I recently went on a tangent about SharePoint support in, A tale from the SharePoint trenches, and I like the whole idea of sharing my experiences with administering SharePoint so hopefully some other person won’t make the same mistakes I did. So here I go again, this time about content.
Chances are you have not been tasked with creating a SharePoint site out of nothing. Chances are you are upgrading, migrating, recreating, reinventing or resomething an existing site or application. With that comes existing content. Chances also are that as the SharePoint administrator, you will be responsible for moving all or some of that existing content to the new SharePoint site. Here is what I went through and learned….
Content is rebranded as yours
Whether you uploaded a document or created a list item, SharePoint is going to permanently brand your name on that item or file as the author. This doesn’t seem like a big deal except when your site goes live, you now appear to be the author (and assumed expert) of said item or file and you will be contacted with random questions about HR policies, American Express forms, security forms, sales reports and who knows what else. Your name will appear all over your site and all over your search.
Advice: Try to limit how much content you physically add to the site. Try instead to set up empty lists and libraries and allow your end content contributors “training access” during development so they can train in SharePoint and add their content while they learn the tool. This is also beneficial for the content since those content contributors will be more likely to take a look at the content and weed out old and outdated items. This will rightfully place their names with their content and more quickly route end users to the right contact person when the site goes live.
You can additionally alter lists and libraries to display “Last Modified By” instead of “Created by”. As items are updated, your name will slowly go away.
Content will always remain rebranded as yours in Search
(This applies more to portal) By default, search returns results with originating author details, not “Last Modified By” details. So even if a content contributor has updated a file or item that you originally added to the site, your name will still appear associated with that item in the search results. Given how often users utilize search to find info, this can turn into the same problem listed above.
Advice: Alter your search to show Last Modified By instead of Created By. I am still working on this one and will post a solution here later.
Assign and publicly display a Contact Name for any given area or site
If you have different groups who contribute content, give the user a leg up by posting contact info for that content on the portal area or site. For portal areas a great tool to use is the Area Details web part. This is a web part that ships with SharePoint and will display the description of the area and the contact for the area if assigned. Go to the area’s settings page to optionally enter in description text and select a contact for the area. You can then change the web part title to “Content Contact” or “Content Manager” or the like and your users will have a good notice of who to call for questions.
For WSS sites, you can easily do the same with a Content Editor Web Part, or a contacts web part displayed on the home page.
Watch out for Discussion Boards
The default SharePoint discussion board web part is lacking in useful functionality. It can be clunky and hard to use, especially for power users who really want to utilize the boards. Research discussion board options and implement a new solution if deemed necessary prior to going live. If you launch with the default discussion board and then after receiving a lot of complaints look into moving to another solution, you will be faced with the inevitable rebranding of all the posts with your name. You can not move discussion board posts to another board without all of the posts being “reposted” under your name.
Hope this helps (someone in someway)… Cheers all!