We are using SharePoint at work for establishing “community team synergy platforms” or something like that. I think SharePoint has a lot going for it, as does any other easy-to-use CMS system. One of the features of SharePoint is a discussion forum, which while seldom used effectively, is being utilized by one of our projects. One of the things that I thought was very perceptive was that Microsoft included the functionality to notify users whenever the forum is updated. However, being that Microsoft has never actually used its software, it does it in a very unintuitive fashion. It sends out, in email, a note saying that the page has been updated, and provides a link. Well, they achieved their goal, the page sends out an email, but if you actually try to use this facility, your Outlook inbox is soon full of:
The following change(s) happened in the list QA Discussion:
Event: Items were inserted into the list.
Time: 10/7/2004 7:46:45 PM
This is completely worthless. What subject changed? What was the change? Was this just a comment, an edit, was something attached, etc? I understand that supporting all of this might be difficult, but there is no need for me to have to visit a web site every time something changes if instead the change can actually be summarized in the email. Then the only reason I would need to visit the web page is if I need to add to the discussion. If instead the above notice told me that Joe added the comment “Flying Unicorn’s testing has been help up due to a bug in the .NET security release” then I get 100% of the information in 10% of the time. This sort of behavior is obvious if anybody actually uses this feature, which makes me wonder whether the QA on sharepoint was merely a matter of “yes this is what the developers said this would do” rather than "hey, does this actually make sense?