imageA few people have asked me why our team uses the TechNet wiki to publish our content. I tell them that the number one reason why we use the wiki is that it saves us time and enables us to get our content out to the community faster than our traditional processes. That sounds good on paper, but what is it specifically about the TechNet wiki that saves us time?

It’s a good question and its worth answering, because if it saves me and the rest of my team time to use the TechNet wiki, it could save you time too!

Here are a few reasons why I think the TechNet wiki saves us time:

  • Because the wiki is a open platform, we don’t have to worry about onboarding people into some closed platform to allow for collaboration. In some cases, it’s not even possible to onboard people into the closed platform, which means that you need to shuttle documents as email attachments back and forth – which makes change management difficult to do.
  • We are writers, not editors. While I think we do a reasonable job at editing our own content, line editing, copy editing, developmental editing, and other types of editing do not play to our strengths. The great thing about the wiki is that there are a lot of people in the community who do enjoy these kind of editing tasks, and have been doing these tasks for us. This allows people to participate in a way to targets their core competencies.
  • The TechNet wiki is a very easy to use writing environment. You can use the wiki editor, which is pretty simple and efficient, or you can use a tool like Live Writer, which allows you to copy/paste content from Live Writer to the wiki editor with a high degree of fidelity.
  • Fixing mistakes in the wiki is easy! If you write something (or if a collaborator writes something) that isn’t quite the way you like, it’s a simple process to revert to a previous edit.
  • The wiki platform is a no-brainer to work with. If we want to find our documents, we just search for our tags. If we want to edit the documents, we just fire up the wiki editor. There is no context switching, no separate tools for content management and editing. no onerous learning curve, no arcane series of steps to do simple things – it’s all right there in the browser. Very 21st century!

Those are just a few of the things the TechNet wiki provides that help you save time when creating technical content.

If you have some more ideas on how the TechNet wiki helps save you time, then please include them in the comments section. The best suggestion received before June 9 2012 will win a copy of my latest three books! However, you must receive your prize at TechEd North America in Orlando Florida Smile

HTH,

Tom
Tom Shinder
tomsh@microsoft.com
Principal Knowledge Engineer, Private Cloud Security
SCD iX Solutions Group
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