Ever wondered how the U.S. diplomatic corps keeps track of all of its quickly changing information? Turns out, the same way all the rest of us do -- through Wikipedia.
The diplomatic wikipedia, Diplopedia, is not available to the public, though examples of pages are included in a publicly available presentation. Started in September, 2006, it has 4,400 articles, 1,000 registered users, 650,000 total page views, and 20,000 new page views a week, according to Eric M. Johnson of the State Department’s Office of eDiplomacy (aka "eDip") in Washington, D.C., said the New York Times.
In order to prevent jokesters from starting World War III by making erroneous entries, anonymous changes are not allowed.
In addition to descriptions of various diplomatic cohorts in other countries and so on, Diplopedia -- which is populated by everyday people working in the State Department, not just high-level people -- also contains articles on a more mundane, practical level, such as how to obtain a building pass or order lunch.
The department is using Wikipedia technology to change its reputation as "a profoundly hierarchical organization," according to one paper on the subject.
As an example, there are 360 articles on abbreviations and acronyms (such as "OBE'd" -- Overtaken By Events), 171 articles on embassies, 260 articles on the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, 17 subcategories of Office Descriptions, and 200 articles on Information Technology.