick box! I would like to hear your experiences of simple tick box’s making a big difference on your SharePoint environment.