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You Can Lead a User to SharePoint, But You Can't Make Him Use It

I noticed on the corporate intranet that I frequent, which is run on SharePoint 2007, one of the IT guys who set it up wrote a post encouraging people to fill out their info (job description, post photo, etc.) and to use the My Site feature. IT doesn't normally exhort us to use applications. (Did you ever see anyone writing "Don't forget to use Word's Ribbon UI!" or "The Access databases are waiting for you to enter data!"? I think not.)

This is not an issue limited to a mid-sized publishing company's intranet, either. I was talking to some people from Axceler today about their ControlPoint product for SharePoint administration. Aside from the many features and super-detailed console I saw (which I'll write about next week when the weekend is over), I noted that one gap in SharePoint native tools the Axceler folks mentioned was being unable to get a global view of what's going on. This includes not knowing whether people are even accessing SharePoint.

How do you know if people are accessing SharePoint in your organization?

Did you do a nice little PR campaign internally? or do you have super passionate users/site owners who advocated it? or is it management and HR that are ultimately dragging users to the SharePoint trough?

What if you deployed SharePoint and nobody came?

[Crickets chirping.] [Is it like keeping a blog that has 100 dedicated readers, 90 of whom are your relatives once and twice removed?]


Here's my theory--what users need, they'll use. Do users need SharePoint in your organization? Seriously? If so, you'll find out--they'll use it. If not, you'll find out--they won't use it, even after you halter them up, put the bit in, and lead them to the trough.

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