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  Tuesday, March 18, 2003

  Power of articulation, weblogs and KM

Different people about the power of articulation, weblogs and KM.

Jim McGee in Sharing knowledge with yourself (bold is mine)

Stephen Downes responds to my recent post on weblogs and passion with the following observation:

Weblog tools are just another input device. Great. With a lousy search and user interface. Weblogs get data into the system, but that's never been the problem with knowledge management: no, the problem is in using the data in any meaningful way. Will weblogs help with this? Not until something thinks seriously about the other end of the equation, thinks of the harried user rather than the inspired blog writer. [OLDaily]

While I agree that the current generation of weblog tools have some serious limits in terms of search and user interface, I disagree with his contention about where the problems lie in knowledge management systems. [...]

The problem with getting more leverage out of knowledge work isn't somewhere out there in the organization. It's looking back at me in the mirror every morning. Worse than that, it's that lazy slob I was looking at in the mirror six months ago who was too busy then to put a halfway decent name on a file or save that really great diagram as its own file.

What does this have to do with weblogs? Weblogs put the emphasis where I believe it belongs; on the individual knowledge worker. It encourages them to begin thinking about their own knowledge work more explicitly and systematically. It helps them realize that they are the problem and the solution. You have to learn how to share knowledge with yourself over time before you can begin to share it effectively with others.

Dale Pike in Freeze-frame on the tacit 

I often take an introspective tone as I write--the journaling aspect of weblogs can be theraputic and quite constructive when pulling together deep or disparate ideas. When I force myself to just sit down and write, I always discover a bit more about myself in the process. While it seems a bit egotistical to some to hang such introspective ponderings on the collective network flagpole, I can't help but think that as I learn and grow, a portion of the recipe for my personal learning and growth will be frozen in my weblog. It might be between the lines, but I believe it may hold value at some point in the future. Making transparent the process of progress. Can I look over your shoulder, too?

Jon Udell Technical trends bode well for KM [via Roland Tanglao]

What k-loggers do, fundamentally, is narrate the work they do. In an ideal world, everyone does this all the time. The narrative is as useful to the author, who gains clarity through the effort of articulation, as it is to the reader. But in the real-world enterprise, most people don't tend to write these narratives naturally, and the audience is not large enough to inspire them to do it.

More on: blogs stickiness 

  Weblogs and passion Weblogs and passion [McGee's Musings]
Discussions about knowledge management in organizations always raise the issue of sharing with the argument that people will be reluctant to share out of fear that their efforts will be appropriated by others. This is rooted in a industrial product metaphor of knowledge. See knowledge work as craft, however, and the sharing issue dissolves. Craft workers exist to share the fruits of their creating. A true knowledge craft product embodies something of the soul and personality of its creator. You share it with others not so they can copy it but so that they can find inspiration in using it in their own craft.

Weblogs hold so much promise in the organizational realm precisely because they amplify this connection between craft and creator. Your record is there to be seen and to be shared.

This is also why weblogs are so confusing in the organizational realm. You have to move beyond the notion of reusable and reproducible product as the putative goal.

More on: blogs stickiness 

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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.

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