Confluence 3.5 is a big deal

Wikis are a great tool for collecting and managing an organizations knowledge assets because they allow everyone to participate in the creation and maintenance of content. Wikis present that knowledge in a familiar, web based context.  Everyone loves Wikipedia, and every company should have their own.

Confluence is a wiki tool from Atlassian that I've installed as a corporate knowledge management system (KMS).  It was installed to convert from a bunch of shared file folders full of miscellaneous, inconsistently filed and named Word and Excel files to a more an encyclopedia of what the organization knows, and to provide dynamic, user-managed spaces for ongoing projects.

Atlassian has just released Confluence version 3.5.  As the site admin, I'll be happy with some improved admin features, but that's not the big deal with this upgrade.  Confluence 3.5 is significantly easier to use for the reader and contributor.  Making it easier for the reader improves the perceived value of the content. Making it easier for the contributor means that there will be less resistance making Confluence the home for content rather than doing things the way they've always been done.

I see the key feature upgrades as

  •  Easily add multimedia content
  • Better displays and organization of spaces with a directory and categories
  • Drag'n'drop support for uploads & attachments (Firefox 3.6, Safari 5,
  • Chrome)
  • Improved share and subscribe features
  • "What's New" features tour 

And, I think the release notes indicate that there will finally be a US-English dictionary for spell check,  instead of Australian.  Crikey.