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  Thursday, April 13, 2006

  Weblog research: artefacts and practices - and contexts that influence them

Jack Vinson writes a follow-up on my yesterday's artefacts and practices, with differentiation between work and working: 

Work is the output of some activity: the end result that I can then give to someone else.  Working is everything that goes on to create that output: mental and physical activity.  It's a useful distinction in the discussion of knowledge work because we so frequently focus on the work product or the result of working, rather than the skill and knowledge that make the result possible.  And in thinking about making knowledge work more productive, it is the working that we need to improve, not necessarily the end products.

Also something very synchronous to what I has been writing and drawing over last few days:

artifactsIn thinking about this, I wonder if a deeper structure might be in play -- a deeper connection to context in which bloggers (or knowledge workers) operate.  Something like this drawing, where the visible is at the top of the pyramid and stuff below the waterline is the blogging culture and even deeper is the larger culture and context of the people doing blogging.  (Please draw something better - or point us to a better-looking drawing.  I need to spend more time, if I were to draw something pretty.)

My pictures are not perfect as well. First, I decided to make yesterday's squares into a triangle, so this is still on weblog artefacts and practices :) Then, I went a bit further in describing those "the larger culture and context of the people doing blogging" from three perspectives. There could be more perspectives/contexts, but in my case (studying knowledge worker blogging practices) I consider those as most important:

  • Personal e.g. personal needs, values, habits, practices, etc. of a knowledge worker that influence blogging
  • Community e.g. norms and practices in the communities of practice (informal, often multiple) where knowledge worker belongs
  • Organisational e.g. norms and practices in organisation(s) that pay knowledge worker for his/her work

Of course, if I would have time I should draw the triangle as a pyramid founded in those contexts, but I'll leave it to another time.

Also: Nancy on invisible online practices

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