As of Enterprise 2.0 is coined by Harvard Business School Professor Andrew McAfee, many organizations have been looking for sociable applications to indirectly improve business productivity. Twitter or Facebook or other well-known at that time might fall into their eyes. However, due to publicity, they actually could not fit. How about MOSS 2007 at that time? Well, people were looking at it as a platform which has social features preferably, but not many. Then, Yammer, which is one of the enterprise social networks was launched, attracting numerously organizations over the world with more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500.
What Yammer indeed get people more excited than other social networks is the way it presents to end-users, especially it helps organization build their own private communities. Take a glance at Yammer in the image below, you will see how people interact together, especially you definitively know there is something called “Microblog”. This is one of most attractive features Yammer has.
Next, Microsoft improved social features in SharePoint 2010, such as new friendly My Site interface, Tagging, Comments…etc. But it still gets complained by end-users regarding poorly reasonable features in a generic social networking. So what Microsoft then did was to acquire Yammer, and then release the SharePoint 2013 Preview to the community.
Why did Microsoft acquire Yammer, for a successful enterprise social platform? Would Yammer be integrated to the next SharePoint version? Read some good articles:
- Microsoft buys Yammer to succeed in its social enterprise efforts.
- Why Microsoft’s purchase of Yammer is the smartest deal of the year
- Three more reasons Microsoft might buy Yammer
- 3 reasons why Microsoft acquiring Yammer will change SharePoint forever
… And a ton of articles talking about the acquisition you are able to get on the Internet.
In my opinion, realizing that social network is indispensable for successful enterprise business, but cannot improve much more in SharePoint 2010, Microsoft came to the decision to buy Yammer (June 25, 2012), and then announced the release of SharePoint 2013 Preview (July 16, 2012) after the acquisition. In fact, the new social features in SharePoint 2013 look like a mirror of Yammer, where microblog, Like or People tagging are available. Through the previous post, I introduced Community site which provides you microblog, LIKE and Mark-as-the-best-reply functionality.
The series will consist of the following parts:
- Part 1 – Setting up a new My Site Host Site collection.
- Part 2 – Synchronizing User Account in Active Directory to SharePoint
- Part 3 – Exploring Community features in real-world scenarios
- Part 4 – Reputation Point is where the love begins
- Part 5 – Something I have not actually found out.
To facilitate your social deployment inside your organization, I’m going to be in this post walking you through Community site throughout a real-world scenario. One of the popular games in many generically microblogs many of you may have known is Think Fast game where people could think, and then propose their answers to corresponding questions very quickly, in order to get scores as much as they can.
I have created a community called Think Fast (see how to create community site in the part 2). Think Fast community is where my colleagues can come to, and then ask or answer quick questions created by others.
One of the very first things I have to do is create the following categories:
You can create whatever you want, as long as these categories are understandable to people. Open Think Fast community site, click Create categories in the Community tools, and then click new item.
Best practices of creating a new category:
- The name of category should make sense.
- Complete the Description setting to help people understand which appropriate category they should put their questions in. I have seen many people often leave this setting blank.
- Add a descriptive picture. You can add external URL, but I highly recommend you to upload pictures to Site Asset library or a new library, in order to keep these files. This also avoid blank when picture’s website is down.
- Type something to describe a category picture.
After I create my categories, they look like as follow:
After that, let invite people to Think Fast community. Right now the members can ask questions. Like many forums have, SharePoint 2013 allow community administrators or moderators to mark a discussion as featured. When mark, a discussion will show up at the top of its category. To do this, click Manage discussions in the Community tools, here you can see all discussions created by all members in your community. Select a discussion you want to put up at the top, click MODERATION and then click Mark as Featured. You also select Unmark as Featured for other discussion.
Some of you might be asking who can mark a reply as best, as well as a discussion as featured. The answer is Moderator. In SharePoint 2013, the Contributor group is no longer, instead Moderator group does make sense when it comes to social community. Moderator in this case can edit, delete and moderate discussions. To add users to Moderator group, you can click Site Settings. For those who are very new to SharePoint 2013, and don’t know where Site Settings link is, I would like to capture the picture below to introduce you to new area. Site Actions link is in the left corner in SharePoint 2010, but it is no longer in SharePoint 2013.
