Reorganizing our Wiki Content

So apparently years ago, the team started a wiki, but since then, the college got one up and running, so we decided to make the switch.

Structure? What Structure?

Old Main Page (Partial)
Old Main Page (Partial)

We don’t have a lot of content, but rather than using the built-in folder structure available on PBWorks, pages were simply added to the home page.

We also had 3 pages that weren’t linked from the home page and so were kind of just lost in a blackhole.

As with any wiki, the content also kept growing and growing. Most of the content avoided overlap by virtue of having fairly well defined pages, but there were a couple of things that were copy/pasted (duplication that piece of content in multiple places).

A couple of pages did have overlap, namely our year cycle (annual events/reminders) and ‘projects’ page, which was a list of things our staff might do during slow periods or that need to be done every semester.

I also found it interesting that many of the pages had “CILS” in it, especially since we don’t share the space with anyone. I thought it was a bit odd, so I changed the names of some of the pages.

Pages that are outdated or better off in a personal space were also not moved (e.g. voicemail message script).

Finally, a lot of the pages were very long, so I split them up using the headings as titles for new, smaller pages.

Tree Structured Organization

Tree View of Wiki Pages
Tree View of Wiki Pages

We moved over the college wiki which is powered by Confluence.

I really like Confluence for the most part, especially the fact that it’s easy for users to use with little training. The one down side is that there is no source or markup view, and there is not search and replace. Otherwise, it’s a great platform though not open source.

Moving to a theme where the tree structure is in the sidebar means that I could recreate something similar to what we had on the old home page without manually doing it.

For the most part, I left the order to be alphabetical, except in the ‘Requests’ section where the order of the pages were crucial to matching it up with our workflow. So the two sections, where you see the ‘A’, were manually reordered.

For the small bits of repeated information, I separated them into their own pages and then used the include macro to include the whole page wherever necessary. I did the same thing for some of the other pages where it made sense.

Labels were also great since that gave me the flexibility to dynamically add a number of the related or subpages in a list, but without necessarily adding all the subpages.

Finally, I tried to make things easier to find by separating things into more sections, rather than sticking to just three or four. Worst case, there are multiple search bars for people to use.

Final Thoughts

Moving the wiki was thankfully a fairly quick thing, because while I had to manually copy/paste the content, we don’t have a huge number of pages, and it was very easy to organize once in Confluence.

My only wish is that there was a way to convert or migration straight from one to the other.

Author: Cynthia

Technologist, Librarian, Metadata and Technical Services expert, Educator, Mentor, Web Developer, UXer, Accessibility Advocate, Documentarian

Leave a Comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: