Manage the information you share through your My Site and profile

This article describes ways that you share information through your My Site and profile, and it provides some steps to help you manage the amount of information that you share.

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Overview

Sharing information about yourself can help you connect with others and build your professional network. It is important, however, to understand the types of information you are sharing and how broadly you are sharing it. For example, you might want to share personal information like your mobile phone number with only your workgroup or your manager rather than everyone in the organization.

Additionally, you should check whether your organization has policies about sharing information. For example, your organization may have policies about what types of information should and should not be stored online, or may require an approval process for some types of content.

Here are some key ways in which information is shared through your My Site:

  • Content on your My Site, including documents, lists, and blogs
  • Tags and notes that you apply to pages and documents
  • Suggested keywords and colleagues that you have approved, which can be used to quickly update your My Site so you can engage with others
  • Personal information, such as contact information, interests, responsibilities, colleagues, and e-mail list memberships in your profile, and any updates you make to your profile details

Be aware that your organization may customize your My Site, such as by controlling which types of information you can add or customize. Your organization might also add information to your My Site from other data sources, such as a human resources database.

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Sharing and managing access to content on your My Site

Your My Site comes with three options already in place for sharing documents:

  • Shared Documents Use this library to store documents that you want to share with multiple people. Depending on how your My Site is set up, you can edit the permissions to the library, as well as specific folders and items.
  • Private Documents Use this library for documents that you do not want to share with other people. Storing documents in this library could be helpful, for example, if you often need to access a document from different computers, but don't intend to share the document with your colleagues.

Depending on how your My Site is set up, you can also add other content, such as other libraries, lists, and a blog site to share your ideas.

You can manage the permissions for these items, similar to the way that people manage permissions for content on other sites. The permissions can be customized at the site level, as well as for lists, libraries, folders, specific documents, and list items.

On the Content tab of your profile, people can also view public documents authored by you on other SharePoint sites that you are a member of, if they have permission to view that content.

Your organization may have additional policies on what types of documents you can store in your My Site.

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Understanding how people add colleagues and follow activities

You can follow the activities of colleagues, so that you can see when they tag an interesting article, post a note to someone’s Note Board, or change job titles. Their activities appear in reverse chronological order in your Newsfeed. Conversely, people in your organization may add you as a colleague and follow your activities in their Newsfeeds.

People can add you as colleagues and follow your activities, whether or not you add them as colleagues, and vice versa. If you are interested in that person's activities, you may want to add them as a colleague, so that you can follow their activities as well. Some activities, such as applying a keyword that someone else has listed as an interest, can appear in the Newsfeed of anyone who has permission to view your My Site.

Depending on how your administrator has set up your My Site, you can change which activities you see in your Newsfeed by editing the Preferences section of your profile. For example, you can choose whether or not to receive a notification in your Newsfeed when a colleague changes teams or writes a note on someone's profile page. The settings do not change which activities of yours that people can see in their Newsfeeds.

Depending on how your My Sites are set up, you may receive an e-mail notification when someone adds you as a colleague. The message informs you that someone has added you as a colleague and is following your activities, but it does not give you the option to decline whether or not that person can add you as a colleague.

If you do not want to be notified when someone adds you as a colleague, use the following procedure:

  1. Do one of the following:
  • If you are already viewing someone’s profile or a page on your My Site, click My Profile.My Profile
  • If you are viewing a different type of page on your SharePoint site, click your name in the upper right cornerProfile Name, and then click My Profile.
  1. Click Edit My Profile.
  2. In the Preferences section, next to Email Notifications, clear the Notify me when someone adds me as a colleague check box.

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Working with tags, ratings, notes, and status messages

Tags, notes, and status messages are ways to discover information and connect with other people in your organization.

Tags

If social tagging has been enabled by your administrator, you can tag content, so that you can easily remember, classify, or share it with others. You can tag pages and documents on a SharePoint site, as well as other intranet and Internet pages. When you apply a tag, you can specify whether it is public or private.

