Updated: 6/30/2005; 11:30:51 PM.


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  Monday, April 26, 2004

  Lee LeFever wins Perfect Corporate Weblog Pitch Competition

In case you need someone to convince executives about the value of blogging - ask Lee LeFever, the winner of Perfect Corporate Weblog Pitch Competition.

The carefully crafted pitch:

First, think about the value of the Wall Street Journal to business leaders. The value it provides is context the Journal allows readers to see themselves in the context of the financial world each day, which enables more informed decision making.

With this in mind, think about your company as a microcosm of the financial world.  Can your employees see themselves in the context of the whole company? Would more informed decisions be made if employees and leaders had access to internal news sources?

Weblogs serve this need.  By making internal websites simple to update, weblogs allow individuals and teams to maintain online journals that chronicle projects inside the company. These professional journals make it easy to produce and access internal news, providing context to the company context that can profoundly affect decision making.  In this way, weblogs allow employees and leaders to make more informed decisions through increasing their awareness of internal news and events.

In case Lee is too busy to help you, ask Randal Moss (second place), Michael Angeles or Jack Vinson (third place).

More on: blogs in business 

  Searching for knowledge as constructing personal learning experience

Another piece "around" now almost-finished-paper.

In the study we describe in the paper we carried out exploratory interviews (we did more :) using critical incidents technique (see Intel white paper for similar approach), asking people to recall several situations when they needed in-house knowledge and discussed why and what they were looking for, how they found it and what problems were encountered.

During the interviews we found out that in many cases when people talk about "searching for knowledge" they look for

  • information about knowledge (e.g. "what do we know about topic X in our organisation?")
  • knowledge representations (e.g. reports on certain subject)
  • knowledgeable people

This findings support the argument that knowledge doesn't exist "out there" (e.g. in documents) and that people need information cues and engagement of others to (re)construct it. A similar observation is made by Cross et. al. (2001: 102) who make a distinction between being informed about what another person knows and "the willingness of the person sought out to engage in problem solving rather than dump information".

From this perspective "searching for knowledge" is in fact searching for information and people within an organisation in order to obtain knowledge. Or, "searching for knowledge" is a process of constructing personal learning experience, selecting learning resources and engaging others as facilitators.

  Reinventing is more fun than reusing (2)

Just a quote illustrating that reinventing is more fun than reusing.

Overcoming "Not Invented Here" Syndrome (in software development context):

[...] Some organizations and individual developers seem quite content to re-invent the wheel over and over, congratulating themselves on their innovation at the same time.

Becoming more aware of what is already available, however, cannot help but shake our belief that "if you want it done right, do it yourself." Many developers, too, take too much of a perfectionist attitude when considering components for re-use. They look at the available alternatives, and dismiss them for various minor faults. "The doc is not adequate", or "it's not an efficient algorithm", we might hear. The faults may be quite real - but are they truly significant enough to justify starting from scratch? A developer must, of course, take a careful and considered look at components being considered for re-use - but if they do 90% of the job, is it really more effective to re-invent that 90%, plus the remaining 10, or would it make sense to contribute the final 10% to the existing component? Would it be as much fun? No, almost certainly not. Would it be more efficient and cost effective? Quite likely yes.

For an alternative opinion on reusing code of others, see In Defense of Not-Invented-Here Syndrome.

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

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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