An intranet build on SharePoint can offer several social
features which motivates employees to interact vividly and socially
with one another. We in Webtop have assigned ourselves the
difficult task to choose among these and pick out five web parts
which, we find, in particular bring social to the intranet. This
blog post will introduce to these five special web parts.
Even though we are a SharePoint consultancy who develops and
codes for SharePoint, we are also users. In Webtop we find great
joy in using and interacting on the organisation's intranet. This
joy has brought us to the knowledge we will now share about the
five web parts we have chosen to describe as our favourite
1: Internal news - a quick update
The "Internal news" web part is placed centrally at the front
page of our intranet. This web part enables all employees to post
and comment on informal, internal news. In this web part news like
"Remember to turn off the coffee machine when you are the last to
leave the building!", "I have a summerhouse for rent" and "Check
out this very cool feature we just developed for SharePoint" are
common in our firm.
The comment function of the news web part allows for engaging
conversations - as well as it allows for corrections and
specifications. One can imagine the comment "The price is very
fair" in connection with the summerhouse news, or the comment "Can
someone, please, install a timer!?" on the coffee machine news.
This web part has similarities with a blog, but is different,
though. Among others because it is possible to customise it in
order for each user only to receive relevant news and information;
and because of a special function which make it possible to sort
the news by whether the user has read them or not.
We like this web part because it keeps us
updated about our company and our colleagues in a fun and engaging
way. Plus, it relieves us from tons of mass e-mails.
2: News feed - short, engaging news
The web part "News feed" ads a feature to the intranet which is
a bit like the news feed function we all know from Facebook. This
web part, also shown at the front page of our intranet, shows
recent activity plus status updates posted from employee's intranet
Links to articles, fun or relevant videos from YouTube, short
updates on a project or just wise words of the day are common
content shown from this web part at Webtop's intranet. Also,
updates about e.g. birthdays and changes made in employee's
profiles are seen here. Each user will only see news feeds
concerning persons he or she has indicated as a colleague.
Co-workers can notify each other by the use of @.
We like this web part because it very briefly
and entertainingly offers an overview of thoughts expressed and
deeds done in the firm. Also, in Webtop, lots of links to
interesting videos and articles are being posted in the news feed
web part. This makes us wiser on the topic we work with.
3: Profile - overview of each employee
The "Profile" web part at our intranet offers an overview of
relevant information concerning each employee. The profiles are
personally filled out by each user. In the profile, it is possible
to specify facts as date of birth, areas of expertise, interests
and current work location. Also, the profile is where you write the
status updates which are shown in the news feed web part as it
appears to your colleagues.
Data in the profiles are easily searchable. If one searches the
intranet for a certain expertise or a certain name, the person with
corresponding terms in the profile will show in the search result.
Because it appears in the news feed web part every time a co-worker
has updated fields of his or hers profile, it motivates others to
do the same.
We like this web part because it makes it easy
to find a co-worker with expertise in a certain field. Also, the
web part offers a quick introduction to the people we work with as
well as it makes it easy for us to obtain contact data on each
4: New users - a warm welcome
The web part "new users" notifies employees when a new co-worker
joins the intranet. This is done by showing the new employee at the
front page of the intranet along with a profile picture and a link
to his or hers profile. The web part makes it easy for each
employee to welcome the new co-worker to the intranet e.g. by
adding him or her as a college.
We like this web part because it gives easy
access to welcome new colleagues and because it encourages new
employees to use, and interact on, the organisation's intranet.
5: Voting - Long live democracy
How engaging it is to vote! The voting web part, simply, lets
each employee voice his or hers opinion on a subject. "Indicate the
best date for the annual company picnic" or "Which of the following
web parts for SharePoint is going to be the next we will create?"
would be appropriate topics for the rating web part in Webtop.
We like this web part because it actively
engages employees. Also, the web part makes it essential to go
visit the intranet - if you do not, your opinion will not be heard
on the matter.
These web parts make it for our most beloved darling social web
parts. In our opinion, they all add to making Webtop's intranet
engaging, interactive and, therefore, often visited - and these are
just few of all the great social web parts an intranet built on
SharePoint can offer; many more as blog, wiki, micro blogging
etc. could be mentioned.
Webtop's intranet is built with Wizdom, our standard intranet
product for SharePoint. Wizdom offers the five web parts mentioned
above plus several other great ones - but that is just a technical
What are the best social web parts of your SharePoint
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