TCANZ 2010 day 2 – Confluence wiki as an intranet

This week I attended the TCANZ Conference 2010 in Wellington, New Zealand. I’ve already written a few posts about the other presentations at the conference. Now it’s the turn of my own session, called “Let’s take a wiki for a spin”. It was all about Confluence wiki as an intranet platform.

I gave a hands-on demo of Confluence wiki, focusing on the features that are great for its use as an intranet. Sprinkled here and there are some tips on how we use Confluence as our own intranet at Atlassian, and some ideas on how to get employees enthusiastic about using the intranet and how to ensure they feel a sense of ownership of the intranet.

Downloading the presentation

If you like, you can download a copy of the slides in PDF form. They may be useful, even though the presentation was a hands-on demo. I’ve put a lot of information and references into the speaker’s notes too.

A summary of what’s in it

The presentation covers these areas of using Confluence wiki as an intranet:

  • Introduction to Confluence wiki.
  • Creating a space. In the session, we created the technical communication space, where members of the tech comms team can share their procedures, news and other information. We customised the space home page and looked at various ways of structuring the content of the space.
  • Customising the dashboard. We looked at the default dashboard and tried out two ways of customising it. We talked about the advantages of letting all employees change the welcome message on the dashboard and contribute in other ways to the content, keeping it fresh and interesting.
  • Publishing a blog post. We wrote a blog post and used the gallery macro to produce a pretty display of pictures. We discussed the idea of making new starters write a blog post on their very first day, and how well that works to get them using the intranet and to introduce them to the company.
  • Helping other teams with their spaces. We looked at some of the more technical aspects of content creation, and how technical communicators can help the organisation get the most out of its intranet wiki.
  • Staying on top of the news. How can you keep up with what’s happening in the organisation and yet avoid being swamped by the news? We looked at RSS feeds: What they are, how to build them and how to read them. Then we examined the email notifications that the wiki can send, and how you can tailor it to send just what you want to know: Watching a space, watching a page, following people and setting your notification options.
  • Taking your own wiki for a spin. It’s surprisingly easy to download and install a wiki and run it on your laptop or desktop PC, just as I was doing for the presentation. The slides contain some pointers to getting hold of Confluence. Other wikis are fairly easy to try out too.
Let me know if you download the slides and what you think of them.

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 4 September 2010, in atlassian, Confluence, technical writing, wiki and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Hey Sarah,
    Can you write something about Atlassian’s experience allowing users to comment publicly and update doc?


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