Wednesday – Wiki Life: The Importance of Longer, High-Quality Articles


This is piggybacking on Peter Geelen's hilariously sarcastic blog post from last week…

Wednesday – Wiki Life: 10 ways to become the most hated Wiki ninja on the planet

   

Today let's discuss the length and quality of articles.

It won't benefit you if your articles aren't long or high quality.

You might be tempted to write shorter articles because you can get more done. But there's no good benefit in doing that. All that does is pad your Wiki article stat in your profile.

Instead, it would be better to combine some of those smaller articles that are related and publish them as a far more detailed and useful article!

Or, it might be good also to go more in depth on the topic, explain it thoroughly, explain that context and the problems that lead up to your solution. Take some screenshots and build it out!

Scripts

Also, if you've got a nice script, then you can put the script on TechNet or MSDN Gallery and link to it from the Wiki. The Wiki can break down the code and explain each piece. And then it can explain how the script fits into the larger solution!

Videos

If you've got a video, then go ahead and embed it on TechNet Wiki. BUT… you should add to it… explain the steps, write out the transcript, and compliment the video with resource links and references!

 

Short Articles Won't…

Here's what writing short articles won't do:

  1. It won't help with your community reputation. You'll become known for trying to build up your stats or get more views on your video, rather than being known for great content!
  2. It won't help on your road to MVP or a new job. I've seen people make MVP and get jobs for writing as few as three articles on the Wiki! Make everything you do amazing!

In short, there's no benefit for going for quick articles.

 

It's Worth It

It takes a little longer to write more detailed articles, but it's helpful to everyone and definitely worth it!

To see some shining examples of depth and quality, please check out our TechNet Guru gold medal winners (and often other winners and contributors). Here are our latest awards:

The Microsoft TechNet Guru Awards! (August 2014)

 

Special thanks go out to all the contributors who hold us to a higher standard and level of quality with your amazing articles! You impact the community every day, and we're grateful for your passion!

   – Ninja Ed

Comments (32)

  1. Saeid Hasani says:

    Great post! πŸ™‚
    Thanks Ed for your invaluable advises!

    Ed, in addition to your notes, I believe writing article has its life-cycle.
    Like development process, writing an article has its phases; writing for the original version is more like development including R&D. After the first publish, it’s so important to get community feedback and suggestion. I usually ask for help from experts like
    Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Golden Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version. This process is like the movement from Stage Server to Product Server. The final step is TN WIKI GURU monthly competition;
    it’s time to get more golden feedback. This step, for me, is not just a "Getting The Result Time", it’s time to be assessed and compared with other experts.

  2. Saeid Hasani says:

    Great post! πŸ™‚
    Thanks Ed for your invaluable advises!

    Ed, in addition to your notes, I believe writing article has its life-cycle.
    Like development process, writing an article has its phases; writing for the original version is more like development including R&D. After the first publish, it’s so important to get community feedback and suggestion. I usually ask for help from experts like
    Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Golden Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version. This process is like the movement from Stage Server to Product Server. The final step is TN WIKI GURU monthly competition;
    it’s time to get more golden feedback. This step, for me, is not just a "Getting The Result Time", it’s time to be assessed and compared with other experts.

  3. Saeid Hasani says:

    Ed, in addition to your notes, I believe writing article has its life-cycle.

    Like development process, writing an article has its phases; writing for the original version is more like development including R&D. After the first publish, it’s so important to get community feedback and suggestion. I usually ask for help from experts like
    Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Golden Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version. This process is like the movement from Stage Server to Product Server. The final step is TN WIKI GURU monthly competition;
    it’s time to get more golden feedback. This step, for me, is not just a "Getting The Result Time", it’s time to be assessed and compared with other experts.

  4. Saeid Hasani says:

    Great post! πŸ™‚
    Thanks Ed for your invaluable advises!

    Ed, in addition to your notes, I believe writing article has its life-cycle.
    Like development process, writing an article has its phases; writing for the original version is more like development including R&D. After the first publish, it’s so important to get community feedback and suggestion. I usually ask for help from experts like
    Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Gold Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version. This process is like the movement from Stage Server to Product Server. The final step is TN WIKI GURU monthly competition;
    it’s time to get more golden feedback. This step, for me, is not just a "Getting The Result Time", it’s time to be assessed and compared with other experts.

  5. Saeid Hasani says:

    Great post! πŸ™‚
    Thanks Ed for your invaluable advises!

    Ed, in addition to your notes, I believe writing article has its life-cycle.
    Like development process, writing an article has its phases; writing for the original version is more like development including R&D. After the first publish, it’s so important to get community feedback and suggestion. I usually ask for help from experts like
    Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Golden Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version. This process is like the movement from Stage Server to Product Server. The final step is TN WIKI GURU monthly competition;
    it’s time to get more golden feedback. This step, for me, is not just a "Getting The Result Time", it’s time to be assessed and compared with other experts.

  6. Saeid Hasani says:

    This process is like the movement from Stage Server to Product Server.
    The final step is TN WIKI GURU monthly competition; it’s time to get more golden feedback. This step is time to be assessed.

