Best Face Forward

Sooner or later, if you’re building SharePoint, you’re going to have to market SharePoint. Marketing SharePoint is crucial when you consider what you are trying to accomplish. Not only are you trying to draw people to new features and new sites, you’re trying to modify behavior. For example, if you don’t get people to embrace metadata, your SharePoint document library isn’t much better than the File Share it replaced. But, for any of this to work, people have to go to SharePoint and they have to like what they see.

We’ve gotten much better at designing specific sites to meet the users’ purpose (see previous entry). Our home page, on the other hand, remained lame – seriously lame! We had a calendar, but being a small company, there aren’t many events in any given month. Beyond that, all we had was links to other, better, more interesting pages. We’re changing that, beginning today.

The calendar view has been changed to a list view. There are still only one or two things a month, but at least there are several of them visible in the list. We’re adding a ‘Tip of the Week’, tied into our in-house training program. We’ve added ‘Picture of the Week’, tied to, well, I fear we may eventually get to introduce the subject of Content Approval here. We’ve added a ‘Poll of the Week’ to collect quick feedback on random topics. (see SPUserPoll at CodePlex)

Maybe these are time wasting gimmicks, distractions or cheesy attempts to capture the interest of our users. Maybe it’s enough to get people to show up. It sounds like Marketing to me – we put up a quick poll to see how people like the changes – so far, it’s 100% in favor of change!