Diplopedia, billed as the Encyclopedia of the United States Department of State, is a wiki running on the State internal Intranet, called "OpenNet." It houses a unique collection of information pertaining to diplomacy, international relations, and Department of State tradecraft.
The wiki may be used by U.S. foreign affairs agencies domestic and abroad with State intranet access. It is also available to the United States intelligence community and other national-security related organizations using the Intelink-U network as a mirrored, read-only archive. Both sites are rated by the government as Sensitive but Unclassified. The wiki on either network is not open to the public.
Diplopedia is a project of the Office of eDiplomacy (eDip), located in the Bureau of Information Resource Management within the Department of State. Diplopedia uses MediaWiki, the same software used by the Wikipedia free-content encyclopedia project.
Creation and Usage[edit | edit source]
The program is part of a larger effort created by Secretary Condoleezza Rice within the concept of Transformational Diplomacy. Under this plan, personnel will utilize Web 2.0 technologies such as wikis, blogs, communities, and virtual work environments to provide diplomacy to areas that have been underrepresented.
As of June 2008, the overall Diplopedia project hosted over 9,700 pages (more than 4,200 of which are substantive articles), edited by 900 registered users.
Community practices[edit | edit source]
The wiki provides so much flexibility that several offices throughout the community are using it to maintain and transfer knowledge on daily operations and events. Anyone with access to read it has permission to create and edit articles after registering and acquiring an account with Diplopedia (there are no anonymous edits allowed). Since Diplopedia is intended to be a platform for expressing the various points of view of the the Department, Diplopedia does not enforce a pure neutral point of view policy. Instead, viewpoints are attributed to the offices and individuals participating, with the hope that a consensus view will emerge. Positions or views in an article that do not fairly represent the consensus of the relevant community of interest are to be clearly marked with the author, office, or agency whose views they represent. 
Diplopedia has a unique categorization of abbreviations and acronyms (pervasive in government). Each is placed in Category:Abbreviation and most point to articles on the topic the abbreviation represents. Information is also grouped by categories familiar to diplomats and lay people alike such as Missions Abroad, Offices, Information Technology, and Security.  Diplopedia also contains non-encyclopedic content including notes and items of internal, administrative interest.
Diplopedia uses the same categorization for frequent users as Wikipedia, namely a number of mythical creatures representing types of editors.
Diplopedia and Intellipedia[edit | edit source]
Recent congressional testimony from Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, notes the difference between vertical and horizontal information sharing and suggests that both could be successful e-government endeavors. Intellipedia is an excellent example of sharing information horizontally across agencies, and Diplopedia has found similar success in sharing information within the Department of State bureaucracy. Statements on both wikis encourage cross posting of relevant information as appropriate.
See also[edit | edit source]
- United States Department of State
- United States Foreign Service
- Office of eDiplomacy
- Transformational Diplomacy