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Add forums anywhere within your wiki to encourage even more discussions...

Overview

Many users feel uncomfortable contributing to a wiki - they are unsure as to whether they are allowed to participate or edit other people's content, and often feel worried that they'll get in to trouble if they do something wrong.

Forums are an ideal way to break down barriers to contribution and encourage users to start adding and discussing content in a much more informal manner. Almost everyone knows what a forum is and what it's used for - put one in your wiki and people instantly start collaborating.

Adding a forum to any part of your wiki is trivial - just add the forum macro to a wiki page and you get a new forum. The macro allows you to select from several different visualisations and options to customise your forum. There's also a handy add-topic macro that makes it easy to add custom links that add new topics to a forum.

(lightbulb) Tip: You can use the forum macro as a custom recently updated content list for any part of a wiki space. Learn more...

All the usual Confluence features

Topics are just wiki pages, so you can do all the usual stuff:

  • Watch them (email notifications)
  • Add to favourites
  • Search for them
  • Attach files
  • Comment on them
  • Use macros and wiki notation
  • Set view and edit permissions
  • Add labels
  • Export to PDF and Word

Plus there are plenty of plugins that can be used to enhance the functionality of your forum. If you are using our popular Theme Builder 4 Plugin plugin, you can also add the forum functionality to your custom menus to integrate it with the look and feel of the rest of your site.

Forum Related Macros

{forum} macro

Adds a forum to the current page.

{add-topic} macro

Creates a customisable "Add Topic" link.

{forum-summary} macro

Create a list or table of forums.

More Functionality

Forum Permission Management

Control who set do what with your forums, on a system or space level.

Sticky Topics

Stick important content to the top of your forum topic list.

Forum Space Tab

View all the forums in a space.

Topic Activity Scores

Which forum topics have the most activity.

The alternatives

A forum macro isn't going to compete with a fully fledged forum system, but we think it's a very useful solution. It's easy to use and gives you all the existing benefits of the wiki without the hassle of setting up and maintaining a separate forum application

If you're planning to go down the third-party forum route, consider the total cost of ownership:

  • A server to run it on
  • ...and maintain!
  • Integration with your LDAP server
  • Separate permissions system
  • Having to learn a new system
  • Trying to integrate search

Having forums in the wiki keeps people in one place, makes things super-easy to manage and makes linking to and from other content trivial.

 

3 Comments

  1. Unknown User (gfevrier)

    I'm really having a difficult time setting up a forum because there are no step-by-step instructions in the documentation to create a basic forum. The forum answers a lot of questions, but it seems the basic instructions should be in the docs.

    It would really be great if you could create a tutorial based on the Participating in Forums page. From the Forums docs page (the page I'm commenting on now) it would be great to link to your Participating in Forums page, so when we're creating a forum we can see what it's supposed to look like.

    The steps would be something like this:

    How to create a basic forum:

    1. Create a page where you want to place the forum.
    2. In wiki markup, enter the "forum" macro:

    {forum}

    .
    3. Then enter the "add topic" macro:

    {add-topic}

    .
    4. Save the page.
    The forum displays in a table with the columns: Topic, Author, Replies, and Last Reply
    5. To add the "Search" box, do this_____________________________
    6. To add the "New Topic" button, do this_______________________
    7. To add the "Edit" button, do this ___________________________
    8. To add the "Post Reply" button, do this _____________________
    (Is the "Post Reply" the same as adding comments? It seems to be.)

    Tip: If you have a left-hand navigation panel that you want to remove, check the theme for the space where you placed the forum. It said I was using the "default" theme, but it was actually using the "documentation" theme. This theme had been set for the entire site, so from the Admin Console, I changed the Theme to "default".

    Question: I've added topics, but I specifically can't figure out how to add a Post Reply button (or anything from steps 5-8 above).

    Thanks very much. I can't wait until our users are able to comment on our documentation!

    Gina

    1. Unknown User (glenn_engel@agilent.com)

      I had the same/similar question about the missing reply option. In order to have the comment reply button show up I had to enable threaded comments in the Confluence/General Configuration/Edit Feature Settings.

      1. Unknown User (gfevrier)

        Hi Glenn,

        The threaded comments were already on by default. The comments already have links for "Edit", "Remove", and "Reply". I wanted the "Post Reply" icon and link. I found the Theme Builder icons and used the "redo" icon with the post reply macro becasue there wasn't an icon for "reply":

        {compound-menuitem:newcomment|flat=true|icon=redo|caption=Post Reply}

        So at the top of the forum topic (page), I have a Post Reply icon and link. I would prefer that it look like the set of 4 icons on the Participating in Forums page I mentioned above.

        Thanks,

        Gina