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Lessons from GCPedia: As tweeted at the Social Media for Government Conference in Ottawa today

This is an easy blog entry. I’ve just scanned through the Twitter stream emerging from a conference session, removing duplication, so that we sitting at our desks can reap the highlights of what was said. Let me know what you think of the concept and the format.

In this session, Jeff Braybrook and Thom Kearney presented on GCpedia, the new enterprise-wide collaboration tool recently launched by the Government of Canada. Each item begins with the name (or handle) of the Twitter user who is reporting). You can find the complete conference stream (with the most recent entries at the top) at: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23ALI.

thornley: The business problem the government is trying to solve with GCPedia is to bring public servants together with the knowledge they need

citymark: GCPedia as a knowledge sharing, learning tool helping fed gov’t to collaborate

thornley: Government move into social media is taking advantage of open source software. GCPedia is built on MediaWiki software

citymark: web 2.0 designed (and refined) BY communities = for the way that people want to work & connect together

thornley: “the serendipitous discovery of other experts you didn’t know about, who you can draw on and learn from.” Jeff Braybrook

thornley: Gov’t of Canada started with two projects – a Blog and a Wiki. Internal only. WordPress & MediaWiki.

jdarrah: Treasury Board: Acknowledge contribution of SM participation for workplace satisfaction in a command-and-control environ.

pdesourdy: #ali TBS didn’t rewrite policy, they reused existing policies

thornley: Jeff Braybrook: Policies guiding public servants: Be professional; treat people with respect; get involved

thornley: Jeff Braybrook: If you write a blog and nobody shows up, it’s probably because you aren’t interesting enough.

thornley: Jeff Braybrook: It’s about social dynamics, not just technology

thornley: GCPedia: An easily accessible collaborative environment for government – Thom Kearney

citymark: wiki is one aspect of GCPedia vision – social networking; blogs; forums; video & image sharing; social bookmarking, etc 2.0 tools

thornley: GCPedia will incorporate both a Wiki for collaboration and a social network to connect public servants – Thom Kearney

citymark: other ways to promote collaboration (tools is one aspect) – process of how people work, what they want to accomplish

thornley: “People with different ways of seeing, learning from each other to get better at what they do. That’s collaboration.” Thom Kearney

thornley: 2300 registered users on GCPedia. 100+ new users/week. 60+communities (2-3 new/week); 400,000 views; 44,000 edits

pdesourdy: #ali GCPedia usage metrics are available as a wiki page for everyone to view and edit

thornley: Public Servants are using Wikipedia [GCpedia?] to support their projects, document what happened and record info for the team in real time

lisaneale: The wiki part is about knowledge and the social network part is about people

thornley: Lessons from GCPedia: Use it in combination with other tools. It’s not sufficient on it’s own. Thom Kearney

thornley: Lessons from GCPedia: Mistakes are OK. you can’t break it. – Thom Kearney

citymark: challenge: moving from a culture where info means power, to info sharing is power

thornley: Reasons to use GCPedia: 1. quick sharing with a broad audience.

thornley: Reasons to use GCPedia: 2. leverage info form other people

thornley: Reasons to use GCPedia: 3. serendipitous interaction

thornley: Reasons to use GCPedia: 4. It’s better than email #ALI A more effective collaboration tool

thornley: Reasons to use GCPedia: 5. It anables a more inclusive, less risk averse culture

thornley: GCPedia: Next steps – add a social network Thom Kearney

citymark: how to grow your wiki into a useful collaboration tool with a vibrant community, check out http://www.wikipatterns.com/

thornley: Jeff Braybrook: Look at the demand side, not the supply side, to determine if your Wiki is meeting a need

thornley: Jeff Braybrook: Of the 2300 registered users of GCPedia, most are looking, but have not yet contributed.

thornley: Jeff Braybrook: GCPedia is bringing great new opportunities for people to organize and find info

thornley: GCPedia has supported a folksonomic approach to tagging info. They are now beginning to organize the info from the top. Thom Kearney

thornley: Jeff Braybrook: Wikis allow messiness. Don’t ask for perfection or you won’t get people to participate.

jdarrah: nice point from Jeff What makes web 2.0 uptake better is that it is EASY to get involved (compared to web 1.0 coding, taxonomy…)

citymark: accessibility and official languages are 2 most important issues for GCPedia

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Cool post. I like these three in particular. The serendipitious interaction is my favorite that is hard for people to get but is really valuable.
thornley: Lessons from GCPedia: Use it in combination with other tools. It’s not sufficient on it’s own. Thom Kearney
thornley: Lessons from GCPedia: Mistakes are OK. you can’t break it. – Thom Kearney
thornley: Reasons to use GCPedia: 3. serendipitous interaction