Friday, 29 May 2009

Blog vs Discussion Forum

Recently, I was asked about the rationale behind posting some things on the KIN blog vs posting in the KIN discussion forum. The distinction I make (and I freely admit it's a bit fuzzy) is that I see the discussion forums as a place to ask questions (and hopefully, get answers) of other KIN members and to make short snappy announcements about things that may be of interest to KIN members. I see the blog as a place to make longer, more thoughtful posts about things of interest to KIN members. I definitely see the Blog as an extension of the KIN memberspace and would recommend that all KIN members subscribe to the blog much as they would subscribe to the KIN memberspace (you can subscribe for email alerts or use a reader - see panel on the right of the blog). Also, the blog is public and visible to non-members. So it does provide a public view of some of the thoughts of KIN members and an indication of some of the activities we undertake which is a potential marketing tool for KIN.

I would remind all KIN members that member contributions for the KIN Blog are welcomed. Any KIN members that would like to participate in adding entries to this blog, just email me and I will set you up as an author.

Any KIN confidential information - including individual members' names - will only be posted in the KIN memberspace and linked to from the blog. KIN members posting comments - which we encourage you to do - will be moderated to ensure they do not to include KIN confidential information.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Wolfram Alpha -brilliant, but not quite yet

Having listened to the hype around the 'Google Killer' Wolfram Alpha, I was downright sceptical. Prior to its launch I even posted a discussion on the KIN Members' forum suggesting that its founder, the British mathematician Stephen Wolfram , was either a genius or fraudster. I now acknowledge that Wolfram is the former. What he has achieved is remarkable; the results of scientific based queries such as comparing species or resolving formulae are impressive.

My hope was that this would be leading the way for a semantic engine to make sense of the deep web and linked data, as Tim Berners-Lee has predicted. This may still be the case; the issue is not what it does, but what data it makes use of. It is therefore deeply unfair to position Wolfram Alpha as a 'Google Killer'. It is not using the web as it's information source. The data, unlike Google's raw material is well researched and verified and therefore bounded. I have no doubt that Wolfram is looking at both how to apply Alpha to the web, and also how to monetise it. When he figures that out, Google will be worried. When Wolfram Delta 'Corporate Edition' is available, connecting knowledge across the organisation becomes a reality.

Friday, 22 May 2009

To auto-post, or not to auto-post

In my last post, I initiated an experiment whereby I utilised a feature of Diigo to automatically post the latest bookmarks to the blog. The results can be seen here and here. It has to be said that they're not pretty. And do they add value? Maybe. Maybe not. The one feedback I did get was negative so I have discontinued this. Instead, I have created a new blog - 'KIN TAGGIN' - to which all such auto-posts will go in the future. So if you do like to see these posts, that's the place to point your reader. (And in any case, a one line link for the latest KIN Diigo group tags can be seen in the right hand side-bar)

Sunday, 17 May 2009

To KIN Blog (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of KI-Network group favorite links are here.

Friday, 15 May 2009

What's in a title?

Having met with a few organisations that are interested in joining KIN, I was struck by the absence of the term 'Knowledge Management' in our discussions. Whilst all these firms are doing interesting and innovative things around organisational learning and knowledge sharing, none of them have 'KM Teams' or 'KM Programmes'. I discussed this with two organisations that I met recently; one a top recruitment consultancy (no, I was not going for a real job, though it did cross my mind) and the other an international NGO/charity. Both confirmed that knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer and other related techniques were central to their collaboration and change programmes. It was the 'KM' term they had problems with. One told me " 'Knowledge sharing' is something everyone here has an immediate and common understanding of. 'Knowledge Management' is a much more obscure concept, is interpreted in a variety of ways, or even worse associated with a failed information database project".

I absolutely agree with Nick's Milton's premise that knowledge can be managed. Techniques and interventions for transferring and sharing knowledge are well proven. However, Nick's considered blog postings on coming up with a common definition for Knowledge Management underlines the problem for me. If someone can't envisage what you mean without a formal definition in front of them, you are starting with a handicap.

A KIN member organisation that I was with today has a sophisticated knowledge sharing programme underway, simply but effectively 'branded' as SHARE. They are considering dropping the term 'knowledge management' as the sub-brand as they realise it simply didn't add anything.
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Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Latest Diigo Bookmarks (Experimental - comments please!)

Auto-Posted from Diigo. The rest of KI-Network group favorite links are here.

Monday, 11 May 2009

The Recognition Heuristic

In this week's episode of BBC Radio 4's 'More or Less' there was an intriguing experiment carried out to demonstrate that having more knowledge about a topic does not necessarily lead to better decision making. The effect is known as the Recognition Heuristic, a term coined by German psychologist Professor Gerd Gigerenzer. For those involved in knowledge elicitation and transfer, this is an interesting phenomenon to be aware of. The experiment, and science behind it, can be heard from 10mins into the recording.