This paper outlines the lessons learned from using a web-based collaborative tool, commonly referred to as a “wiki”, to create custom intelligence products for decisionmakers in national security, law enforcement and business. While I consider the conclusions in this paper tentative, almost exploratory, in nature, they are based on a considerable body of evidence. Over the last year, student-analysts at Mercyhurst College have used wikis to produce 15 large scale estimative products for real world decisionmakers (or intelligence professionals who support real-world decisionmakers). Despite these analysts' experience with traditional methods of producing intelligence analysis (or perhaps because of it), they came to overwhelmingly prefer to use wikis to produce intelligence. In addition, all decisionmakers who sponsored the 15 projects indicated that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of the products they received and all indicated that they would be willing to receive products in a wiki format again (with the majority expressing an outright preference for the wiki format).
PDF Version (Pre-Pub/Complete/ISA 2008)
Part 1 -- Introduction
Part 2 -- What Is A Wiki And Why Is It So Different?
Part 3 -- The Origins And Scope Of The Data
Part 4 -- Some Broad Metrics
Part 5 -- A Few Comparisons
Part 6 -- "...And The Survey Says!"
Part 7 -- What The Decisionmakers Thought
Part 8 -- Final Comments
Saturday, March 22, 2008
A Wiki Is Like A Room And Other Lessons Learned From 15 Wiki-based, Open Source, Intelligence Analysis Projects (Final Version With Abstract)