BPSPC: Transform the My Site into an Information Hub

Mark EichenbergerBusiness Productivity Architect Mark Eichenberger is a Microsoft employee based in the mid-Atlantic region.  Regarding his title, Mark explains, "What that really means?  I'm a SharePoint guy."  In his "Transform the My Site Into an Information Hub" session this afternoon at the Best Practices SharePoint Conference (BPSPC), Mark was directing his comments to an audience of Administrators, and my sense was that it was largely an audience frustrated by the lack of My Site adoption among users in their organizations. 

Mark's vision, what he referred to as "the Holy Grail" for the My Site, is for it be the "one place [I need] to go to do my job."  Along these lines, one of Mark's best practices recommendations is to "treat the My Site as your virtual workplace" by aggregating the links and content which are vitally important to you and your role.

Mark referenced a viewpoint held by some that My Sites represent a "Facebook for the enterprise."  Mark's own belief, given that My Sites debuted in 2001, turns that particlular viewpoint on its head:  "Facebook is My Sites for the consumer."

Mark touched on several areas by which Admins may transform the My Site into an information hub, including:

  • Personalization Site Links - These exist within the MOSS SSP and provide the ability to expose additional user profile information via tabbed UI.  Examples of personalization sites would include: My HR, My Office, My Team, My Outlook, and anything else joe- or role-based.
  • Personalization Services Permissions - Some of which may be made available to users even if they don't have (and/or IT doesn't want them to have) My Sites.

Another best practices recommendation was to "Enable access to My Sites to limited groups initially," using this initial group as a pilot program (and making adjustments accordingly based on usage) before rolling My Sites out to everyone in the organization.

There was one slide that was of particular interest to the audience and, upon request, Mark brought it back up at the conclusion of his presentation so that the featured URL could be noted.  The topic?  Role-Based Templates for SharePoint My Sites, made freely available from Microsoft.  Check 'em out.

For my own (selfish end user) purposes, I was hoping for some end user-specific advice on transforming the My Site, but since it sounds like there's some resistance to the adoption of My Sites in many organizations, it's good to know that Microsoft is already on the case, providing guidance to Administrators which may help corporate entities push My Site and My Profile features out to users.  Ideally these efforts will prove successful in fostering increased adoption of My Sites, a SharePoint feature that Bill English calls, "a fabulous part [SharePoint]."

Looking for more Best Practices?  See all posts on the Best Practices SharePoint Conference.


Posted Feb 03 2009, 02:28 AM by John Anderson

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About John Anderson

John Anderson joined Bamboo Solutions as Manager of Content & Syndication in May of 2008 after a 12-year career at AOL.  New to SharePoint at the time of his hiring, John was tasked with creating a new blog for the just-launched Bamboo Nation community in which he would document his daily SharePoint learning process.  Thus was born the end user-centric SharePoint Blank, for which John authored 200 posts within a year, and which he continues to write today (albeit much more sporadically).  Currently serving as Managing Editor, John sets the tone for Bamboo Nation as its lead blogger, and oversees content across Bamboo properties.

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