New wiki targets federal IT community

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GovITwiki

Ever wish you had a cheat sheet for the jargon that permeates federal information technology? Do you find yourself wishing for a one-stop shop with information on contracts, definitions, best practices or the federal procurement process? Ever wonder what service-oriented architecture really means?

A group of government IT professionals has launched a new wiki that aims to answer those questions and bring order to the often confusing government IT arena. The idea is to use wikis’ collaborative and communal nature to create a resource for the government IT community by the government IT community.

“The GovITwiki project was started because the participants feel that there is no real central reference point for keeping track of all the vast details of government IT,” said Bob Thompson, the project’s director and a former fed. “This includes things like budgets, project names, contact points, new technologies, etc.… It's hoped that the user community will help keep the information up-to-date and relevant as we move forward.”

So far, the wiki is a volunteer project with seven regular participants and others who have contributed an article or two. The two technical people who designed the site manage it. The main participants work for the federal government or for government IT vendors, or they have in the past.

But participation is open to anyone who has an interest in government computer systems or government IT.

The site also allows users to cross-search by agency, equipment, technology or topic. Furthermore, the software tracks edits to the articles and different versions of entries.

GovITwiki looks a lot like the popular Wikipedia, but it has a much narrower focus.

“Current governmentwide search resources tend to be very general-purpose,” Thompson said. “We think it's time that those involved in government IT have a resource that addresses their unique needs.”

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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