13:51 11/06/2004 Mathemagenic: Mathemagenic
...giving birth to learning...


  Friday, January 31, 2003

  Purple cows and further connections

Phil Wolff points to In Praise of the Purple Cow, which is about standing out of the crowd and marketing. This book is written by Seth Godin (he wrote Unleashing the Ideavirus too). Seth gives a summary:

  • Sell what people are buying
  • Focus on the early adopters and sneezers
  • Make it remarkable enough for them to pay attention
  • Make it easy for them to spread
  • Let it work its own way to the mass market

  • This is quite in-line with The Tipping Point that I'm reading. BTW, this summary by Robert Paterson will save me a lot of time as now I'm not going to write it myself.

    Something that triggers me currently:

    Connectors, mavens, and salesmen make it possible for innovations to connect with the early adopters. They are translators: they make ideas and information from a highly specialized world and translate them into a language the rest of us can understand. They drop extraneous details and exaggerate other details so that the message itself acquires a deeper meaning.

    So, next to the things I have to do for my work I want to connect these pieces with change management and then apply them to "KM introduction" case.


    Google dating [a klog apart]

    So let me bring this back to a few of my themes:
    1. Weblogs are handy for branding. For work. And for life. Casting your self upon the marketplace of ideas.  
    2. A blog's links show, build, and exercise social networks. Google likes this.
    3. Matching engines scoring compatibility of every combination in an n-n space. Zippy, where Oracle grinds to a halt. ELISE, iXmatch, NCorp, Triplehop, Burning Glass. But they need at least partially structured data.
    4. RSS 2.0 supports adding structure. 
      • Personal profiles: I want [love, romance, security, walks in the park], I offer [conversation, laughs, cuddling].   
      • Professional profiles: I want [work near me, comp plan X, benefits Y], I offer [ability A, experience B, skills C, reputation D]. Traditionally packaged as résumés, CVs, and career profiles.

    So if you want love and money, build tools that add structure to blogs, RSS, and RSS readers.

    More on: blogs networking 

      Wednesday, January 29, 2003

      New blog is born

    Andy Boyd started a blog

    Here as part exploratory and as part of our KM research program I will be keeping a blog and asking my colleagues and others to come in and comment on it's use for commercial companies employees - our main purpose is to assess is this a tool by which we can share knowledge. 10 years ago I was skeptical about whether we could apply CoPs within industry and now after riding high on our success with them, this is yet another KM process to explore - I'll get to other explorations later in my blog i.e. yellow pages, knowledge bases, capturing what we know etc etc.

    Let's see where this takes us and if I can muster the enthusiasm to keep it going?

    I'm reading The Tipping Point and I'm thinking about something similar: will blogs make it from early adopters to majority?

    More on: blog new 

      Tuesday, January 28, 2003

      Open and free global registry of doctoral dissertations in progress


    PhdData. Still being developed, PhdData intends to be an open and free global registry of doctoral dissertations in progress. By Daniel Vainstub, January 26, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

    More on: PhD 

      Categorizing weblog usage

    Dale Pike [Stand Up Eight] is back, moving to MT and categorizing weblog usage. He says that posts "fall (roughly) into the following categories" and gives anologies:

    post type analogy
    reference posts searchable and annotated Favorites/Bookmarks list
    FYI posts email distribution list, discussion board, news group
    HELP! posts phone call or email message that becomes archived and visible to all those who might need it
    conversation posts discussion group, email (individual or list), "slow" IM

    See also for iCalendar and RSS for course calendars

    More on: blogs blogs in business 

      Monday, January 27, 2003

      TeamBlogging experiences

    Cindy and Olaf share their experiences of TeamBlogging using Blogger  and ask about other tools that they could use.

    More on: blogs 

      Who knows what you know

    Reasons to blog... [a klog apart]

    John Satta, taken out of context:
    It's not what you know or who you know, but who knows what YOU know

    More on: knowledge networker 

      Not in my PhD...

