Wiki Life: The Principle of Invisibility


When i started contributing in Wikipedia in 2006 there were not many articles with principles and policies. The Wikipedia evolves very much and today we find many guide to the best practices to contribute to the Wiki.

One of the principles that are presented is the use of signatures in the articles.
“When editing a page, main namespace articles should not be signed, because the article is a shared work, based on the contributions of many people, and one editor should not be singled out above others.” – Wikipedia: Signatures

Unlike Wikipedia, many of the TechNetWiki’s articles were first written in Blogs and later migrated to the Wiki. During this migration (of content and culture) many habits that had brought us into the TechNetWiki blogs.
One of these habits is signing on articles. Increasingly i found articles with signatures. But this would be a habit or a trend?

Wikipedia doesn’t present the question of signatures as a “Principle of Invisibility,” but i think of it this way. “Who” should receive the biggest highlight in an article in a wiki is article itself and the information it contains.

If we observe the Wikipedia articles, the articles are written in a way very impartial. Instead of writing “In this article i’ll talk about,” we would find “In this article you will find information about …”.

When i creating an article in a Wiki I always think it’s the beginning of a collaborative work and if I want more people to contribute, i need to worry about writing in a way that at any time, any paragraph or sentence somebody can include an information.

I not found something in the TNWiki documentation regarding the use of personal signatures. But whenever someone asks me to help migrate an article from a blog to Wiki, i try to follow the principle of invisibility and I advise new contribuites to be as unbiased as possible so that there is always room for new content / information from other authors in the article. 

  

 
 Ana Paula de Almeida 
TechNet Profile | anapdealmeida.com | @anapdealmeida


See Also

Comments (14)

  1. Peter Geelen - MSFT says:

    Great article!

    And very good feedback, regarding the (non-)use of the signatures. Good candidate for guideline!

  2. Ana Paula de Almeida says:

    Hi Peter, tnks!

    A long time i think about this question. So, i decided explain my vision to think together about this.

    Ana

  3. Tord G. Nordahl says:

    I agree, however you can credit the contributors to the article in tags, so for instance if you search for the BizTalk Server Resources, you'll see the names of the People contributing to BizTalk in the "tag cloud". Great blog post though!

  4. Ed Price - MSFT says:

    The guideline thus far has been similar to Wikipedia. As Tord mentions, we have tags. We also have credit on the right side and in the History (more than Wikipedia has). We've also been using a "Credits" section at the bottom, so we'll probably want to move toward enforcing that as a guideline. That way the blogger can give credit to themselves (and link back to their blog) as the primary author of the Wiki article, but the Wiki community feels free to update the article.

  5. Ed Price - MSFT says:

    This is all good fodder for the new Wiki Community Council to tackle. =^)

  6. Ed Price - MSFT says:

    This blog about Best Practices got me excited!

    Previously I had this guideline about Credits. See the "Credits section" bullet under "Page Layout" here:

    social.technet.microsoft.com/…/1775.wiki-user-experience-guidelines.aspx

    And then I got excited about this, so I added a new top-level section, called "Signatures, Credit, and Personalization" here:

    social.technet.microsoft.com/…/1775.wiki-user-experience-guidelines.aspx

    Thanks!

  7. FZB says:

    nice post 🙂

  8. Ana Paula de Almeida says:

    Ed, about the section Signatures, Credit, and Personalization is very good!

    Simple and objective.

    Tnks for your attention on this subject.

  9. Margriet Bruggeman says:

    With a title like that, it's gotta be a winner!

  10. hassan sayed issa20014 says:

    Congratulations

  11. Anonymous says:

    Muitos membros da Comunidade conhecem às restrições do TechNet Wiki para conteúdos

  12. Anonymous says:

    At the TechNet Wiki we’re fighting a continuous battle to maintain the Wiki in good shape, to keep

  13. Anonymous says:

    We are beginning a new period for TechNet Wiki Featured Articles and you may have the honor of being

  14. anonymouscommenter says:

    Whit the new fresh start of 2016, I’m quickly jumping in with an extra surprise post.

    But before