Wiki: FAQ

Wiki: FAQ

Questions and answers about the Wiki. 

This topic contains the following:


 

What is a FAQ?

From the Wikipedia article FAQ:

Frequently asked questions, or FAQs are listed questions and answers, all supposed to be frequently asked in some context, and pertaining to a particular topic. Since the acronym FAQ originated in textual media, its pronunciation varies; "facks," "fax," "facts," and "F.A.Qs." are commonly heard. Depending on usage, the term may refer specifically to a single frequently asked question, or to an assembled list of many questions and their answers.

What is the TechNet Wiki FAQ?

This FAQ is focused on the TechNet Wiki. It covers questions on the technology and implementation of the Wiki, content types and coverage, community and community health and vision.

What is the TechNet Wiki (TNW)? How is it different from wikipedia?

Wikipedia is focused on academic research, the TechNet Wiki is focused on technical documentation. The purpose of academic research is to argue a conclusion based on evidence. If the source of the evidence is not authoritative, then the argument is undermined. Technical documentation, on the other hand, is intended to solve a problem by providing a path to understanding the technology. In most cases, it doesn't matter as much whether the source of the information is authoritative as long as it is demonstrably correct. We test this in the practical application of the information. On the TechNet Wiki the people who actually use the information can refine the information (edit the wiki article ) based on their applied experience. A certain amount of authority will then adhere to those who do that refining, but only as the community agrees that the refinement is accurate by not further correcting it. The focus of TN Wiki is technical content for IT Pros and Devs that relates to Microsoft products. Microsoft employee participation on Wikipedia content about Microsoft or competitor technologies are not seen as peer-to-peer or "community." The members of the product teams at Microsoft who participate in forums, blogs, twitter, facebook and other social sites can collaborate with customers on the TN Wiki more effectively than on Wikipedia. In addition, wikipedia has a commitment to a NPOV (neutral point of view). TNW has a commitment to a balanced technical point of view. On the TNW, the value of the technical information is prized above the source.

Why is Microsoft doing a TechNet Wiki? Aren't the forum, Blogs and newsgroups enough?

The goals for the TNWIKI are:

  • Increase the breadth and depth of content available to our customers.
  • Enable anyone to easily share information.

On the first bullet, Umair Haque puts it well in his efficient community hypothesis...

"The point of communities is, when you think about it, to ensure that people and organizations don't just get any old information — but the right, the best information. They should filter out bad, inaccurate information from unreliable sources and replace it with its opposite."

Blogs, forums and newsgroups are effective for the purposes they serve. All of these "content sources" fit together in a resource model shown below, where content can start in one place, and move to another as the needs for that content change.

For example, a Microsoft blog post that talks about a certain implementation may garner several valuable comments about additional hardware  that the post also works on. However, a search for "all the hardware that the scenario works on" will not bring back the blog post. A reader of the blog post must read the entire post and then scroll chronologically through the comments to compile the list. On the wiki, you can start with the compiled list, add others, and link to blog post. Then, a search for "all the hardware that the scenario works on" is more likely to find the wiki article. Like a blog, wiki authoring is easy and fast. Like the forums, the history and "reputation system" on the wiki help the reader of the article make judgements about the level of "trust" to place in the content.

What need is this filling?

For most customers, TechNet Wiki will be a new and dynamic source of technical content to help them achieve success with our core scenarios like Troubleshooting and How To. But for contributors, TechNet Wiki will also be a powerful form of engagement with Microsoft and a new way to continue driving up IT Pro reader satisfaction (measured on TechNet and MSDN by the article ratings and surveys), and building community with each other. Many feel that the Microsoft documentation on TechNet and MSDN is adequate. Others feel differently. The trouble is that TechNet and MSDN articles start going out of date as soon as they are published.  Even if our documentation team had endless resources to keep the documentation up to date with all of the cool blog information, KB articles and newsgroup discussions, there is often a considerable lag between when a content "bug" is filed and when the documentation is updated.  The Wiki accommodates nearly instantaneous publication of "addendum" documentation which in and of itself is a significant benefit to using a wiki to publish content

Is this stuff supported?

No. Nothing on the wiki is supported, just like nothing you see on Microsoft Blogs or forums are supported, as defined by the Terms of Use (see below). That does not mean that the information you see on a Microsoft corporate blog, forum or wiki is un-useful, or un-tested. If you are concerned about the reliability of the content on the wiki, make use of the History tab on each article to review who made changes and what was done to the article. You can tell Microsoft employee members of the wiki by the addition of the letters MSFT after their username AND a contact e-mail address that ends in @microsoft.com.

TERMS OF USE:

IN NO EVENT SHALL MICROSOFT AND/OR ITS RESPECTIVE SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, NEGLIGENCE OR OTHER TORTIOUS ACTION, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF SOFTWARE, DOCUMENTS, PROVISION OF OR FAILURE TO PROVIDE SERVICES, OR INFORMATION AVAILABLE FROM THE SERVICES.

Consider the following story:

A man goes to the hospital and asks the nurse at the desk, will your hospital help me out if I were to fall off a cliff?  The nurse answers “yes, of course we will help you, but we would not recommend you fall off a cliff”.   The man goes walks along cliff and comes to an unstable part and he falls.  When he comes to the hospital they start to patch him up and tell him there are some things that will never be the same and there will be some short term pain as they heal, and he replies, 'But you said I’d be supported!”

How is Microsoft making money off the wiki?

It isn't. The TN Wiki is an investment in building community with customers.

