Top Five reasons to use MSDN/TechNet Forums & TechNet Wiki together


Welcome to Wiki Life Wednesday!

This is the third article in the Social Synergy series:

  1. TechNet Gallery + TNWiki
  2. CodePlex + TNWiki
  3. TechNet Forums + TNWiki (this article)

 

First, here are 40+ examples of posting Forum content on TechNet Wiki: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/tags/from+forum/default.aspx

What does Social Synergy mean for using TechNet Wiki with MSDN/TechNet/Expression Forums?

 

1. Synergy with Recognition Points and Achievement Medals

First, your Recognition Points and Achievement Medals are tied into the same system for TechNet Wiki, TechNet Forums, MSDN Forums, and Expression Forums.

That means that any work you do on TechNet Wiki is reflected in your Recognition and Achievements that people see when the find you in the Forums (and vice versa).

 

2. Turning your processes into Wiki articles is better for the community

The beautiful thing about Wiki articles is that they don’t have to be long. If you write any procedure to help someone in a forum… how is anyone going to find that procedure? How is it ever going to get proven, refined, or added to?

Well it isn’t. The only way someone will find that procedure is if it matches well to the title (or has enough of the right keywords in the thread) and someone searches for it by typing text into a search engine. They might find it by browsing, but less people will find it when it becomes answered… less interactive people (it will still get a lot of views, but the people who know the answers and would help refine the answer are less likely to read it once the question is marked as answered – or if it’s moved into an off topic forum – or if it’s in the wrong forum in the first place).

For example, I had a problem with installing PowerPivot. I searched for quite awhile. I read every KB and troubleshooting article I could find. The winning solution was that I finally found the answer (via search) in an MSDN thread that was on a completely different topic. Somewhere in this long thread, someone presented a new problem (the symptoms I had), and someone found a solution. You would have to scroll down to about half way down the thread to find the solution (or run an IE/browser search on that page in order to jump to the proper keywords).

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?

Here’s another example: I had a problem installing a printer driver. After running a search, I ended up on Microsoft Answers in a thread. I had found the symptoms in the title of the thread (the name of the driver)! So I knew I was in the right place (unlike the previous PowerPivot issue). However, I didn’t know what issue I had, and the symptoms weren’t obvious (all I knew is that it wouldn’t install), so I went down the list, trying each solution. I started with the ones that were voted the highest. None of the solutions worked… until I got close to the end to a solution without any votes on it. That was the solution that worked! So I gave that solution the thumbs up and left a post proclaiming its majesties (since one vote wasn’t going to tell the story that I had found the answer).

That’s still complicated, isn’t it?

So TechNet Wiki becomes an avenue for you to quickly and easily turn your solutions into a Web page. All you have to do is copy your forum answer, create a new Wiki page, and then paste it in. Then maybe add an intro (you might already have one from the Forum), add some tags (like if it’s about Hyper-V, then add “Hyper-V” as a tag, and then make any other refinements you want. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even exhaustive. The community will refine it as the need presents itself.

You’ll also notice that this value has nothing to do with MSDN/TechNet. Which means you can do this even if your content is on MIcrosoft Answers, ASP.NET, Silverlight.net, or Stack Overflow. You can do this with any forum where you’re writing about Microsoft technology!

 

There are several values of doing this that benefit the community:

  1. The process/solution can be given a title that is appropriate and is easy for anyone to refine or maintain. That means the community can search for the specific solution easier.
  2. The reader doesn’t have to try to read a thread to understand the context.
  3. The reader doesn’t have to try to find the solution that’s hidden somewhere in a long page they have to scroll down or search on.
  4. The community can refine your process by adding tags, adding alternative solutions to the problem (based on the title and purpose), and even add links to references that help solve it.
  5. The article might start accumulating links to it from other articles, being built into an explorable network of similar articles. So the reader can find it by exploring and by clicking tags, and not just by entering a search or finding it in the forum list. (Note that the tag feature for Forums is being considered.)

But there are also some values that benefit you personally…

 

3. Increasing your Recognition Points and Acheivement Medals

It also means that you can now double (or increase by a variable factor) your Recognition Points and Achievement marks. For every solution you enter in the Forums, you can turn it into a Wiki article, which will earn you more Recognition Points and Achievement marks (toward Achievement Medals).

