Author and date at top or bottom of wiki page

Do you prefer to see the author and date at the top or bottom of a wiki page? I did a quick Twitter poll a couple of days ago. Here are the results.

If you like, you can add your thoughts via a comment on this page. I’ll update the page in a week or so with those results too.

Background to the poll

In the current version of Confluence wiki, the author and date are shown at the top of the page. It shows the name of the person who created the page, the date the page was last updated, the person who did the last update and some other options. Here’s what it looks like:

Author and date at top or bottom of wiki page

There’s ongoing discussion at Atlassian about creating a documentation-specific theme for Confluence. Don’t get excited 😉 There are no definite plans. We just like throwing ideas around to see what flies. Another perennial discussion is about where the author tagline should go. Top or bottom.

The Twitter poll

I asked the question:

Quick poll: Using Confluence wiki for documentation, do u prefer author + date at top of page (as now) or at bottom?

Summary of results: There were 10 replies, plus my own vote makes 11 votes.

  • Top: 10
  • Bottom: 1 (but not for documentation)
  • Other: 1

That adds up to 12 votes, because one person prefers the tag line at the top for documentation and at the bottom otherwise.

Updated Friday 7 August: I’ve had two extra replies, bringing the total to 13 votes and the preferences to:

  • Top: 12
  • Bottom: 1 (but not for documentation)
  • Other: 1

Details of the responses

Thank you to everyone who answered! It was fun and interesting. Here’s what everyone said.

From Alister Scott:

prefer the top of the page.

From Ellen Feaheny

Absolutely on top – Twiki places name/date on bottom and it is just weird … it’s not authors, it’s collaborators (and chgs)

From Sean Winter:

for documentation – top, for web style presentation – bottom

From Tobias:

I prefer it at the top. I am used to it, because all papers are written that way.

From Dave O’Flynn:

As now – at the top

From Guy Fraser:

Depends on how the site is being used – sometimes at top, others at bottom, sometimes in sidebar, sometimes removed completely

From Keith Brophy:

At the top of page (as now)!

From aarontay:

I prefer the author+date at top for confluence wiki.

From Bryan Guffey:

Would rather have up top!

From Eric Dalgliesh via Facebook:

Top, definitely.

Updated Friday 7 August: I’ve had two extra replies:

From Joshua Wold via our internal wiki:

The top absolutely. Interesting poll Sarah.

I want to see the latest of what is going on with the particular topic and the author and last editor are very useful for this. Personally I’d love a mouse-over to show me more of the recent history of the participants on the topic (activity steam for a page in a way).

From Christina Bang, as a comment at the bottom of this blog post:

At the top, for sure!

What do you think?

Purely out of interest, I’d love to know what you think. There’s no definite plan at Atlassian to do anything about this any time soon 🙂 I’m asking this question off my own bat, because I’d like to know what other technical writers and interested people think. Here’s something to consider too: We’re looking at this from the point of view of technical authors. The tag line contains valuable information for us. I wonder what the readers would prefer?


About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 1 August 2009, in atlassian, Confluence, technical writing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Christina Bang

    At the top, for sure!

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