Share via

Community Content FAQ

What is Community Content?

Community Content provides an infrastructure for users to add (and edit) content in the online library reference documentation.


Registration and My Account


Who can contribute to this site?

Anyone can register for the site by signing in with a Microsoft Passport or Windows Live ID and agreeing to the site terms of use and the participant Code of Conduct.  Anyone who is registered and signed in to the site can create new community content and edit existing community content. 

Which of my information can be viewed by others?

After you register, other site users can view your public profile page that shows your display name, the date you joined the site, the data you were last active on the site, and statistics about your contributions.  The public profile page also links to your site contributions.

What is my display name used for?

Your display name is listed in association with each contribution you make on the site.  Site users can click on your display name to view your public profile page.

How can I change my display name?

Sign in to passport and navigate to your public profile page.  You can edit your display name on that page.


Creating and Editing Content


What kind of content should I add to the Community Content section?

Add code examples and\or brief, useful pieces of information.  Don’t ask questions or report bugs in the Community Content section.  Use the Community Content section to display consensus information.  Don’t add your opinions or carry on discussions here.  Please target discussions to the forums ( rather than in the community content.

When should I create a new block, and when should I edit existing blocks?

If your contribution is related to content that already exists in the Community Content section, integrate that contribution to the existing block, rather than creating a new block.  If you are contributing information about a completely new subject area, add it in a new block.  Code examples should almost always be listed in separate blocks.

What should I do if I see bugs reported in the Community Content section?

It’s fine to note relevant documentation or product bugs in the Community Content section; however, Microsoft people won’t be reviewing the community content to gather bug reports.  To ensure that the bug is received by the proper team at Microsoft, you should suggest that the contributor file a bug on the Microsoft Connect website (, or file the bug there yourself.  It’s helpful to add a link to the Product Feedback Center bug from the Community Content section so people using the community content know the bug has been filed and can check its status.

What should I do if I see inappropriate content in the Community Content section?

First, edit the block to remove the inappropriate content!  Then e-mail and report the inappropriate content.

How long will I have to wait before I can view my changes in the Community Content section?

Changes are available for viewing immediately after you make them.  To view new blocks that you create or edits that you make to existing blocks, just refresh the page when you return to it. 

How are blocks ordered in the Community Content section?

Blocks that have changed most recently are at the top of the section.  When you edit a block, it is promoted to the top of the section.


Using the Editor


What restrictions are placed on the editor?

We restrict the styles and colors of text you can use in the editor in an effort to standardize the look of the community content and make it easier to scan. Three styles, normal, code, and header, are available through the Paragraph button in the editor toolbar. We recommend that you style all code examples as code (this will keep the lines from wrapping) and use the normal style for most other text. 

Are there any restrictions on the length of community content blocks?

Block subjects must be 150 characters or less, and block content must be 10,000 characters or less.   

How can I add links to my block?

You can add links to all community content blocks, however you cannot add alternate link text.  If you enter a URL into the editor (for example, into the editor it will automatically be converted to a link when you save your edit.  Your URL must be prefaced with https:// or must begin with www. Links must directly support and contribute to the topic, such as a link to a code snippet, script, or workaround. A link to a portal, search engine, or home page with no specific supporting content will be removed by moderators



What is the legal framework for the Community Content?

We ask for a non-exclusive license to all community contributions, and then turn around and make them available to the public under broad, permissive licenses. 

Inbound:  We have not asked for ownership of contributions, as is often the case for collaborative development projects, but we do ask contributors to sign a Contribution Agreementgiving Microsoft a broad, non-exclusive license to their contributions. Having a broad inbound license not only enables us to turn around and release contributions under the permissive outbound licenses as described above, but also gives us the flexibility to adjust those outbound license terms over time in response to community feedback.  [This Contribution Agreement also contains some minimal warranties intended to protect both Microsoft and, perhaps more importantly, anyone who wishes to reuse community content.]

Outbound:  The textual community contributions will be licensed out under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License 2.5 . We chose a Creative Commons license because these licenses are well-designed for content (as opposed to code), and are widely accepted by the community.  We chose this particular “non-commercial” version based on community feedback that contributors would want to reserve the right to commercially exploit their content. 

The sample code community contributions will be licensed out under a Microsoft Public License. We chose this license because we feel it strikes the right balance of granting broad rights and setting minimal obligations for use of sample code.

Can I reuse the content I contribute to the wiki in other publications (for example, a book or a magazine article)?  Can I reuse the code I contribute in my commercial applications?

Yes, and yes!  As described above, we do not ask for ownership of contributions of content or code.  Instead, the Contribution Agreement gives us a non-exclusive license to contributions.  As a result, you are free to reuse your own content or code however you like.

Who owns the rights to content I add to Community Content?  What does the contribution agreement mean?

Although many collaborative development projects ask for assignment of ownership by contributors, we decided that you should own your own contributions.  The Contribution Agreement gives us a non-exclusive license to your contributions. 




What do site moderators do?

Site moderators help enforce the Community Code of Conduct by removing inappropriate content from the site.

When will site content be moderated?

Moderators follow the Content Moderation Guidelines to determine when to moderate contributions.

When will users be suspended from the site?

Only administrators (a few Microsoft people who maintain the site) can suspend users.  They follow the User Suspension Guidelines to determine when suspension is warranted.

How can I protest content moderation or user suspension?

If you think your content has been unfairly removed from the site or you have been unfairly suspended from the site, please contact the Community team at .


Providing Feedback and Getting More Information

Where can I get more info about this project?

You can check out the Community Content team blog for more information and project updates.