SharePoint 2010 offers a lot as far as social networking aspects go. While many of us love these features and use them everyday in personal and professional online worlds such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn. The corporate world still seems a little tentative in supporting them. While I’m a huge supporter of the My Site and User Profiles in SharePoint 2010 and I try to implement as many of those features as I can with every deployment. Some organizations want no part. I have seen a growing theme amongst some customers and that is they feel (what they think is) the My Site is too “social”. What I have noticed is taking away a few of the features and then they like it and see value and agree that it should be deployed. Almost every time the first feature that CEO’s, CIO’s, and CTO’s turn their head at and decide they don’t like “My Sites” for is the Status Message (or better known as the What’s Happening) bubble above the user picture.

Whats happening Bubble

This feature in combination with the newsfeed seem to make corporate executives think its “Too Social” I’ve found removing this control and disabling it from showing up in the newsfeed, in combination of changing the default page for the User Profile from the Newsfeed page to the User Profile page seems to be a good compromise where execs don’t get turned off, see some value and agree to deploy and use it. This is a great start as far as I’m concerned, we can get them to enable those features after we get them using everything else.

So lets jump into the technical side of today’s post. How do we go about changing the default home page of the My Site Host? Then disable and remove the What’s Happening Status Message. Pretty simple believe it or not. To change the default home page open the site collection in SharePoint Designer (you need to be a site collection owner of the my site host). After its open click on all files on the left hand side. In the right main area you should now see a bunch of items one being default.aspx which is the current default page. The other being person.aspx which is our desired default page. So go ahead and select person.aspx and then in the ribbon click set as home page.

SharePoint Designer 2010 edit page

Now we have changed the default page from the newsfeed page to the user profile page. Next we will disable and remove the Status Message.

First we want to go into Central Administration –> Application Management –> Manage Service Applications –> Select your User Profile Service Application and then click manage in the ribbon. Under People select manage user properties. Then scroll down and find the Status Message property, pull the drop down and select edit. In the edit property screen this is where we will change the settings to not show or allow editing as seen in the screenshot below.

User Profile Service Application Settings

Now you might think they are are done based on reading the options. It would seem it can’t be edited and it isn’t being shown anymore but that isn’t entirely true. You will still see it if you go to your profile page right now. So the last thing we need to do is go back to SharePoint Designer and edit the person.aspx page that we set as the default page earlier.

To do this go back to SharePoint Designer and click the hyperlink for person.aspx this time and it will open in edit mode. Since we want to change settings set in the site definition we need to edit in Advanced Mode. To do this select it from the ribbon.

SharePoint Designer 2010 Advanced Mode

Once that is done the page will refresh and all of the code is now editable. Find the following div tag and remove it (or comment out)

Comment Out Status Message Code

Save your changes. Close SharePoint Designer and go to your user profile. You will see that you default to your own personal profile page and the Status Message control is not displayed. Now go on and get deploying those profiles and my sites to the rest of the company!