To help people discover content of interest, there are different ways to see when someone has applied a public tag to content, providing people have permission to view the content:

  • You can receive updates in your Newsfeed when one of your colleagues applies a tag to content that you have permission to view. Your colleagues can also see when you apply tags to content that they have permission to view.
  • If you have added keywords to the Interests section of your profile, you can see when people use that keyword as a tag, providing you have permission to view the content that they tag. For example, if you are following “photography” as an interest, and someone uses the term “photography” in a public tag, you receive an update in your Newsfeed.
  • Conversely, other people can see when you use a keyword that they have added as an interest. When people follow a keyword as an interest, they do not need to be colleagues in order to receive an update when someone tags content with that keyword or shares a common interest.
  • The Recent Activities section on your profile shows when you recently tagged content, if the viewer has permission to view the content. If people have permission to view your profile, they can see your Recent Activities section, whether or not they are following you as a colleague.

Your tags also appear in a collection of tags, sometimes known as a tag cloud, which people can view on your profile. People can also view more information about a tag, as well as recent activities related to a tag, such as when someone has applied that tag. Tags that you apply can also interact with enterprise keywords that are managed centrally by your organization. For more information, see the person who manages term sets and enterprise keywords for your organization.

You can mark a tag as public or private. If you create a tag as a public tag, but then mark it as private or delete it later, it will not affect the update that people receive in their Newsfeeds when the tag was first created. The initial update about the tag will remain in people's Newsfeeds. When you mark a tag as private, the URL or the document the tag points to is not accessible to users anymore. However, users will still be able to see the text of the tag you mark as private.

Ratings

If the ratings feature has been enabled in a library, people with permission to access the content can rate it with a star system. Depending on how the library is set up, the author and people who have permission to view the content will see the total number of ratings for the document, but not the details about who applied the rating (for example, user names are not displayed next to the ratings). However, Microsoft SharePoint Server does store user names, and user names can be accessed by SharePoint compatible-programs and solutions.

If people have added you as a colleague, they will receive an update in their Newsfeed when you rate content, providing they have permission to view the content. They can see a link to the content you have rated, and the rating you have applied to it. An update also appears in the Recent Activities section of your profile, which can be viewed by anyone who has permission to view your My Site and the content you have rated.

Notes

You can write notes about documents and pages, which people can view when they visit the documents and pages where the notes were applied. You can also write notes on other people’s profiles, as well as your own profile.

People who follow your activities as a colleague will receive an update in their Newsfeed about the notes that you write. The Recent Activities section on your profile shows the notes you recently wrote on different pieces of content, if the viewer has access to the content.

The notes you post will be visible to everyone. You can edit or delete a note after you create it, but it will not affect the update that people receive in their Newsfeeds or that appears in your Recent Activities when the note is first created.

Status messages

You can share your thoughts through a short status message, which appears next to your name and picture when people visit your profile.

People who follow your activities as a colleague will receive an update in their Newsfeed when you change your status message. Updates to your status message also appear in the Recent Activities section on your profile. You can edit or delete a status message, but it will not affect the original update that people receive in their Newsfeeds or that appears in your Recent Activities.

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Understanding colleague and keyword suggestions

Depending on how your My Site is set up and which programs are installed, you may receive suggestions for colleagues and keywords to help you more quickly connect with people and information.

These suggestions can be based on how you use SharePoint-compatible programs, such as Microsoft Outlook 2010.

The SharePoint Server Colleague Add-in feature in Outlook 2010, for example, scans your sent e-mail folder to look for specific names and keywords and the frequency of those names and keywords. The list is updated periodically and stored on your computer's hard disk.

You can see the list of possible colleagues on the Add Colleagues page of your profile, where you can approve or reject the colleagues.

You can see a list of suggested keyword when you edit your profile, and you can approve or reject the keywords. Approved keywords are added to the Ask Me About or Interests sections of your profile.

