Wikis in Government

I presented at the Minnesota Government Information Technology Symposium today. Jeese that's a long name. I promised that I would post my presentation and supporting materials online for everyone and I have done so at OpenGarden here. If your read the OpenGarden post the rest of this is useless to you because it's almost entirely a repost from OpenGarden.

It was nice to be back at this event. I spoke last year on general use of open source applications. In my talk last year I talked about open source CMSes, blogs, and wikis. This year it seems the attendance has almost doubled. My session was well over twice the size, which by Mark's count was well over 200 people. Last year I took a quick poll of the audience and I did the same this year. This is, in no way, scientific; in fact, I doubt I even worded the questions the same and I surely did not count all the hands, but the results were very dramatically different and very interesting.

  • How many feel like they understand open source?
    • 2005: more than half
    • 2006: looked like 100%
  • How many of you are scared of open source?
    • 2005: maybe 15% (really guessing here, I barely remember)
    • 2006: one dude who looked like he was scared of me
  • How many do not know what a wiki is?
    • 2005: approx 60%
    • 2006: 3 people out almost 250 people

Astounding really. Another interesting poll I took was this:

  • How many of you are using Sharepoint in your departments?
    • Probably 30-40 people raised their hands
  • Now, how many of you are really, and I mean actively, using Sharepoint? Not just those of you who have it deployed.
    • I think there was maybe two people hands up.

I thought that was funny. 🙂

Anyhow, this conference is cool. The audience is great and well educated and the event seems to be growing. The facilities were ridiculous though. It is held at the RiverCentre. There was no open WiFi and the facilities wanted a couple hundred dollars just for an access code to their WiFi! That's insane! I've never heard of such a thing. Aaahh….Min-eee-sooo-tah…