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How to Use the Outlook Social Connector

Outlook 2013 has a feature called the Outlook Social Connector — the People pane — to help you keep track of your contacts’ and colleagues’ social media activities. In time you’ll appreciate being able to see your colleagues’ other activities, not just what they say in their e-mail messages. Of course, that may depend on the nature of your colleagues’ other activities — sometimes you don’t want to know.

The People pane is in two locations in Outlook:

  • At the bottom of the Reading pane when you’re reading an e-mail. If you want to see the People pane while you’re reading an e-mail, click the People Pane button in the Ribbon’s View tab.

  • At the bottom of a person’s contact record in the People module.

The People pane can show personal and social information that someone has posted to Microsoft SharePoint, Windows Live, and LinkedIn.

When you get an e-mail from someone whose name you’ve added to your Contacts list, the information you’ve stored about him or her appears in the People pane. If you’ve added a picture to the contact record, that appears too.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve added a picture of a pig or a bucket of slop to that person’s contact record — whatever’s in the contact record shows up in the People pane. It’s fun — think of the possibilities!

If you work at a company that uses SharePoint, the information that your colleagues have posted about themselves on SharePoint will turn up in the People pane so that you don’t have to go rummaging around the SharePoint server to find out what they’ve been doing.

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