Sunday Surprise: why strive for quality?

In my latest articles I've been nagging about the importance of quality articles on TNWiki.
And besides a genuine call to your fairplay, it has been clear that the major reason was all about governance, rules and guidelines.
Mainly because: that's what I'm facing day by day from the practical perspective of Wiki administration.

And surely it is not always a fun task, but shouting out now and then is just bare necessity, to keep everyone aligned...
I do know it isn't always visible what's going around on Wiki, lot's of things happen behind the scenes (I could show the archive of deleted articles and the mail communications of Ed and me to coach people regarding the guidelines...)

What I don't know, is how to interpret the 'silence' on the feedback on my latest article, compared to the usual interaction on the Wiki articles.
Was it just boring, "oh chap, not again", did I hit a soft spot too hard, just vacation time... Feel free to comment on this rhetorical question.

I have quite some trouble on finding the right "frequency" or "tone" to send over the message why the pursuit of quality is such a key success factor for the TNWiki.

Last weekend I stumbled into an article (in Dutch) discussing what is required to become an authority and it had quite some similarities to the way people evaluate the quality of technical content...
[Just for the matter of credits, the source references are here and here.]

With a quick internet search, I didn't find similar content in English, so please allow me to rephrase the most interesting part.

The articles state that Roger Federer has accomplished great achievements, "of course Federer is leading", "but is he authoritative and influential"?

2 other well known names are mentioned in the article, Bill Cosby and Michel Platini, who have been authorities but both have fallen very quickly quite recently, meaning building authority and staying an authority are 2 different stories, although they are clearly linked.

The author has a list of 7 building blocks of an authority.
So, how to become an authority?

  • Knowledge: is about what you know and how you apply it
  • Vigor, strength, drive: realising things
  • Originality: make the difference, step out of the mass
  • Communication: bidirectional traffic
  • Consistency: always the same level of performance
  • Independence: don't mix with fighting parties, stand above
  • Integrity: personal decency

Can you see the link with 'building community' (one of the founding articles of TNWIKI) and building Wiki quality content?

  • Knowledge: YOUR knowledge in case of TNWiki and MSDN: anything related to Microsoft technology, strict focus (and not a copy of existing content). Don't be afraid to show what you know.
  • Vigor, strength, drive: write articles, share your knowledge, answer questions,
  • Originality: write original, valuable content, go where no one else has gone before.
  • Communication: make sure people can reach out to you, use your TN/MSDN profile to let people contact you (Have you got your email in your profile?), but also: don't hesitate to reach out to your peers to validate your articles. It works both ways.
  • Consistency: always the same level of quality, post high quality content,
  • Independence: be critical, challenge the content. "Contribute boldly, edit gently!"  is the core of Wiki.
  • Integrity: be honest, be fair, play by the rules, be forgiving for an accidental mistake, help & support the community...

Even this is not a hard coded set of parameters, it's a pretty interesting list of checkpoints that everyone applies by nature when evaluating the content of a Wiki article. But of course it does also apply to forum answers, blog posts you submit.


So I want to encourage you to keep this list in mind then contributing to the TechNet Wiki, and to the broader TN/MSDN Community (blogs, forums, gallery, code sharing, ...).

Because we need you on the TechNet Wiki!
Come over to TNWiki and be part of this vibrant community!

I wish you all a well-deserved vacation, use this personal off-time to refresh, build some new ideas and come back alive and kicking with great stuff! Looking forward to it!