Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Social Tagging and Clouding – Part 1

Social tagging and clouding of information residing inside a SharePoint 2010 is a new feature that has been introduced in SharePoint 2010. Tagging information is nothing but categorizing certain data or information residing in the SharePoint to match with individuals interest.

People from finance department may tag certain information with their own attributes that are related to finance. So that people searching for specific information can search from that tag only. User can keep adding tag to identify various information based on their interest.

Tag is just a word that identifies whole information.

First let us see what all features are available in social tagging in SharePoint 2010.

1) Social Tags
2) Tag Cloud
3) Note Board
4) Ratings
5) Bookmarklets

We will deep dive in each one of these individual in details. Here I would first like to give an overview and how does it actually works inside the SharePoint.

1) Social Tags

Social tag is just a word given by a user to identify a piece of information as mentioned earlier. When a user tags something in SharePoint, it stores the information in separate social tagging database with tagged by user, URL of information and the tag word itself. Tags can be defined as a private or as a public. If defined as a private, then as a name suggest, only user who has defined it can see it. If defined public, then all authenticated users would be able to view that tag.

2) Tag Cloud

Tag Cloud is an aggregated view of all tags defined by authorized user inside SharePoint site. SharePoint has one web part called Tag Cloud web part. If you have observed this web part appears by default in My Site. We can customize the tag cloud as well; example, if you want to see tags inside cloud only of certain groups, then you can do so.

Tags that are frequently used are highlighted in larger text than tags that are used less which are highlighted in smaller text.

3) Note Board

Note board is a web part that comes with social feature in SharePoint 2010 which allows you to add comments. Earlier this feature was there only in the blogging site. Now we also have this as a separate web part, however this does not require approval or so. It’s simple typing comment inside the multiline textbox which is a note board.

Once posted, all authenticated users will be able to see all comments posted there in the web part.

Note board is always public and only authenticated users can post a note.

4) Rating

Rating is a classification of content on a scale as on how well particular information matches the criteria. Average score can range from 1 to 100. You can also have additional pop up window that will help you to give additional information about the score.

Users can rate documents, list items and web pages. Users need not to have write permission to perform this operation

Each rating again store information in social tagging database with user who rated the item, URL of rated item, and rating itself. Also it stored date and time of rating.

5) Bookmarklets

This allows user to rate, comment and rate items outside of SharePoint environment and share them with the users inside SharePoint environment.

When a user tags an external Web site, and when any other user visits user profile page which is My Site for another user then all tags and notes entered on external site page will then appear there.

Each bookmarklet again store information in social tagging database with user who bookmarked the item, URL of bookmarked item, and bookmarked word.

Read Social Tagging and Clouding part-2 for further reading.

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