SharePoint Social Standards

Back To All SharePoint Standards

This is a small subset of the larger SharePoint Content Standards. Further items will be added to both sections over time.


  • Content ratings represent how useful the content was to you. In our organization a piece of content rated as 5 is very useful, where as a rating of 0 or 1 would denote that it was not useful to you.

Communities (SharePoint 2013)

  • Whenever possible a community site should have at least 200 to 300 members.
    • This helps ensure that there is a large enough group of people to keep the community site fresh, active, and that personal connection/communication isn’t as viable (based on the size of the collective).
      • Authors Note: Microsoft has stated this a few times for many reasons around growth, activity, and other reasons. However that doesn’t mean a smaller community wouldn’t have potential value.
      • Communities should have at least one clear designated moderator.
        • The moderator will be responsible for clarifying the community’s purpose, when possible aggregating responses into best replies, re-categorizing mistakenly categorized questions or discussions, managing reported content, and managing badges/rewards.
        • Moderators should have a simple ‘Moderator Badge’ using the badge functionality of the SharePoint community applied to themselves (allowing for easier identification).
        • All categories within community sites should have an image associated with them that represents the category.
        • Depending on how sites are provisioned, tracked, and managed it may be important to note the type of community site clearly for each community site. This enables easier management, and coordination around communities.
          • There are four types of community sites
      • Private – available only to invited members.
      • Closed – read for all but only approved members can contribute. The owner gets an action request when someone wants to join or auto-approval can be enabled.
      • Open with explicit action required to join (i.e. users click the “Join this community” button).
      • Open with no explicit requirement to join. Anyone can participate without joining. Without joining, however, there is no automatic following of sites.
  • If a question has been answered, but a best reply isn’t clear to the poster – they should contact the moderator to assist in compiling a best reply answer that is an aggregation of the answers.
  • An additional view of “No Replies” should be created to assist users in finding unanswered questions, or discussions that have not been followed up to improve awareness.

Social Tagging

  • Socially tagged content is still security trimmed. That means that any socially tagged content will only be shared and available to other people who can already see that content.
  • Tags should add to the value of the content. Use words that help identify it, or describe what you found to be positive about the content. Here are some examples sectioned into the two types of tags.
    • Identification
      • Project XYZ
      • Marketing
      • Schedule
    • Positive
      • Excellent
      • Comprehensive
      • Good Case Study
  • It is entirely acceptable to tag content the same way that someone else has already tagged it.
  • It is entirely acceptable to tag content with a phrase or word even if that content has a column value specifying the same thing.
  • Negative tagging is not allowed in our organization. Instead or alternatively identifying words should be used.
    • Acceptable
      • Outdated
      • No Longer Relevant
      • Incomplete
      • Missing References or Research
    • Unacceptable
      • Prehistoric Thinking
      • Bad Case Study
      • Bull Crap
      • Profanity

Status Updates (SharePoint 2010)

  • Status updates can contain any information you think would be beneficial to share. Some examples of useful status updates are updating people on your work, asking for help, or stating where you are:
    • “Working on SharePoint Content Standards for the SharePoint Standards Project.”
    • “Out of the office and at the Microsoft SharePoint Conference.”
    • “Can’t remember how to update my outlook signature. Can anyone help?”
    • “Group of us are going to Starbucks for a coffee. Would anyone like to come or want one?”
    • “Just finished the status update examples! Hope everyone likes them!”

NewsFeed (SharePoint 2013)

  • Avoid split posts to the newsfeed based on length limits (meaning if you have more to say than 512 characters consider a discussion or other medium for capturing/sharing).
  • “Everyone” or Public Newsfeed Posts are not security trimmed (meaning everyone can see these posts, links contained within them, or other post information).
    • Automatically generated posts are security trimmed (where appropriate).
    • Site newsfeed posts are security trimmed based on the site’s security.
    • Negative #Hashtags are not allowed in our organization. Instead or alternatively identifying words should be used.
      • Acceptable Examples
        • #Help
        • #Marketing
        • #Boston
        • #LessonLearned
      • Unacceptable
        • #Fail
        • #MarketingSucks
        • #Profanity
        • #Stupid

User Profiles

  • You are responsible for updating and maintaining any personal information you would like to share on your profile.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that any information you share on your personal profile is targeted and secured in the way you want it to be.
    • The privacy options available to you in SharePoint 2010 are:
      • You only (Private)
      • Your manager (Manager)
      • Your workgroup (Organization)
      • Your colleagues (Contacts)
      • Everyone (Public)
  • About Me can should contain any relevant information that you believe will be beneficial to share and highlight about yourself. Here are some examples of About Me descriptions to help clarify what you could share.
    • “I have been a Quality Engineer with our company for over 10 years. I spend most of my time coming up with effective methods of stress testing, and verifying the quality of our products. I live in Boston, MA with my two daughters, my dog, and my wife and run a community hack space (where we take apart things and see how they work and build new things out of them).”
    • “Designer Extraordinaire: I work with our Marketing department and other areas of the business on everything relating to design including Print, Web, and Interactive.”
    • “Currently I am on contract and working with HR. I am currently enrolled in my third year of a MBA program at the Boston University’s School of Management. I have so far been involved in our new Microsoft Technology Training initiative, our corporate wide succession planning initiative, helped drive the implementation of our coaches’ corner and mentoring system and many more great projects.”

Am I missing any? Disagree with any of them? Let me know via comments,
Richard Harbridge

{ 1 trackback }

Eight key considerations when implementing SharePoint 2010 social capabilities
January 5, 2012 at 2:44 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jose Antonio Morales November 16, 2010 at 1:50 am

Super interesting!


2 Shadeed Eleazer January 6, 2012 at 7:07 am

I think the examples you’ve posted for each section have real world value and are well thought out. Good job and I enjoy reading the articles on your blog.


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