Since 9/11, the intelligence community has been looking for ways to do a better job of sharing information between agencies. Chris Rasmussen is a knowledge manager and trainer for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency within the Department of Defense, and he’s a dynamic part of that effort. He’s a thought leader in the application of Web 2.0 tools to intelligence goals, especially social software. You won’t want to miss his session in the government track at the upcoming Web 2.0 conference on November 1; Rasmussen is an exceptional speaker.
If you’re part of the intelligence community, then you know about Intellipedia and A-Space, two huge Web 2.0 developments that promote better interagency communication. Rasmussen has made it his mission to promote both tools, along with other social software tools like blogs and mashups—all of which are inexpensive and agency-neutral.
Let’s take Intellipedia first. If you’re unfamiliar with it, here’s a quick rundown. It’s a set of three wikis—one each for JWICS, SIPRNet, and Intelink-U—used by all 16 agencies in the US intelligence community. On screen, it looks exactly like Wikipedia, because it uses the same software, Mediawiki. Just like with Wikipedia, any user can make changes to any piece of data. However, with Intellipedia, the author’s name is always attached to the change.
Rasmussen points out that Intellipedia lets users connect with people who have the knowledge they need. He also believes that information that’s been edited by a huge number of people is much stronger than a single report. And everyone from generals to privates can use the system, he stresses. So people at all levels, from all agencies, involved in all kinds of projects, get involved in improving the information on Intellipedia.
A-Space incorporates Intellipedia and takes another step forward in complexity. It’s essentially a portal designed to eventually include all kinds of things: wikis, blogs, RSS feeds, joint Web-based word processing, mashups, tagging, and more, built on a services-oriented architecture. The goal is to provide an even larger framework in which the intelligence community can share information efficiently.
Intellipedia and A-Space just might be changing the face of intelligence communications. Chris Rasmussen is convinced that these open source methods of intelligence are the best thing for the future. Intrigued? Come hear more.