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The Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate wiki has moved to a shiny new site

The Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate wiki is a companion to my book about technical communication, technical writers, wikis and chocolate. This week we moved the site to a shiny new Confluence OnDemand server. Please take a look, sign up if you like, and also please consider changing any external links you may have pointing to content on the site.

The new address of the Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate wiki is:

The old address was:

What does the move to Confluence OnDemand mean?

Confluence, Tech Comm, ChocolateConfluence OnDemand is Atlassian’s new hosted platform. Our site will now automatically get the latest and up-to-datest version of Confluence. It’s currently running an early version of Confluence 5.0! So we’ll be able to play with the latest Confluence features before anyone else. If you’re interested, keep a watch on the frequently-updated Atlassian OnDemand release summary.

My seat-of-the-pants feeling is that the new site is significantly faster than the old one. 🙂

The hosted platform restricts certain functionality, primarily add-ons and customisations of the wiki. I won’t be able to install add-ons or plugins that are not pre-approved by Atlassian. This won’t have a big effect on people using the site. We no longer have the awesome add-ons from K15t Software for creation of ePub and DocBook exports. The Copy Space plugin isn’t there either. Gliffy, for drawing diagrams, is available in Confluence OnDemand, along with the add-ons listed here: Atlassian OnDemand Plugin Policy.

Existing content, redirects, and external links pointing to the site

This bit is for the 77 people already using the wiki. 🙂 All your pages, blog posts, comments and other pieces of information are safely on the new site. Please let me know if you spot anything amiss.

Atlassian has put redirects in place. If you try to go to the old address, you should automatically end up on the new site. The old site will be decommissioned in a few weeks’ time. There’s no scheduled date for the shutting down of the redirect service, but it’s probably a good idea to update any external links you may have, to point to the new site.

The book

The book is called Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate: A wiki as platform extraordinaire for technical communication. It’s about developing documentation on a wiki. It’s also about technical communicators. And chocolate.

Do come and join the fun at the book’s wiki site: Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate wiki.

Book reviews for “Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate”

A number of people have written reviews of my book, Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate: A wiki as platform extraordinaire for technical communication. The reviews are thoughtful, quirky, in-depth, and creative. I love the variety of styles. Here’s a roundup, for those who’d like to know more about the book or simply to see what people are saying about it.

The latest is a review with a difference. It’s by Randall Ward of Appfire Technologies. He has called it a “book review and wine/chocolate pairing guide“. If you’re the slightest bit interested in wine, chocolate, or wikis, you’ve got to read Randall’s post.  😉

All reviews to date:

More reviews will probably appear after the date of this post, as people start receiving their copies of the book. To see the latest reviews, drop in on this wiki page: Book reviews and blog posts and webinars and more.

Thanks so much to everyone who has spent the time and energy writing up a review!

Pre-orders of my book available at reduced price

If you’re thinking of buying my book, now is a very good time. 🙂 Pre-ordering is available at Barnes & Noble, and they’re offering a price of just $26.96 (reduced from $39.95) for a few days.

Update (Saturday 5:15pm in Sydney): The price is now $21.57! I don’t know how long the offer lasts.

Update (Sunday 19 February): There are some problems with the Barnes & Noble page for the book – there is currently no pre-order or buy button at all. In addition, some people have received messages from B&N saying that their orders have been cancelled. Richard Hamilton at XML Press  is investigating. I’m so sorry about the confusion. I’ll let you know as soon as I hear more.

Thanks for letting me know about the problem. I hope it is sorted out quickly.

The book is called Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate: A wiki as platform extraordinaire for technical communication. It’s about wikis, Confluence, technical communication, technical writers, and of course chocolate.

Follow Ganache, technical communicator extraordinaire, inside Confluence wiki for an in-depth guide to developing and publishing technical documentation on a wiki. Then, with the groundwork done, you will see how to make your wiki fly.

Experience life as a wiki author and reader. Working in an agile environment? Wikis were made for that! Wondering about search engine optimization (SEO)? Wikis can do that too. Learn how to harness the wiki’s social and collaborative features, turning technical documentation into true communication.

