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Euan Semple made a post today about our award. This has created quite a lot of interest in the underlying technology used by our News Room so I thought I would post about it:

Really it is just confluence out of the box. My college Rupert Shanks created a standard global space and gave it a nice theme using the Adaptavist Theme builder.

Confluence RSS feeds are made available which scoop up all news posts with a certain label like Liner (our container business) Logistics, RORO (Roll-On Roll-Off Car Carrier) etc. These feeds are then embedded within sections of the news room home page for visiting staff members to view.

The feeds are also created in feedburner.com. Feedburner generates some javascript that we embed in the news room page(s) so the subscriber can enter their email address to sign-up to the feed and receive all new posts via email (still preferred by much of our workforce).

We bought a rather expensive licence from a news corporation that gives us the rights to redistribute industry articles from various news wires so the feeds are a blend of internal and external items relevant to a particular division of our company.

We were keen to be able to measure take-up so we enabled Google Analytics from the start and these metrics are supplemented with those provided by Feedburner.

The enterprise wiki that I deployed and continue to support and develop at NYK has just won an Intranet Innovation Award.  The NYK wiki uses the Confluence platform, a product supplied by the Atlassian company.

We won a gold award in the Communication and Collaboration category for a particular function of our wiki called the NYK News Room.

The annual international awards are run by Step Two Designs, an Australian outfit, and NYK ranks alongside other big name winners like IBM, AEP and SunGuard.

Although I’m responsible for the technical aspects of this deployment and for promoting adoption (working with our corp. comms. guys), credit must also go to my colleague Rupert  Shanks for conceiving the News Room idea and then implementing it. Well done Rupert!

The News Room utilises the basic labelling (tagging), macros and RSS functions found in the out-of-the-box Confluence product, together with additional JavaScript and an external web-based RSS feed burning service.

Details of the award are here: http://www.steptwo.com.au/columntwo/winners-announced-for-this-years-intranet-innovation-awards/ and here: http://www.steptwo.com.au/products/iia2009

Stewart Madder the wiki evangelist at Atlassian wrote a great piece about my current wiki deployment here. I believe the hope is that the article will be syndicated to a number of prominent business print mags.

This can only do good for those working in the enterprise wiki field.

While I am at it, I recommend Stewart’s book Wikipatterns to anyone working in our field.

“NHS Orkney already had such a site, but it was rarely updated and difficult to navigate. Managing a traditional site requires considerable technical skill and effort. A good webmaster is a rare combination of techie, editor and manager: even if NHS Orkney had the resources to recruit a full-time webmaster, recruiting the right person would have been very difficult. Besides the simple matter of managing a site, anticipating and servicing the evolving needs of every department and group is an insurmountable task for one webmaster, much less an army of them. So the available technical skills were stretched too thin, the task too large, and the website became hopelessly out of date”

Traction, NewsGator Weave a Web That Works

The project team has been following the rubric of only embedding links to wiki pages within emails and not duplicating the page content as text within the email thereby drawing readers into the wiki. But this has led to complaints from Blackberry users. They state that it would be more convenient to have the plain text of the message within the email.

I feel that I must now escalate the provision of Blackberry access to the Confluence wiki – something I originally intended to postpone to a later phase.

Tonight I will attend London Wiki Wednesday. The topic for tonight’s open discussion is: Encouraging contributors and participation. I am hoping to pick up some new ideas. The user population of our wiki has grown from 6 on the date we started our Atlassian hosted Confluence site (June) to around 93. The statistics for lurkers are quite good but I feel that the figures for content creators are languishing a bit so I am looking for fresh ideas to break out of the 1:9:90 rule.