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My Sites overview (SharePoint Server 2010)

Updated: August 23, 2011

This article provides an overview of My Sites end-user functionality and benefits for consideration by enterprise business decision makers or SharePoint administrators. It does not discuss the architecture of My Sites or information about planning and configuring My Sites.

If you are a SharePoint administrator who is responsible for configuring My Sites in your organization, use this topic together with Plan for My Sites (SharePoint Server 2010) to understand and plan for My Sites. You can then use the procedural topics located under Manage My Sites settings (SharePoint Server 2010) to set up My Sites and configure settings. For more information about the end-user functionality of My Sites and how to use My Sites, see the SharePoint Server Communities Productivity Center and Getting started with your My Site.

Uses and benefits of My Sites

In Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, a My Site is a personal site for individual users in an organization. Although an organization can customize My Sites, by default they are organized into My Newsfeed, My Content, and My Profile sections as described in this article.

My Sites give users rich social networking and collaboration features, which enable users to explore and share interests, projects, business relationships, content, and other data with people in the organization.

My Sites enable users to easily share information about themselves and their work. This sharing of information encourages collaboration, builds and promotes information about expertise, and targets relevant content to the people who want to see it. Once My Sites are deployed, a user can access his or her My Site by clicking his or her user name in the top, right corner of an intranet SharePoint Server page and then clicking My Site.

My Newsfeed

My Newsfeed is the default page when a user accesses his or her My Site. This section displays the What's New page, which provides a feed of recent activities related to a user's specified colleagues and interests. Users can customize their newsfeeds by adding or removing colleagues they are interested in, specifying interests, and configuring the kind of activities they want to follow, such as when a colleague tags information with a shared interest.

When a colleague generates an activity — such as by tagging or writing a note on a Web page, or rating a document — an activity is created with a link to the affected content. These activities are security trimmed, which means that a user can only see activities with links to which they have permission. Security trimming relies on a Search Service Application, which records the permissions that users have to view crawled items. For more information, see Privacy and security implications of social tagging (SharePoint Server 2010).

My Content

My Content is a Web Part page that displays content a user has stored in the My Site. By default, the My Content page displays a left navigation pane with links to the user's document libraries and picture libraries. The Web Part page contains Shared Documents, Personal Documents, and Recent Blog Posts Web Parts.

A user can customize the My Content page by adding or removing Web Parts in zones on the page. For example, a user might want to add a Web Part for RSS feeds or to display documents from other SharePoint sites where he or she is a member.

My Profile

The My Profile section displays the user's profile page to other people in the organization. Although the My Newsfeed and My Content sections are available only to the user, the My Profile section is what that user and other people in the organization see when they access the user's My Site.

SharePoint Server 2010 provides user profile policies that specify how profile information is displayed and how it can be used. Although there are recommended default policies for features and properties exposed in user profiles and personal sites, you can configure custom policies to meet specific needs of the organization. For example, you can configure a property to be more or less visible by default, and allow users to override default settings for properties that you want to give them control over. You configure these policies for the User Profile service in Central Administration. For more information, see About property policies in the Plan user profiles (SharePoint Server 2010) article.

Users can change privacy settings for their individual profile properties that you allow them to override in the profile policy. Users configure these settings from their profiles on their My Sites. The privacy settings are assigned to the following privacy groups (listed in order from most restrictive to least restrictive: Only Me, My Manager, My Team, My Colleagues, Everyone. For example, a user might decide to display more information, such as a personal phone number, with members of his or her team than with other people in the organization. A user can use the View My Profile as seen by list to view their profile as it appears for members of the groups they assign their colleagues to. This helps a user determine whether they are comfortable with the information that is displayed.

The top half of the page displays the user's profile data, such as their picture, title, group, telephone number, interests, and so on. The bottom half of the page is divided among the tabs described in the following table.

Tab Description

Overview

Displays general information about the user in the following areas:

  • The Ask Me About area highlights the user's areas of expertise.

  • The Recent Activities area displays the user's recent activities, such as colleagues they have added, new memberships, and so on.

  • The Note Board area contains a text box to post notes for the user and view notes that are left for the user.

  • The My Organization Chart displays the user's location in the organization.

  • The In Common with You area displays pertinent information that you have in common with the user's whose profile you are viewing, such as shared managers or memberships.

Organization

Displays an organization chart. The chart shows the user's position the organization among management, peers, and direct reports. You can select other people from the chart to view their profiles.

Content

Displays the user's shared content. For example, the viewer might see documents, pictures, lists, or blog entries that the user has chosen to share on his or her My Site.

Tags and Notes

Contains a list of a user's tags and notes related to his or her social tagging activities. For more information, see Social tagging overview (SharePoint Server 2010).

Like the My Newsfeed section, the tag and note activities in the Tags and Notes area are security trimmed. However, because the Tags and Notes tab is visible to users and visitors, security trimming affects the owner of the My Site in addition to visitors. On a user's profile on the Tags and Notes tab, the user can see all activities but visitors see only activities related to items they have permission to see. For more information about security trimming and the effects it has on the areas in My Sites, see Privacy and security implications of social tagging (SharePoint Server 2010).

The activities displayed can be filtered by selecting the kind of activity that a user wants to see, such as by tags or by notes, or filtered by tags from the user's tag cloud. The tag cloud consists of tags the user has used on content, such as documents or other sites.

Colleagues

Displays colleagues that a user has added to their My Site. When a user adds colleagues to his or her My Site, he or she can specify whether to add the colleague to a group and who to display the colleague to. Users' newsfeeds contain activities of colleagues they have added to their My Sites. This helps users discover information that might be pertinent to them based on relationships they have with other people in the organization.

Memberships

Displays the user’s memberships in distribution lists (DLs) and SharePoint sites where the user is added to the Members group. DL membership information is obtained from the Active Directory directory service, and SharePoint site membership information is obtained by pulling membership information from the SharePoint site.

The user cannot join groups from this tab; they can only see their membership information. However, like the Colleagues tab, the user can specify who they want to display the membership to.

For more information, see Review available default groups in the Determine permission levels and groups (SharePoint Server 2010) article and How to: Create Memberships (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=226299).

Change History

Date Description

August 23, 2011

Added information about security trimming in the newsfeed, how profile property policies set by an administrator affect privacy settings available to users, and what kind of memberships appear on users' profiles.

May 12, 2010

Initial publication

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