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Reagan Templin is a Senior Technical Writer specializing in SharePoint and Robin Miller is a program manager on the SharePoint Team.
We introduced SharePoint communities in a previous post. Now, let me show you how easy it is to set up and customize a community.
As a writer, I’m part of the Content Publishing discipline at Microsoft. Within Content Publishing, we have a lot of people who write, edit, manage, and publish content to our various sites. Within each division, we have different groups that align to specific products and schedules. Although we are working on different products, deliverables, and schedules, our core purpose is the same—to deliver great content to our customers. With a community of practice, we could share our experiences and best practices and learn from others who have similar roles and responsibilities outside of traditional organizational hierarchies. Let’s use this example to set up and customize a community of practice.
Creating a communityAt Microsoft, I can request to have a community created for me by Microsoft IT. They determine where my community site collection will be created in the SharePoint environment and configure the appropriate administration settings. As the sponsor for this community, I will be the site owner and can customize and share the site, selecting appropriate permissions for other users to be site owners, moderators, members, or visitors. Another option would be to activate the Community a Site Feature on an existing site, but more on that later.
Customizing the community templateI’ve requested my Content Publishing community, and receive notice that it has been created. When I first visit the community, it is set up with the default template. It’s nice, but it doesn’t really represent the discipline this community is for.
So, let’s jazz it up! We can make some simple changes from the Site Settings page to make it pop. First, I’ll add a description and change the logo. Next, I decide to change the look. I choose the Breeze template, but decide that I want a different background and color scheme. I replace the background with some books, and select a more snappy color palette. I decide to try it out and preview how my site will look. I like the choices, so I decide to keep them.