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Bloggers as knowledge animals

And one more colleague with a weblog: Janine Swaak. I have been working closely with Janine since I joined my current job as a researcher (she deserves a credit for being patient while I was learning “academic” style of writing :). We did together studies of CKOs, convergence of KM, training and e-learning, searching for in-house knowledge and lots of brainstorming sessions on all interesting aspects of KM.

Janine’s weblog is about knowledge animals and their territories:

The knowledge territories metaphor (KTM) I propose refers to the ways that animals leave traces and protect or show-off with their territory. In short, the notion of knowledge territories emphasises the aspect of ‘ownership’ and is used to describe how people let other people know about their knowledge and how people share knowledge. In addition the metaphor shed light on reasons why people notify others of their knowledge or not and why they share or do not share knowledge. Similar to information foraging theory, the metaphor of knowledge territories assumes that people are selfish, lazy and want maximal output with minimal effort. But also that people are caring for their territory and offspring and that people are proud and have an enormous drive to survive.

Central in KTM are the concepts ‘territories’ and ‘traces’. When people work, they leave knowledge traces by doing things, writing things and saying things. People may either intentionally (‘smell flags’) or unintentionally (‘foot prints’) leave strong and clear (i.e. precise place) traces or weak and vague (i.e. place and is not completely clear like boundaries of territory) traces. People may intentionally or unintentionally leave as little traces as possible or try to remove their traces. Strong and clear traces inform other people about someone’s knowledge territory, weak and vague traces leave other people in the dark about one’s knowledge territory. In other words, people either hide their knowledge territory or show-off with their knowledge territory by the strength and clearness of the traces they leave.

I guess bloggers are very friendly knowledge animals – leaving lots of traces, keeping their knowledge territories open and even providing RSS feeds to make stealing knowledge much easier :)))

Archived version of this entry is available at http://blog.mathemagenic.com/2004/03/03.html#a1108; comments are here.

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