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Social Connector in Outlook 2010

This blog post is about the Social Connector in Outlook 2010 Beta, as it works with SharePoint 2010 Beta and Exchange 2010 Beta.  I just wanted to quickly share with you a couple of discoveries of mine as I play with these products.


  • SharePoint 2010 and Office 2010 are installed on one server, which is also the domain controller
  • I’ve installed Exchange 2010 on a second server, and went into group policy and set it up so that it allows everyone to log in locally.  (so I can take turns logging in as pretend users)
  • Several pretend “Contoso” users have been created in Active Directory, and their profiles have successfully been imported into SharePoint 2010.
  • I’ve logged into SharePoint as each of these pretend users, and filled in some profile information, and went through a test Team Site and tagged items, rated items, and made Note Board notes.

In Outlook 2010, there’s a Social Connector that lets you connect to your SharePoint environment.  When you select an email, at the bottom of the screen, there are a couple of little icons of gray people.    Click that little arrow thingy, and it will expand the People Pane.

Then, click the Add button, as seen here:

This will bring up the screen where you can add social network accounts.  Currently in this beta version, it appears as though SharePoint 2010 is the only option.  I added the URL to my test environment:  http://moss In the future, I believe there will be more options in here, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, etc.

Anyway, the main cool thing I wanted to show you today, is the Newsfeed that I discovered in Outlook 2010.  I noticed that listed immediately after my Junk Email folder on the left side, there is a folder called Newsfeed.  So I clicked on it to see what the heck it was.

THERE is the newsfeed of all of the activities that I’m following on my MySite in SharePoint!!  Your profile on your MySite in SharePoint 2010 lets you follow all of the following activities.  Hmmm, I thought the only place the followed activities were displayed was the My Network page on the MySite.  Apparently this feed is in Outlook also.  Bonus!

This is what it looks like, and you can click the image to get a closer look:

This is the “Molly Clark” mailbox on the Contoso domain.  I clicked News Feed on the left.  This feed lists all of the activities that Molly is following.  When I click on an item, the reading pane shows me the following:

  • A user named Sean Chai rated a document with a 4 of 5
  • There is a link to the document, which is called “Test Move.docx”
  • People Pane: Since Sean has uploaded a picture of himself on his MySite, this picture is displayed here.

The little green plus under Sean’s picture allows you to add him to one of your social networks.  The Office icon is a link directly to his MySite.  Each time you receive emails in your inbox, you’ll be able to use the plus icon to add people who aren’t already in your social networks.

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