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What are the best ways to encourage Confluence usage and contribution? Edited

Zak_Laughton Atlassian Team Feb 14, 2019

I've rolled out Confluence to a few departments in the past and found that wiki use and contribution doesn't come naturally to everyone, even if they love the tool! Since Confluence relies on user contribution and becomes more useful as more people add content, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to encourage others to have Confluence at the front of their mind for finding and storing information.

I've put some of the ideas here that have worked well for me, and I'm curious what ideas have worked for others in the Community!

What's worked for me:

  • "Scratchpad" pages - Content organization is important, but don't let that get in the way of users sharing knowledge with others! It's better than have messy content published and searchable than not published at all. To minimize the barrier to add content, create an "anything goes" scratchpad page in your team's pages or space, and make sure this is easily findable. If anyone wants to share info, but doesn't want to take the time to find the perfect way to publish it, just add it to the scratchpad! It may not be the prettiest page, but at least the information is up and available to others. As this page grows, you can regularly review and move content to the most appropriate location.
  • Champion group - If you find a set of users contributing much more than others, let them play a bigger part! Create an informal "Champions" group that meets every couple of weeks to discuss the current state of Confluence and content organization (What's working? What's not working? What have we heard people saying? New ideas?). You can even give this group extra space permissions to have more ownership of managing content. By giving the most enthusiastic users more ownership, I've found this has helped spread Confluence discussion throughout the department.
  • Gift card giveaway - Yep, straight up bribery! As part of a rollout, you can have one or more gift card giveaways that reward the most active users. I used the usage statistics macros to award the highest contributors in my department space.
  • "Did you check Confluence?" catchphrase - Ok, this one's cheesy, but it worked - I swear. Here's my Confluence philosophy: You should be able to find almost any information you need to do your job in Confluence. If you can't then you should add it or make it easier to find so nobody has to waste time looking for it again. In my training, I sprinkled "Did you check Confluence?" throughout the presentation, and encouraged others to ask this question as well. It became a thing people said, a lot. Seriously and ironically. Many times I heard someone jokingly respond to a co-workers question, "Did you check Confluence?" with a laugh, then moments later "Oh wow there is actually a page for this." Careful with this one though – depending on reception there's a risk of crossing the line from "fun catchphrase" to "being an annoying jerk about it." Be sure to know your audience!

So what about you? Whether for an entire organization, a department, a team, or even just individual users - How do you encourage Confluence participation?

2 comments

I like the idea of a Scratchpad page.  For a lot of users Confluence can be this Big Scary Thing, but making it accessible will encourage user engagement, and then growth as they become more familiar with it.

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Jonathan Smith Community Leader Feb 14, 2019

I work with a group that still prints on greenbar paper... so I understand this challenge. 

What worked for us:

  • Get leadership buy-in
  • Meet with business leads to evaluate collaboration needs.
  • Build easy to use templates and pages
  • Keep the space and pages clean
  • Set space permissions to department level AD groups instead of defaulting to confluence-users. Search results will then improve.
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Kesha_Thill Atlassian Team Feb 14, 2019

100% agree with leadership buy-in and easy to use templates to help people get started (until they can ideally make their own for their unique use case). Leadership buy-in helps with the cultural piece that comes with Confluence - promoting transparency and habit of knowledge sharing. 

Good tips from all of you!

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