Does “Social Tagging” Accelerate Acceptance Of “Business Tagging” In SharePoint

By Russ Edelmann posted 10-14-2010 17:18


The proliferation of Social Networking applications is introducing a wave of acceptance for content tagging.  In some cases, this content is automated (Apple’s photo recognition); however, more commonly, the tagging is coming by virtue of active social tagging.  For example, Linked In, admittedly a business tool, allows for people to define what type of work they perform and where they live.  FaceBook allows people to tag others as friends, write on their wall and promote products.  Guess what…it’s all tagging!

So how does this relate to SharePoint?  Well, it does so in a few ways and I have taken the liberty of commenting on them accordingly here:

  • TAG Education | At a foundational level, social media users are getting smarter on tagging content.  They might not realize it; however, they are getting smarter.  For example, I often use Facebook Walls as an example for SharePoint Wikis.  It is not an exact match; however, people do begin to draw relationships.  More importantly, I draw similarities between filling out Linked In or Facebook profile information as a perfect example for placing metadata on SharePoint content.  The example I typically use “hometown” in Facebook as a great reference for metadata.  I discuss how by specifying your hometown, it allows for other Facebook users to more easily find you.  The same type of example holds true for Linked In.
  • Metadata | SharePoint’s metadata capabilities are actually quite powerful and I’ll draw the parallels out as referenced above.  I then elaborate about in the context of business and how additional metadata can be very beneficial in finding and organization information.  I’m also quick to point out the problems associated with too much metadata and how a balance must be struck based upon user preferences, business requirements and compliance regulations.  This correlation also allows for users to see the value in metadata as a result of the value they obtain from their Social Network tagging activities.
  • SharePoint Rating, Tag & Note Usage | Microsoft introduced a number of great social networking features with SharePoint 2010.  These are more closely aligned with the capabilities found in the public facing social network platforms.  For example, almost all content in SharePoint can now be easily rated.   Additionally, people can add “tags” and “notes” to content and web pages to share their opinions on what they do and do not like on the site.  These tags and notes can be secured in a variety of ways and then the information is available for searching.  SharePoint 2010 also greatly improved the personal profile capability by adding more “social networking” tagging on each individual’s profile page.  Everything from your activities, project involvement, and where they fit in the org chart.

So I hope this blog introduces some new ways for you to introduce the power of SharePoint’s metadata tagging and social tagging capabilities and how it can be related to the public social networking platforms.  If not, read it again!

Next week – digging into the Term Store!

#social #SharePoint #tagging