The New Communities and NewsFeed in SharePoint 2013
Despite the immense popularity of the SharePoint platform, it has never been accredited to be one of the best social computing platforms. This is a reputation that Microsoft is hell bound in changing. With its next version, it hopes to evolve itself as the business collaboration software that is available in the market.

The release date of SharePoint 2013 hasn’t yet been announced, but it is available for previewing in the Office 365 Enterprise version. It is a subscription based software that includes the high productivity of the Microsoft’s Office suite. Hosted on Microsoft Server lineup, it is not expected to ship until the first quarter of the next year.

All about collaboration in the enterprise
The Senior Marketing Manager of Microsoft, Bill Baer, said that the social journey commenced with the SharePoint version 2010. Bringing the familiar social experiences to everything in this version, the new features are strongly influenced from the famous online networking portals.
It has now a microblogging component, complete with likes, hash tags, and other features prominent in Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter. They even have integrated community sites discussion forums that enable enterprise users to share relevant information and details with colleagues. This is the social feel to the collaborative computing platform.

SharePoint 2013 People Card
This contains the contact information including details like pictures, status updates, activity feeds similar to LinkedIn, and Facebook. The SkyDrive Pro, the premium version of Microsoft’s cloud storage and syncing services also enables the user to share files across the platform.
In all the previous versions, the users had a profile and a personal site, known as My Site. The new updated 2013 version splits the My Site into three sections. This are as follows:

  • NewsFeed
  • SkyDrive
  • Sites

A globalised navigation search bar provides access and social features being integrated enables users to launch without the web browser.
Before, the enterprise social networking on SharePoint service required extensive customization or the integration of add on products such as NewsGator Social Sites. The new version still leaves space for third party apps that can add more features to this enterprise social network.

Communities in SharePoint
In the older version of SharePoint Server and Foundation, one could allow the conversations to be shared by adding a discussion list. In this new version, there already exists new Community Sites and Community Portal templates.

The Community Sites is a forum that structures, and encourages discussions among people across organizations. For example, the user can deploy a site for members in an individual department, or even fill a community with messages from distribution lists. The Portals is the enterprise site template. This allows users for searching SharePoint sites or groups of sites that use the Community Site templates.

Similar to Facebook or LinkedIn, the NewsFeed here displays relevant information on people, sites, tags or discussions followed. It can show 20 items, which are sorted in, reverse chronological order. It is one of the several feeds available via My Site.

Everyone Feed: Shows instant 20 activities, posts or replies across all users.

Activities Feed: Shows content related to the particular user.
All the other users can see your Activities Feed, states when browsing through the profile or in About Me page.

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