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Combining Confluence with Lithium User Community


hi - I'm the community manager for RapidMiner and I notice that you (Atlassian) also use Lithium for this community. I also notice that you have nicely tied your Confluence pages to this community in look, feel, and navigation, as well as your training pages and so forth.  What platform are you using for training? How did you get the look & feel to move so nicely?


Tagging @Monique van den Berg





Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

Hi @Scott Genzer -- all our Atlassian sites are under the same design umbrella, which is why they have a unified look and feel. (Hooray for our awesome design team!) However, our documentation is on Confluence whereas our community sits on Lithium.  (The biggest reasons for that being robust integrated spam management and sheer scale.) 

If there are specific pages or elements you're wondering about, please let us know. The community face of our design team is @Test User KL :) 

Kevan Lin Atlassian Team Feb 06, 2018

Hi! :) Thanks for the kind words! Please head over to the Atlassian Design System's site if you want to read about it more. 

And yes, if you have more specific questions regarding the design system, please ask and I'll try my best to answer them to the best of my abilities. 

Welcome to the community!

Hi @Monique vdB thanks so much for your reply. Your community does look great (yes well done Atlassian design team).

RapidMiner's setup right now is similar to yours in many ways with a similar user base (helping very techie users with their software).  Note that our software, like Sourcetree for example, is desktop software for a variety of reasons.

Our "stack" is also somewhat similar to Atlassian; we use Lithium for community, JIRA + Sourcetree/BitBucket for internal dev + Confluence for documentation (yes we love Atlassian! :) ). However we currently use other software for training/education and support tix.

We are not 100% happy with this stack and are in the exploration stages of finding a more seamless way of having our users get the help, training, and support they need, when they need it, and in the most efficient manner for both our users and for us.  Some "pain points" include:

  1. Documentation: we have in-product documentation that our users find very helpful, but it does not synchronize with our current "master KB" in Confluence nor with our KB pages in Lithium. It seems to me that you don't do KB at all here in Lithium but redirect completely to Confluence which does make some sense...but it does not allow users to contribute, correct?
  2. Bug reporting: if our desktop software finds an error, we encourage our users to report a bug. Currently this is a redirect to our Lithium community's "Product Feedback" pages which are then manually synchronized with JIRA - a major pain for our development team.  I see you use JIRA for this, of course. How does that work? Do you get lots of newbies posting lots of stuff that is really support?
  3. Training/Education: we have many tutorials and so forth in-product which our users like, but again we run a LMS outside of product for more "formal" training (Moodle in our case). This is not ideal to say the least.
  4. Support: we are looking for a more seamless transition from community to support ticket to documentation etc...

It's a lot to look at but would love to hear plusses/minuses of what Atlassian is doing and share ideas.  Thank you!



Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

@Scott Genzer what's the size of your community? Curious if you've looked into Questions for Confluence.

RapidMiner Community stats at this moment:


Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 2.48.54 PM.png


oh no - never heard of Questions for Confluence. Thank you. And yet you choose to use Lithium instead of your own product - is this due to the spam and volume as you mentioned above?

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

I should answer the rest of your questions too! Although I suspect our Community Champions will have more thoughts on the technical aspects of the question.

1. Correct, we redirect to Confluence and have cross-linking. I believe it's possible to open up documentation for collaboration, but I'll let the Confluence experts weigh in on that.

2. We do use Jira for bug tracking but also we have dedicated support staff on the community who help users directly here and escalate as needed internally. So it's another channel for support and often is faster for users since we also have power users who can help troubleshoot issues.

3. We have Atlassian University and Certification -- we're working to get more aligned as time goes on with the community, but it is a separate system.

4. I will ping the support team on this one!

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

@Scott Genzer yes, exactly. :)

very interesting! And what are you using for support tix?

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018


ah ok I assumed so. :)

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

It would be very odd if we were using anything else. 😆

Should be noted that filing support tickets on is Jira Service Desk powered (set up in a way that customers can only see support tickets they've reported or had shared with them). The support homepage is well integrated with Confluence so you're driven towards relevant documents rather than opening a support ticket for little things. While they are married very well, I believe a lot of what's on in terms of integration is custom. Confluence and Jira Service Desk do pair and integrate well together, but what you see on is a little more than what comes out of the box.

Bugs and feature requests as Monique mentioned are public on

Like Jonathan Hult likes this
Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

From an end-user standpoint I have to say I love Jira Service Desk. It's intuitive and easy to grasp for a non-admin or power user of Jira. 

ah @Daniel Eads _unmonitored account_ thanks. That explains why it looks so seamless. Well done to all.

I'm interested (if you're able to answer at all...) about Sourcetree in particular as it's the only Atlassian desktop software I am even somewhat familar with. Everything we're talking about jumps out of product to the web:


Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 2.24.19 PM.png


This does not seem ideal from a seamless end-to-end user experience, no?

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

Our Sourcetree experts (thanks, leaderboard) who may have thoughts: @bgannin@Ana Retamal@Mikael Sandberg@Manju 

It would be very odd if we were using anything else. 😆

You mean like say, using Lithium rather than Questions for Confluence for Atlassian's very own community Q&A site? 😆

Like Jonathan Hult likes this


Support: we are looking for a more seamless transition from community to support ticket to documentation etc...