    Have you ever seen a child take apart a favourite toy? Did you then see the little one cry after realizing he could put all the pieces back together again? Well, here is a secret that never maker the headlines: We have taken apart the universe and have no idea how to put it back together. After spending trillions of research dollars to disassemble nature in the last century, we are just now acknowledging that we have no clue how to continue - except to take it apart further. [Linked: The New Science of Networks, p.6]

    For me it's still difficult to define exactly what I want with my PhD, but this is exactly what I don't want.

    More on: research 

      Friday, January 24, 2003


    Presentation Persisting and Surviving the Journal Review Process [PhDweblogs]

      Blogs vs Chat and Bulletin Boards

    Chat and Bulletin Boards vs Blogs via [thomas n. burg | randgänge]

    1. Anything goes
    2. 10% generate 90% of comments
    3. Contained
    4. Temporary
    5. Disconnected topics
    6. Low control of dialogue
    7.Vulnerable to power games
    8. Superficial development of ideas
    9. Outward focus
    10. Reliant on other people's contributions
    11. Limited audience
    1. Self conscious
    2. No lurking
    3. Publishing
    4. Permanent
    5. Thoughtful collaboration - connected topics
    6. High control
    7. Limited power games
    8. Depth and development of ideas
    9. Inward and outward focus
    10. Not reliant on other's contributions
    11. Unlimited audience 

    See also Blogs vs Message Boards [andersja's blog]

    More on: blogs 

      Articles on wikis "Operation of a Large Scale, General Purpose Wiki Website" [Seb's Open Research]

    One of the first serious articles on wikis that isn't on a wiki (a previous one was The Reengineering Wiki (pdf)). , by susning.nu founder Lars Aronsson. Abstract:

    A Wiki website is a hypertext on steroids. Any user can create or edit any page on the site using a simple web browser, and all information processing is done on the server side. Wiki sites are powerful tools for collaboration in closed work groups, but can also be used for the general public on the open Internet. This paper summarizes the experience from the first nine months of operation of Sweden's biggest Wiki website susning.nu, including its usefulness in non-profit and commercial applications, in hobby and professional, projects, its social and legal aspects, its relation to geographic information systems, subject information gateways, the establishment of a controlled vocabulary, and its implications on learning, free speech, the price of information, licensing, and copyright. Relevant comparisons to similar projects in other countries are also presented.

    (via Peter Suber)

    More on: wiki 

      German and Swiss week at the Knowledge Board

    German and Swiss Week: 27.01.-31.01.03 at the Knowledge Board:

    • case studies about KM in German SMEs
    • an online workshop about “KM in German SMEs” in german
    • interview with Dr. Lando Lotter about "KM implementation and use in SMEs and in their requirements in terms of the development of adequate KM tools and methods"
    • keynote presentation by Mr. Christoph Meier, CCSO (CH): "KM at Swiss SMEs"

    Probably not for me (I don't know German), but for many others...

    More on: learning event 

      More research questions about blogs

    Olaf Brugman comments to the emergent KM research proposal emergent KM research proposal asking about research of weblogs (bold is mine): 

    I hope the research could contribute to:

    • increasing knowledge transparency: I am enthusiast about the blogging phenomenon, with the way it can quickly form communities. However, I also find blogging leads to multiplying search and analysis time. There is so much blogging knowledge (on search, on networking, on technicalties), but a lot of this knowledge is multiplied around many blogs like a spreading virus. I have to go out and look for stuff, and then find many doubles. I think the collective blogging phenomenon isn't understanding the role of collective infrastructures as a katalyst or a complexity filter. BLogknowledge needs to be prefilterd, filtered for doubles, and syndicated to avoid individuals all having to go out to do the same thing.
    • digital divide: blogging favours people who have 1) general web access, 2) to whom access cost are no issue 3) have the time to be online and working on the web constantly. It cuts off others.
    • balance between webpageconversation and real conversation. It just isn't good to turn people in to brains glued to a keyboard. Needs to be balanced with meeting real people.
    • as blogs grow: how to find back and reuse stuff? it is not a replacement for databases and fileshares. but then how is it to be positioned?

