How to harness social functions of Confluence for academic environment.

I have been asked about expanding Confluence past our current project management and internal documentation use. The goal I have been given is to use Confluence campus wide (28,000 students, 5,000 plus faculty/staff) for collaboration. Basically to use some of the Confluence social interaction functions (status updates, following, etc.) as a way to help faculty and students connect with others with similar interests. Someone at my university saw a presentation at a conference about Going On, www.goingon.com. I’ve been asked to see how much of that same functionality is available in Confluence.

We are in the middle of upgrading from 3.5 to 4.3, so I am not completely comfortable yet with all the social interaction functions in 4.3. Is anyone already using Confluence in this way?

4 answers

1 accepted

Hi tmskansas,

This is more of a recommendations question so here is what I feel. You will be the best person to analyze what features work best for your environment.

I would recommend you setup a development instance of the latest version of Confluence and go through the different features and see how your students can benefit from it.

http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/features

You can also look the the Confluence customer list (Education) and you might know someone in one of those universities you could talk to :)

http://www.atlassian.com/company/customers

Happy to see Monash in the list. Graduated from Monash :)

0 vote
Peter Koczan Atlassian Team Jan 15, 2013

Hi,

If you could describe, which social functions you wish to use, I could either tell if they are already present in Confluence or there are plugins for achieving such. Otherwise you can explore the new features of 4.3 on this link: http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/whats-new/confluence-43

Kind regards,

Peter

Thanks for the comments. We have 4.3 installed on our test system. I am currently writing up documentation for our users about all the new features that have added since 3.5. The link to the all features page is very helpful.

The need for social functions, as described to me, seems to center on creating interest groups and pushing out updates for those groups. Can we use Confluence to connect faculty in different departments who may have overlapping research interests? Can we use Confluence to help students connect with other students and faculty who have an interest in a topic like 19th Century Irish literature? All I could think of was using labels, but our leadership didn't think that was dynamic enough.

I know you can follow a person or watch a page. Is there way to watch for, and push out an update about, new content on 19th Century Irish literature?

Some of the information provided was helpful, so I am accepting an answer to close this.

Hi Thelma Simons,

Although this this post is rather old, I'd love to recommend a great social network add-on / app.

Microblogging for Confluence allows for a seamless and direct exchange of information with your team directly in the collaboration system.

Just like Twitter and Facebook, a microblog in your own Confluence enables short, spontaneous communication and quick distribution of information without switching context and media - directly in Confluence with all it's comfortable features.

The microblog can be used flexibly for quick communication about a project, a product or within a department. It is also a suitable channel for information that is not relevant to current tasks: status updates about personal availability, communication of ideas that can be discussed and developed in a microblog, suggestions of interesting links or web content, including personal comments, reminders and tips for colleagues and more.

Microblogging for Confluence means less obsolete push emails, instead more visibility of ideas and related exchange, more efficiency in communication, more transparency and more fun!

You can try it here.

 

Best wishes,

Nicki

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