Who can participate?

Anyone who registers with Windows LiveID can participate. All who follow the code of conduct, terms of use, and community standards are welcome.

Who is responsible for editing and oversite?

The users are. Microsoft is trusting the members of the TN Wiki community to take care of this and do the right things.

What safeguards are in place to prevent abusive usage?

Users can use the Provide feedback or report inappropriate content button to report abuse. Microsoft employees will investigate the report and take appropriate action.

 

Why should I contribute?

You do not need to contribute to be a member of the community. If you read content on the Wiki, you are contributing to the success of the content and the relevance of the TechNet Wiki.  You are encouraged to contribute if:

  • You are a blogger, forum user, or currently contribute to the community in other ways. The TechNet Wiki is a great place to post original content and link to it from your sites or migrate older material or material you no longer want to maintain into the Wiki for the community to maintain and expand. Contributions are attributed and references and links are encouraged making it easy to keep (and potentially enhance) your reputation and maintain links between your site and the Wiki topics.
  • You work with Microsoft technology. As a practitioner, you have a rich set of experiences with Microsoft technology, many of which are shared by other users or will be experienced by new users. Each time you troubleshoot a solution, create a new template, choose one solution over another, deploy a feature or technology, or call an API or invoke PowerShell, you have an experience that could be added to the Wiki as a new how-to topic and/or an addition to an existing troubleshooting topic. Chances are, there is someone else out there who wants to do the same thing and will find your content valuable!

If the Wiki is supposed to be different than TechNet, why is it TechNet branded?

It's a community collaboration tool on TechNet, like Blogs, Forums, or the Script Gallery.

What is the release schedule for new features? What features will be available and at what milestones?

Due to various reasons, there is not the means to create a definite and committed release schedule. Despite this challenge, the team finds opportunities to update the tool with new features and fixes as the TechNet Wiki community grows and matures.

Some of the recently released features include:

  • Fully supported comments on each page (with a subscription feature)
  • A Microsoft Translator widget on each page (where you can edit translations to update them)
  • A list of all the articles in specific languagesa TOC tag feature (so you can quickly add a TOC to your page)
  • External links are now flagged and open in a new tab/window
  • An advanced Profile system so that you can earn Recognition Points and unlock Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals as you participate in the Wiki
  • A feature where people can hover over your name to see your Recognition Points and Achievements and then click your name to check out your profile (this is normally a blog feature that's not found on wikis); a new profile feature is that you can filter by Unlocked Achievements
  • Updated Search platform
  • Feature Requests Page for you to add your feature requests
  • Featured Articles are added each week to the Wiki Home page; suggest article to feature on the Featured Article Nominees page
  • Wiki Leaderboards include weekly lists of the top 10 most active contributors (edits) and the top 5 most popular article contributions (most views on articles they created or edited, based Recognition Points earned) and a monthly list of who contributed the most new articles
  • New Wiki pages and edits can be navigated at the bottom of this page
  • Active Twitter account
  • Forum to discuss TechNet Wiki

How do I get involved as an early participant?

Review the How to Join wiki article

What kind of content can I post?

Review the How to Contribute wiki article for some ideas to get you started.

What are the best practices around using this new platform?

If you are using the online editor, save often. To stay informed about changes to your article, use the "Email me updates to this page" option near the Save button.  

How do I lock content?

You cannot lock content to prevent changes. This is a wiki. A very small number of articles, such as the code of conduct, are locked by the wiki mods. If you would like to suggest changes to these "core docs", please enter them over in the forum for consideration on the next update cycle. If you want to post content that should never ever be changed and improved by the community, think twice. The wiki is *not* the place for content you wish to never change.

How do I delete a comment?

Use the Provide feedback or report inappropriate content button to the comment and reason you want it deleted. Microsoft employees will investigate the report and take appropriate action.

Can I just repost content from other sources, like my blog?

The How to Contribute wiki article contains the following advice:

"NOTE: Do not just copy/paste from TechNet/MSDN or other websites, or blogs or other sources of material that you did not create, and then save this without any editing, rewriting and improvement by you.  "

Copying from your own blog (without any "editing,rewriting and improvement" is not plagiarism. However, it does not add value to the wiki. Use the wiki to post an older blog post that you want to add to, change around, or improve in some other way that adds value to the technical community.

Is there Bulk tag editing?

Not yet, but this is a feature request for the next development cycle. You can review the feature requests on the Forum.

Is there bulk upload of images?

Not at this time.

Who owns the intellectual property once it is posted on the wiki?

Review the Terms of Use.

Who is on the "council"?

You can see the council member names, meeting minutes, and future meeting agendas at: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/wiki-technet-wiki-community-council.aspx

What is the SLA for the wiki?

See the TechNet Terms of Use.

Does the wiki support Silverlight?

At this time the TechNet Wiki does not support Silverlight.

How do you get banned?


Read the How to Get Banned article for some examples. We'd prefer it if you didn't try to get banned.


Other Languages

This article is also available in other languages, including Portuguese.

Sort by: Published Date | Most Recent | Most Useful
Comments
  • "But for contributors, TechNet Wiki will also be a powerful form of engagement with Microsoft and a new way to continue driving up IT Pro NSAT and building community with each other."

    What does the abbreviation NSAT stand for?

  • FZB NSAT is a number measuring customer satisfaction. Sorry for the jargon, article corrected for clarity. Thanks for the comment!

  • Thanks :) and no worries, explaning it raised my NSAT ;)

Page 1 of 1 (3 items)