My Site in SharePoint 2010

Previous versions of SharePoint included My Site. The contents of your personal My Site, as well as new social tagging functions, have been consolidated in SharePoint 2010 into My Site, accessible by choosing Welcome→My Site.

The home page of your My Site has main sections for My Newsfeed, My Content, and My Profile.

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  • My Newsfeed allows you to configure what social networking activities you wish to track. Examples include other people’s new blog posts, ratings, and updated status messages. If you’ve ever used the social networking site Facebook, then setting these options should sound familiar.

  • My Content opens your personal My Site. This site is your very own SharePoint team site of which you are the complete boss. Use this site to store all your documents, slides, and other files.

  • My Profile lets you edit your profile and see how it’s displayed compared to others. In addition to a Twitter-like function that lets you enter brief remarks on the fly, My Profile includes the following tabs:

    • Overview: A quick look at your recent social networking activities, the Organization Chart you fit on, and a list of colleagues, memberships, and managers you have in common with others.

      The intended audience for this page is other people in your company. The information displayed here is what other people see about you when they visit your profile.

    • Organization: Access to your profile and those of others in your organization in a scrollable Silverlight interface.

    • Content: Access to your personal My Site where you can store shared documents, pictures, and recent blog posts.

    • Tags and Notes: The tags and notes you’ve entered, organized by month.

    • Colleagues: A list you can maintain of links to your colleagues and friends who also have SharePoint profiles.

      This list is one way you define your social network in My Site.

    • Memberships: Distribution lists to which you’ve been subscribed as well as groups to which you’ve been added.

Access to the Content tab and your personal My Site is permission-based. It’s possible to use all the other social networking features without using your personal My Site. These permissions are configured by the SharePoint 2010 administrator responsible for the User Profile Service Application.

So how is My Profile different from your personal My Site? Think of your My Profile as the public face of your personal site information in a standardized format, whereas your personal My Site is a complete SharePoint site collection for your own use with much of the functionality.

You can set permissions within your personal My Site, libraries, and lists as you see fit, but the individual’s My Profile pages will share some consistency across the organization.

Whew, having said all that, it will take some getting used to the new layout of My Site and My Profile, especially for users of past SharePoint versions.

The site that you’re viewing when you click My Site or My Profile is called the My Site Host. The My Site Host is usually in a separate web application with its own URL. It is a site collection with a set of Web Part pages and navigation menus that create the user experience known as My Site and My Profile.

An administrator in your company can log into the My Site Host with full control permissions and make changes to the site’s navigation and Web Parts so that the My Site experience matches your business requirements. In other words, there’s nothing magical about My Site and My Profile.

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