I recently had the pleasure of attending an event organized by Karen Huffman the Senior Applications & Database Administrator, Information Systems & Technology at the National Geographic Society.
The lively format for the event was “Pecha Kucha” (pronounced “pe-chak-cha”) a presentation style that was created in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham two architects from Tokyo. Pecha Kucha limits each presentation to 20 slides, and 20 seconds per slide which keeps presenters on track and allows for more presentations to fit into a single event.
Watching Pecha Kucha presentations is quite exciting, the fast pace really keeps the speaker on their toes, and as an audience member I found myself able to absorb a lot more information than I typically would get out of a one hour presentation on a single topic. Atlassian sponsored a live webcast of the event, and also videotaped the event so it can be archived.
The Pecha Kucha presentations are as follows:

  • National Geographic Society (NGS)
    • Karen Huffman — Wikis…. almost better than chocolate.
    • Whitney Hall — Sharing information through wikis.
    • Ariel Deiaco-Lohr – Going Greener: New ways for sharing resources & research
  • Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC)
    • Diane Schnurrpusch — Development of DC Chapter of SLA’s wiki
  • Executive Office of the President — Office of Management & Budget (EOP-OMB)
    • Emily Fort — Discuss government-wide collaboration and management of a large Confluence instance.
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
    • Doug Joubert — Implementing wikis at a federal institution.
    • Dan Wendling — A Confluence wiki’s design pattern library and thoughts about usability.
    • Jeremy Swan — Review the Confluence architecture and method for developing templates.

Each video has been edited to bite sized chunks and comes as close to watching a live Pecha Kucha presentation as you can get! So grab a mini bag of popcorn and enjoy Atlassian’s Wiki Theater presents “Sharing our stories about wikis the Pecha Kucha way”
I will kick off with the introduction where Karen describes Pecha Kucha and introduces each of the speakers:



Wikis: Almost better than chocolate…
Karen Huffman, National Geographic Society

Hailing from the knowledge management arena with experience in MediaWiki and Confluence, Karen defines wikis and provides various wiki-101 resources. She offers how wikis are scalable, flexible, secure, and how extensible they are.


Sharing information through wikis
Whitney Hall, National Geographic Society

Whitney discusses her role within the photographic story development and visual content of National Geographic articles. Next, she presents the Biomimetics case study and the need to share information among numerous people spread across the world, to compile info in one place, and allow many to contribute.


Going Greener: New ways for sharing resources and research
Ariel Deiaco-Lohr, National Geographic Society

Ariel shares the planning and goals of her wiki deployment. They take print products and distribute them across the globe resulting in a masive coordination effort. Goals of Ariel’s wiki include: 1) go green – no hard copies, 2) save cash, 3) share information.


Development of the DC Chapter of SLA’s wiki
Dianne Schnurrpusch, Defense Technical Information Center

Dianne started with PB Wiki (PB Works). She wanted to expedite time to post information and go green. Karen Huffman inspired her to use wikis and subsequently switched to Confluence. Along with others, the Treasurer of Dianne’s group adopted the wiki and cut down on printed financial reports. Adoption of Confluence has been steady. Dianne also shares ‘lessons learned.’


Government-wide collaboration & management of a large wiki
Emily Fort, Executive Office of the President – Office of Management & Budget

Emily’s team was tasked with implementing a wki for .gov and .mil organizations to collaborate. Over 14,000 users (growing at 1,000/month) are using Confluence to share ideas across different government bodies. She covers permissions, customizations, and workflows for the different spaces and users.


Implementing a wiki at a federal institution.
Douglas J. Joubert, National Institutes of Health

Doug discusses how to institute a wiki in government organizations and the organizational change management required in going from a shared drive to a central workspace.


Supporting wiki designers with a design pattern library
Dan Wendling, National Institutes of Health

Dan’s team at NIH uses Confluence to share wiki design patterns with users. In this presentation, he goes over some of the patterns.


Confluence architecture & method for developing templates
Jeremy Swan, National Institutes of Health

Their Confluence instance is called the “Science@NICHD” wiki. They have created multiple themes and templates, some really terrific design. They share and collaborate on 3D modeling and animated visualizations… very cool stuff.