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Newsfeed Options for SharePoint Online Office 365, 2013

Organizations looking to enhance collaboration between personnel on projects, or other shared tasks will want to use the Newsfeed feature of Sharepoint Online, Office 365, 2013. By implementing this feature, personnel with an interest in specific documents, spreadsheets, or other organizational assets (including web pages, slide decks, or data in any other file type format included in a SharePoint library of list) letated to these projects or tasks can follow them, comment on them, etc.

Out of the box, SharePoint Online includes Newsfeeds as one of the Micro Blogging features of My Sites. Despite the “person-centric” nature of this architecture, anyone in the organization can opt to view Newsfeeds from “Everyone” and thereby get an overview of all of the Newsfeeds running within a team.

SharePoint Online Newsfeeds have some of the same features of Twitter, Google + or Facebook. Users can choose to “follow” one another; apply tags to status alerts and/or comments; and even add clickable links to URLs (both internal and, where security permits, external web addresses).

Microsoft has provided a movie embedded in a PowerPoint slide deck to present the Newsfeed feature of SharePoint Online, Office 365, 2013.

But organizations should also consider the option of using Team Site Newsfeeds. Microsoft offers the same type of tutorial on this feature of SharePoint Online. The tutorial is available for download and is titled Post to a Team Site Feed. By choosing to implement Team Site Newsfeeds organizations can limit participation to only members of specific team sites. Closer management of project deliverables is a likely added benefit of implementing this approach.

Some of the talk about the coming upgrade to Office 365 (as of May 16, 2013) mentions expanded access for any organization implementing SharePoint Online to Yammer Newsfeeds instead of out of the box Newsfeeds. Presumably this change will deliver the expanded set of Yammer features within SharePoint Online.

Ira Michael Blonder

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