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Recently I have seen a spurt of blogs that describe step by step process of doing some technical task – e.g. how to set up a system for xyz task, configuration settings and so on. Now, ideally that belongs to documentation. But as we all know, documentations seldom describe the practical aspects that we face in our day to day work. The documentation is more about standard behaviour of software rather than the tricky things that we encounter almost everyday. But thanks to the enthusiastic community members who like to share their experiences, one search on the community lists out several solutions for the trickiest of problems. You can get the answers on forums, articles, wikis and sometimes blogs.

Now, though everyone has a right to choose the medium of sharing the expertise – blogs/forums/wiki/article, but there are certain protocols that if followed by everyone, then life becomes a little easier for those looking for answers. Just for a moment imagine if there were no defined words/grammar for a language and each one tried to form his own words and grammar, then what a chaotic situation would it have been!

So similarly in the community, it would be great if all of us understand what content would be appropriate to be an article or even part of a wiki, versus what comes as a blog. Wouldn’t that make things a little structured in the collosal amounts of information that we have on SCN?

Blogging as we all know, started as a way of keeping a journal, or some opinion or information that one would like to share on the web. So why should it be any different in the community? Why not keep the “how to” stuff in the articles or wiki sections of the SCN and use the blogs to express our ideas and opinions. Following the protocol, anyone looking for answers to technical questions, for example, would know where to find the solution directly instead of having to search between several asset types (blogs/wikis/articles/forums….).

Well, that’s my opinion so I blogged about it. Hope that other community members also feel the same way and those who don’t, can at least give it some thought!

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  1. Michelle Crapo
    Mmmm…  I thought about it.  Then I thought about it some more.  Blogs are kind of “in your face”.  I stop every morning to read them.  Article – I don’t look at them unless I find them via a search.

    An article really doesn’t tell how the technology was used.   Here’s the steps that I used for “creating an enhancement point” – I wrote that blog.   The steps I used were not exactly a perfect way to do it.  That’s why I wrote a blog on it.

    Beginners journey into Enhancement Framework

    Add to that – when a WIKI is changed, I don’t always know about it.  It’s nice to have someone blog about the WIKI.   Then I can watch the WIKI.  But if I don’t know it’s there, I won’t watch it.

    The same thing with articles.  A blog about the article would have me looking at the article.  Not just finding it in searches.

    I really think that communicating with the community is the most important thing.   A blog/wiki/article.  All of them are good ways to do it.  I don’t think we should get hung up on what tool to use.  ( I think there was a blog about that.  I’ll see if I can find it.

    Interesting.  It did make me think about the different tools. 

    Michelle

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    1. Shweta Kesarwani Post author
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Michelle. See you have the same point in your message. You wrote “I stop every morning to read them”. Doesn’t that mean that you are looking at blogs for ideas to stimulate your mind and not at those moments when you need immediate solution for a technical problem? Basically when I say a “How to” paper has it’s place in an articles library, then I am considering that the aticle library is catalogued like an index of a book so that you know exactly where to go when you are looking for an immediate solution.
      I agree with you that the most important thing is communicating and therefore it is important if everyone knows what information could be best found where!
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  2. Trevor Naidoo
    You make some good points Shweta.

    Some reasons why I think the the current way works well (Some are especially relevant in third world countries where internet access is either very limited, very slow, very costly, usage is capped or access to lots of sites are prohibited):
    – I find that the blogs are more ‘search engine optimised’ than the library content for example so you find them more easily.
    – When you are at a customer site & you’re really under pressure to resolve something quickly, you need a quick answer & blogs (along with forum postings) provide that. The library content is downloaded & put aside for spare time reading.
    – When you have internet caps, you become very selective with what you download & when. Blogs have a much smaller internet usage footprint which is quite nice.
    – I’m now at a company that uses SAP but blocks access to SCN for many employees (I can’t explain why this is so). This is where Google caching comes in really handy! You can access a Google cached version of the blog page bypassing the sensorship to resolve issues.

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    1. Shweta Kesarwani Post author
      Thanks Trevor for sharing this. That definitely brings a different perspectiv! I didn’t even think about internet usage restrictions, having taken that for granted! That makes articles quite non-handy for use. I wonder then who are the real users of articles!
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  3. Pushkar Patil
    I started recently with SCN and started writing blog and wiki..
    Interface to work with Blog is very simple to use.. Writing a WIKI page consumes much more time than writing a blog.. also same is the case with Article, i has to write in separate format then submitte the same to specified mail id etc.

    May be in future would like to see more simple process for wiki and article.

    I do read articles but they have to really serach hard.. some RSS functionality will make users aware that specified document is available and then the hit rate will increasse.

    I welcome your guidedance in this regards..

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