13:51 11/06/2004 Mathemagenic: Mathemagenic
on personal productivity in knowledge-intensive environments, weblog research, knowledge management, PhD, serendipity and lack of work-life balance...


  Friday, November 15, 2002

  Problems with categories' RSS

I posted this to Radio discussion, but they keep silent:

Something really strange: shortcuts don't work in categories RSS, but html there is fine. Any idea how to correct it?

There is another problem as well: blog title appears as "Lilia Efimova: category name" instead of "Mathemagenic: category name". In both cases HTML is ok.

Later: Lawrense says this is a bug. Hope it'll be fixed one day...

More on: Radio 

  Thursday, November 14, 2002

  Time management

So, this is the impact of PhD proposal on my life: Sunday writing, silence with friends and in a couple of networks, many ideas lost (no time to blog!), many things to fix and so on...

I wonder: do I need better time management? less ideas? less contacts? not following interesting leads? concentration? I don't know. I feel that connecting ideas and networking with people is my way of working. I want to find time for it. So I guess I have to make sure that this is part of my work :)

But finally, my PhD ideas are taking shape. I'll post them here. I'll be back to my networks, and I'll fix citing in my blog.

More on: time 

  Tuesday, November 12, 2002


Seb's Open Research in Biology, culture and diversity:

Philippe Beaudoin: "It appears that the evolution of life was strongly dependent on diversity. I think that, since the advent of civilization, cultural diversity is playing an equally important role."

  Monday, November 11, 2002

  New blog: Ton's Interdependent thoughts

After discussing blogs added value Ton Zijlstra decided to start his own blog. So, welcome to Ton's Interdependent thoughts.

  Sunday, November 10, 2002

  Beginners-friendly communities

Seb's Open Research points me to the article at kuro5hin.org:

HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux. A recent addition to the Linux Documentation Project's HOWTO collection sets out to tackle a seldom-acknowledged problem in the Linux community: women who use or are interested in Linux are often discouraged from getting involved in the community and/or learning more, by the attitudes they encounter. More generally, the same problem also applies in computing generally, the author argues.

This article makes me thinking about several things. First one is about not "beginners-friendly" attitude of a community as a barrier to join, or "you don't grow an inclusive community by calling beginners idiots". I experienced it myself and heard stories about corporate communities: for success in being open you need easy learning curve for beginners to catch up with others' language, norms and knowledge.

Second is about remembering my experiences of working with problems of social integration of kids with disabilities: if you want success you have to start from "others are different from me" attitude and acceptance of those differences.

The last one is funny: a couple of days back my husband noticed that there are only guys in my RSS subscription list :)

More on: communities 

  Friday, November 08, 2002

  Joined Ryze Ryze has a new blogs and bloggers tribe [a klog apart]
Ross Mayfield launched a new Ryze tribe this week. The Blogs and Bloggers tribe has a great roll call; many of my favorite innovators in KM, writing, and blog technology joined up. Suggestions for a rite of passage? 
I joned the club :)

More on: blogs networking 

  MOVED TO blog.mathemagenic.com

This blog is moved to blog.mathemagenic.com I will be redirecting RSS feed in a few minutes.


This was the last post at my old place. Finally I moved. I still don't understand why Radio generated all the links there to this site. If this is a bug, I'm quite happy.

Hope that I will not find something I have to change there. I will not survive one more switching :)

Now it's time to start redesigning. Sorry for more inconvenience :)))

  Citing styles

Sebastian Fiedler comments about citing styles:

I really enjoy reading "Spike Hall", "Sebastien Paquet", and "Lilia Efimova"... but the way they render their posts has some serious draw back for anybody who wants to cite their stuff. Their posts hit my news aggregator literally flooded with font and color tags. This is awfully bad Web publishing practice in my point of view. I thought CSS has finally brought back the idea of keeping your content separate from your style. So, why would anybody want to hard code a freaking link color in his Weblog post? I don't get it...

I recognise the problem. I try to have as less formatting as possible. I would add CSS style to the citations in my blog, but then I run into risk that they will not look like citations in blogs of others. Next to it I have to learn more of CSS to do it. Sorry, not now.

My list of problems of citing others:

  • color and font formatting (I remove it or override it with my citating style)
  • disappearing links (see the citation above and it's original :)))
  • lack of post permalinks (usually I go to the blog and add them manually)
  • lack of clarity if this is a citation or not

I guess we have problems in citing others if their citing style if different from others and we have to understand and to change it (e.g. I have problems in citing Sebastian Fiedler, but it's easy with Sébastien Paquet ;).

