Location
  • San Luis Obispo,
  • California,
  • United States

Top Contributors

Updating Articles

I recommend providing some kind of encouragement/incentive for authors to update articles. I think it's important for articles to stay up-to-date, but without attention, they can grow stale quickly, such as links that no longer work and references to products/methods that have been superseded. Most of these will likely involve relatively minor changes, but it's also desirable to have authors make major enhancements/improvements to articles.

Here's an example from my own EE articles: Test IP Addresses with PING. If you click the two links for the version of AutoHotkey that I recommend at the beginning of the article, you'll get this:

AutoHotkey - Server not found
(I'm going to fix that soon, so the links may work for you by the time you're reading this post.)

In fact, I've published eight articles here at EE that reference AutoHotkey and they'll all have bad links until I fix them. Changing the links is simple and not worthy of much, if any, incentive. But that same article mentioned above generated some great suggestions from readers for improvements to the solution. I started working on a rewrite of the article and program to incorporate the enhancements, and that's what gave me the idea to post this discussion topic — it became clear that I'll be spending nearly as much time on the changes as I did writing the original article and program!

Seems to me that such an effort is worthy of something, but the article is already Awarded, so what to do? Perhaps an Updated designation (separate from the Publication Status of Accepted/Approved/Awarded), with some associated points? The Updated accolade would be a judgment call from the Page Editors, just as the current Approved and Awarded accolades are.

I don't know if that's a reasonable approach, but wanted to open this up for discussion, as I think that updated articles will be a good thing for the EE community. But as it stands now, an author has more incentive to spend time writing a new article than updating a published one. Btw, the same concept applies to video Micro Tutorials, but since they are relatively new (having launched less than a year ago), the issue is not so critical for them — yet! But think 2-5 years out from now and the same issue will exist for videos.

Regards, Joe
View Previous CommentsLoad All Comments (41)
 
Rank: Prodigy

Expert Comment

Jim Horn2015-06-07 08:03 AMID: 1736915
I think the articles views counter might be broke again.

Either that or six Yes votes for one page view, for an article published yesterday morning, is one a hell of a ratio.
0
 
Rank: Prodigy

Author Comment

John,

> auto number and renumber does not work

True for my work-around, but a minor inconvenience, imo.


Tom,

> My first problem is that I like have access to my articles add I am editing them, whether new ones or updates.

Same here.

> This is problematic if you only create content offline.

Not at all. I have all of my articles in my ExpExch\Articles folder — in plain text, Word, and PDF formats.

> I can, and do, use dropbox to make this less of a problem, but nothing beats being able to just login and edit.

My fav editor beats it, imho.

> just can't understand why something that should be so simple is so difficult

Agreed! It should be simple to have a decent article editor. Indeed, the previous one was fine, imo. But the new one isn't, and EE is unwilling to back off the mistake of going with that CKEditor. The good news is that they haven't made the mistake (yet) of deploying it for posts.

> convert the whole site to WordPress

I don't think that's needed. Sure, I have some gripes here and there about the site, but for the most part it works well. I like BB codes when posting, and they're easy to generate both offline and online (the latter with the not-so-new-anymore toolbar — an excellent innovation at the time it was added). The only major problem with the site now, imo, is the new WYSIKOWYG Editor — my other complaints are minor issues.

Regards, Joe
0
 
Rank: Genius

Expert Comment

Joe,

You said
Not at all. I have all of my articles in my ExpExch\Articles folder — in plain text, Word, and PDF formats.

How? Do you do this in an EE folder on EE?
0
 
Rank: Prodigy

Author Comment

> Do you do this in an EE folder on EE?

No. I write them offline in my text editor (some authors write them offline in a word processor, like Word, WordPerfect, OpenOffice Writer, LibreOffice Writer, etc.). I then simply Select All and Copy/Paste into the article wizard and upload the images/screenshots where they belong. After publication, I Select All and Copy/Paste from the EE page into Word — works beautifully, including capturing all of the images/screenshots (I clean up some of the junk from the Copy/Paste, but that takes just a minute or two). I then create a PDF from the Word doc (takes a few seconds). All three formats (text, Word, PDF) for all my articles are on my PC (in the ExpExch\Articles folder) so I can access them whenever I want. Regards, Joe
0
 
Rank: Genius

Expert Comment

Ok.i'm not totally clear,  but then again it's Sunday. Do you have access from another computer with Internet access? Sounds like everything is on your computer.
0
 
Rank: Prodigy

Author Comment

> Do you have access from another computer with Internet access?

Yes, but that's a different issue, and not specific to EE. Not that I would ever be anywhere without my laptop. :)
0