The killer app for user-created content is games. Game devotees are invested in the experience to the extent that it allows them to feel “I created this experience.” This helps us somewhat get over some terrible user experience design issues:
There are those who feel that any features in social media that smack of competition (closely allied to, but not synonymous with games) drives user participation down. They therefore lobby for the elimination of things like leaderboards, “best of” lists and so on.
Which is true?
You have approaches like foursquare (Wiki. http://mashable.com/2010/07/13/game-mechanics-business/?utm_source=TweetMeme&utm_medium=widget&utm_campaign=retweetbutton), or Digg’s recent step away from this.
Which is the right model for the TechNet Wiki?
There is an interesting point in the TechNet Wiki FAQ (based on a colleague’s observation) <see what I did right there? Is that competitive or not?>
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.
IMO the wiki will win because it allows you to compete against yourself, and help colleagues (or at least others with the same interests or technical problem) at the same time.
You IT Pros have appreciated the posters colleague Martin McClean puts out. He now helps you find them on The Poster Guy blog.
Go there. Enjoy.
The Poster Guy’s latest, the “Remote Desktop Services Component Architecture” poster, provides a visual reference for understanding key Remote Desktop Services technologies in Windows Server 2008 R2. It explains the functions and roles of Remote Desktop Session Host, Remote Desktop Virtualization Host, Remote Desktop Connection Broker, Remote Desktop Web Access, Remote Desktop Gateway, RemoteFX and Remote Desktop Licensing.
Been looking for the “forest” instead of the “trees” view? This is it:
You can use this poster in conjunction with the previously published Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 component posters (see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=193499 and http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=179116) and the Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Component Architecture poster (see http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=5567b22a-8c47-4840-a88d-23146fd93151).
In ancient days (back in the 1970s) the Hershey Company ran a series of tv commercials for Reese’s, like this one, that showed what happened when “ You got your chocolate in my peanut butter…” ending with “Two great tastes that taste great together."
Interesting things are happening on the TechNet Wiki (Beta). For example, this topic, which experiments with a way to have both “officially supported" content coexist with “unsupported community content.”
See where I am going with this?
The original version of this troubleshooting article is posted at 12:27 PM by some user identity named “Officially Supported by Microsoft.” You can see these details in the “History” tab.
The content of this version of the article is exactly the same as the content of the page on TechNet at: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd582089(WS.10).aspx
What’s the diff? Well, the version on TechNet is supported. The version on the wiki is not supported, because it is on the wiki, and nothing on the wiki (Beta) is officially supported, because it is on the wiki.
This is because the wiki always shows you the top of the stack of versions (LIFO), the most recent version. The folk at Microsoft who are charged with making sure that things that say “supported” really ARE supported, point out “Hey, the most recent addition by the community might be an excellent one, it might not be. Until and unless we have tested it and established that it meets our criteria for “supported”, it ain’t – so don’t say it is. It’ll just confuse and frustrate customers.”
Fair enough, right? But what if the wiki could accommodate BOTH an officially supported version of a topic, AND some number of updates that are not yet supported?
This topic is a test for that. What if the first version of the article (the “original” version in the History tab) were supported, but every subsequent version were not?
Is there value added by the additional information on troubleshooting this issue from other sources (including non-Microsoft sites)? You tell me.
In the History tab click the Original version, and the Current Revision (most recent version) and then click “Compare Versions.”
The screen shows in RED all the things that were taken out, and in GREEN all the things that were added.
Seems like all we need now is a way for an “improved” article to made “official.” Some sort of voting or flag system that allows users to say “This works. We like it. Please officially support it.”
Supported and Unsupported content mixed together on the Wiki (assuming you can easily tell them apart when you want to)? A great idea on par with the Peanut Butter Cup? Or, not so much?
If both were mixed on the wiki, which would you choose as your default view?
1) Show me the supported content first, and then help me find the most recent update (which may or may not be supported)
2) Show me the most recent update first, and then help me find the original supported version, and show me the deltas