    More on: blog research 

      Things to catch

    Some of recent posts to catch:

    Content Management: Our Organized Future [elearnspace blog]

    Contagious Blogging [Ton's Interdependent thoughts]

    Conflicts of interest between publishers and information creators [Synesthesia]

    DeadJournal about LJ and blogging communities [Ross Mayfield's Weblog]

    Introducing: Seb's matchmaking service! [Seb's Open Research]

    Proxemics and knowledge management [Joy London via  McGee's Musings]

    More on: reading 

      Cross-border knowledge sharing is power

    Jim McGee in Managing for shared awareness about Enterprise Effectiveness

    Interesting thinking about what lessons are to be learned from the military about sharing information in real-time or near real-time:

    Shared information inside a corporation and with its allies and customers provides greater information richness and reach, and produces shared awareness. Shared awareness in turn enables faster operational tempo and sustainable competitive advantage. This all spells increased competitiveness

    An interesting transition from "need to know" to "shared awareness" Hierarchical organizations spend inordinate time and effort trying to work out precise boundaries on who needs to know what and when. Ostensibly about minimizing demands on people throughout the organization, it's really about the exercise of power and control.

    And Stephen Downes about Napsterize Your Knowledge: Give To Receive (here)

    The primary lesson: "The more that a company shares its knowledge, the more valuable it becomes." It's astonishing how many people still don't believe this. But when I look back at the success my website and OLDaily have brought me - despite my lack of any obvious qualifications in the field - it is self evidently true. When you share your knowledge, you share your ability, and this is what makes you or your company more valuable. People prefer to hire or contract for services based on proven ability nearly every time. Moreoever, the more you share, the more people share in return (many of the items in OLDaily are the result of submissions from readers), which increases your personal or corporate knowledge base. Anyhow, this article discusses some of the benefits of sharing knowledge and then offers some advice on how to do it.

    I wonder if someone does research with large companies about cross-border knolwedge sharing? I believe in its power, but it would be nice to have more arguments to convince others.

    Later: more in Sharing vs. hoarding knowledge by Jim McGee
    More on: knowledge sharing 

      Technology anthropologists

    Jim McGee in Doing anthropology cites Ernie the Attorney's post  about technology anthropologists (bold is mine)

    Anyway, I sometimes find myself observing people as they interact with technology as an anthropologist would observe, say, gorilla behavior.  Now, I don't mean that I think that I'm somehow superior to others and I therefor see them as apes.  What I mean is that I am fascinated by how the rapid intrusion of technology into our lives has forced us to grapple with strange tools.  The gap between the capabilities of the tools and our understanding of how to best make use of them is somewhat akin to the gap between two closely related species. 

    And comments:

    Ernie is on to a nice meme here. Another term to throw into the mix is "ethnography." While usually associated with doing anthropology in the field, it's also become a legitimate research tool in organizational settings. I find an anthropological approach particularly useful in the realm of technology for a couple of reasons. First, technology is too dynamic for a lot of other research approaches. Along a similar line, organizational research is not a place where you get to do controlled experiments. It's either impractical or unethical (sometimes both). That leaves you with observational techniques of one sort or another. One advantage of ethnographic/anthropological approaches is that they explicitly recognize that the anthropologist/observer is part of the system.

    [...]One consequence of doing anthropology is that you have to develop some sense for who the observer is. You're not doing experimental work that can be replicated. You're doing a certain kind of storytelling that depends on observational skills and narrative skills. Unlike a fiction writer, you aren't using stories for the abiilty to make stuff up out of whole cloth (I suppose fiction writers don't really do that either). You are using narrative as a tool to reveal gaps in the logic, to discover what's missing in the logic of the story that will point you toward new things to look for.

