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What do you wish you had known/done when you first set up your KB?

I'm working on setting up a document/procedure repository in Confluence for the first time and need to make this as easy as possible on myself and, more importantly, for the engineers who will be populating it. 

What do you wish you had known or done when first setting up your KB? 

How far did you go in automating the setup or creating the page tree structure before turning it over to individual content authors? (Or were they responsible for initial page creation so as to have the "correct" page author?)

Any tips/tricks for making templates that are easy to use and help produce the most consistent results? (Thinking of things like how to maintain specific image sizes in order to have a consistent look/feel without asking engineers to manually resize each image.)

Open to plugins/add-on recommendations if there are tools you can't live without for populating and administering your KB.


1 answer

Little bit of a quick brain dump here.

When we built our our knowledge base, we spent a decent amount of time on how to organize it. And it helped make it clean.

While search is good, you really want your space to be navigable in some sort of rational way. So decided on what your hierarchical structure is and laying it out ahead of time is great. You want to avoid the "flat" space.

Also build your top/landing page first. And put in lots of content there to help visualize and navigate your structure. Page tree macros. different search methods, etc. Try all the macros and see what looks good to you. It helps a lot and helps make it look "professional"

Templates were useful. I built my structure based on technologies. And then each technology had a landing page that was built from template. I then had templates for 3 different kinds of docs. And on the technology landing page, I was able to use the "create from template" macro to put an "Create new <type> document" right in the page. Any by putting a label on the template, they were prelabeled, which made it very useful for other macros.

Finally, train your users to have meaningful page titles. Having a hierarchical structure may lead them to think they can just name the page "Installation Instructions" Which is fine if the user is browsing to the page, but horrible for searching. The page name should have enough content in it for the user to understand what will be on the page based on just seeing the name in a search result list.

Hope that helps.

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