Wallop launched its private beta this morning, and the blogosphere is yet again abuzz with excitement about social networking. My fellow MS blogger, Don Dodge, provided a good summary of Wallop. By pure coincidence, Wallop’s Web Operations Manager is a good ol’ buddy of mine, so I got an e-invite from him to give Wallop a try. Overall, I found Wallop to be more functional and refined than the internal version that I had used about 2 years ago. Still, I get the feeling that Wallop is targeted more at the NetGen/GenY crowd then a GenX'er like myself. You can access my Wallop site at http://www.wallop.com/LL.
Naturally, many of our corporate customers, especially those who have deployed SharePoint products and technologies for collaboration, are paying close attention to the recent surge in technological and cultural advances in social networking and online communities and hoping to leverage some of those advances within their intranet environments, preferably as integrated features within or on top of SharePoint.
With this post, I’m starting a series of blog entries to look at how the 2007 version of SharePoint products and technologies can be used for social networking and online communities within the enterprise. For starters, let’s do a quick comparison between FaceBook and SharePoint Server of the features that help you stay in touch with or keep track of your social network of friends and colleagues. In FaceBook, the following actions/events can be made visible or not for others to see:
In SharePoint Server, you can see the following actions/events of your colleagues:
And you can set the visibility of specific personal profile attributes based on the following social networking group levels: Only Me, My Manager, My Workgroup, My Colleagues, and Everyone. Here is a couple of screenshots of the attributes that you can configure (notice the several custom profile attributes that MS IT has added -- one of the key benefits of SharePoint is its ease of extensibility throughout):
For completeness, the following is a screenshot of the default user profile attributes in MOSS::