And you thought teenagers and the intelligence community didn’t have much in common.
From the Financial Times:
Spies and teenagers normally have little in common but that is about to change as America’s intelligence agencies prepare to launch “A-Space”, an internal communications tool modelled on the popular social networking sites, Facebook and MySpace.
The Director of National Intelligence will open the site to the entire intelligence community in December. The move is the latest part of an ongoing effort to transform the analytical business following the failure to detect the 9/11 terrorist attacks or find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Thomas Fingar, the deputy director of national intelligence for analysis, believes the common workspace – a kind of “MySpace for analysts” – will generate better analysis by breaking down firewalls across the traditionally stove-piped intelligence community. He says the technology can also help process increasing amounts of information where the number of analysts is limited.
It is not surprising that the ODNI is launching this initiative. The for all of its perceptions as curmudgeonly and behind the times, the spy community has been one of the most progressive in terms of adopting Web 2.0 technologies to enhance mission success. They have developed an intelligence themed version of Wikipedia, as well as a social bookmarking and tagging system modeled after del.icio.us.
Seems pretty cool. I’m not sure how effective this will be in breaking down the walls between different spy agencies — as the article notes, they all are pretty stove-piped into doing their own thing.
DOD, take note. If the SPIES are willing to play in this sandbox, you should too.