I’m so Meta – TNWIKI as Forum for Technical Content


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Wouldn’t it be great if there was a discussion forum for every piece of technical content on the Microsoft properties? There have been several attempts, including the TechNet “Community Content Control” launched back in 2006.***

TechNet Wiki users are trying some interesting experiments with this idea. For example, the wiki article PowerShell Script to Create a New Mailbox and Set the Mailbox Feature (Exchange 2010) is essentially a FAQ/Discussion page on this the Windows PowerShell script posted on the TechNet Gallery at:  Create Mailbox and Set-CASMailbox Features GUI Script,

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…noting issues, adding screenshots and so on.

The other “back channel” for communication about content (the “meta” content) is the edit comment stream on wiki articles, which you can view on the History tab. For example, on the wiki article

On the wiki article Troubleshooting Failed-Modification-Via-Web-Services I reversed the traditional troubleshooting content order, and *started* the article with the >80% case fix instructions, and added a highlight to aid quick scanning. I also added a flowchart graphic. Clicking on the History tab for this article shows the comment history (in LIFO order, sorry), so that you can see what others have added.

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***Search engines, and some humans, are occasionally confused by the fact that the community content control was at certain times and in certain places called the “MSDN Wiki”. The support alias was MSDNWiki feedback alias. Even though it is not a wiki, the Community Content Control is still supported (as of this writing) , and you can glean some valuable data (with proper filtering rules – I use Outlook Outlook 2010 rules against the folders monitoring this RSS feed.) Why do this? Well, anytime I search my mailbox on “FOO”, if there was a community update to a TN or MSDN article with that string, I’ll see it, even is the title of the original article was “BAR” or “BAZ”. Often, community uses this control to point out content or technical errors, and this can be quite handy to know. 

Comments (4)

  1. Ed Price - MSFT says:

    Wow, is it strange that I'm still astonished by how the Web works sometimes? Some conversations and a blog I had about synergizing Gallery + Wiki eventually became a few attempts like your first example above, which originally pointed to getting the download at a third-party site (where the code was stored), which eventually was also upoloaded onto the Gallery (from a separate path of conversations), and so this morning I added the link to the Gallery download page right before this blog article was posted. This takes synergy to whole new levels.

    Thanks, Tony, and thanks to Patris for your contributions like this!

  2. cron22 says:

    Now that's funny.  It is very funny how the web works sometimes, yes, you're so right about that!

  3. hassan sayed issa20014 says:

    Congratulations

  4. aw says:

    hai, I just want to tell you that I am just very new to blogs and seriously loved this website. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post .
    You amazingly come with really good posts. Thanks a lot for sharing your blog Microsoft.

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