Web Development

Should we build a WikiManual?


Yet another crazy feature idea from yours truly. This one was inspired by a Tech Q&A "thank you" from sgt_schultz (see Answer 7). The Sarge is one of our most prolific and well respected Q&A answerers, yet she still finds things that give her pause. Elsewhere, apotheon expounded on the virtues of wikis, a subject upon which I need little convincing.

So I started thinking: What if TechRepublic created a WikiManual, one that let members collectively edit procedures and how-to's for common tech problems? It's a touchy subject, since every install and system is different, but I'd have to think there are some general procedures for some systems that everyone could follow.

For exmaple, this guy wants a step-by-step for setting up WS2K3 VPN. I forwarded the request to our Downloads team, which is now considering building a product to meet the request, and maybe that's good enough. Still, I can't help thinking putting this before our Tech Q&A zealots could get the job done faster, and by making it a wiki, we could speed up the update and tweak process, so key procedures don't fall out of date.

This might also be a solution to the "everyone asks the same questions in Tech Q&A" problem. Common requests would earn a wikimanual, which you could point people towards in Tech Q&A. Just a thought.

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Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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