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Atlassian’s Confluence Wiki Gets Social: Embed Your Favorite Social Media


Zoli Erdos has a nice write-up of enterprise software company Atlassian, titled Business Models and Right-brained Geeks. In it, he notes the culture of Atlassian is different from many enterprise software companies:

Atlassian is a “different” company in so many ways… no wonder they are still hiring while the rest of the world is busy downsizing.  But one thing I’ve not realized until now is they have a backup business plan. They could quit Technology tomorrow and become a Creative Agency overnight.smile_wink Need proof?

We use Atlassian’s Confluence wiki in our office, and I’ll bet a lot of you do as well. It’s easy to use, and I’ve become a big fan of it versus using Microsoft Word.

So it’s no surprise that the latest release, Confluence 2.10 has a really cool feature: the Widget Connector. Uh…come again?

The Widget Connector. It is a lightweight way to embed content from 16 different social media sites:

atlassian-confluence-connector-widget-supported-sites

I have to say, that’s pretty cool. The ability to embed media created elsewhere is a wonderful feature for any site. I’ve embedded my recent SlideShare on the About Page for this blog. And the ability to embed Vimeo videos was great for a recent post where I talked with MADtv’s Chris Kula.

LinkedIn recently started doing this as well. You can add content and applications from 10 different sites to your profile. It’s a smart play for companies. By letting you bring content from elsewhere, these sites become valuable platforms for getting business done.

Considering the Widget Connector in a Business Context

The interesting thing here is that these sites are indeed social. So the content that will be included is likely to be that which is OK for public viewing. Which means some sensitive internal content won’t be found on these sites. I know many of these sites allow private, restricted access content. It’s unclear whether restricted access content can be embedded though.

But a lot of what businesses do is perfectly fine for public consumption. Well, make sure you embed it in the wiki! Conference presentations, product demos, marketing media, product pictures, etc. In fact, the bias should be to have this content public and findable unless there is a real concern about loss of confidential information. Being a presence in the industry means getting out there with information and ideas that you share. Of course, not everything should be accessible. For instance, a webinar should be public, while a customer presentation will stay internal.

The reality is that companies are expanding their presence on social media sites, even if it is happening in a halting fashion. Turns out consumers are starting to expect it. As use of these various social media sites expands, having a central place to view and track the content on them makes a lot of sense.

Another use I see for this is collecting information from various services and users to build out research on:

  • New product or service initiatives
  • Competitors
  • Customers
  • Regulatory and standards development

Consider Atlassian’s release of Confluence 2.10 another step forward in expanding the use and value of social media for business purposes.

*****

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About Hutch Carpenter
Senior Consultant for HYPE Innovation (hypeinnovation.com)

6 Responses to Atlassian’s Confluence Wiki Gets Social: Embed Your Favorite Social Media

  1. I’m pretty excited by the possibilities here. That said, I don’t know that Atlassian can really claim to be social media friendly until it supports Blingee.

    Hutch, I know you have profiles on a lot of the sites listed above. Can you integrate some into your office wiki and show me what it looks like in a screenshot?

  2. Nice write-up, Hutch. As for authentication, some widget providers provide a token in the url that can be used to retrieve the content. If the widget provider supports this, then you can embed secure content with the Widget Connector.

    @Daniel, we’re in the process of creating a tutorial on how to extend the Widget Connector to support additional sites like Blingee. In the mean time, here’s a brief video that shows the Widget Connector in action… http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/whats-new.jsp

  3. Susan Beebe says:

    We use confluence as well. This last release look chock full of impressive social media features. wow

  4. Pingback: blogring.org

  5. Thanks for the info Bill. I know authentication to secure sites is hit-or-miss, but sounds like there are some options for companies. Cool.

  6. Pingback: Atlassian Confluence wiki 2.10 introduceert widgets « wikiup

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