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Centrally managing distributed content - need suggestions

I am looking for some thoughts, advice, best practices on how to organize some information that spans multiple wiki spaces. This is a fairly typical challenge of a centralized group providing a service to distributed groups, such as HR or Finance providing support to business units.

We have a team, I, which provides a service to four labs, A, B, C, and D, each with their own wiki space.
The details of the service vary by lab, and historically each lab wiki has had its own tailored service pages, which developers are accustomed to consulting.

The I team is proposing a new wiki space for the service. Moving existing lab service pages into a new space is not an option (the older service pages need to stay where they are).

Pros of a new space: feeling ownership of content, more motivation to keep it current, easier for I team to grant editor access, can include new pages inside lab space pages.

Cons of a new space: not where developers are expecting to find the information, doesn't account for existing service pages in lab wikis, possibly no control by lab space admin (me), creates yet another resource, organizational change could render team space obsolete whereas lab spaces are long-term.

At the moment I'm having the I team build their new pages in a specific "corner" of each of the lab spaces, especially space A, until we have a solid plan in place. I feel it's more important to put the end users' needs firsts, and am willing to build pages, reports, listings, tools etc. to help team I manage all the (old and new) content they're responsible for across spaces. This will require some ownership on their part and some culture change is involved.

If you have some best practices, suggestions or thoughts to share I could really use some fresh ideas.

1 comment

@Michelle Rau 

I think each lab or team is with its own working characteristics. Perhaps a very quick and easy way to get into the flow of information that each team has now established could be to use owl pages, or blog pages, that bring content from a centralized space. As if they were news.

Are you familiar with how ads work on Linkedin? You follow your content and from time to time ads appear that are advertisements.

It could be a way to say to people on the team, "Hey look there's this page that interests you, you need to read it, click here...".

I know it's a very complicated and complex topic and that's not really the solution. But this is what comes to mind right now.

Another possible solution could be to use "facets", a method of storing content (it resembles the logic of Netflix, for example), but this is not currently easy to implement with Confluence nor with other plugins for Confluence.

I'm studying this topic since a few months. I hope to understand how it can be done and write an article as soon as I have time.

Like Michelle Rau likes this

You are so right @Calogero Kalos Bonasia the four labs are very different which is part of the challenge. I'm intrigued by the idea of "news" that could help distinguish between older legacy information and the more recent information from team I. I am curious to learn more about "facets" too.

Like Calogero Kalos Bonasia likes this

@Michelle Rau about "facets" ...

I have personal notes written in Italian, which I do not consider worthy of being published as an article.

At the end, I am just someone who has gained experience in the field over 35 years of work, I do not have an academic title to be a professor.

But I will see if I can find the time to write an article explaining what they are and how they could be used on Confluence.

Actually Lotus Domino (for those who remember it) is the real "grandfather" of the facets and many other interesting things copied by others in time regarding the management of knowledge bases.


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