Manage whether or not your sent mails are analyzed for colleague and keyword suggestions

You may opt out of having your e-mail analyzed by managing the settings in some e-mail programs. For example, you can use the following procedure in Outlook 2010 to turn off e-mail analysis. If you are using another program that can analyze sent e-mail for colleague and keyword suggestions, see Help in your program.

  1. In Outlook 2010, click the File menu, and then click Options.
  2. Click Advanced, and scroll to the Other section.
  3. Clear the Allow analysis of sent e-mails to identify people you commonly e-mail and subjects you commonly discuss, and upload this information to the default SharePoint Server check box.
  4. Click OK.

Manage whether or not SharePoint Server sends suggestions for colleagues and keywords in e-mail

Depending on how your My Site is set up, you may receive suggestions in e-mail for colleagues and keywords to add. You can opt out of receiving these e-mails by using the following procedure in SharePoint Server.

  1. Do one of the following:
  • If you are already viewing someone’s profile or a page on your My Site, click My Profile.My Profile
  • If you are viewing a different type of page on your SharePoint site, click your name in the upper right cornerProfile Name, and then click My Profile.
  1. Click Edit My Profile.
  2. Scroll to the Preferences section, and next to the Email Notifications, clear the Send me suggestions for new colleagues and keywords check box.

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Managing access to some information in your profile

Depending on how your profile is set up, you can use privacy categories to specify that only certain people can view some of the details in your profile, your site and distribution list memberships, and your list of colleagues. For example, you might want everyone who can view your profile to see all the Web sites that you are a member of.

 Note   Your administrator may customize or limit whether or not you can apply the privacy categories to details in your profile, memberships list, and colleagues list.

The details in your profile may contain some information by your administrator, but you may be able to edit who sees some of the personal details, such as your personal phone number.

Your Memberships page in your profile contains a list of sites and distribution lists you belong to. Depending on how your My Site is set up, you can apply the privacy category to each membership.

Your colleagues typically include members of your team, as well as other people whose activities you want to follow. You can organize your colleagues into groups, but you can only manage who sees your colleagues by applying the following privacy categories:

  • Everyone
  • My Colleagues
  • My Team
  • My Manager
  • Only Me

Apply privacy categories to your profile details, memberships, and colleagues list

You can change the privacy categories for your profile details, memberships, and colleagues list in your profile.

  1. Do one of the following:
  • If you are already viewing someone’s profile or a page on your My Site, click My Profile.My Profile
  • If you are viewing a different type of page on your SharePoint site, click your name in the upper right cornerProfile Name, and then click My Profile.
  1. To edit some of your profile details, under our picture, click Edit My Profile.
  2. To edit memberships, click Memberships. Select the check box next to the memberships you want to change, and then click Edit Memberships.
  3. To edit your colleague list, click Colleagues, select the check boxes next to the colleagues whose settings you want to change, and then click Edit Colleagues.
  4. Make the changes you want, and then click OK.

Add a colleague to your team

You can apply the My Team privacy setting to some details in your profile, your memberships, or your colleagues list, if you want to manage who has access to view them. For example, you can share an item with just your team, instead of all of your colleagues or everyone who has access to view your profile.

You can add someone to your team, providing he or she has permissions to view your My Site, whether it is someone directly in your department or someone who you work closely with in another department.

  1. Do one of the following:
  • If you are already viewing someone’s profile or a page on your My Site, click My Profile.My Profile
  • If you are viewing a different type of page on your SharePoint site, click your name in the upper right cornerProfile Name, and then click My Profile.
  1. Click Colleagues, select the colleague whom you want to add to your team, and then click Edit Colleagues. You can select multiple colleagues if you want.
  2. In the Add to Group section, under Add to My Team, click Yes.
  3. Click OK.

 Tip   When you add new people as colleagues, you can add them to your team by using the Add to My Team setting.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Server 2010