Navy Knowledge Online portal focuses on learning

About 1,000 new users have been signing up for the Navy Knowledge Online portal every day since its enterprise-wide rollout Jan. 22.

The new Web portal, www.nko.navy.mil, emphasizes learning and collaboration, said Navy Lt. Eric Morris, the NKO program manager.

Morris' team has tapped dozens of experts to take responsibility for maintaining NKO chat rooms, discussion boards and document repositories for more than 90 Navy job classifications.

Upon registration, new NKO users are given a buddy list of about half a dozen experts in their career field, and then they can customize the list to meet their own needs, Morris said. A white-pages directory with multiple filters helps NKO users find each other.

In planning for NKO, Morris said he and his colleagues drew heavily upon the experience of the Army Knowledge Online portal. The two services are close to opening up their portal white pages, messaging and chat functions to each other's members.

Bantu Inc. of Washington provided the instant messaging and chat software incorporated into NKO and AKO.

NKO now has roughly 42,000 active users, but Morris said he expects that figure to rise up to 250,000 users by the end of the summer. The total could reach 1 million if Navy dependents are allowed to join.

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