Recording of webinar about Confluence wiki as documentation platform

On Thursday I was a co-presenter in a webinar about Confluence wiki as a platform for technical documentation. The recording of the webinar is now available, as well as my slides, and a wiki page for discussion and questions.

The recording

The video is available on YouTube:

The slides with speaker’s notes

The slides for my part of the webinar are available on SlideShare: Confluence as a platform for technical documentation.

To see the speaker’s notes, click the tab labelled “Notes on slide n” under each slide (next to the comments tab).

Wiki page for discussion and questions

The recording, slides and other information are also on a page on the Atlassian documentation wiki: Confluence as a Platform for Technical Documentation Webinar. Drop in there to see what people are saying.

Congratulations to the prize winners!

Twelve lucky attendees won prizes in a draw after the webinar. Congratulations all! The names of the winners are announced in an Atlassian blog post.

Webinar includes sneak previews of new wiki tech comm products

For an overview of the three sessions in the webinar, take a look at my earlier post: Invitation to join me in webinar about Confluence and technical documentation.

Just to entice you, here are a couple of hints about what my co-presenters talked about and demonstrated during the webinar. 🙂

Tobias Anstett from K15t Software talked about his company’s vision that wiki technology is the future of technical documentation. He gave two demos of the Scroll DocBook Exporter and the Scroll EPUB Exporter, which you can use to convert Confluence content to DocBook XML and EPUB formats. Tobias also hinted tantalisingly that K15t Software will announce two new products at Atlassian Summit in May. The two products focus on the planning, creation and quality assurance parts of the documentation life cycle. There’s also a solution in the works for wiki-based online help, including the ability to add user comments. Exciting!

Darryl Duke from Stepstone Technologies demonstrated the Zen Foundation theme. I loved his point that collaboration is and always will be about human interaction. So, to get people to use a wiki, familiarity and visual integration are very important. People need to feel that they belong on the wiki. The wiki must be a high quality reflection of the community and brand that it serves. With the Zen theme, you can produce a very sophisticated look for your wiki site. Zen also customises the wiki editor. Darryl gave a very cool demo of how you can drag and drop sections of a page, edit a section as an independent block of content, and use master pages to define standard page layouts. He then gave us a sneak peek of a new interactive brand designer that Stepstone Technologies will launch at Atlassian Summit in May. (In the Zen theme, the brand is the collection of CSS and images that determine the look and feel of your site.) Very smooth indeed!

What’s it like presenting a session in a webinar?

At the beginning of this post, I wrote that the webinar took place on Thursday. Actually, it was 1 a.m. on Friday morning here in Sydney! It felt a bit odd, sitting all alone and  speaking into the ether at 1 a.m, hoping that people were listening. It was great when I saw all the questions flooding in, and knew that people really were there. The webinar hosts later told me that more than 200 people attended. That’s so cool.

One tip I’d give to people who are planning to take part in a webinar: Practise beforehand. You’ll need to play with the webinar software, and to run through your presentation. The software is fairly easy to work with, so one practice session is enough to get to grips with that.

Running through your presentation is even more crucial. I’d recommend doing the run through at least twice. Also, do it in the same place and if possible at the same time as the real event. Speak your presentation out loud. You’ll feel like a banana (in other words, a bit silly) but it’s better to feel that way when you’re practising than during the actual event. Why should your practice session be at the same time as the actual event? It helps you to identify any possible hazards, such as loud noises or the need for an extra light. In my case, I decided to hold my practice session during the day time instead of at 1 a.m. As a result, I didn’t realise how dark it would be in the room where I was huddled at the bottom of the house, trying not to wake everyone else. So I had to rush around looking for an extra light just before the webinar started!

Doing the webinar was interesting and fun. Thanks so much to everyone for attending, and to Terrence and Matt at Atlassian for holding everything together behind the scenes. And congratulations to Tobias and Darryl on their excellent presentations. Co-presenting is the way to go!

About Sarah Maddox

Technical writer, author and blogger in Sydney

Posted on 14 April 2012, in atlassian, Confluence, technical writing, wiki and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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