    More on: research 

      Thursday, January 23, 2003

      Connecting KM research and practice

    [after last two posts] What do you need to connect KM research and practice? Get more KM researchers blogging about their work. Get them writing on-line in small pieces and easy-to-read language.

    I'm close to consider this as my personal challenge :)

      Distributed KM

    Italian research project: enabling distributed and autonomous management of knowledge

    The aim of this project is to develop research in information technology and software tools that support the Distributed and Autonomous Management of Knowledge. The goal will be achieved by:

    • structuring knowledge in different "contexts", that allow each different organization component to create, use and update autonomously its view on data encoding knowledge;
    • providing a set of techniques allowing for the interoperability and the interaction among different contexts;
    • implementing the techniques on an experimental platform supporting distributed and autonomous knowledge management;
    • experimentally evaluating with significant business cases the techniques for creating, codifying and exchanging knowledge.

    While it may sound too traditional or technical, the ideas behind are really in-line blogging as an emerging network of independent knowledge nodes. Check this site for project publications, related works and PhD positions (e.g. social models for distributed networks  :)

    I'm reading a couple of papers from there, so more will follow.

    More on: DKM 

      On-line scientific publications and blogs

    Recent editorial of Information Research journal (bold is mine):

    A couple of issues ago I asked readers whether or not they knew of any work on the 'half-life' of electronic journal papers versus that of print journal papers. I received a helpful e-mail message pointing me to Steve Lawrence's paper in Nature in 2001. Lawrence looked at papers in computer science and related fields and found:

    ...a clear correlation between the number of times an article is cited and the probability that the article is online. More highly cited articles, and more recent articles, are significantly more likely to be online, in computer science. The mean number of citations to offline articles is 2.74, and the mean number of citations to online articles is 7.03, an increase of 157%.

    Then there is a small piece about Weblogging Multiplier Effect and a conclusion for scientific writer:
    The crafty author, then, can pretty well ensure some take up by cultivating a friendly blogger and letting him/her know when a paper has been published - off round the network the news goes and, before you know it, you are on the best-seller list.

    And finally:

    Perhaps we'll see the day when a Blog Impact Factor (BIF) is required of all candidates for tenure or promotion.

    For an interesting history of blogs, read Rebecca Blood, and if anyone has a paper on the subject in preparation, let me know.

    See also for a list of most popular articles.


    Meet the B-Blog [via Ross Mayfield's Weblog]

    B-blogs are highly strategic, here-to-stay desktop tools that can strengthen relationships, share knowledge, increase collaboration, and improve branding. Think of the potential for your e-newsletter strategies:

    • Articles within newsletters can be linked to a blog, extending life and creating a massive conversation.
    • You can offer a bidirectional forum to customers to get true, personal opinions on your products and services.
    • Company experts can start a blog and become industry experts, helping your company edge out competition and, through this interactive forum, draw customers into another exchange of information and thoughts.
    • The beauty of this interplay is you can layer your blog with editorial controls!

    One more link to add to my Klognet links collection.

    More on: blogs in business 


    A follow up for Manila for school districts and Russian dreams

    Actually I am not sure if Frontier / Manila can handle foreign language characters. Does anybody know?[Seblogging News]

    Something I checked with try-out version of Manila: it can't handle Cyrillic. I expect that this in encoding problem, so those languages that use non-default encoding are most likely not supported.

    Another addition: News aggregator in Radio doesn't support RSS feeds in Cyrillic (they get encoded into something not readable, the same as posts in Radio/Manila).

    So, does UserLand want markets in countries writing differently?

