Obsolete: Refers to build 14.0.4006.1010 (beta 1)SharePoint 2010 comes with a bunch of web 2.0 features, tags, tag clouds, rating, social bookmarking and enhanced blogs and wikis. What I really missed in SharePoint 2007 was tags and tag clouds. On the other hand this was a free space for developers like me, see Power Tag Cloud ;-) My experience with SharePoint 2003 already showed that text, dropdowns and lookup columns are to inflexible and people tend to over categorize in the conception stage.
This could lead to a confusing meta taxonomy. What we have learned from the web 2.0 wave in the last years is that tags and tag clouds are a great, simple and flexible way to organize information.
Less is more!
Now with SharePoint 2010 this and much, much more comes out of the box. Tagging becomes one of the most significant concepts for building enterprise taxonomies in SharePoint 2010.
What can be tagged?
- List Items (Terms, Keywords, Social Tags)
- Documents (Terms, Keywords, Social Tags)
- Pages (Terms, Keywords, Social Tags)
- External pages (Social Tags)
Talked enough, let’s play around with this stuff…
This means everything that has an URL can be social tagged. Do you know anything in the web that hasn’t one?
Tag a list item or a document:
Almost any built-in list has per default a “Managed Keywords” column. When you start to write you get a filtered list of suggestions. When you enter a tag that not exist it will be automatically added to the managed keywords list.
Tag and note a SharePoint page:
To tag a SharePoint page you can use the user’s context menu as shown above. Clicking “Tag or Note this Page” opens the following dialog.
You can tag the page just like the list item before, but in addition you will get a list of suggested tags and you can mark them as private, so other user will not see them. At the bottom of the dialog you see a tag and note history. Furthermore you can add notes to the page (see in the second tab on the top).
How to tag an external page?Since years I miss a tool from Microsoft to centrally manage bookmarks and I believe I’m not alone. To tag external pages you have first to add a link to the SharePoint tagging dialog to your browser’s favorites:
Clicking to the “Tag and Noteboard” brings up the same dialog as in the previous example for a SharePoint page. You can tag and write notes as usual.
This looks similar to social bookmark tools like Diigo. But I miss some features like highlighting text, sticky notes, share bookmarks with a group, and a good browser plug-in. But hope this will come in later builds…
Tag Cloud Web PartFor sure you want to use your tags to navigate and filter content. For this reason there is now a tag cloud web part included in SharePoint 2010. I’m really a tag cloud fun :-)
My Tags and NotesYou can manage your tags globally as shown bellow.
Managing Enterprise MetadataAll you seen above is not enough for building an enterprise taxonomy. You don’t want let the users build your taxonomy on the fly with some tags, you want to predefine keywords and terms for your whole SharePoint farm. And what’s about multilingual terms and keywords? That’s why Microsoft added a something called “Term Store Management Tool”:
Here you can delete or create new tags and terms centrally for the whole farm. There is also support for multilingual terms! In my current build I’ve got the feeling this isn’t feature completed yet (there is already some documentation on MSDN), so I stop here and wait for further builds…
Although all this cool new web 2.0 features in SharePoint 2010, don’t forget that the most significant part is to get all this rocking is your company’s culture! Are you ready for culture 2.0?
UPDATE 26th Nov 09 (beta 2):
I've just seen in a screencast from Steffen Kraus (Microsoft Germany) some enhancements in newer builds:
- support for hierachical tags (Taxonomy)
- tag picker functionality
- tag based hierachical navigation in a list (Metadata navigation)
There's a huge different between social tags (will be stored at the user profile) and Enterprise Keywords and Terms (will be stored in the item itself)
FAST Search can't use tag refinment for social tags - read more.