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SharePoint and Social Networking: You Gotta Have A Purpose

SharePoint 2010's sleeper features, its social networking tools, are the subject of Dan Holme's column this week for the SharePointPro Connections UPDATE enewsletter. But in spite of his enthusiasm, he cautions that you need to first consider why you want to implement social networking and what you hope to get out of it. He offers some typical reasons for why companies say they want to use SharePoint for social networking and raises questions you might want to consider before you implement anything. Here's a preview from his column. __Caroline Marwitz, editor

"Two weeks ago, I began a discussion of enterprise social networking and SharePoint. I referred to social networking as a tsunami. Carrying forward the “wave” metaphor, I woke up this morning to learn that there are forecasts for epic waves at Jaws, one of the world’s top tow-in surf breaks, which is walking distance from my home.

Knowing that makes it difficult for me to focus on SharePoint as I write this week’s column—I can hear the waves, the jet skis, and the excited spectators! Coincidentally, focus is a theme of this week’s continuation of the social networking discussion. This week, we raise the question, “Why do you want to implement social networking?” You must know the answer to succeed.

In any project management model, the first phase of a project is to identify the requirements for the design. Don’t just open up SharePoint My Sites because they’re there. Know why you need them. What business strategies can be supported by a tactical implementation of social networking?

There are many reasons that organizations put social networking in place. Let's talk about a few."

Check out SharePointPro Connections for the rest of Dan's column.

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