Take Part in SharePoint Communities - dummies

Take Part in SharePoint Communities

By Rosemarie Withee, Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

A SharePoint community in Office 265 is a place where you and your colleagues who share the same interests can gather, share ideas, and learn from each other. As a member of the community, you build your reputation through a point system based on your participation. In essence, participation in the community is encouraged via a reward system that acknowledges a member’s contribution to the community.

17_1_Community
Reward system in a Community site.

A Community site is simply a SharePoint site with the community template applied to it. The template has built-in features specifically designed for community interaction:

  • About this community. Displays a description of the community and date created.
  • Join. If you aren’t a member of the community, clicking this button will allow you to join.
  • My membership. Displays a summary of your reputation in the community.
  • Tools. A set of quick links to make it easy for owners to administer the community.

To create a community site, you must be assigned a Create Subsites permission level. If you aren’t the site admin, you automatically have this permission.

If you’re the site admin and don’t see the Create Subsites permission level, add it by following these steps:

  1. Click the Settings icon from the Office 365 navigation bar.
  2. Click Site settings.
  3. Under the Users and Permissions group, click Site permissions.
  4. From the Ribbon, click Permission Levels.
  5. Click Add a Permission Level.
  6. Enter the name and description and then select the box next to Create Subsites under the Site Permissions group.
  7. Click Create to save your entries.

For name and description, you can just enter “Create Subsites” and “Allow user to create subsites,” respectively.

To create a community site, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Settings icon from the Office 365 navigation bar.
  2. Click Site contents.
  3. Scroll down to the Subsites group, then click the + new subsite icon.
  4. Enter the Title, Description, and URL name.
  5. Under Select a template, select Community Site in the Collaboration tab.
  6. Click Create.

After you create a community site, the next steps are to start a discussion and invite co-workers to start building your community.

Consulting organizations sometimes use community sites to build and foster communities of practice so consultants can collaborate with colleagues who share the same areas of expertise. Ideally, communities should grow organically, not be dictated by management. People will flock to a community if they see value, so it’s perfectly okay for a community to die at some point if it has outgrown its purpose.