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Wikis, Blogs and their use in the Water/Wastewater World

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It would be difficult to find anyone who spends time on the Internet who has not heard of weblogs, better known as “blogs”. Wikis are less well known, though Wikipedia, the free online collaborative encyclopedia is helping to change that (www.wikipedia.org). Both tools are regarded as a new communication channel and the “voice of the people”. Up until very recently their use in the business world to manage knowledge, collaborate or implement new processes was nil and often dismissed.

But being dismissive about blogs and wikis because of how they are most often used today is a mistake (PCs and web browsers weren't considered as serious business tools at first either). What is important is how they could be used. With so many utilities across the nation experiencing massive infrastructure upgrades and the exodus of their most informed employees (due to retirement) both occurring at the same time - - being able to manage knowledge, collaborate and immediately document new processes are more important now than ever before.

This paper explores how these two forms of what is termed “emergent technology” are being used in the business world. This use is then extrapolated to how they might be used in our world of water and wastewater, including a case study of a wastewater treatment plant using a blog as a communication/learning tool for their EMS for Biosolids program.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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