Welcome to our first post in the Monday series, “Interview with a Vampire Wiki Ninja”! Ed Price here. I’ll be the interviewer for today, and my interviewee is…
Yuri Diogenes (profile)
Microsoft Senior Technical Writer, Windows Security
Here are my favorite quotes from our interview below:
“I remember the days that we had to wait months to get something out under the Microsoft TechNet portal; now [with TechNet Wiki] it takes only some minutes to have your ideas and contribution live for the world. It’s amazing!” – Yuri Diogenes
“Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.” – Virginia Burden
“Instead of waiting for Microsoft to come up with all the scenarios to document, the community will rapidly act when they need something that is not available.” – Yuri Diogenes
“It makes the community feel that they are part of Microsoft…which we know they are, but sometimes you need to make sure they feel that they are. The TechNet Wiki does that!” – Yuri Diogenes
Yuri is the co-author of Forefront TMG Administrator’s Companion book from Microsoft Press and also a co-author of another three books about Forefront (UAG, TMG and FPE) from Microsoft Press. Yuri holds several industry certifications, including CISSP, E|CEH, E|CSA, CompTIA Security+, CompTIA Network+, MCSE, MCTS, MCT and many other Microsoft certifications.
Yuri is known for having a great impact on the TechNet Wiki Brazilian community. He has visited TechEd Brazil and presented on TechNet Wiki, getting a lot of the community interested in TechNet Wiki. And, as a result, the Brazilian community has made a huge impact on TechNet Wiki, authoring Portuguese articles at a very fast rate. We’re very fortunate to have such a vibrant Portuguese community, which include Partners, MVPs, MCCs, and many other accomplished experts. Click here to see all the Portuguese articles on TechNet Wiki (currently 884).
Episode 9 of “From End to Edge and Beyond” with Yuri and Tom Shinder features interviews at TechEd Brazil in September 2011:
Now let’s get started with today’s interview with Yuri…
Ed: Who are you, and who is your daddy? what do you do at Microsoft?
Yuri: I’m a Senior Technical Writer for the Windows iX IT PRO Security Team. My job is to document some of the security features that we have on our Windows Server Systems. Our team produces content to TechNet Library, TechNet Wiki, and on-the-box help for the Windows Server operating system. We have our own landing page (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/ff843381) that has a collection of some of the content that we produced.
I also co-host a Security Talk Show with Tom Shinder called From End to Edge and Beyond (http://blogs.technet.com/b/security_talk) where we talk about different subjects around Information Security. When time permits I also write for my own blog at http://blogs.technet.com/yuridiogenes.
Ed: And you’ll write for our Wiki Ninjas blog too! What do you do with TechNet Wiki, and how does that fit into the rest of your job?
Yuri: TechNet Wiki for me is one of the best ways to rapidly produce content and to engage community to enhance the content. I remember the days that we had to wait months to get something out under the Microsoft TechNet portal; now it takes only some minutes to have your ideas and contribution live for the world. It’s amazing! The aspect that I like about the Wiki is the community engagement to make the article even better by reviewing or adding new content to it. This really materializes the quote from Virginia Burden that says, “Cooperation is the thorough conviction that nobody can get there unless everybody gets there.”
The TechNet Wiki fits perfectly on what I do for Windows iX IT PRO Security Team. On our content map experience, we have deliverables that were planned to go to TechNet Wiki in the first place. Let’s use the topic “Troubleshooting” as an example. Regardless of the technology, we know that “troubleshooting” is something that evolves with time because new issues will appear. You can only predict some troubleshooting scenarios when you launch a product, because customers will use our product in different scenarios, which will expose the product to situations that were not covered in the traditional troubleshooting steps. Having said that, why not have a troubleshooting document that can be enhanced with new scenarios during the product life cycle? That’s it…TechNet Wiki fixes this problem because the community can add their own troubleshooting scenarios to the core document.
Ed: Let’s expand on that. Why a Wiki? Why not just contribute to the Library topics?
Yuri: The reason behind the Wiki is because we need to join efforts to have a better experience on our products, meaning that we need the community to help the community by documenting their experiences with our products. This enables a more robust approach from the documentation standpoint. Instead of waiting for Microsoft to come up with all the scenarios to document, the community will rapidly act when they need something that is not available.
One thing that we need to make clear is that TechNet Wiki will not take over all our content (at least in my view), and the reason why is because we still need core documentation in the Library. A great example of documentation that you (and the product team) don’t want to allow the community to change is “Supportability Statements”. There are some scenarios that are not supported in our products and when Product Team come up with those scenarios we need a place (read only) to publish that; this is where I think TechNet Library is the best fit.
Ed: What have you done to get the Brazilian software community interested in TechNet Wiki?
