A book about technical communication on Confluence wiki

Big news: I’m writing a book! It’s about developing technical documentation on a wiki, and specifically about Confluence. I started the project six months ago. Now the content is written and the technical review is about to start! Exciting and scary, all at once.

This is the title of the book:

Confluence, tech comm, chocolate

A wiki as platform extraordinaire for technical communication

It will be published in early 2012 by Richard Hamilton at XML Press.

What’s in it?

The book is primarily a guide to developing technical documentation on Confluence. But that’s not all. There are ideas and philosophies, tips and tricks, and special notes for technical writers about why a wiki is the tool we dream of. Many of the ideas apply to wikis in general, although the book focuses on Confluence because that’s the one I know best.

It’s a book for technical communicators, from someone who knows and loves them. It’s also for product owners, CEOs, developers and anyone else who is considering a wiki as a platform for technical communication.

The first part of the book introduces wikis and Confluence. Part 2 is an in-depth guide to developing technical documentation on Confluence. It starts with planning and design, moves on to developing content, through workflow all the way to release management. The more esoteric concepts are there too, such as content reuse, structure, style and online help. In part 3 we see what it’s like to work on a wiki. The book finishes with a section crammed with ideas. It’s all about making the most of the unique features that a wiki provides, to turn your documentation into technical communication extraordinaire.

Just in case you’re wondering: This isn’t an Atlassian project. It’s all my own, though of course Atlassian management and my closest colleagues know about it. It will be fun to see what other Atlassians have to say when they see the book. And when they see this post. πŸ˜‰

By the end of the book you will know everything I’ve learned in the past four years of working on a wiki. Oh, and chocolate plays a part too.

More coming soon

The illustrations are done. I love them! We’re about to start the cover design. I’ll show it to you as soon as it’s ready.

Who’s in the book?

There are even some characters in the book. I’ll introduce you to them soon. Watch this blog. πŸ™‚

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 29 November 2011, in book, Confluence, confluence tech comm chocolate, technical writing, wiki and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 49 Comments.

  1. You had me at ‘chocolate’.

  2. Fantastic! I cannot wait to buy it. Did you by chance cover anything on translation/localization such as sending the xml files to an LSP without the page history? That’s the only part about the wiki that we weren’t able to do. Is there anything about using DITA XML with the wiki? Other than that, I loved using Confluence for user docs instead of WebHelp.

  3. Congratulations! I look forward to reading it.

  4. Excellent. I’m particularly excited about the comprehensive scope and any advice you have about the esoteric concepts.

  5. Fantastic news! Congratulations.

    Absolutely can’t wait to read it.

  6. Cool Sarah! Thats good news! I’m (guess I should say ‘we areβ€˜) really looking forward to read your book!

  7. Congratulations Sarah! Will Mark Wordsworm and Peg make an appearance?

  8. Congratulations Sarah! I’ll be keen to read a copy when it becomes available!

  9. When can I preorder! Congratulations!

  10. Congratulations Sarah! I’m curious to see how you’ll link technical documentation on Confluence to chocolate, but if there’s anyone who can do it, and do it well, it’s you!

  11. Sounds wonderful. I’m reserving a spot on my bookshelf for it.

  12. Excellent! About time. Can’t wait for it!

  13. Absolutely wonderful news Sarah! But, I am still stumped at Chocolate!? Waiting eagerly for the book…

    • Hallo Shweta,
      LOL “stumped at chocolate”? I never thought I’d hear those words from a tech writer’s lips. Thanks for the good wishes. πŸ™‚
      Cheers, Sarah

  14. This is very exciting news, Sarah. Good for you!

    As a technical communicator, I’m always glad to hear that someone knows and loves me. πŸ˜‰

  15. This is great news Sarah! Can’t wait to see the book and congrats!

  16. Very cool news. I look forward to having a chance to read it.Congratulations Sarah.

  17. This is wonderful news! Especially the recommendations for using chocolate πŸ™‚


  18. Excellent timing! We’re just looking into Confluence for a wiki and I’m excited about its capabilities for more – a useful and collaborative spot for all our product information, especially the technical stuff!

    • Hallo Karen
      That’s great news. If you have recently installed Confluence, then it will be version 4.0. There is quite a difference between that version and the Confluence 3.x series. It would be interesting to hear what you think about it, especially as someone who hasn’t used an earlier version. Thanks for your good wishes too!
      Cheers, Sarah

  19. Did someone mention chocolate? πŸ™‚ Good luck on the book, Sarah!

  20. Adam Saint-Prix

    This is so great, Sarah. Can’t wait to read it!

  21. Tasha Sookochoff

    ffeathers, I love your blog and follow regularly, please accept this nomination!

    I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Award.
    This nomination process is from fellow bloggers who are supporting blogs of fewer than 200 followers.
    There are a few requirements that come with this award. They are:
    1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
    2. Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
    3. Post the award on your blog.
    4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogsphere – other bloggers.
    5. And, best of all – have fun and spread the karma.

    • Hallo Tasha
      Thank you for nominating my blog, and congratulations to you too on a very engaging blog of your own. I love the way you mix frank, personal experiences with the technical writing side of things.
      Cheers, Sarah

  22. Hi Sarah,
    Kudos to the Confluence Team for pulling me into the Web 2.0 of Help/Content Creation!
    Although, I know this book is going to be all about Confluence.. I would really really love to read about different aspects of publishing workflows with wikis and also how you use chocolates to get things going πŸ˜‰


    • Hallo Ruchita
      It sounds as if you’re having a good time with Confluence and technical documentation already. Awesome! I’m so glad you’re looking forward to reading the book. Thanks so much for adding this comment. Are you a fan of chocolate too? πŸ˜‰
      Cheers, Sarah

  23. Hi Sarah

    Is there a preview available for this book. I am interested in reviewing and providing feedback.


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