Designing a Knowledgebase

Subject: Designing a Knowledgebase
From: Megan Golding <mgolding -at- secureworks -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 27 Mar 2001 16:49:58 -0500

I'm designing a company-wide (technical) knowledgebase and am looking for
some tips from Techwr-l.

I work with several technical groups -- including developers, systems
administrators, field engineers, and technical support. Each group needs a
repository for documentation they produce for consumption by other groups.
I've decided to merge all of these requirements together into a unified
knowledgebase that'll be hosted on the company's intranet. (Only employees
of our company can view this site.)

Question #1: Organization
I'm looking for some tips on how to design this knowledgebase. In
particular, I need a scheme for organization of the documents that make up
the knowledgebase. I've thought about segregating documents by authoring
group (development, systems administrators, etc.) but don't think this is
very user-friendly. I'm picturing allowing users to "browse" the
knowledgebase like they browse Yahoo -- by category. How should I organize
the documents into categories?

Question #2: Contributors
Also, a group of about 10 people will be contributing information to this
knowledgebase. I don't want to have to edit and publish their stuff -- these
folks should be able to publish themselves. How would you manage this? One
issue is quality: how can I enforce quality on the knowledgebase articles? I
was thinking of managing contributors by creating a category called "drafts"
and allowing contributors other than myself to publish only to that
category. This section would include visual cues that the topic(s) is/are
draft-quality, but still allow the information to be searched for, found,
and used. I can review the contents of the "drafts" category regularly and
publish this info to the appropriate final category.

So, what do the experts at Techwr-l think?

Megan Golding
SecureWorks, Inc.
(mgolding -at- secureworks -dot- net)


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