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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Transforming from a “need to know culture” to a “need to share culture"

10:47:00 AM Posted by Oscar Berg , No comments
In a post on the FASTForward blog called "If the US State Department Can Use Wikis and Blogs Effectively, So Can Your Organization?", John Husband refers to an article in The New York Times about the use of wikis and blogs within the US State Department, an organization that he describes as having "interest in controlling its messages AND in understanding better how to use information, knowledge and brainpower to be effective".

It is a very interesting article that addresses the value and concerns with wikis in a very clear and practical manner. Here are some of the highlights:
It’s grass-roots technology in a top-down organization,” said Eric M. Johnson of the State Department’s Office of eDiplomacy in Washington, who recently gave a talk about Diplopedia at Wikipedia’s annual conference in Alexandria, Egypt.

He pointed out that unlike Wikipedia, Diplopedia does not allow anonymous contributors, so bad actors could be tracked down. He then observed, “There are plenty of ways to commit career suicide; wikis are just the newest one.”

The decision to embrace wikis is part of a changing ethic at the department, from a “need to know culture” to a “need to share culture,”
said Daniel Sheerin, deputy director of eDiplomacy, which was created in 2003. “This is a technological manifestation of a policy difference,”...

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