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In a generic community forum, how would I best curate user-generated content in the form of a Q&A pair - into a knowledge base?

  • Hi @jaxxon, welcome to Project Management Stack Exchange, the Q&A Site for professional and enthusiast project managers. If you're getting the answers you're looking for, then great! If not, then my suggestion is that you put a lot of detail in your question so that it's crystal clear what your situation is and what your unique, specific problem is. Thanks for participating on our site! – jmort253 May 15 '11 at 4:55
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Let me start with a disclamer, this contains some assumtions! * your forum has some sort of moderator * your forum has some form of points system to reward good answers

now, get a wiki of some sort set up and expand the same moderator/points system to wiki contributions (maybe even bias it so more points go to people putting in good wiki content)

hopefuly that will kick things off Have a look at wikipatters.org, in particular the wiki gardener pattern http://wikipatterns.org/display/wikipatterns/WikiGardener

hopefully this will get you started

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When we started building our wiki, the CEO offered incentives for people who contributed articles to our knowledge base. The incentives amounted to gift cards and recognition and friendly competition with co-workers.

Most importantly, we did have a person whose responsibility it was to go through the articles and clean up the spelling and grammar, as well as make suggestions for improvement to the posters. This person also tagged the content, resolved and merged duplicates, and handled general maintenance of the content.

The final result was a knowledge base of content that is still useful today, but because of the technology and search capabilities, it's only really useful to those who know where to look for that content.

I'd say technology is important. A major requirement is to ensure that the content is easily searchable and accessible to everyone who needs to know the information.

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This may not be the answer you are looking for, but based on my experience, the technical details of the tools are of minor importance. Moving from basic exchange of knowledge to a full Knowledge Base depends on the writing skill of people involved. I've used .NET custom apps, SharePoint Publishing, an automatic tracking-ticket-to-KB tool and the quality of the tool had no correlation with success of the KB.

I recommend:

  • Get everyone in rough agreement on minimum quality of the content. This is much more important if the KB is supposed to link with other systems.
  • Get everyone in rough agreement on the publishing process (open wiki, pre-publishing technical review, everyone can publish, only a small group of editors can publish, etc.)
  • Then start looking for tools that match your needs.
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  • Unfortunately wiki is not an option. Any chance for a clean process for moderators to curate Q&A content? – jaxxon May 14 '11 at 4:17
  • @jaxxon can you give us some insight as to why a wiki is not an option. maybe then we can give you some better ideas – LucasS May 15 '11 at 0:33
  • SharePoint has approval workflows that you can deploy pretty easily for basic approvals. I prefer to use the publishing feature of MOSS 2007 for the really small file sizes and faster load times than Word or PDF documents, but that is personal taste – SBWorks May 16 '11 at 10:29
  • The nature of my question is less about existing technology and more about some new software development my team is working on. I can't go into details but this conversation has been helpful. Thanks! – jaxxon May 26 '11 at 6:27

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