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Scenario:

  • Organisation of around 400 people, spread across different teams, across different offices.
  • Sharepoint 2010 in place and already setup with multiple sub-sites per team.
  • Need to setup discussion boards for the users to make use of.

Problem:

What considerations should be taken into account for setting up discussion board(s) that will promote the communication both within teams and across teams?

Additional Info

Should we take the approach to setup multiple discussion boards per team? The pro would be that the team could see posts specifics to their team.
Cons include the fact that there is only <20 people in the team, so how active will this sub-board be? It also means that for people that are in multiple teams, they will need to register for alerts across multiple boards. Or can one view be setup that can be subscribed to for multiple boards?

Is there a good approach where one super discussion board can be setup, but filtered based upon who your logged in as, or by tags perhaps?

Understand the Q is a little subjective, but the answer I am looking for is a summary answer to the problem specified, that would be useful to anyone who is about to setup discussion boards for an organisation. Use comments and I can adjust if necessary or a moderator can edit accordingly.

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As you say it is quite subjective, here are some thoughts:

  1. Do invest time into proper IA (Site topology, navigation) - basically the way you structure sites will directly impact how easy would be for handling security and allowing people to use these across site collections/sites. If you have multiple site collections is more complicated to roll-up content (basically Search is the only feasible option). Again, with regards to sites topology discussions could exist at various locations (following Governance pyramid which also - i highly recommand read this series http://kjellsj.blogspot.com/2010/08/classification-and-structuring-of.html), project-team, department, division, corporation, or individual (e.g. my-sites).
  2. Discussion boards are difficult to style and known to be tricky when manipulating them programatically or extend (add more column to extend base content type). Examples do exist on the web.
  3. Alternatives - setting up my sites you'll get you the Discussion board web part which integrates with My Sites host. For ad-hoc discussions that could be an alternative as all comments are already aggregated in a single place.
  4. Very important - you could setup synchronization with Outlook 2010 and allow people to reply directly from there without connecting to SharePoint.

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