User profiles enable you to search for and connect with people within your organization. User profile information is also used to generate a personal site in the portal for individual users. Users can personalize their view of this site, called My Site. In addition, user profile information is used by index and search services to provide better search results, and is used in targeting content to audiences. You can import user profile information directly from Microsoft Active Directory directory service or enter it manually. You can also customize the properties of the user profile according to the needs of your organization or to map to Active Directory properties.
As a portal user, you can view and change your own user profile from My Site, a default area in the portal that provides personalized information for you. You can view your own profile by using either the personal view or the public view. The personal view contains private information that is viewable only by you and portal users with the Manage Profiles right.
The public view of the user profile is visible to all other users when they click your name in the portal. You can view the public user profile of any portal user by clicking the name of the user. For example, when viewing search results, you can click the author name to view the public user profile for the author.
Importing User Profiles
Adding and Editing User Profiles
Adding and Editing User Profile Properties
About Personal Context
About My Site