I dream about "agreed upon marking" of citations in blogs, so every author can use CSS to format it. I wrote about it earlier in weblog citations. I would be happy if someone with good technical skills could provide a solution.

  Thursday, November 07, 2002

   More about my PhD feelings: 
If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure [Dan Quayle, Quotes of the Day] .

  Technology is not important for knowledge sharing

In the recent KM review Catherine Connelly shares results of the study focused on finding factor that are significant predictors of knowledge sharing among employees [more here].

Among other results (not in the article) the following factors were found important:

  • perceived management commitment to knowledge sharing
  • positive social interaction climate (e.g. feeling easy approaching others with questions)

But this one I like more - technology doesn't play a significant role:

...the findings of this study suggest that an organizations' information technology did not significantly affect the amount of knowledge exchange among employees. That is, employees who didn't have access to intranets, repositories or even e-mail were just as likely to share knowledge as their counterparts who had access to a  wide variety of information technology (p.7).

She conclude we promoting smaller KM budgets:

The irony of promoting knowledge sharing on a smaller budget is that it may actually be more effective than a more expensive campain.

I'm not 100% sure that technology is not important for knowledge sharing, but this study is something to refer to while discussing that technology shouldn't drive it.

  Tuesday, November 05, 2002

  The darkest hour is just before the dawn

Finally I'm happy with my work: my PhD proposal is becoming more or less clear. It feels good putting together all small ideas I had during last couple of month and all small pieces from other projects this year.

Other good things:

  • Last weekend I tested upstreaming to blog.mathemagenic.com, it works fine, but I'll take more time to play there with my ideas for new design.
  • Today I had a great lunch - feeding deers, ducks and peacocks in the local park.

It's really nice comparing to yesterday when I felt so angry and lost with my PhD. Let's hope that this is really true:

The darkest hour is just before the dawn

   Just read an article about pattern language in user interface design. Would be interesting to try applying this idea to KM. [Article in Russian, links to more reading in English]

  Sunday, November 03, 2002


Sorry for the problems: I'm experimenting.

  Saturday, November 02, 2002

  Baking knowledge into the work processes of high-end professionals

Reading Just-in-time delivery comes to knowledge management by Thomas H. Davenport and John Glaser… This article describes a case of creating an integrated medical system for knowledge-based order-entry, referral, computerized medical record, and event-detection. This is an interesting case of a “smart IT-based KM”, and it includes the whole chain of analysis of business problem, KM solution, outcomes and success factors.

Specific things:

Why embedding knowledge into the work processes of high-end professionals is not easy (I added bullets to the citation; p.111):

  • they’re generally paid more and receive more intensive training;
  • they make decisions based largely on intuition and years of experience;
  • they’ve historically enjoyed high level of autonomy;
  • they are sufficiently powerful  that the organisations they work for are reluctant to tinker with their work processes;
  • and, perhaps most important they do most of their work away from computer screens.

Key success factors (next to the technical groundwork) - pp.110-111:

  • Convincing knowledge workers to support the system and the new way of working. In this case it was a pressing need to reduce medical errors.
  • Involving experts in creating and maintaining knowledge repository: use of several (existing or new) experts groups, which considered prestigious to participate.
  • Selecting truly critical knowledge processes to address with the initiative.
  • Leaving final decision-making to the people themselves, as people can start "resenting or rejecting the system if it challenged their role".
  • A culture of measurements "to justify the time and money spent on an embedded-knowledge systems, and to access how well it’s working".
  • "An IT organisation that knows the business and can work closely with key executives and knowledge-rich professionals".


Authors start with suggesting that KM initiatives are only marginally successful because they add an "extra": knowledge workers are expected to participate in KM activities in addition to doing their regular job. Then embedding knowledge as part of their work seems to be logical solution as it makes "knowledge so readily accessible that it can’t be avoided".

They suggest to start with technology:

While there are several ways to bake knowledge into knowledge work, the most promising approach is to embed it into the technology that knowledge workers use to do their jobs.

At this point I have two questions:

  • what are the other ways to embedd knowledge? 
  • why embedding knowledge into technology is the most promising one?
More on: KM 

  Friday, November 01, 2002

   One of two things is done: I moved it to another computer. I'm afraid that moving to another domain will be more difficult...

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This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Last update: 3/25/2007; 10:30:52 AM.