Simply Social: SharePoint 2013
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Simply Social: SharePoint 2013

After my webinar on the topic went so well yesterday, I thought I’d distill the basics of Social (what, how, and why) in SharePoint 2013 into a few quick posts here at the blog.  Today’s inaugural topic represents the “what”— a quick look at the new social functionality in SharePoint 2013.
Anyone who remembers the old hub-and-spoke model of SharePoint functionality remembers that SharePoint 2010 came with a feature set entitled “Communities”.  This was Microsoft’s attempt to bring social computing behind the firewall with features like My Sites and their improved Activity Feed, Interests, and Expertise, plus Notes and Tagging and a powerful People Search experience.
This seemed like good stuff for its day, except with one very big problem: Users were already moving on.  Facebook and Twitter picked this timeframe to surge—maybe explode is the better term—in popularity, as did LinkedIn.  Users, being consumers who used these tools at home in ever-expanding numbers, expected an experience similar to Facebook.  (That’s what we call a consumer-driven experience, and that’s one of the major factors impacting the development of enterprise social technology).
SharePoint 2010 was famously missing the basic elements that made sites like Facebook and Twitter go: microblogging mainly, but also @targeting users and #targeting topics.  Microsoft has addressed these issues head-on in the new release of SharePoint 2013.  Let’s take a look.
SharePoint 2013 Social Screenshot
So there’s microblogging, just the way people expect it.  Here’s a neat catch though, just for the enterprise— not only can we see colleagues (“friends”) and their activities in our newsfeed, we can do the same with specific documents we are interested in as well.  We can @tag those colleagues and #topics that interest us to our hearts’ content, and hey—take a look—we can even navigate by them:
Annotated Screenshot of SP 2013
That’s it for the basics.  Next time, I want to talk about the cloud, analytics, release cycles and what that means for the enterprise decision maker.

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