What happens if you compare TN Wiki to the Big Bang theory? At this point, I’m not really sure, but follow along to see how far I get…
Let’s start with our planet Earth. For centuries, people have considered the world to be the center of the universe. They were wrong by far, but it’s pretty normal to look at things from your own viewpoint and I’m no exception. Therefore, the first piece of the metaphor becomes easy: let’s say this blog post is the planet Earth.
Around 1615, Galileo Galilei stated that the Earth revolves around the Sun. As you know, the Sun is kind of a big deal in our solar system. In my little solar system of Wiki pages I have a Sun too; it’s the SharePoint 2010 Best Practices TN Wiki page: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/8666.sharepoint-2010-best-practices-en-us.aspx. Not only is it the most popular Wiki page I ever started in terms of the amount of views, it also has valuable contributions by other people, lots of updates, favorable comments, and it’s a hub I often use for linking to a significant amount of the other Wiki pages I’ve started.
Although my work as a consultant/developer/architect covers a wide range of MS/.NET technology, my community contributions are limited to SharePoint related topics. To continue the metaphor, my solar system is the SharePoint related part of TN Wiki: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/search/searchresults.aspx?q=sharepoint.
The Sun lies somewhere in the suburbs of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, at approx. 2/3 from the middle. It’s probably quite clear that in this metaphor, TN Wiki (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/) stands for the Milky Way.
The center of the Milky Way consists of a Big Black Hole that has usurped and destroyed millions of stars. I guess that’s what happens when you write a Wiki page that nobody bothers to look at. This has happened to some of my Wiki pages too. Check out my page discussing best practices where to store relational data at http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/9638.sharepoint-2010-best-practice-keep-relational-data-in-a-database-or-migrate-it-into-a-custom-list.aspx. You can be a hero, place a comment, and save it from the Black Hole!
It takes the Sun 200 million years to revolve around the Milky Way. In other words, 200 million years equals to 1 Milky Way year. The age of the Sun is 20 Milky Way years and its expected lifetime is 30 Milky Way years more. My Sun, the SharePoint 2010 Best Practices TN Wiki page, was first published at 3-27-2012 9:57 AM. In TN Wiki years, I consider this page to be about 12 years old. The Milky Way consists of 100 billion stars, a number that is hard to imagine but can be pictured as a bucket of fine grained sand where each sand stands for a star. TN Wiki currently consists of 9,546 pages. Compared to the number of stars in our Galaxy, this amount is somewhat less impressive, but still too much to read over the weekend.
It turns out there are other Galaxies too, around 100 billion of them. So ours is just a little piece of the Universe. For my metaphor, this piece of knowledge is easy to digest. Although TN Wiki has become my favorite Wiki galaxy, I’m aware that there are lots of others out there. Messier 87 is the center of the universe. For Wikis, I suppose Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/) can be safely considered to be the center.
The Universe is 13,7 billion years old and used to be really small and compact which is known as the Primordial Soup. After the Big Bang, which was researched by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson in the 1960s, cosmic background radiation shows us that the Universe has expanded. 380,000 years after the Big Bang, the matter density had lowered enough so that light shone for the very first time, a phenomenon known as First Light.
As far as I can track, it seems like TN Wiki was finished and used internally within Microsoft in March 2010 (from now on better known as the TN Wiki Primordial Soup). First Light was at 4/14/2010, when the TN Wiki Beta was released to the public. TN Wiki, at that point, already contained more than 500 topics.
The Universe has existed for 13,7 billion years, TN Wiki since 2010. I guess we all can agree that both the universe and TN Wiki have been around for a very long time. The Universe is ever expanding, and so is TN Wiki: http://blogs.technet.com/b/wikininjas/archive/2012/05/03/community-win-technet-wiki-growing-bigger-and-wider-v2.aspx. Astronomists believe that only 4% of the Universe is known. I believe this may be an accurate estimation of the amount of the topics described in TN Wiki as well. That means we all have 96% of topics left to write about!