Wiki Life: Ownership and Credibility

One of the differences between a blog post and a wiki article, is the extra credibility a wiki article has, just because it belongs to a wiki. An assumption is made that a wiki article is generally more credible, because a wiki has multiple authors and moderators, and a governance model in place, to ensure articles are of a high standard.

If we take Wikipedia as an example, most articles are (at least perceived to be) fairly credible. Articles with inaccurate, missing or ambiguous information are highlighted or removed quickly.

With this in mind, let's all do a couple of things;

  1. If you see an article that is inaccurate, either fix it, or add the needs work or For Review, or stub tags.
  2. If you're working on an article over a number of days, add the Work in Progress tag
  3. If you find an article that is clearly spam, completely irrelevant or inappropriate, tag the article with Candidate for Deletion
  4. Routinely search for articles tagged with needs work or For Review, and improve the articles that are within your knowledge domain!
  5. Take ownership of the wiki! It's a resource for all of us, and something we should be proud to contribute to, and improve!

The definitions of tags referenced above (and others) can be found in the Wiki Common Tags article. The definitions of the tags used above, are:

Candidate for deletion
"These are articles that are queued up to be reviewed and then deleted. They are often spam, but they can also be duplicate articles, test articles, etc."

For Review
"This tag might help to mark articles that may need some improvement suggested in the comments to the article. See more about this tag in this article"

needs work
"The article is incomplete, and needs additional information or work. If you do not want people to contribute to the article, use the Work in progress tag instead."

"The article has little or no content, and is a placeholder until more content is added.'

Work in progress
"The article is actively being worked on, and is not ready for additional contributions. You can find a message template for this type of article here: Wiki: Message Templates."

The wiki is ours! Let's all take responsibility to make it a great resource full of high quality and credible articles.

See Also

Comments (17)

  1. Saeid Hasani says:

    Thanks Matthew for providing this great post!

    I want to share some differences between TN Wiki vs Wikipedia:

    1. We have clear "Article event log and history system" in TN Wiki which Wikipedia dose not have it. This is more like Wiki section in Team Foundation Server(TFS).

    2. We have "commitment" in TN WIKI which it has no room in Wikipedia. I believe that this is because TN Wiki authority is Microsoft, I great company who emphasize what content are published and with what quality grade.

    3. We have "First publisher section" in TN WIKI which Wikipedia dose not have it at all. Because in TN Wiki, usually, articles are about advanced technical concepts. One author starts investigating, testing and collecting all information which he/she needs,
    then works a lot on it and review it more and more, at last he/she publishes this tech article. After this process, usually, there are no people who changed it overall or big part of it. Other authors help her/him to make it better via adding Tags and refs,
    or warn about some tiny mistakes.

    4. We have "Monthly TN GURU Competition" in TN WIKI which again Wikipedia even didn’t understand it! Because in TN WIKI, there are two important part:

    –People who make it
    –Quality of its Content
    We can find many "FalsePedia" in Wikipedia content, against, we cannot find wrong content in TN WIKI.

    There are many other differences between "TechNet WIKI" and "Wikipedia".

  2. Shanky_621 says:

    As ususal Matt your post is always refreshing and enlighteing and Saeid bravo man nice parallel drawn. Matt taking a clue from your post I am going to work on lot of articles I see which seriously needs tag ‘needs work’

  3. Durval Ramos says:

    Matthew, Great post.

    We still have many members who confuse how to create a "TN Wiki article" with a "Blog post".

  4. Durval Ramos says:

    Saeid, your comments are interesting. There are good things on TechNet Wiki and also Wikipedia.

    We need to enjoy the best of both and learn from failures to make our TechNet Wiki even more useful for everyone.

  5. Great post Mathew! I’ll second Saeid! TN Wiki is better than Wikipedia.

  6. Fantastic blog post, Matthew!

    And a lot of people don’t think Wikipedia is credible, but if you compare an average Wiki article to a randomly picked blog post, then it’s far more credible, because of the collaboration reasons that Matthew mentioned!

  7. Saeid Hasani says:

    Shanky, Yes! Matt’s posts are really deep, and this post opened a great discussion.

    Durval, You are right. Both are good, but I rate an A+ to TN Wiki, like you 🙂
    Ehsan, Yes another A+ for TN Wiki 🙂
    Ed, Your comment has all points that I tried to explain in my tedious and lengthy comment!
    Matt, Thanks again!

  8. Hi Saeid, thanks for your comments!
    I wasn’t intending on comparing TNWiki and Wikipedia, other than to draw attention to the governance around a wiki, one of things that makes a wiki more credible. You’ve raised some interesting differences between them though!

  9. Hey Shanky. the ‘needs work’ work is a good tag, and is probably underused.

    I started thinking about it more when I was writing this post. It’s a tag I’m going to start keeping an eye on now, as it’s a great way to find articles to make improvements to!

  10. Thanks Durval! "We need to enjoy the best of both and learn from failures to make our TechNet Wiki even more useful for everyone." – Totally agree!

  11. Thanks Ed!

    It’s definitely the point I was trying to get across, that a wiki article has extra credibility because of the collaboration of multiple authors, and as such, the importance for all of us to improve articles when we see something that needs work!

  12. pituach says:

    Great blog Matthew,

    * If you’re working on an article over a number of days, then I think you should add the "Work in Progress" in the content of the article as well (and make sure it is not hidden). people do not checks the tags each time, and they might edit it while it is in

    * Saeid,
    >> wikipedia has event log and history system sa well. check this link for the history of the maine page:
    >> First publisher section is not needed in a public share article. It is mainly for the author (respect, Competitionsת feedback, etc), it is not fo the good of the article. I do like it better since I do like to see my name on article that took me hours to
    write, but this is for us and not for the good of the article.
    >> We have "Monthly TN GURU Competition". and as above this is for us and for the favor of raising the motivation to people to write articles. In 2001 we had the same in the wikipedia. Moreover there where real prices and not only virtual I dont
    know what is going there but this is probably not needed any more.
    >> For each contributer here there are probably 1k there. Not to mention the number of users. These are not the same scale systems 🙂 This is like comparig the access toi the SQL Server.
    >> Most of the technet wiki article are written like personal blog, in the wikipedia this will not pass the first review.
    We can contiue to compare 🙂 I think that we can learn a lot from the wikipedia.

  13. pituach says:

    Great point Durval
    "We need to enjoy the best of both"

  14. Pituach, your comment "If you’re working on an article over a number of days, then I think you should add the "Work in Progress"", is a great idea.

    It would be great if a banner was added to the top of articles automatically if they were tagged with specific tags, like "needs work", "work in progress"

    Maybe that should be a feature request?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Last week I blogged about Ownership and Credibility . In that post I talked about tagging articles that

  16. Anonymous says:

    In the past I wrote about “ Defining the Role of a TechNet Wiki Editor ”, today I’ll

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