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I had the best high school Spanish teacher ever.


She had us watch El Cid (starring Charlton Heston) in Spanish, during class. She served us authentic paella. She started every class with a selection from her crazy collection of Spanish language pop music (which is how I know about Julio Iglesias). 


SeΓ±ora Goodwin knew about the power of engaging different parts of the brain in learning.


The members of your online community will learn more and get more value out of your knowledge base if you make it a multi-media experience. Whether you're using a support forum or a dedicated support desk platform, your knowledge base shouldn't be just a bunch of text.


Everyone has a different way of learning. For some people, screenshots are helpful, while others may prefer step-by-step text instructions. Still others will appreciate a quick video clip. 

 Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.16.46 PM


All the Rules for Blogging Can Apply to Knowledge Base Articles

  • Make your subject/title reflect what your members will probably search for.
  • Break up your article the same way you'd break up a blog post. Use headers, bullets, and short sentences.
  • Write in your brand "voice," whether that's casual or more formal.
  • Deep-dive, useful content in a knowledge base is great for your SEO.
  • Include a compelling visual or graphic.


Tips for Making Your Knowledge Base Ultra-Useful and Non-Boring

  • Grab support questions and turn them into articles. Let your members tell you what they'd like to learn about.
  • Add photos/screenshots, videos, and PDFs. In both and QuestionShark, all attached files are indexed in the integrated search.
  • Link to additional resources.
  • Get your members involved...allow them to "like" articles that really work.
  • Teach your members to fish - link to knowledge base articles within your support topics. 
  • Extend permission to create knowledge base articles to your key experts. (In QuestionShark, they will need the Manage QuestionShark Settings permission in order to write/edit articles in the knowledge base.)


Your online community isn't boring. Why should your knowledge base or FAQ be boring?


QuestionShark is the support desk module of the community platform. If you want to offer customer support that doesn't bite, check it out


I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.


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  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.16.46 PM

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Another good practice is to 'test' your Knowledge Base with actual people, such as employees or friends at home. Basically, you'd want them to play the role of a customer in need of support having a common problem. Then make them use the site to see if they can find the answer, all while you watch what they're clicking on and looking at.


Google does this all the time to improve their web UI's, but they have some nifty glasses that actually register the eye movement of the attendees.

Last edited by Slaz
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