Social bookmarking

In his post on knowledge management and social bookmarks Denham Grey asks “So how exactly are you using social bookmarking?”

We used it at BlogTalk Downunder to track content generated during the conference, a great use. Personally I have not got into using tags to mine knowledge, maybe I should…. The new Technorati Beta allows you to subscribe to an RSS feed based around a tag, maybe this would give me some interesting information.

Tablet PC’s in Education

For the last 3 months I have been wanting a Tablet PC, specifically the Toshiba M200, and since returning from BlogTalk Downunder this want has increased. Why? Firstly I got to see Mick Stanic’s up close and personal and I got to use the iBurst wireless broadband.

My personal view is Tablet PC + Wireless Broadband = Freedom

Now through a new blog (via Scoble) called The Tablet PC Education Blog I see a whole new set of uses. It is a fascinating read on how Tablet PCs could be used within the school system, and this can easily be extended to higher education and the corporate environment. The integrated learning and knowledge management environment would be amazing.

Find, Use, Share, Expand

I was reading Jeremy Zawodny’s trashing of Google over their new MyGoogle service and Jeremy mentioned FUSE. Jeremy quotes John Battelle from back in April:-

Weiner calls his vision FUSE (for Find, Use, Share, and Expand) and it’s an apt metaphor – using search to fuse a myriad of services and applications, all of which center on knowledge and its application.

In reading John’s item a few more quotes rang true to me.

…using search to fuse a myriad of services and applications, all of which center on knowledge and its application

…an old saw, but mass media really is becoming my media – through RSS, podcasting, iTunes, Tivo, blogs, and many innovations to come. And central to navigating a my media world is search. Hence, the FUSE vision holds water for me – search is not just about a web index. It’s about my interface to the world.

FUSE is all about learning and knowledge management so very cool. I can sense a new meme within the elearning and knowledge management communities, it might already be there. The idea of FUSE seems to have it’s roots in the old video from Apple called Knowledge Navigator. I posted back in Sept last year about the perfect HR search, a bit simple now I am look at it, but still along the same idea as FUSE. Interesting my original post was in response to a post from John and Jeremy back then as well, I guess the ideas behind FUSE have been developing for that long.

I really like the concept “Find, Use, Share, Expand” the potential from what it implies is huge. Be it learning, knowledge, search, recruitment, social networks most of what we do today online can be summed up in this simple statement.

Corporate blogging and knowledge

Hugh Macleod has drawn a very simple picture what has lots of words to go with it that describes the beauty of corporate blogging.

So where is the knowledge bit?

By breaking through the membranes that Hugh discusses help the overall communication within an organisation, and opens the gates to the movement of knowledge to different groups and layers across the organisation. In fact you could almost say it is also facilitating learning, which is what happens when your share knowledge, people learn. This is all summed up in his points 11 and 12:-

11. The answer lies in “x”, the membrane that seperates A from B. The more porous the membrane, the easier it is for conversations between A and B, the internal and external, to happen. The easier for the conversations on both side of membrane “x” to adjust to the other, to become like the other.

12. And nothing, and I do mean nothing, pokes holes in the membrane better than blogs. You want porous? You got porous. Blogs punch holes in membranes like like it was Swiss cheese.

An interesting side thought is the organisational change impacts of the holes in the membrane. Many a manager holds onto their power by controlling the information provided to their employees. What happens when the internal membrane has a hole and the CEO or other C level executive blogs? Middle management gets very concerned, but that is for another day.

How to take notes

Michael Hyatt has some great advice on how to recovering the lost art of note-taking.

He is right on the mark with his ideas:-

    Note-taking enables you to stay engaged.
    Note-taking provides a mechanism for capturing your ideas, questions, and commitments.
    Note-taking communicates the right things to the other attendees.

His pointers on how to be more effective is very interesting, with some fantastic comments. Since I have been implementing GTD I have been taken far more notes that before, these pointers will now make my notes easier to read and more useful.

Podcasting, knowledge management & learning

On a raining Sunday morning here in Sydney I found an post from Cameron Reilly where he mentions he has his first podcasting client. Great to see organisations looking at new technology as part of their employee comm’s toolkit, hopefully he will give us all an update as to how it progresses.

I have written a couple of times about the introduction of RSS into the workplace and the potential for RSS to be used to deliver both learning and knowledge objects directly to employees. On Friday I began thinking about how OPML could be used to deliver complete courses to employees, and the RSS feeds have the content which is a mixture of text and enclosures. The potential of it all this is huge, I feel we have some exciting times ahead for workplace technologies.

Updated: Added a link to Cameron’s original post, opps

Knowledge management at work

Knowledge at work blog has three interesting posts about KM. The first about 5 key concepts covers the 5 major areas of KM and a great place to begin thinking when you are starting to look at a KM system.

The second is about social bookmarks, such as Del.icio.us, and the potential for KM systems. The third is also related to tags and what the guys at Technorati are doing with them. These tags help with the online collaborative ontologies needed for KM systems to work. Coupled with categories (I wish Blogger had categories, might check out MT after the move) in blogs posts we can start to hunt down knowledge kept online.

I completely agree with Denham when he says:-

It is hard to articulate my excitement / gut feel that this going to be something important to knowledge workers – I just feel it!!

On a final note if you what to hear an excellent example of where KM would be useful go have a listen to the G’Day World latest On the Pod (a podcast from Australia by Mick and Cam) with Robert Scoble. About 45 minutes into the interview Robert ventures into how poor KM is within organisations. He mentions when he left NEC he had over 1GB of mail in his exchange folders. The data was owned by NEC, so he could not take it with him, however because it was in Exchange it was then not easy for anyone else to use the data either. It almost soundly like he was going to have the same issue at Microsoft with his Resources folder. Maybe MS needs some help with their corporate knowledge? 🙂

Wiki limitations

Jeremy Zawodny writes about what he sees as some of the limitations of Wiki’s. His perspective is correct, and the comments on his post raise further questions and ideas.

Interesting I have been trying to set up a Wiki on our home server and teach my wife how to use it. The whole process has just got way too hard so I stopped, which is embarrassing given my promotion of the technology in this blog. Maybe it is just too geeky for me?

Benefits of internal blogs

Adrian O’Leary pointed to me to an interesting article from Fast Company in April. Where there is a poll on the potential for businesses for blogs, results are interesting showing a fairly even split over knowledge management, project management, sales & marketing, and competitive intelligence. Ok, maybe only 1000 votes but still an interesting breakdown.

The results show a massive potential in many different areas of the business for the introduction of internal blogs to businesses.

Blogs & Social networks for internal communications

Via Enterprise RSS.

Charlene Li talks about Razorfish using blogs and other social tools for internal collaboration and knowledge management. Interesting post. Charlene wonders if such an arrangement displaces traditional KM systems? I would say yes it will!

Blogs are about opening up conversations with people, as we have seen recently with Scoble. By opening up conversation you are sharing, and this create a shared knowledge. Which I believe is the bottom line when it comes to KM (others will disagree). If we look back over the last 10,000 years societies before us had very good methods of knowledge management, sharing.

Blogs, Wikis, RSS and other similar tools provide a direct, open, transparent, timely and personal means of communication. When we overlay the current search technologies we have a fantastic method of managing our knowledge, whether internal or external it can be managed. Entries in there tools can be categorised, searched, indexed, commented on and developed further.

I am interested in Forrester’s vision of the future when an employee joins an organisation. I would love to see further bits added to this, but right now most organisation struggle to have a desk, computer and phone when a new employee arrives. I will just wait until we have all learnt how to crawl with respect to day one triggers before I get too ahead of myself.