CIA uses wiki technology to share information

CIA officials said Tuesday the agency's Intellipedia project is gaining serious momentum but much work remains.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency's Intellipedia project for information-sharing within the nation's intelligence community is still in the early adoption phase a couple years after its launch, but has become a brand name for an entire suite of related Web 2.0 technologies, two CIA officials involved with the effort said Tuesday.

Intellpedia's core is a wiki, built with the same software as Wikipedia. It resides on three different networks, designated unclassifed, secret and top-secret. Over the past couple of years, the initial project has grown to include an instant messaging client built with the Jabber platform, a tagging system similar to del.icio.us, RSS feeds, image galleries and even the CIA's version of YouTube.

The system is "agency-agnostic," noted Don Burke, "Intellipedia Doyen" at the CIA, who gave the update along with Sean Dennehy, the agency's Intellipedia evangelist.

The CIA wants the system reach a level where the entire U.S. intelligence community is contributing knowledge, the two said.

While there have been early successes, that goal is a long way off, they added.

Still, Intellipedia's registered user list has grown from 20,000 in July 2007 to 35,000 today. It now contains more than 200,000 pages of content, according to the CIA.

But selling the concept of sharing information in a milieu known for secrecy has been "a painful experience," marked by repeated confrontational briefings with skeptical CIA employees, Burke recalled: "This was far more of a cultural problem than a technical problem."

While Intellipedia serves a specialized need, the CIA representatives had general advice for enterprises that are thinking about implementing wikis and other Web 2.0 technologies.

"We all do things every day that are the equivalent of organizing and aggregating," and the idea is not to create additional processes, but migrate existing ones to these tools, Burke said.

"People say, 'I don't have time to edit Intellipedia with all the other things I'm doing.' ... We say, look at what you're doing now in e-mail and shared drives and start moving those practices to those tools," Dennehy added.

Companies should take small steps, Dennehy urged. One of the first Intellipedia projects revolved around creating a list of acronyms.

"It's simple, gets people who are uncomfortable with the tools past those first couple of edits. If you make those barriers small at the very beginning, they're more likely to adopt," he said.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?