  7. Saeid Hasani says:

    Like development process, writing an article has its phases; writing for the original version is more like development including R&D. After the first publish, it’s so important to get community feedback and suggestion. I usually ask for help from experts
    like Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Golden Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version. This process is like the movement from Stage Server to Product Server. The final step is TN WIKI GURU monthly competition;
    it’s time to get more golden feedback. This step, for me, is not just a "Getting The Result Time", it’s time to be assessed and compared with other experts.

  8. Saeid Hasani says:

    I usually ask for help from experts like Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Golden Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version.

  9. Saeid Hasani says:

    Ed, in addition to your notes, I believe writing article has its life-cycle. Like development process, writing an article has its phases; writing for the original version is more like development including R&D. After the first publish, it’s so important
    to get community feedback and suggestion. I usually ask for help from experts like Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Golden Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version. This process is like the movement from
    Stage Server to Product Server. The final step is TN WIKI GURU monthly competition; it’s time to get more golden feedback. This step, for me, is not just a "Getting The Result Time", it’s time to be assessed and compared with other experts.

  10. Saeid Hasani says:

    I usually ask for help from experts like Naomi, Ronen and Shanky, who won many Golden Medals in monthly GURU awards, for making the article better than the its original version.

    This process is like the movement from Stage Server to Product Server.

  11. Saeid Hasani says:

    Great post!
    Ed, Thanks for your invaluable advises!

    In addition to your notes,
    I think that each article has its life-cycle!
    Writing an article is like a development process in sandbox server!
    After publishing original version, it’s worth it to spend enough time to get feedback and suggestions from TN Wiki community, and make changes to improve the original version. This is like the movement from stage to product server in software life-cycle.

    After monthly GURU competitions, we can get special feedback to better improvement on the article, also it can prepare us for next articles.

  12. Davut EREN says:

    Thank you Ed! Good Work.

  13. You’re welcome! I hope this helps encourage some folks to go for the longer or more detailed articles, even if it takes a little longer!

  14. Shanky_621 says:

    Ed. I specially like your emphasis on short articles. My personal opinion is ,which came after seeing lot of small articles, we should as a practice refrain from writing too many small articles unless its sweet and small. We should have something in place
    to check how much VALUE an article can add(no matter small or big) , I know its difficult to do with so many articles but people should post something new /refreshing and kind of ‘wow i was not aware of this’. Having said that I still need to find/write an
    article for September month competition

  15. Durval Ramos says:

    Ed, I think that articles should show the solution to problem, explaining how occurs and the steps to work fine, but above should be helpful for many people (preferably with screenshots).

    In my opinion there are long articles but I’ts poor content, you can make good articles with only 3 sections and much explanatory than long articles with texts about a bit of everything, but nothing useful.

  16. Durval Ramos says:

    Shanky,

    Congrats my friend to your MVP!!!

  17. Thank you Shanky. I agree completely. Sometimes, it’s hard to find the balance, because we want to encourage the content, but still encourage it to be combined, fleshed out, and higher quality. Thanks!

  18. Durval, that’s a good point. Just because an article is longer, doesn’t mean it is high quality content. Like some long articles have a lot of images. Those images are very helpful, but they also need the detailed descriptions that explain each step of
    the process and the descriptions that cover the goals and context behind the solution. And then to top it all off with great formatting (including a TOC) that makes it fun to read! And then references and See Also wiki links at the bottom to guide you to more
    content.

    So even long articles can sometimes be encouraged to follow these steps! Thanks, Durval!

  19. Shanky_621 says:

    Thank you Durval…

  20. Saeid Hasani says:

    I cannot leave comment!

  21. Saeid Hasani says:

    Finally it works!
    Great post! πŸ™‚
    Thanks Ed for your invaluable advises!

  22. Saeid Hasani says:

    Ed, in addition to your notes, I believe writing article has its life-cycle.

  23. Saeid Hasani says:

    Like development process, writing an article has its phases; writing for the original version is more like development including R&D.

    After the first publish, it’s so important to get community feedback and suggestion.

  24. pituach says:

    I agree with Saeid πŸ™‚
    "Like development process". It is especially true for a community’s shared article

  25. pituach says:

    Great blog Ed,
    Now we just need to make the right people to read this πŸ™‚

  26. Saeid, yes, sorry the comments weren’t working! I think it was a temporary server issue.

  27. Saeid, I think that’s an excellent point. Thank you!

  28. Ed, this was an excellent and a much needed article. Thank you. You are absolutely right by saying, "It takes a little longer to write more detailed articles, but it’s helpful to everyone and definitely worth it".
    The entire premise of writing an article is to share knowledge and information, recognition is merely a by-product and should not be the primary motive that drives this motivation. There have been times when I have been working on an article for months and
    revised it several times until I see it fit to be published. Also, an article needs to have a sense of purpose, a reader must understand the motivation that drove the writer to share this knowledge. Thanks for using the August 2014 awards as an example. Two
    of my best articles are posted there πŸ™‚

  29. since the beginning I’m a supporter of High-Quality Articles

    Creating an article, at least for me, demands a considerable time is β€œa process of writing, editing, formatting, adding pictures or images” and it’s true!

    Take your time, mark your articles as "in-progress", and have all necessary care to produce an excellent article both in terms of content and presentation.

    Quantity is important but is also important to have Quality over the quantity

  30. Dan thank you for your commitment to high-quality articles!

    Dan and Sandro, you both have excellent points on this topic! Thank you!

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