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."

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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.

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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?

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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.”

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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.”

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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

Comments welcomed.