As the first phase grew to a close, we had a bit of trouble finding groups for phase 2. It seemed that part of the problem was that the existing groups had their spaces restricted to only those in their group. That all changed once the WebCT Vista Knowledge Base came along in phase 2 and left their space (mostly) open to the world. All of a sudden the buzz started growing louder. Phase 3, which began in early October, marked the first time we had to turn away groups until January. It was amazing! The momentum was building faster than we had been expecting.
The Townhall Meeting
Another part of our approach came almost accidentally. At the request of a director, we set-up a Townhall Meeting where those who were using Confluence could share what they’d done. Show-and-tell. “What I did in my wiki.” Straight out of elementary school. We invited four spaces to present short demos of their space: the original three groups from Phase 1 and the Vista Knowledge Base guys. The feedback floored us. Everyone seemed to be furiously taking notes on what each of the other groups presenting had done and were eager to implement those features or hacks in their own space.
What was even more exciting was that these groups were a little more open to the idea of letting other Confluence users view their space as a way of collaborating and sharing ideas. Brilliant! The Townhall concept was such a success we decided to make it a quarterly event coinciding with the start of new phases. This would allow new groups to Confluence to get an idea of how others on campus were using Confluence.
Our approach to introducing Confluence on campus has been fairly successful. Despite only having 9 spaces, we’re finding that the number of people using Confluence is rapidly growing as more and more people get invited into spaces (thanks to the Custom Space User Management plugin) to collaborate. For us, success will not be measured in the number of spaces we create or the number of pages there are or people who edit them. Success will be measured by whether or not Confluence continues to be a useful tool to those who are using it.