Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ABS embraces internal blogs and wikis

As covered in The Australian's article, Australian Bureau of Statistics embraces world of blogs and wikis, the ABS has implemented an internal collaboration platform supporting blogs, wikis and collaborative documents.

The article reports that 30% of staff have begun using the wiki and blog functions. If reported correctly this reflects a huge demand for internal digital collaboration within the Bureau and bodes well for the implementation of similar platforms in other government agencies.

Given that the platform is said to simplify the management of collaboratively written and edited documents, removing the load from email and enabling better version control, there are significant long-term knowledge management and internal efficiencies that could be realised by the ABS.

I've often wondered why government agencies have been so slow to move away from desktop-based word processing towards wiki-style collaborative documents (with appropriate security and version control). Admittedly there are transition costs - both ICT and training - however the savings in not having incorrect versions sent around as large email attachments and the time saved by not having to compile edits from numerous people back into a single document are quite large.

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