Sunday Surprise: Death by powerpicture


When you write an article and want to make a great success, one of the most attractive and powerful factors is adding pictures to your content.
To add pictures, the TechNet Wiki article editor has a specific button

wikieditor_image1

You have 3 options to add images

wikieditor_image2

  1. Upload a file from your computer
  2. Use an existing file on the TechNet Wiki
  3. Link a file from an URL (external site)

By default and by preference, you should use option 1 to store the picture on the TechNet Wiki platform.
This guarantees the permanent availability of the picture in your article.

Option No 2 is similar, when you want to reuse an image that has been uploaded to TNWiki previously.

But searching the Wiki image collection, or finding the target image is not that easy, as the search might fail.

wikieditor_image5

So a practical hint here is to find the image in another article, copying the image URL and injecting it by link.

You can inject the link by using option 3 or adding the link in the HTML editor directly.

 

But as strong and powerful images can be, they equally have the same power to completely destroy the same article... it's just matter of time.

In lots of cases, people copy the content of their blog or articles on 3rd party platforms directly to TNWiki.
(Just to be clear, this is NOT the way to go, the TNWiki is not a blogging platform, nor a place for personal blogging, but that's another Wiki governance story...)

There is one major and very prominent disadvantage when you add articles that are hosted on a 3rd party platform (like your own blog, or any website): there is no guarantee that the links you entered initially have the eternal life you wish for.

Fact is: over time blogs change, ownership change, blogs move to another platform, technology changes...

So, a picture that initially looks like...

wikieditor_image3

might end up as a dead link in TechNet Wiki.

A typical symptom is the black and white cross icon, referring to a missing picture:

wikieditor_image4

But it can get worse...

When the picture was hosted on a 3rd party (commercial) platform... and the blog moved to another platform, or the URL expired... you don't know where the link of the picture goes to...

And at the end the TechNet wiki ends with spam like pictures that seems to be hacked...

Last few weeks the Wiki admin team has gotten more and more reports of images like:

FreePrizes

(Don't worry, the image above is hacked with a safe, valid link to your favorite TechNet Wiki...hehe).

To avoid any embarrassing situation with your article, please adopt the following best practices:

  1. only upload images to TechNet Wiki (option 1)
  2. DO NOT link to images on ANY website outside the TechNet Wiki (even not TechNet, TechNet blogs, MSDN, ...)
  3. Review your articles once in a while and fix when needed
  4. Report broken links on this Wiki page (https://aka.ms/reportbrokenlinks) and we'll fix the issue together.

Spread the word!

 

Comments (7)

  1. pituach says:

    THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE!
    great post Peter
    Should we say how many hours we spend on fixing these cases?!?

  2. Very useful post.Thank you for sharing Peter Geelen

  3. Very Informative and useful for Wiki authors, thank you Peter for sharing with us 🙂

  4. Saeid Hasani says:

    Hi Peter,
    This is really a great post! Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

    My two cents:

    One big question here is:
    Why some users do not upload images to TechNet Wiki?

    Writing an article usually needs capturing, editing and publishing screenshots(s).
    This is not a big deal for short articles.
    But the game changes for the long ones.
    The one problem is the lack for the batch uploading pictures in the TN Wiki.

    As an example, I was so frustrated in the process of uploading 232 screenshots for the following article:
    Article: "SQL Server 2014: Step by Step Guide to Setup a Failover Cluster Virtual Lab"
    URL: "http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/31604.sql-server-2014-step-by-step-guide-to-setup-a-failover-cluster-virtual-lab.aspx"

    That was a 90+ print pages, so making each revision took long time. I started with the original publish on [Sat, Jul 18 2015 10:04 PM] and ended uploading all screenshots 54 revisions [Sun, Jul 19 2015 11:02 PM]. With about 6 hours off for drink coffee, eat and sleep.

    BTW, If we have a batch uploading option, we can use it and save few hours.

    Thanks again Peter for sharing this one! 🙂

  5. Thanks, Peter!

    The simple answer here is to upload the images to the Wiki platform directly. =^)

    Once an image is on the Wiki (especially if it's uploaded onto the platform), you can copy and paste the image to another article. That drops in the HTML embed code. But the trick is to make sure your original source is on a reliable platform.

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