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At the last SMWCon, there were a number of contributions dealing with experiences and requirements in the public sector. In fact, MediaWiki is heavily used in municipalities, administrations, government organizations, and ministries. Therefore, it makes sense for the MediaWiki community to keep on dealing with this sector.

All recordings from the conference can be found on YouTube, but I’d like to pick out one at a time here to introduce it to a wider audience.

The speaker of this talk, Bernhard Krabina, is not only a Semantic MediaWiki veteran but has been working for a long time at the Austrian KDZ – Center for Public Administration Research as team coordinator for European Governance and Urban Policy. However, Krabina also advises companies and organizations outside the KDZ’s sphere of influence. His main topics are knowledge management, e-government, information and communication technology, and open government.

A long lead time

In his talk, he presents the platform wissensmanagement.gv.at, a project of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sports. The goal of the project was to provide a portal on knowledge management in Austria.

He outlines the course of the project, which, typical for the public sector, had a long lead time. Already in 2010, there was a first study with surveys in the Austrian ministries, which should determine to what extent knowledge management is already a topic there (Krabina provides a few insights into the results of the research). At that time, three ministries, in particular, had taken major steps toward knowledge management: Finance, Defense, and Science.

This was followed by a strategy paper for a knowledge management strategy for the federal government in 2012. In 2019, the Federal Academy of Public Administration offered a series of events for building a community of practice. Here, the requirement was then formulated that a central platform would be needed to share experiences. From then on, there was no turning back and resulted in the Knowledge Management Portal, which went online in 2020.

Result: an exciting portal on the subject of knowledge management

The platform is designed to help network the knowledge management community. And it provides the visitors with guidelines and a toolbox with knowledge management tools and methods. The wiki also creates space for practical examples, publications, and a dynamic directory of experts. Following the wiki way, the website promotes flat hierarchies and is technically implemented with Semantic MediaWiki.

Not untypical for those projects: With the extension “Network“, new functionality was also developed together with the company Professional.Wiki, which graphically displays links from one wiki page to other pages. In general, the design and the user interface are also very appealing with the help of the Chameleon skin. Other important features for the use case are forms, faceted search for filtering search results, and the glossary extension. Krabina describes the vocabulary as semi-controlled.

As you can see, the platform is a good example of MediaWiki as a medium for a professional community beyond the Wikimedia world.