One of the values of Recognition and Achievement is authority… if you have a lot of Recognition and Achievement than you might be more respected as someone who knows what they’re talking about (at least in your specialty areas).

Another value is that more people get to your Profile, can learn about you, and can click your site link. the more people who visit your profile, the better SEO it gets (higher ranking on searches). Similarly…

 

4. Increasing your online footprint

You have more pages associated with you that show up in various searches. That means that if a future employer or client searches for you, they will find more proof of the awesomeness you do. Or, you have more places where you can direct them to see that proof. And you would be more likely to send a potential employer a list of URLs to Wiki articles than you would to Forum threads. Right?

 

5. More community connections

And you’re now connecting with a new set of folks in a new community. As a result, you’ll build more valuable relationships with Microsoft employees, MVPs, MCCs, and the community as a whole. Those relationships are often the most valuable part of what we do.

 

And here again are 40+ examples of synergizing TechNet/MSDN Forums with TechNet Wiki: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/tags/from+forum/default.aspx

If you have any thoughts or questions, add them to the Comments!

Jump on in! The Wiki is warm!

   – Ninja Ed (Blog, Twitter, Wiki, Profile)

 

Comments (19)

  1. Is this a convincing enough argument? =^)

  2. FZB says:

    the reason for lazy it pro's… why type a solution again when you can link to it? šŸ˜‰

  3. FZB,

    Or copy and paste the instructions it if it applies.  I think a lot of people drop links and don't really make sure they apply. So don't do that. =^)

    The good thing about linking to the Wiki is that the Asker can add notes about their specific case and solution.

    Thanks! And congrats on being a Top 10 Wiki Ninja!

  4. FZB says:

    true, wrong solutions linked do happen now and then, but to be fair, usually the problen starts before linking or typing the wrong solution with not taking the time to propably read through the problem the asker posts šŸ˜‰

    Thanks on the grats, though so far its mostly typos I noticed and not too much content added, so its more of a top ninja light by accidant šŸ™‚

    I'm coming from mostly using the forums in the past (and newsgroups and ms chats before that), but I like the wiki so far since i discoverd it, in time there will come a few articles if noone else writes them faster than me.

    keep up the good work

  5. FZB,

    Typos are VERY important! It's actually a huge differentiator of the Wiki. There are so many Help topics, whitepapers, blogs, and forum threads out there that are riddled with typos. But with the Wiki, the typos are constantly getting fixed (especially on the articles that more people read).

    Thanks!

  6. Naushad.Alam says:

    Thanks for posting this article.It is going to help me a lot while writing my next Wiki Articles for BizTalk Server community.

  7. You're welcome, Naushad! I think there are a lot of great potential Wiki articles sitting in the forums!

  8. Another answer on the topic of what FZB mentioned… why build a Wiki article when you can just link to a forum thread?

    Answer: Because those threads really don't help as much as a Wiki article could. Check out my PowerPivot example in this blog post. You have to read through a thread, check conversations, and hope that your situation is close to this one. All that would be much clearer and easier to follow in a Wiki article designed for someone to find a solution. Forum threads aren't designed for that. They're designed to try to answer the specific OP's question as the OP slowly explains enough of the problem to enable their help. It's not an ideal solution for someone who landed on the page and isn't part of the original conversation.

  9. rahulvartak@outlook.com says:

    I read in the FAQs that they are developing a widget that we can include in our blogs . Any news on it ? Its been some time since they declared it.

  10. rahulvartak@outlook.com says:

    I meant the widget that would show up our accumulated points and achievements

  11. Rahul, well they decided to not release/support it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Transact-SQL by TechNet Wiki Community

  13. Anonymous says:

    Transact-SQL by TechNet Wiki Community e-book

  14. Anonymous says:

    Welcome to our Sunday Lists ! Check them all out!

    I've been involved in social media for years

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is an update blog post. The original post is from October 2013.

    XAML guy is a member of the TechNet

  16. Anonymous says:

    History of TechNet Guru
    First of all, if you don’t know the history of TechNet Guru, then you

  17. Anonymous says:

    I had some technical snags, but thanks to Ronen, we got it going. I haven’t been able to get the

  18. 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 Iā€™m planning to bookmark your blog post .
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