Little piece from Time Magazine summarizing the CIA’s Intellipedia phenom.
We’ve all heard about Intellipedia, but the US intelligence community’s other forays into using social tools have been less successful:
Last September, the Director of National Intelligence rolled out a social-networking site called A-Space, with linked video and photo programs. A-Space has some 8,619 accounts, all of them top secret, but insiders say it is troubled and slow to get off the ground; at one point it was suspended because particularly sensitive intelligence was misused. New efforts at tagging and instant-messaging have also been slow.
And Intellipedia’s boosters concede that their wiki is still largely an adjunct to the work of America’s intelligence analysts. No finished intelligence product for decision makers is generated from Intellipedia — National Intelligence Estimates (NIEs) are still written the old-fashioned way, authored and circulated for peer review and consensus.
That reads as if key decision-makers in the US intelligence community view Intellipedia and similar initiatives as stuff that can be safely ignored.
Most days, I think that a low-key approach is the right one — bring 2.0 initiatives into the organization gently, start small, give everybody time to adjust. Let this stuff bubble away in the background, and it will eventually find its niche or reveal its utility.
But other times, I feel that we will never get to a government 2.0 environment, as the resistance to change in the bureaucracy is overwhelmingly strong. Add in territoriality and turf wars, big egos and fear of failure, and I get the sense that things will never really progress.