Re: Knowledge Base Vs. FAQs

Subject: Re: Knowledge Base Vs. FAQs
From: "Ethan Metsger" <emetsger -at- obj-sys -dot- com>
To: "Judith Hurtado" <jerhurtado -at- yahoo -dot- com>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2007 10:08:52 -0500

On Tue, 20 Feb 2007 09:00:56 -0500, Judith Hurtado <jerhurtado -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:

The Tech Pubs team in my office is trying to spread their wings into other areas. We are looking into creating FAQs or a Knowledge Base for our clients. Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the two? What are the plusses and minuses of each? I'm not sure what software or database we are going to use for this, so if anyone has any suggestions about software and databases I'm open for suggestions about that too.

Hi, Judy.

Frequently Asked Questions are just what they sound like: a list of commonly asked questions and their answers. Knowledge bases are larger, less concise, and usually require some kind of searching functionality. Knowledge bases, in my experience, tend to be somewhat more poorly implemented (due to their complexity).

FAQs shouldn't require any real software, outside of the authoring tools needed to create and update it. Depending on the application of your knowledge base, borrowing a Google site search (site:<web address> <query>) may be sufficient; in this case, no real software is needed either, outside of the authoring software for knowledge base articles and so on.

If you need a knowledge base from the bottom up, you'll probably need to have a database (Oracle, Postgres, MySQL are all popular; the latter two are free software) and a custom search form.

An example knowledge base:

An example FAQ:

I just grabbed these from links I've got--obviously your mileage and implementation of both might vary.



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Knowledge Base Vs. FAQs: From: Judith Hurtado

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