The book is also the confluence of technical communication and chocolate. Because you can’t have one without the other!

I hope you enjoy it. 🙂


Pre-order at Barnes & Noble:

More details of the book at XML Press.

Guess a name to win a copy of my book

Would you like to have some fun, and perhaps win a copy of my upcoming book too? Just guess the name of the girl on the cover! The first person to get it right will receive a free copy of the book, in a choice of paperback or ebook format.

The book is all about using a wiki for technical communication. It’s called Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate: A wiki as platform extraordinare for technical communication. It will be published in February by Richard Hamilton at XML Press.

The book cover

I love the illustrations in the book, and especially the picture on the cover. They are the work of a talented artist named Ryan Maddox.

Cover of "Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate"

Who is the girl on the cover?

She is the hero of the book. She is a technical communicator extraordinaire. Let’s dub her X for now. When you read the book, you will follow X as she sets up a Confluence wiki and adds a technical documentation space. Learn from her expertise with the wiki editor and macros. Share her adventures in agile development and search engine optimisation. Grow wings, as X does, and make your wiki documentation fly. Discover why X says we need a “kiss my wiki” attitude.

Guess her name – one guess per comment, guess as often as you like

What is X’s real name? Add your guesses as comments on this blog post. It’s just her first name, one word, that you’re looking for. You can add as many comments as you like, and write whatever you like in the comment, but please put only one suggested name per comment.

The first person to get it right wins a free copy of the book. You can choose whether you want a printed book (paperback), a Kindle version or an EPUB version.

If no-one has guessed the right name in the next few days, I’ll add a hint.

Let the fun begin. 🙂

Another chance to win

Here’s another opportunity to win a free copy of the book: Head on over to XML Press and sign up for email notification about the book. Your name will be automatically entered into a draw for a free copy.

Hint: Think chocolate

Here’s a clue: Our hero’s name has something to do with chocolate.

Keep guessing. 🙂 I’ll add another clue soon!

(Hint added on Sunday 15 January, early morning Sydney time.)

We have a winner!

The name of the girl on the cover is…  Ganache. Congratulations to Jill Brockmann on guessing the name and winning a free copy of the book!

So, Ganache is the name of our our technical communicator extraordinaire. But this may be the first time ever that the word is used as a person’s or character’s name. Ganache is also a mixture of chocolate and cream, used to fill chocolates or cakes. People often add a flavour to the mixture, such as chopped raspberries to make a raspberry ganache.

Thank you to everyone for taking part. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have!

(Winner announced on Sunday 15 January, 6pm Sydney time.)

A quick update on my book

The Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate wiki is buzzing! That’s where I’m writing the book, and that’s where the technical reviewers are giving their feedback at the moment: on the wiki. It’s good fun seeing all their comments flow in. Their input is very useful indeed.

My earlier post let everyone know that I’m writing a book about technical communication on Confluence, titled Confluence, Tech Comm, Chocolate: A wiki as platform extraordinaire for technical communication. We’ve been busy with the technical review for the last two weeks. The review phase finishes this weekend. Then I’ll incorporate all the feedback, finalise the content and compile the index. The deadline for final content is end of December. I’ve taken two weeks’ leave, starting today, to focus on the book and meet that deadline. Yaayyy!

I submitted the book proposal in May 2011. Publication is due at the end of January 2012 – a little over a month away. I’ve been keeping track of the time spent on various aspects of the project: writing, admin, design, review, and promotion. When the book is out, it will be interesting to see the proportion of time spent on each activity. I’ll publish some graphs and a timeline. There are probably one or two technical writers out there who’ll be interested.

Hehe, that makes me think of what our CEO said when he heard that I’m writing a book. It was something like this: “Congratulations! All technical writers are frustrated authors, aren’t they!” He said it with a big smile. 🙂

A quick update on my Paperbark tree

Just over four years ago, at around the time when I started this blog, I also planted a couple of trees. One of them was a Prickly Paperbark. A few weeks ago it flowered for the very first time. The timing is rather nice, because the flowers bloomed just as I posted the announcement of the book!

Here’s a closeup of the flowers:

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