We don't have a seamless transition of public community threads to support tickets, but we can convert them manually on a case-by-case basis. I'm pretty sure Lithium API can be used for optimizing this process, but we haven't gone this route yet.

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

lol, @Steffen Opel _Utoolity_, yes, that would be super we---

oh, I see what you did there. 


thank you @Andrew Golokha - yes I was thinking API to/from JIRA as well but the current volume does not justify in our current world. I guess it's reassuring that the "big kids" at Atlassian are doing the same. :)


@Steffen Opel _Utoolity_ - yes exactly what I was wondering!  Of course one could ask the same question why RapidMiner is using Drift's very basic chatbot engine instead of its own powerful ML tools....unless I followed with "Stay Tuned..."

Mikael Sandberg Community Leader Feb 06, 2018

Sourcetree for Mac and Sourcetree for Windows differs a bit. The one for Windows follows the new design guidelines that you see on the web, and so far none of my developers have mentioned anything about it that it looks different then our other Atlassian tools, but then again, we are on Server and it does not have the new UI design yet.

bgannin Atlassian Team Feb 06, 2018

The two apps, from a visual standpoint, continue to converge on the ADG3 standard, each playing to the strengths and limitations of their respective operating systems. If you notice major departures from either ADG3 or each other that stand out, please file a ticket.

With respect to a "more seamless [feedback] experience" - we are always open to suggestions, especially when filed as tickets for us to see voting and comments from all Sourcetree users. Threads on Community can get lost over time and are not ideal for tracking requests as much as they are beneficial for discussion.


We are a small team so integrating a more complex in-app feedback workflow, potentially with third party dependencies, is something we approach very cautiously along with the need to balance other deliverables on each platform.

Brian Ganninger
Senior Mac Developer, Sourcetree

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

@Scott Genzer I visited your community and really like it! Some community manager shop-talk questions for you: what's the experience for you with the "how can I help you" pop-up? Is it automated or manual? Do you use Ideation for your product or for the community itself? What's the most popular thing on your homepage? 

haha so that's powered by Drift and it's phenomenal. It's a combo of automation and human powered. We're getting a huge engagement bump from Drift, particularly in getting newbies to move from passive to active user on the community. Plus it's synchronized with our CRM etc...

oh and thanks for the kind words about our community.  I am the community manager, design team, moderator, chief bottle washer, etc... :)

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

@Scott Genzer converting lurkers is always a challenge with community management! I hadn't heard about Drift, I'll have to check it out. 

I think " a little bit of everything" is basically a community manager's job description. Do you attend any community management conferences? At the next CMX or CR Connect, we should sit down and have beverages ☕️ 🍷 🥃 

Or at a Team Tour or Summit, of course!

so no, we do not use Ideation that I know of. As for "most popular" on the community, the "Product Forum" pages are by far the most popular. Nothing even comes close. I also find that if I move info from "Blog" to "KB", I get at least a 2x bump in traffic.

so yes I am a new CMX Pro member and was thinking of going to the next CMX Summit. I definitely would enjoy trading notes and beverages. :)

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

Excellent! The last CMX Summit had some outstanding speakers. You may also be interested in the CR Connect in Boston if that's closer to you. 

oh and @Monique vdB - just curious why you turn off the kudos and PM features here on Lithium? And do you make use of the Lithium APIs or just the LSI?

Monique vdB Community Manager Feb 06, 2018

We use the Lithium APIs extensively. And we are rolling out new features over time  based on user and stakeholder feedback -- when we launched we didn't even have @ mentions!  :) 

@Monique vdB Our corporation is investigating the installation of Questions for Confluence plugin as a central place for our Internal technology community to ask and get answers to common questions.  We already utilize the rest of the Atlassian stack. 

I am concerned that Atlassian doesn't use their own software. 

Can you elaborate on exactly how Questions fails to handle the factors you mentioned?
"The biggest reasons for that being robust integrated spam management and sheer scale."

What other reasons don't you use your own software?

It seems like your team must do a lot of customization to use Lithium. 
I'm just wondering why didn't your team spend the time updating the features of your own software vs customizing a different software product?

Scared to use Questions....

Thanks in advance for the info. 

Like Jonathan Hult likes this
Monique vdB Community Manager Jul 13, 2018

@greg varela Lithium has a spam management tool that can review 1000+ messages/day and is 99% accurate in detecting spam posts. This would not be a concern for an internal community, but for an external community at this scale, not having this would be a problem. Spam overran Atlassian Answers in the end because of this. 

Our community also has millions of users and pageviews so our scale is massive. Let me see if I can get some info from the Confluence team on how high Questions might scale for your use case! I know a lot of our long-time community members were super happy with it and still don't fully love the Lithium experience. 

AnnWorley Atlassian Team Jul 13, 2018

Hi @greg varela,

One of our product managers addressed similar concerns in this thread:

What is the future of Questions for Confluence?

She posted her contact info in case anyone wants to follow up further, but the Community concern was answered thusly:

Moving the community boards – the decision to move Atlassian Community to a new platform was the result of the broadening requirements of the Community. That is, the need for the Community site to encompass more than Q&A, and also to offer things like user-generated articles, product-specific landing pages and topical themes, which aren’t currently part of the feature set of Questions.

I hope this information helps your organization decide whether Questions is right for your internal technology team.




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