A community of technology community managers, leaders, and builders.

Knowledge Curation


#1

I am interested in discussion on how online communities are managing knowledge. Some of my questions are:

  1. How do you ensure content remains accurate, especially in highly active forums, in a scalable way over the long-term?
  2. How do you curate content that may not fit into documentation? Things like tips & tricks, FAQs, etc.?
  3. How do you encourage the community to contribute to that growing knowledge-base?

Hoping others are interested in this too! Thank you.


#2

Interesting topic, @Lisa.

I think it is always important to define content type first and then work from there. I think most communities tend to have the following types of content:

  • Tutorials (longer rich content with embedded images and formatting).
  • FAQs (short Q&A content, typically divided up in sections).
  • APIs (technical documentation, often generated) - obviously this only applies to technical communities
  • Videos (tutorial or editorial content that is categorized).

The challenge is that I haven’t been able to find a single software solution that provides a place for all of these content types. Invariably, a custom site is required. I know Mozilla had a project up and running (Sumo) but I don’t know how well maintained it is.

Aside from just hosting content, there is then the challenge of user generated content. Invariably many communities put together wiki so the community can create docs, but I recommend against this for official docs. The reason is that everything thinks they can write docs, but few people can do it well. Wikis are great for people to throw together and document unofficial knowledge, but user generated docs are typically sketchy in terms of content, tone, and how concise they are.

Documenting knowledge is tough, and I always recommend you have a great writer to run a knowledgebase project, and focus on few docs and higher quality. You then extend and grow the docs based upon where confusion or inexperience exists in the community.

Looking forward to the session!


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