Each of you has likely used one of the world’s most popular Wiki’s known as http://wikipedia.org. The English section of that site has 3.2 million articles and there are many more supported languages. An excerpt from the mission of the site is “to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content.” We have a similar TechNet mission.
As you’ll recall from TechNet 2.0 – Episode 1 – Core Scenarios and Branding, three big things we focus on for all TechNet scenarios are Content, Discoverability, and Participation. We really want to invite participation from everyone and what better way to combine that with discovery and content than to use Wiki technology?
Later this year TechNet and the Server & Cloud Division will partner to launch the new TechNet Wiki.
There are a number of interesting features that are part of the Wiki implementation. You’ll notice a very visible tag cloud. If the pic is hard to read, click it or any of the remaining screenshots for a larger version. Tag clouds are great for navigating large number of articles as well as seeing at a glance where activity is taking place. The Wiki has different views depending on whether you are logged in or not. You’ll notice I am not logged in above and we can see quickly the activity taking place, contact information, and how to use the Wiki.
Once I login, I can see additional information. In fact, I decided to click the Windows Server tag cloud and I get a listing of tagged articles as seen in the following screenshot.
I immediately spot an article I am interested in. You can see the one I am referring to above with the Event ID 3112. It’s the third article down. I click the article link and I am presented with the following information. As you can see, Tony Soper is writing about how to go through the process of troubleshooting a Hyper-V virtual machine issue. If you don’t know Tony, he’s one of our virtualization subject matter experts.
This particular article and condition was interesting to me because after modifying the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) for my machine, I inadvertently dropped the parameter to start the hypervisor on the Windows Server 2008 R2 boot entry in the BCD store. Tony’s article details this and how to fix the issue or points you to an article for additional help. Been there done that.
Another interesting aspect of the Wiki is the ability to see the changes that have occurred leading to the current version. You have the ability to run a compare if you like to see the revisions. In the screenshot below, I am getting ready to run the compare against the current version and version # 16.
After I click the Compare Versions button, I can see the revisions that have occurred as depicted in the screenshot below.
As you can see, Tony is correcting his own article but one of you could be adding or changing information as well. In this particular article’s case, you might add some information about using “Boot from VHD” technology and how to be careful not to step on a BCD entry and lose the hypervisor autorun parameter. Wiki’s are great for collecting knowledge like that and we are anxious to get this in your hands soon.
We believe a public wiki for technical content on TechNet has the potential to be a big step forward in all three areas:
- For content, while Microsoft teams write some great content, we cannot possibly author all the content customers need to be successful, and a wiki that offers content from the community will increase the breadth and depth of technical content available for IT Pros.
- For participation, the wiki is a great new way for any IT pro to create and share technical knowledge, engage with other technical people and with Microsoft, and build an identity and reputation within the TechNet community.
I used the word "potential" above because Microsoft cannot succeed with the TechNet Wiki on its own – success ultimately depends on the direct engagement, support, and ongoing feedback from the IT community.
It’s a "big bet" for all of us, but one we believe in and are ready to take.
So, let’s start with your feedback – what do you think of a TechNet Wiki? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks !
[NOTE] The screenshots are of our internal beta staging server so there may be some subtle differences by the time we provide access. Enjoy!