The reason we use Talk over the standard Confluence inline comments is to be able to restrict conversations so that clients cannot see private discussions.
George Jaros (Web 2 Market)
Web 2 Market designs, develops and hosts e-commerce and e-business web sites. They are a distributed team with clients from all over the world. Web 2 Market uses Confluence for many things. One of them is working on requirements and feature specifications. The team often discusses the documents. Some discussions are internal, others involve their customers.
Inline comments are perfect for that, because they let users have conversations in context. Confluence comes with inbuilt inline comments. However, Web 2 Market decided to extend their wiki with Talk – Advanced Inline Comments, an add-on that provides powerful inline comments you can use instead of the Confluence native feature. Let’s find out why Web 2 Market prefer Talk.
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Why Use Talk?
Talk has a set of unique features that are not available in the native Confluence inline comments. One of them is Permissions. It allows you to control who can view inline comments and have closed discussions on public pages. Here’s what George Jaros, a Production Manager in Web 2 Market, says:
We have some private pages on Confluence that are only visible to our team, but many of the pages are publicly viewable by our clients. We discuss many aspects of projects, from clarifying requirements and specifications to providing new quotes for new work. Most of these pages allow feedback and discussion from clients in the comments, but many times we want to have a private conversation about something on a public page.
Before Talk we used to create a new page that had viewing restricted to just employees, but that became unwieldy very quickly and was confusing to have to switch between the main page and the private page. With Talk we were able to post private comments (like discussions about how much to charge for a change to the specifications) right on the page where the discussion was needed. This has helped with internal private communication greatly!
Talk allows users to set viewing permissions for individual conversations as well as configure default space restrictions. Web 2 Market uses space permissions and have visibility restricted to just employees. So every time someone on the team starts a new talk, it is automatically created as a private discussion (visible only to Confluence users who work for the company). Customers do not see this comment thread while still being able to view the rest of the page.
And when a client starts a conversation using Talk, the discussion gets automatically restricted to the customer and Web 2 Market employees. Other clients can’t see it.
Below are the examples featuring cases, in which Web 2 Market benefits from the Permissions feature.
Working on Requirements and Specifications
Web 2 Market uses Talk on public pages that describe features’ requirements and specifications. Developers, salespeople, and managers collaborate on these pages. They constantly review, clarify and update the content. Such discussions do not require suggestions and feedback from the customers and are not supposed to be seen by them. Thus, these conversations happen in talks with viewing restrictions.
The team sometimes needs to have private discussions regarding hour and dollar estimates for client requests that have come up in conversations on Confluence pages. One of the employees adds a talk to discuss quotes and estimates with colleagues right on the page. The customer does not see this comment thread while browsing proposed requirements and specifications.
The Web 2 Market developers and other team members like to use Talk to capture personal to-do lists for smaller tasks within a larger set of requirements. When some task comes up while working on a document, a user creates a new talk with the task description and modifies the viewing permissions of that talk to have only the creator of the inline comment on the list of people who can see it. Such talks serve as personal reminders. Users can post updates on tasks by adding new comments in a thread and resolve talks when all items on the list are completed. This way the team have their task lists in the same place, where discussions take place, decisions are made or the work that needs to be done is identified.
Web 2 Market chose Talk, because the add-on provides the capability to restrict viewing of inline comments. It makes it much easier for the team to have private discussions on public pages. Talk – Advanced Inline Comments has other unique features as well, such as working with inline comments when editing a page, real time updates of threads, viewing all discussions at once, and more.