After posting a blog on patterns of wiki adoption, I received a comment from someone with the question where do I start? Rather than post the comment, I thought I would restate the question as its own blog because I think it’s an issue that lots of people will have.
First, there was the question of what does one mean by start—encourage users to adopt the wiki, or how to organise the wiki? The response came back as follows:

I mean how do I start to organize the wiki using Confluence. I have set up 2 wiki’s but not in Confluence and my company just bought Confluence software. I feel like I’ve read so much that I don’t know where to begin. I want it to look professional and have a nice look and feel for users. The company has already told users that they will be going to this site for certain information.

So, there are a couple of points to hit on here. First there’s the question of design. There are several levels of customisations one can make to Confluence. At the most basic level, you can change the wiki’s look and feel at a global or space level. More technical users can create all new themes with custom layouts, which is what our partners CustomWare and Night Kitchen Interactive did for the CustomWare website and the Constitution Day wiki, respectively. An alternative you may want to consider is the Builder plugin from Adaptavist that allows non-technical users to create some cool themes. Check out their website for some sample sites with Builder themes.
The other question about organisation is difficult to answer because it really depends on your content, organisation, and permissions. At Atlassian on our own intranet, we have nearly three dozen spaces, however we started out with fewer and created and reshuffled content as our needs changed. A great feature within Confluence is that you can update the navigation when you need to by moving pages (and all their child pages and attachments) to different spaces.
So, I guess the next thing would be to toss the question out to other Confluence users: how did you determine how to set up your spaces? Feedback welcome!

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