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A Brief Glimpse of How to Use the Expanded Newsfeeds Available with SharePoint 2013

In a video tutorial titled Enterprise Social Capabilities, Dux Raymond Sy, SharePoint MVP, PMP and a widely acknowledged subject matter expert on SharePoint, recounts an interaction with an unnamed contact, probably from an IT organization, on the topic of the “social” features of SharePoint and whether or not it makes sense to permit end users to implement these features. Dux quotes the contact as stating ” . . . we don’t want them posting pictures of their cats on our intranet”.

Clearly IT organizations are concerned about the “social” features of computing platforms, including SharePoint. But the “facebook generation” is moving into the workspace. Doesn’t it make more sense to provide them with with an internal “wall” for online conversations, than it does to permit them to use facebook, LinkedIn, GooglePlus, or some other online venue for the same purpose. The prospect of a lot of these online conversations transpiring at the same time, behind a corporate firewall, is likely to be a lot less risky than would be the case if they all took place on the internet.

Dux’s video tutorial, which is part of a set on managing projects with SharePoint 2013, makes a strong case for permitting communities of SharePoint users to implement its social features. I found one point about newsfeeds to be particularly compelling. Dux asserted that the content of SharePoint 2013 newsfeeds can be accessed via the SharePoint search feature. With content from newsfeeds integrated within the rest of company-specific information reposed in SharePoint, the task fo analyzing the data for business intelligence becomes much easier.

SharePoint stakeholders should be familiar with the social features of SharePoint. Many end users are sure to be interested in the newsfeeds feature, as a comparatively familiar method of collaborating with other team members, or business colleagues. The feature will become even more useful if it is also condoned by a central IT organization.

Ira Michael Blonder

© Rehmani Consulting, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2013 All Rights Reserved