Social computing is a fast-moving technology, and many of the concepts grow or change every year. Use this book as part of your research for how you will implement any of the social computing applications, but also use online research for keeping updated on new changes to this exciting area of software today. Although social computing applications can be written on any framework or even on their own, we have taken a unique approach to help you understand the landscape of social computing as it relates to SharePoint 2007.
Each chapter introduces you to the concept of the chapter, for example, the RSS chapter gives a brief overview of what RSS is and the history behind it. Then the chapter provides a section of how this is possible with SharePoint 2007. Finally, if there are any extensions that would make it easier to work with social computing and SharePoint, such as open source code or products you can buy, we briefly discuss these options so you are aware of them for your organization.
This book was written for anyone who is approaching social computing applications for an enterprise. This would include developers, managers, directors, and even C-level executives. This book is designed to help decision makers learn about the concepts and understand how they might implement them in their own company. Although this book does reach out to developers, most of the chapters give examples with either built-in options and configuration or show how to use code already installed on SharePoint.
Anyone interested in social computing and the topics covered in each chapter could read this book to get an understanding of what each concept has. The You Try It sections do require having SharePoint 2007 and some of the features installed to actually attempt them. If you are not an IT professional or developer, this is the perfect opportunity for you to start a discussion with your technology group to try out some of these wonderful tools.
The book is designed to allow the reader to start from not knowing about social computing to being able to have an understanding of the concepts and how he or she would use them in his or her company. To accomplish this, you can read the book from front cover to back, or you can pick the specific chapter that your organization is interested in. Because so many people want to know exactly what the topics are and what they are about, we have organized the book into chapters that work together, but stand alone and provide complete coverage of a topic. We have also used a very simple and direct naming of each chapter so you can quickly recognize what the chapter is about and what it covers.
This book covers the major concepts, applications, and implementations of social computing and shows how they are built with SharePoint 2007 today. As you noticed earlier, this is a fast-moving area of computing. Where SharePoint 2007 does not have the capability today, we made sure and explained how you could extend SharePoint 2007 with open source or products you can purchase. We did not cover every product on the market, but we gave you any idea of what you can look for when you are trying to extend SharePoint.
The first two chapters provide the introduction for people new to social computing and how people will have to manage a social computing project. The following chapters break out each concept into a chapter to make it easy to get up to speed and understand what the topic is about.