Under Users and Permissions, click Site permissions and then add users to Moderator group. These steps of adding are very similar to SharePoint 2010. Before adding a user to Moderator group, make sure this user will not make corrupt use of his/her permission for personal purposes.
When the community has a lot of discussions, you may want to properly filter those to quickly control. For example, you need to know any discussion which is marked as featured, or you want to control all unanswered discussions/questions.
You have already known the community site shows you the Top contributors who have many posts, replies or best replies, but you don’t know how the system recognizes and lists those to the Top contributors table.
I have a question for you right now: Is there any forum you are participating in? If so, is there any point systems in any of those forums? How many point do you have currently? If you frequently run activities in a forum, especially working as super moderator or administrator, you probably know VBB, for example, has a point systems which has the ability to calculate points for members based on their contributions. We have these things in SharePoint 2013 via the Reputation setting.
Take a look at the Member achievements point system where obviously what you have to do to make your community most popular. You first must select Enable member achievements point system before re-setting up reputation point calculation.
I have modified the value in each activity. When a user replies to a post, I don’t want a system to add point. My reason is that if a user asks an ambiguous question, another will replies by a question to fully understand the first question. I also encourage by changing from 20 points (by default) to 30 points when someone gets liked. And we absolutely give 50 points for those who have best replies. Setting up this calculation is up to you. When this point system is reasonably used? It doesn’t limit to any scenarios, however, I highly recommend you using this point system when your company does want to organize a quiz game. For example, the members in the management executive department are discussing on how to
organize an online contest. One of the requirements of this contest is the ability to have a manageable point system to calculate and show top high-score people. In this case, two activities you should avoid calculating score.
- Only board members have the authority to create full list of questions of the contest. This obviously means these board members cannot get additive score once they create questions. So you have to leave 0 value in the Create a new post activity.
- At the Replying to a post activity, set the value to 0. You don’t want to add score when people answer your questions.
- The rest of activities must be carefully considered. Because this contest consists of two answer types: selectable answer and writable answer, so if the question has writable answers, when a user has good reply and then get liked, he will have additive scores. However, for only selectable answer, you don’t have any out-of the-box way to avoid people liking or rating. So before the contest, tell them this limitation, unless you will customize to kick this limitation out of your contest. Next, giving score for best replies does make sense.
After that, according to list of top contributors, your organization can award to top three people who have highest scores. It is all interestingly you should think about.
Let me go back to my case with Think Fast community. After seeing many people doing here, I think about a badge list for them. For example, if a user has over 500 points, he will have a badge called “Master”. And if someone who has 10,000 points, I would like to add that one to group of Think Fastest.
At the Achievement levels, you can create new levels for member. Make sure you select Display achievement level as text before making awesome badges in the Achievement badges setting.
To experience “badge” term, come to StackExchange website.
You also have another list of badges called “Gifted badges”. The purpose of using this is to give people who may help you, or moderator get something done. My recommendation is to only badge called “Senior Member”. Anyway, it’s up to you. In the Gifted badges, click Mange the list of gifted badges and then add more badges you want. There are two default gifted badges: Expert and Professional.
I have deleted two default badges and created a new one called “Senior Member”.
To assign a gifted badge to a user, back to Community tools and click Assign badges to members. Select a user and then click Give Badge and then select gifted badged. As I said earlier, gifted badge should only be assigned to trusted or senior members who help improve your community.
After assigned a gifted badge, a user has an orange icon like the following figure.
Would you like to leave this community? Click the Leave this community button, you will get asked to confirm the resignation. If you leave this community, you will no longer be shown in the members lists, as well as your permission will not be affected anymore. So consider if you don’t want to make people feel painful after you leave.
As of knowing SharePoint 2013 from a social perspective has been significantly improved, organizations don’t have to be looking for other sociable applications as I came up in the foreword of the post. What now you have to think about is the best way to maximum utilize reputation point system and many of microblog OOTB features to get people coming to your community and then rocking on it.
What will be in the next post? Let me keep it secret.
To be continued.