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Powerpedia - Using Technology to Increase Transparency

May 18, 2011 - 4:42pm

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The OCIO established a Department-wide wiki, Powerpedia, in early 2010 to help facilitate knowledge capture, collaboration, and increased efficiency. Leveraging many of the lessons learned from the intelligence community’s Intellipedia effort, the Department implemented Powerpedia to increase the level of transparency and connect people and information together. Built on the same open source software underpinning Wikipedia, called MediaWiki, the Department is rapidly building a large corpus of information that is enabling the organization to "know what it knows".

As of May 2011, Powerpedia has over 7,500 total pages and 45,000 page edits. In addition to Powerpedia, the OCIO has added to its “Web 2.0” suite of tools with blogs and private wiki capabilities. More important than statistics, Powerpedia, blogs and other “Web 2.0” tools are being used across the Department to rethink how we manage, communicate, and interact with our information.

For example, the Executive Secretariat has built a large corpus of information on Powerpedia to improve transparency of the Department’s communication processes and actions and has the first pilot blog. Another example of effective sharing is the Office of Management utilizing Powerpedia to help ensure relevant and current information on directives is available. Additionally, several organizations are moving away from static intranet pages in favor of dynamic pages on Powerpedia that can be updated in a timely manner by anyone with current knowledge; other Departmental elements are using Powerpedia to synthesize and aggregate mission information including histories of DOE studies and relevant links. Of course, Powerpedia is also used to help a diverse user base understand the many acronyms and terms used across the organization to ensure a common language.

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