    More on: Radio Russia 

      Tuesday, January 21, 2003

      More about knowledge sharing

    George Siemens in Knowledge sharing Environment:

    Some components needed in a well-crafted environment suitable for knowledge sharing:

    • Informal, not structured
    • Self-forming connections - let members of the environment decide how to interact
    • Tool-rich - members should have many options for connecting and dialoguing.
    • Simple/single starting point...but multiple branches/exits
    • Diversity of participants - very critical...people tend to form into groups of similar people. Knowledge sharing and innovation require smashing together ideas of contradictory or unrelated nature
    • Time - facilitation is best viewed as a small spark that grows into a roaring flame over time. Most managers seem to prefer explosions that die out quickly...
    • Trust - knowledge sharing is about people. Safety and security (face to face or online) lead to trust. General community rules should value individual contributions and personalities.
    • User-shaped - most KM initiatives begin with the mindset of building a house and then telling employees to move in an basically only hang up pictures. Instead, they should be given tools and supplies...and then allowed to create what they really need.
    • Community feel - communities of practice have gained a reputation as being effective means of sharing knowledge...because we are most likely to share what we know with people we know.
    • Capturing and searching - these staples of KM are still important. Newcomers should be able to observe the trials others have walked...and if done right, a KM system could link into persformance support systems...resulting in up to date resources for people...when they are needed.

    Commenting Denham Grey suggests to "inquire what sharing knowledge really means" and points to wiki about knowledge sharing.

    More on: knowledge sharing 

      Formal/informal interplay (2)

    George Siemens  reflects in Effort in the right place?:

    ...is learning best achieved through structure (created by those who define what a learner needs to learn) or through environment (fostered by an organization, but created by the learner)?

    I know much learning needs to happen via structured processes (I don't want a pilot or surgeon who taught themselves...), so perhaps it's worth describing foundation learning (skills/competencies) as requiring structure...and maintenance learning (the skills/knowledge needed to stay current and grow in our work) as requiring environment. Structured learning happens for 4 - 8 years...maintenance learning happens throughout life...yet it seems most learning related activities are still geared towards structured learning. Sort of like trying to leverage the point that will produce minimal results (but is controllable), while leaving the point that will produce rapid results (but is more serendipitous...and hence less receptive to structure) untouched. Thoughts?

    I would rather use formal and informal learning as those terms are better to catch the core difference between structure and environment: the issue of primary control over learning process. [Context: definitions+references, comparison between two forms, supporting informal learning]

    Based on adult learning theories I assume that we may need both types at the same time:

    Adults have a need to be treated as being capable of self-direction, but they can be or choose to be relatively dependent. Adults learn better if they are provided with sufficient support and guidance to complement their own level of dependency (Knowles, et al, pp.65, 135-139).

    E.g. you would most likely want a pilot or surgeon who combined structured training with years of informal learning experiences.

    As I already wrote I believe in interplay between those two forms: any structured intervention should be focused on releasing energy of learner and providing just enough focus and support to get though a learning experience. I also believe that people are smart enough to learn themselves :)))

      Distributed network of interacting knowledge workers

    Stephen Downes reviews Preliminary Heuristics for the Design and Evaluation of Online Communities of Practice Systems:

    [...]Extracted and summarized, the advice offered by these authors is as old as the hills:

    • Support the creation of new ideas
    • Structure interaction around a regular servies of events
    • A community should have a unifying sense of purpose
    • Be able to add, change and delete information
    • Give individuals and groups a place to express their identity
    • Establish social rules through moderation
    • Use a variety of discussion tools
    • Create a space for interaction and learning
    • Connect to offline events and activities

    [...]So what should a proper - and original - article about learning communities in 2003 look like? It should shift the focus from an institutional environment to an individual's access to a set of services. It should discuss the creation of a distributed network of interacting knowledge workers (or knowledge seekers). It should talk about fostering a set of communication channels - such as email newsletters, aggregator websites, IM advice circles. It should address combining the roles of gaming, simulation, correspondance, commentary and assessment. It should emphasize the skill sets required in order to foster the creation of knowledge through a collaborative process.

    I share the feeling and I'll try to make sure that my PhD contributes to understanding of knowledge networkers.

