Social tagging in Sharepoint 2010

Basic introduction to Social tagging features in SharePoint 2010

A tag is a word or phrase that identifies an individual piece of information according to a set of attributes or criteria. Tags make it easy to find and share information about a specific subject or task.

Social tagging helps users categorize information in ways that are meaningful to them. Social tagging can improve the quality of search results by filtering against specific tags, and it can also connect individuals who want to share information with other users who have like interests.

SharePoint Server 2010 contains the following social tagging features:

* Social tags, which enable users to save items of interest, organize all information for a project, and connect to others who share their interests.

* The Note Board, which enables users to add comments about Web pages, documents, and library items to be tracked in a central location.

* Ratings, which are social tags that allow users to assess the value of content against a scale, for example, one through five stars.

* Bookmarklets, which enable users to add tags and notes to pages that are outside a SharePoint environment. For example, if users add tags to a page on an Internet Web site, those tags and notes can appear on the Tags and Notes tab of their My Site Web site.

Social tags, the Note Board, and ratings are controlled by the Use Social Features permission of the User Profile service.

Social tags
Social tags are user-generated words or phrases that describe pieces of information. They are not part of a formal taxonomy, such as the enterprise keywords in the term store associated with a Managed Metadata service application in SharePoint Server, or the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) codes used in medicine to represent specific diagnoses. Users create social tags based on their subjective experience with a specific piece of information.

Social tags consist of a user identity, an item URL, and the tag itself. Social tags are stored in the social tagging database that is part of the User Profile service. By default, all authenticated users can add social tags to documents and other SharePoint items. Anyone with the Manage Social Data permission can delete a tag.

Tag clouds provide an aggregate view of the tags that a group of users have applied to a single piece of information. SharePoint Server 2010 includes a tag cloud Web Part that appears by default on a My Site Web site. Administrators and users can filter the tag cloud to display tags that are used by the owner of the My Site Web site, specific groups, or everyone who can view the My Site Web site. The display can also be filtered based on date and language. Frequently used tags are displayed in large, bold text, whereas tags that are less often used appear in smaller text. Each tag can display an associated number that indicates how many times the tag was applied.

Note Board

The Note Board is a Web Part that enables users to make impromptu comments on any SharePoint Server 2010 site. Users can also make Note Board comments on the My Profile pages of others or on their own page. Anonymous users cannot add notes.

The Note Board helps users express thoughts in their immediate context rather than having to move to e-mail, instant messaging, or phone. For example, users can make comments about a Web page while they are viewing the page. Other users can then see the comment and a link to the Web page, which they can visit if they are interested in the subject. This immediacy helps My Site Web sites and My Profile pages become centralized places to manage public conversations.


A rating in SharePoint Server 2010 is an assessment or classification of content on a scale according to how well the content meets specific criteria. Ratings show an average score that can range from 1 to 100, and a popup window that displays additional information about the score. Users can rate items in a SharePoint list, document library, and individual Web pages. Users do not require write permission on an item in order to rate it.

Each rating consists of a user identity, an item URL, and the rating itself. A rating also contains the date and time when the rating was applied. Ratings are stored in a table in the same database that stores social tags.

By default, ratings support is enabled across a farm. However, to use ratings in a specific site collection, ratings must first be enabled for that site collection. Ratings can be enabled on any site template if support for ratings is enabled on the farm. By default, the Ratings feature is on for the Publishing Portal site template.


A bookmarklet is a JavaScript control that users can save as a bookmark in their browsers. Bookmarklets enable users in a SharePoint environment to tag, write notes about, and rate items on Web sites outside the SharePoint environment—for example, Internet Web sites—and then share those tags, notes, and ratings with their team and colleagues.


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