Yuri: The IT PRO and DEV community in Brazil are very active by nature; they have many other initiatives going on there to help the community. By knowing their potential to produce content in different medias (videos, articles, presentations, etc), I knew that it will be a perfect fit for them to contribute with the TechNet Wiki. Because of that, I knew from day 0 that once I present this to them, the partnership will be a success, and it was. I introduced the TechNet Wiki for them in March 2011, and the last time (August 2011) that I got some statistics on their contributions, we had over 500 articles from the Brazilian Portuguese community; 1/8th of the total content on the Wiki. Which I think it’s not bad at all for 5 months of work, and I think this number will double by the end of the calendar year.
Ed: Yeah, it’s already up to 884 articles in Portuguese. Very impressive for 7 months!! How is the Brazilian community using TechNet Wiki? How are they promoting it?
Yuri: The Brazilian community is using TechNet Wiki in the same way as the majority of other communities in the world is using it, with some minor tweaks, such as:
- Producing videos and publishing the link on the TechNet Wiki along with a couple of paragraphs to talk about a specific topic.
- The Brazilian community is also working on building their own Technology Portal in Portuguese.
- They are very strong in producing articles with images, which helps a lot the readers.
The other thing that recently changed is the fact that Developers are writing more and more articles on the TechNet Wiki. The reason behind this grown is that last month we had the MVP Open Day and the Community Zone events in Brazil, where we were able to get in touch face to face with the top contributors for our community to evangelize them about TechNet Wiki (among other things). During those events we clarified that Developers are welcome to the TechNet Wiki and that they have their own portal to contribute. The DEV Community requested that we add a link on MSDN Brazil to the TechNet Wiki to attract the DEVs to know about the Wiki, and rapidly the MSDN Team in Brazil did that. Which showed to them that we are committed to provide a great experience for them to expose their ideas.
The main channel that the Brazilian community uses to promote the articles is Twitter, using the #TNWIKI hashtag. Don’t be surprised with the success of that, Twitter reaches 23% of the entire Brazilian online population, the highest penetration in the world (data from this post). Besides that, they are coming up with some great initiatives, such as: TechNet Wiki Day. This is an initiative where every other week they publish on Facebook a list of the 5 best articles (previously voted by TechNet Wiki Brazilian Council members) and ask the community to vote. The author for the best article on this poll will receive a gift (a book, mug, etc). Thanks go out to the key TechNet Wiki Day contributors: Luiz Henrique Lima Campos, Luciano Lima, and Gustavos Santos.
Ed: Wow, the community bans together to buy gifts for promotions. That’s pretty awesome! What has surprised you about what’s happened with TechNet Wiki?
Yuri: The fact that Product Teams are watching the TechNet Wiki as an official way to publish their own content. It breaks the traditional paradigm that TechNet Library is the official answer for everything, it shows that the TechNet Wiki platform is there to stay, is not just a project that will go away in a couple of years, and it is there in conjunction with a bigger plan.
Ed: It’s pretty exciting! What are you the most proud about with TechNet Wiki?
Yuri: I’m most proud to see that we are enabling customers to easily and rapidly share ideas, scenarios, deployments, and all sort of content through one single portal under the Microsoft domain. This is absolutely great because it makes the community feel that they are part of Microsoft…which we know they are, but sometimes you need to make sure they feel that they are. The TechNet Wiki does that!
Ed: What do you think the future of TechNet Wiki and Microsoft community looks like?
Yuri: I think we are not even at 10% of the full potential on the TechNet Wiki space. When we tie in the number of articles and the number of views with TechNet Library, then we will be in a good shape. I think this is the future: that we have more and more content on the TechNet Wiki and make sure that the community realizes the value of that. In order to achieve that, we also need a multi-language approach so that all the communities around the world can contribute with articles written in their native language. I know TechNet Wiki Administration already realized that they need this in order to grow even more, and I know it is on the way 🙂
Ed: It certainly is. We’ll have a look at what that means by taking a world-wide tour of TechNet Wiki every Friday with our International Spotlight. In fact, Yuri’s leading our first International Spotlight and will post for us this Friday.
So here’s my conclusion from this wonderful interview (Yuri, thank you so much)… It’s evident that there are powers at play beyond what we normally think of. We think about content, words, software, websites, technology, and publication schedules. But at its core, this topic is about something greater than any of that. This is a topic that’s all about people. It’s an emotional topic. Our community feels heard. They can collaborate with the Microsoft employees as equals, and there are emotions at play here. People are being motivated to come together, all across the world. This is about building a world-wide community where we break down barriers of language, distance, and even time. Some of my closest community collaborators are spread out in Russia, Europe, South America, and New York (I’m outside Seattle). TechNet Wiki brings people together, and that is a fun and emotional experience. It’s not the only community tool we have at our disposal (as Yuri mentioned, the Brazilian community leverages Facebook and Twitter with TechNet Wiki; and TechNet Wiki plugs into the Microsoft Profiles, Forums, Blogs, and Galleries)… but it’s an important social tool that breaks down barriers and makes the community feel like they are part of Microsoft… which, of course, you, the community, are the most important part. We would not be alive, without our heart.
Cheesy, but incredibly true. Special thanks to Wiki Ninja Yuri and to the Brazilian TechNet Wiki community! Your voice is heard!