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State Department Boasts Internal Wiki

Distributed production comes to one of the most hide-bound agencies in government: the State Department.

According to the NYT, the State Department has using wiki software since 2006 to facilitate internal diplomatic communication. (tip) The project is known as Diplopedia and can be edited by any State Department employee, not just those folks who normally brief higher-ups before meetings.

In addition to reference material like the 200 biographies of Italian political and business leaders, the more than 4,400 Diplopedia articles reflect the range of the staff’s concerns — among popular articles are high-minded titles like “Foreign Affairs Professional Reading List” and mundane ones like “Building Pass.”

It’s still small potatoes in the overall communication mix, however. The State Department has 1,000 public and internal websites as well as 1.8 million internal cable messages and 1.5 billion e-mail messages annually.

The State Department use of wiki technology was featured at the annual Wikipedia conference held in Alexandria, Egypt last month.

By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

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