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Think you know shares vs. @mentions in Confluence? Take this collab quiz.

To anyone who doubts that Atlassians are a little too obsessed with collaboration, and tools related thereto, let me describe a recent discussion we had (which took place on our internal Confluence, of course).

It was lamented that, when you share a page and include a note, those thoughts are read by one person, then languish forever in their inbox. There’s no clean way to reply to them, and nobody else can benefit from what you had to say. By building the share-by-email feature, had we inadvertently discouraged the workplace transparency and knowledge-sharing we so fervently champion?!

                                                 

Well, no. Not really. @mentioning someone in a comment also brings the page to their attention, along with whatever contextual information you need to give them. And because you've "shared" the page via a comment, whatever thoughts you want to add will be available to anyone who reads that page in the future. (And for you Jira users out there, @mentions in issues can be used in much the same way.)

atmention

It boils down to this:

  • Use @mentions inside a page comment whenever possible so your insights don’t evaporate into the aether.
  • Use page shares when you don't have any substantive comments to add, or when your accompanying thoughts ought not be put on public display.

While the basics of shares vs. @mentions aren’t exactly rocket science, there are some nuances to consider before you can claim full mastery.

Think you’re up to the challenge? Great! Get out your pencil (they still make those, right?) and put your savvy to the test right here n' now with the Confluence Collaboration Quiz™.

1) A member of the customer support team wrote up a page describing how their new triaging system has improved the number of cases they’re able to respond to each week. A similar approach might help your own team manage incoming requests, but you want to get input before moving forward. Do you...

a) Write up a memo to your team about it and leave print-outs on their desks

b) @mention your team lead in a comment on the page pointing out a few simple

adjustments that would make the system suitable for your team

c) Share the page with your team and include a note saying “Check this out!”

d) Jot down a note reminding yourself to bring it up at next week’s team meeting

2) Your boss has published your team’s quarterly goals on a page in your team's space, and, well, let’s just say you have some concerns that you’d like to share with a teammate. Do you…

a) Leave the following comment on the page: “OMG @M, did you see these numbers? WTF is the boss smoking these days? I mean… seriously?!”

b) Include the same comments in a page share.

c) Try to catch your teammate at the coffee machine and hope that any bystanders are

too addled from lack of caffeine to really hear what you’re saying

d) Share the page with her and include a note asking whether she thinks those numbers

might be up for negotiation

3) Your office manager posted a blog encouraging everyone to participate in the upcoming food drive. Do you…

a) Leave the following comment on that page: “Well, if our bonuses hadn’t been so stingy this year I might be able to afford a few extra cans of soup. Am I right @Chris?!?”

b) Keep your snarky comments to yourself, count your blessings, and head to the grocery store on your lunch break.

4) At lunch you told a colleague from another team that they could find your team’s roadmap in Confluence. (Naturally.) Back at your desk, do you…

a) Leave the following comment on the page: “Hey @Don, this is the page I mentioned

at lunch today.”

b) Write the page name on a sticky note and leave it on Don’s desk

c) Share the page with him (contextual commentary optional)

d) Dig right back into the task you were working on before lunch—Don can figure it out on his own.

Answer key – tally up your score!

1: a) 0; b) 3; c) 2; d) 1

2:  a) -1; b) 0; c) 1; d) 3

3: a) -100; b) 3

4: a) 2; b) 1; c) 3; d) 0

-101 to 0 points: Collaboration Crisis! We suggest you read up on other Confluence tips. Quickly. Before HR gets involved.

1 to 8 points: Collaboration Conscious. You're on the right track. Keep workin' it!

9 to 12 points: Collaboration Champ! You share, @mention, and inform like a BOSS. (And now that we mention it, aren't you due for a promotion?...)

 I hope you've enjoyed the tips and quiz. Share your scores in the comments! 😀

16 comments

Meg Community Leader Apr 26, 2018

Great best practices, thank you for sharing!

I got 11 (our team prefers to leave @ mentions on articles for the most part).

We're trying to move as far away from email as possible, so it's nice to see @ mentions in the notifications home page. Is there a way to see share comments in there as well? 

Jonathan Smith Community Leader Apr 26, 2018

While a bit snarky (ENFJ), I still scored a 7 :)

Good article, thanks for sharing the nuances! (12).

Mohammed Amine Community Leader Apr 29, 2018

Thank you for sharing this article. 

Really interesting :). 

Got 11.

cheers

Thank you for this relevant article and fun test! (12!)

SGD Atlassian Team May 04, 2018

Nice one! Great to see all the high scores here :-) 

Got 12!!  WOOT

SGD Atlassian Team May 09, 2018

*high-five*

carolyn french Community Leader May 09, 2018

woot, woot- 12! It was fun and funny, thanks for the quiz @SGD

Deleted user May 11, 2018

Woo Hoo 11 :) . Thanks for the fun quiz @SGD 

Thx for the article. Got 10! 

@SGD-- Sarah... Why don't @Mentions work in Jira tasks?

SGD Atlassian Team Oct 21, 2019

@Bob Sovers – Ooh, not sure how to answer that because they're working fine on our Jira Cloud instance. Maybe your Jira admin has disabled them for your org? (I don't even know if that's possible... just spit-balling here.) 

@SGD -- Sarah, If they are working fine on your Jira Cloud pages, then what is this link to:  https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-62245

 

THAT is where I want to be able to make @Mentions, to try and prompt some Atlassian staff to answer/comment/respond/react/prove that they are alive!

SGD Atlassian Team Oct 21, 2019

@Bob Sovers – Sorry, I should have been more specific. I meant the Jira Cloud instance we use internally at Atlassian. jira.atlassian.com is a separate, public instance for feature requests, etc. and I'm not sure what version it's running or how it is configured. 

I'll circulate the link to CONFCLOUD-62245 to a few colleagues on the Confluence product management team and make sure they're aware there's a very active discussion going on there :-) They have system/cadence for responding to comment threads, so hang in there – someone will chime in when they've reached a decision on the feature or need more input from commenters. 

It is going to be a VERY slow process if we make comments on a https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-...  issues, then have to comment about our comment over here on the Community discussions, so that someone at Atlassian may possibly then read it, let alone actually respond! 

Atlassian is just giving the impression that the comments from its paying customers are not important, and can be ignored!

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