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March 07 2011


Berkman Center: Wiki - Digital Library of America Project



The Berkman Center will convene a large and diverse group of stakeholders to define the scope, architecture, costs, and administration for a proposed Digital Public Library of America. This initiative was launched in December 2010 with generous support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Planning activities will be guided by a Steering Committee of library and foundation leaders, which promises to announce a full slate of activities in early 2011. The Committee plans to bring together representatives from the educational community, public and research libraries, cultural organizations, state and local government, publishers, authors, and private industry in a series of meetings and workshops to examine strategies for improving public access to comprehensive online resources.

The initiative stems from an October 2010 meeting held at the Radcliffe Institute to discuss the possibility of creating a Digital Public Library of America. That meeting, attended by leaders from research libraries, foundations, and a variety of cultural institutions, resulted in a statement that will serve as a jumping-off point for the initiative.

Contributing to the Wiki

The evolution and success of this initiative rely on inputs from a diverse range of stakeholders and community members; we very much hope that this wiki will be the embodiment of a consensus-based and peer-produced approach.

This is just a starting point, which we hope will grow with your input and suggestions. Please help us to develop these resources and conversations by creating an account and contributing links and resources directly to the wiki, or by e-mailing Rebekah Heacock at the Berkman Center with your contributions.

Not sure where to start? Check out the most active pages or the pages with the fewest contributions so far.

Research Tracks in Support of Workstreams

The DPLA Steering Committee has formally established 5 workstreams: Content and Scope; Financial/Business Models; Governance; Legal Issues; and Technical Aspects for our initial planning phase. Community members have added two further research tracks: Audience and Interactivity. Please feel free to contribute to any of these research tracks and propose new ones. The Steering Committee will consider adding new workstreams for the next planning phases based on suggestions here on the wiki. (A note on what follows: on behalf of the Steering Committee, I've added "Big Issues" under each track based on conversations, in person on 3/1/11 in Cambridge, MA. As ever, consider them editable all the same. - John Palfrey)


June 03 2010

Connecting the dots with Intellipedia

This April, Intellipedia celebrated its fourth anniversary. As the federal government considers building a new internal social network, "Fedspace," the lessons learned from Intellipedia are worth considering. Last week, I spoke with Don Burke and Sean Dennehy, two long-time CIA officers who have been both the public faces of Intellipedia and internal evangelists since its inception.

So is Intellipedia working? Read more, after the jump.

Intellipedia's past, present and future

Screenshot-Intellipedia.jpgThe picture isn't entirely rosy, given the various challenges that Chris Rasmussen cited last year in describing Intellipedia's "midlife crisis." Rasmussen, a social-software knowledge manager and trainer at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, said then that they're struggling to take it to the next level, in terms of getting agencies to use Intellipedia as their official conduit. Rasmussen also spoke with Ari Herzog in January of last year in an interview on government 2.0 social tools, including wikis.

For another perspective, I turned to MIT professor Andrew McAfee's blog post on whether Enterprise 2.0 "is a crock." (As one might expect from the man who coined the term, he strongly argued for the opposite.) He's been studying the use of social software in large organizations for years, including Intellipedia's growth. McAfee aggregated responses from the intelligence community on the following vexing problem: How can we connect the dots among all the pieces of potentially relevant information about terrorist attacks and other intelligence issues?

McAfee's own answer was simple: pursue Enterprise 2.0. He wrote:

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, which highlighted poor information sharing among America's sixteen federal intelligence agencies, ESSPs were deployed across all of them, including the CIA, FBI, NSA, and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency). An internal report [pdf] concluded that these tools, which include blogs and the Intellipedia wiki, are "already impacting the work practices of analysts. In addition, [they are] challenging deeply held norms about controlling the flow of information between individuals and across organizational boundaries."

In the same blog post, McAfee included comments he received from analysts across the intelligence community that reinforced that viewpoint.

Alex Voultepsis, who works on IntelLink for the Office of the Director for National Intelligence, told Federal News Radio that Intellipedia now has more than 250,000 users, with more than 75,000 contributors to the top secret area, more than 72,000 at the secret area and more than 36,000 on the unclassified segment of the site.

According to Voultepsis, users search the secret section of Intellipedia 1.3 million times every week and the top secret portion more than 1 million times a week. Users send more than 1 million instant messages daily using an internal client. Burke told Federal News Radio that more tools are coming this year, including data mashups, geospatial data, embeddable video and RSS feeds. You can download Federal News Radio's interview with Don Burke on Intellipedia as an MP3.

When you add up the features, it appears that the nation's intelligence agencies have constructed an internal tool that parallels many of the Internet's functions, collectively embodying the characteristics of an emergent social software platform. Given the utility of the Internet for its users and the direction Burke and Dennehy describe, a canny bettor might wager that Intellipedia is helping intelligence agencies work better.

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January 19 2010

Ich denke über kurz oder lang sähen sich alle Parteien, die in der (Netz-)Öffentlichkeit etwas gelten wollen, gezwungen eine entsprechende Petitions-Wiki kompetent zu betreiben, d.h. u.a. auch, für jedermann über entsprechende Anmeldung, bzw. per OpenID via Petitionsserver des Bundestages, zugänglich zu halten.

oanth - Muc 20100119
Tags: Petition Wiki
Die Umsetzung würde einen größeren Personenkreis mit ausgeprägten Kompetenzen zu unterschiedlichsten Problemfeldern erfordern - klassischerweise eine Partei - eigentlich eine interessante Aufgabe für die Piraten mit der sie 2 Fliegen mit einer Klappe schlagen könnten: Entwicklung eines breiteren Parteiprofils bei entsprechender Bündelung und Spezialisierung von Mitgliederkompetenzen - das Ganze in Kooperation mit einer breiten Netz-Öffentlichkeit. Reibungspunkte mit anderen politischen Gruppen und Gründungen konkurrierender Wikis sind vorprogrammiert, ja durchaus wünschenswert.

oanth - Muc 20100119
Tags: Petition Wiki
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