    More on: knowledge networker 

      Lessons in Community-Building: An Inquiry into Role of Weblogs in Online Communities

    Both my aggregator and Knowledge Board discussion bring new "blog research" name: Nurul Asyikin needs help in her study: 

    Tentatively entitled Lessons in Community-Building: An Inquiry into Role of Weblogs in Online Communities, my thesis will focus on two matters: how webloggers perceive the concept of virtual community, and the effects of technical and design factors on the development of virtual communities.

    [...]I am mainly in need of webloggers to interview. If you maintain a weblog and are interested in contributing to the ongoing dialog concerning the issues of online human behaviour in general, and virtual communities specifically, please contact me. I can be reached via ICQ (UIN: 115135696) and email.

    More on: blog research 

      Monday, January 20, 2003

      Subtle way to encourage: lesson from user interface

    Fly UI [via Technorati list of Blogdex Top 10]: a little story about simple and gentle way to "invite" people doing what you want them to do.

    Nice to read and think what we, KM people, can do to "encourage, in a very subtle way, good aim" in our field :)

    More on: usability 

      Friday, January 17, 2003

      Manila for school districts and Russian dreams

    Pat Delaney shares A proposal for school district deployment of a CMS [via Sebastian Fiedler]

    Great example for those who want to start. It includes:

    • Capabilities & benefits
    • Examples
    • CMS Selection & Pricing
    • Security
    • Training scenarios
    • Infrastructure requirements
    • Process for school participation

    I have to check if Manila supports Cyrillic (Radio doesn't :(. If so I have a great idea in mind: my monther is school principal in Russia...

    Yesterday I searched for blogs in .ru and found out that blogging is taking off in my own country, but more in the "personal diary format" rather than in "k-logging format". I really want to introduce blogging to Russian professionals and I have ideas for several projects in mind. Now it's a matter of time and finding tools that will work in Russian.

      Thursday, January 16, 2003

      Webinar: Making Boundaryless Organizations a Reality

    On 23 January Saba hosts another free webinar of Human Capital Live! series - Making Boundaryless Organizations a Reality: Human Tools to Match the Technical Capabilities of the Extended Enterprise by Ron Ashkenas

    Making Boundaryless Organizations a Reality: Human Tools to Match the Technical Capabilities of the Extended Enterprise Organizations are increasingly becoming "ecosystems" of suppliers, partners, customers, and other allies, working together across boundaries to create value based on core competences. Cross-boundary collaboration is greatly enhanced by technologies that support virtual work--but the human dimension of such collaborations often lags behind. In this program, author and consultant Ron Ashkenas discusses "human tools" that his practice has successfully employed to address the gap between people and technology in so-called "boundaryless work". Ron will draw from case examples of his pathbreaking work at General Electric and other major corporations.

    Signing and participation is free, so most likely I will join.
    More on: learning event 

      Wednesday, January 15, 2003

      Blogging e-mail

    Ross Mayfield comes with Email Signature Convention:

    I got sick and tired of clarifying if the contents of email I send are public or not.  This question is a natural when you are in blogspace.  So I added the following line to my email signature:

    this email is: [ ] blogable [ x ] ask first [ ] private

    More on: blogging etiquette 

      New blog is born: the NGO Knowledge Map

    Olaf Brugman starts Experiment: Weblogs to expand NGO knowledge capturing with his own blog the NGO Knowledge Map. He invites others to join, reflects on the first experiences and involves others in the discussion.

    More on: blog new 

      Tuesday, January 14, 2003

      Back to life

    Finally I'm back to blogging. I went on vacation with Radio running at home, but something went wrong and I wasn't able to access it. I had more than free weeks off :)

    My main news so far:

    - New Mathemagenic got ranked higher than old Mathemaganic in Google

    - I made my choice of PDA and I'm happy to play with my new NEC MobilePro 300e. So far I installed Pocket Blog by Bryce Yehl and I'm looking forward to try it on the move.

    - I'm back to thinking about blog pilot: more will follow soon.

    - Finally I've got books from Amazon, so now it's very difficult to make choices which one I should read first:

    More on: life 

    © Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

    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: 6/23/2005; 11:49:09 AM.