Welcome to Wiki Life Wednesday!

This is the fourth article in the Social Synergy series:

  1. TNWiki + TechNet Gallery
  2. TNWiki + CodePlex
  3. TNWiki + TechNet Forums
  4. TNWiki + Blogs (this article)

 

So... Why should I use TechNet Wiki if I already blog about Microsoft technologies?

1. Audience. Not all blogs get thousands of views. Sometimes it takes awhile to build an audience. You can write articles on TechNet Wiki and then link back to your source blogs and link to your blog from your Profile. Since the Wiki articles are linked to from portals, lists, your Profile's Activity tab, and other Wiki articles, you are putting your content into a connected community where more people can find it.

2. Collaboration. After you author on the Wiki for awhile, you'll think of blogging as selfish authoring in comparison! I am amazed at how people are fixing typos, fixing links, adding to resource lists, adding scenarios and sections, commenting on edits, and building out content in a collaborative team environment!

3. Profile Recognition and Achievements. You get Recognition Points for view milestones when you author and edit Wiki articles! Those points show the community your success and experience with community contributions (including TechNet Wiki). Similarly, each time you leave a comment, make an edit, comment about your edit, and author an article, you're earning a mark toward an Achievement Medal. Also, Microsoft employees can increase their Recognition and Achievements this way, even if they are already posting the same content on a TechNet/MSDN blog. If you just blog without using the Wiki, it's like you're not getting credit for your accomplishments. MS employees can double the number of community networking and recognition opportunities (go from Blogs to both Blogs and Wiki) by leveraging both platforms with the same content!

4. Maintenance. Do you plan to go back and fix your typos, update and add tags, fix your links, refine the formatting, and add more resources and information to your blog posts? Probably not. But on TechNet Wiki, that just happens naturally as the community bands together and helps out. That's one of the values of adding the SQL Server Release Notes to TechNet Wiki. Many Microsoft and community members helped update the Release Notes, making them more current and refined than the release notes have ever been. Plus, you can kiss typos goodbye! You never know how many typos you make until you author on the Wiki! Then the community finds them and fixes them. Isn't that better than leaving them behind permanently? The same thing goes for outdated links!

5. Get a Job (or Award). I have now heard of several stories of our fellow Wiki Ninjas (people who author on TechNet Wiki) who have received job offers because of their content on TechNet Wiki. We also have had seven (7!) of our Wiki Ninjas who have received the Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award, thanks (in part or in full) to their accomplishments on TechNet Wiki (all were named MVP after they became key Wiki Ninja community members, and I've even talked to MVP board members who came to me to ask about our key members). A few of our Wiki Ninjas were nominated for best SharePoint contributors in Europe (and one of them one)! And I'll leave you with this story from a Wiki Ninja named Patris, who wanted to share how TechNet Wiki helped him get a job: How does TechNet Wiki help you find a Job and make your career?

Do you work at Microsoft? So you think this doesn't apply to you? Well, TechNet Wiki will improve your career at Microsoft too!!! Don't believe me? Then maybe you should believe Dr. Tom Shinder instead, who was a hardcore blogger and disagreed with the idea of the Wiki. After trying out TechNet Wiki, it changed his career forever. Here's his blog about that... Community Win–Wiki Accelerates Quality Content Distribution

  

How do I synergize my blog with TechNet Wiki?

Here are several different ways:

1. Blog first. You can blog about a Microsoft Technology. And then use that as the source to build the Wiki article. Then the community can refine it and build on it.

2. Blog's bigger. Maybe you have a large blog that's like a mini-whitepaper. You can add just a section of it as a Wiki article.

3. Wiki's bigger. I've done this before. In that example, I wrote the Wiki article, and then I posted the Wiki article's content as a blog post, pointing back to the Wiki article. Sure enough, blogging about it (along with linking to the blog in a forum), led to all sorts of interactions and refinements to the Wiki article, thus the Wiki article grew to be larger and more in-depth than the blog. I don't need to update the blog, since the blog sends people to the Wiki article. That's the point. You don't have to keep blogs updated. Blogs just act as glorified announcements and basic information sharing. The organic/growing/current content lives over on the Wiki.

4. Advertise a Wiki article. I've done this too. Elevation of Privilege doesn't sound like a very interesting Wiki article. But I used the blog post (in the title and body) to advertise it as a card game for developers. That obviously appealed to developers, because it quickly became our most-viewed blog post! And those views will funnel more people in to check out the Wiki article and learn even more about the game.

5. Combine Blog Posts into a Wiki. For example, Tord wrote a series of 5 posts about the health checking of BizTalk. From Tord's blog: BizTalk Health check part 1, BizTalk health check part 2, BizTalk health check part 3, BizTalk health check part 4, and BizTalk health check part 5. These blog posts were combined to make the BizTalk Health Check article on TechNet Wiki.

 

Conclusion

Blogs and wiki aren't exclusive. We should do both (leverage blogs for social synergy on the Wiki).

The truth is that after you get into using a wiki, blogs become more like...

  • Selfish Authoring (you don't know what this means until you experience how amazing social authoring is)
  • Long tweets

One of the reasons to leverage both a blog and the Wiki is #3 above... the Recognition Points and Achievement Medals. It's like you're not getting credit for your accomplishments.

And none of this is a slam on blogs. I blog a lot as well. It's just that if content lives in a social authoring platform, then it can grow, breathe, and get connected to the rest of the content. But if that content is also announced, originally created for, and advertised in a blog, then that's valuable social synergy!  

In fact, some people thought it was crazy for me to create a blog about a Wiki. But they didn't understand first hand how valuable a blog can be.

 

Do you have any examples where you blogged first and then added it to the Wiki? Or where your blog or Wiki article had more information? Or where you used a blog to advertise a Wiki article? If, so... leave a comment with a link. Thanks!

 

If you have any thoughts or questions, add them to the Comments!

Jump on in! The Wiki is warm!

   - Ninja Ed (Blog, Twitter, Wiki, Profile)