I have a SP2010 "My Site". When a user edits their profile, in the "Ask Me About" section, there is a semicolon-separated list of terms which the user is supposed to populate. The problem is, though, the user types in some phrase or word, and the result gets "red-lined" and if they try to submit, they get a "The given term is not valid" validation notice in red.

Looking in Central Admin > Manage Service Application> User Profile Service Application > Manage User Properties > Ask Me About; I do see a "Pick a Term Set for this property" dropdown menu. The dropdown menu contains:

  • (blank)
  • Community
  • Project Keywords
  • Documents
  • Wiki Categories (repteated 30+ times)

I'm not sure if this "Term Set" setting even is involved, but the problem does seem to stem from an attempted and failed lookup into a term set somewhere.

Fwiw, I have looked this forum and per the commentary, did verify the settings are as expected.

So with that, does anybody have a suggestion on what I need to change to allow people to add in their own text into the "Ask Me About" without getting hassled about the term not being valid?

  • I'm also having this problem. Do you already have an solution?
    – Active_t
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 14:51
  • No, I did not. The problem persists.
    – Alan M
    Commented Dec 10, 2014 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


You should create a Term Set and select that Term Set in the "Pick a Term Set for this property" dropdown. Users are only allowed to pick terms from the term set you've set in the "Pick a Term Set for this property" dropdown. This term set could/should contain work related items e.g. "Excel", "Math", "Biology", "History" etc.

Working with managed metadat: https://www.webucator.com/tutorial/advanced-microsoft-sharepoint/working-with-managed-metadata.cfm

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