I recently came across a couple of relevant blog postings along those lines which I thought it would be worth sharing (for those that may not have already come across them).
The first one "Getting into" Social Software and How It Is Changing the Role of Traditional Knowledge Management: is from IBMer Luis Suarez and introduces an article called "Getting into" Social Software.
Although the article is oriented towards extolling the virtues of IBM's Lotus Connections set of tools, the points made are interesting in themselves. For example:
Suarez has been involved with knowledge management since 2000, but the attitude towards it since then has become quite negative because the old methods didn't work very well. When Suarez first encountered social computing, he said to himself, "This is it. This is what is going to bring KM back into the spotlight because it allows businesses to place their focus where it should have been from the beginning - not on the tools, not on the processes, but on the people." His evangelism comes from wanting people to understand that "knowledge management is what they do every day, and now they are the ones in control of the conversation."
Social computing differs radically from the old KM paradigm and is more successful at achieving the ends.
"Dave comes to share how the main key differentiation from Web 2.0 versus traditional Knowledge Management from 10 years ago is how Social Computing tools "effectively self-assemble, self-organise and deal with informal connectivity learning", focusing more on the unstructured sharing of knowledge than on the structured one, which is what we have been exposed to so far for a good number of years . So in a way he mentions how if there is anything that works with social software is its immense power to connect people.
Dave seems to confirm that it is actually the people, and how they connect, that makes it all work together nicely and therefore the success from Web 2.0. So whoever was thinking that the focus should be on the tools and on the processes, probably should think about things again, because it is actually the nurturing of making those connections and empowering people to do so what actually matters in the Social Computing and Knowledge Management 2.0 space.
I actually agree with Dave 100% that if social software would have been available 10 years ago when KM was getting started, we would be talking now about a completely different story on knowledge sharing."For those that prefer to skim read, then I recommend Suarez's series of posts:
The Impact of Web 2.0 on Knowledge Work and Knowledge Management by Dave Snowden and Jon Husband - Part I , Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI
For those that want to hear the word's from the horse's mouth, then follow the link on this page to the podcast.