April 23, 2006 · Blog73 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
Personal Knowledge Management is engaging individuals with today’s advanced collaborative publishing tools to create groups of people in enterprises and beyond who can communicate far more effectively with one another than ever before.
From finance to major industries to the open Web these tools are creating bodies of content that leverage the insights, knowledge and opinions of actively engaged contributors to enable them to understand what a group as a whole understands with amazing speed and effectiveness. The technologies used to accomplish this can vary quite a bit, but they all have the same net effect: groups as large as entire enterprises can all be on the same page to respond to major opportunities and challenges without a lot of support from traditional content and technology providers. - ContentBlogger Commentary 20 April 2006
A few of my notes from the panel:
1) The most effective way to get results from knowledge management is to work from the grassroots.
2) The best way to seed success is to start with one or more established groups who have high need for effective working communication to get their job done.
3) The elephant in the room is email.
All enterprises have more knowledge in their employees as a group than any one person, even (especially?) the CEO.
The worst case is where one person has a problem and another knows a solution, but neither knows the other – or that the other knows. Despite e-mail’s advantages for communication, it falls down as a close collaboration tool on complex projects: E-mail makes it hard to keep everything related to a particular project in one place; e-mailed attachments can lead to version-control nightmares; and it’s almost impossible to get the Cc:line right. If the Cc:line is too broad, it creates “occupational spam” – messages from co-workers that don’t matter to everyone addressed. If the Cc:line is too narrow, the activity becomes opaque to management or partners. -- Social Software: A New Generation of Tools by Clay Shirky, Release 1. 0 Vol 21, No.(. 5, 20 May 2003 pdf)
Social software needs to be just as simple, and substantially more effective than email when used for working communication within and across groups.
Bob Serr said: "One key thing is to avoid having to figure out who has an the answer to your question.
A blog, wiki, or IM space can be used to define that place you can go to, or search, or subscribe to - in order to keep in touch with a sales campaign, product development, client engagement, etc.
Doug Engelbart's model says that a high performing group needs to: 1) capture and organize external intelligence about the task they are performing (from customers, competitors, internal stakeholder); 2) capture the internal dialog (meeting notes, field reports, discussion); 3) keep a shared record of the evolving work product (plans, budgets, designs, issues, decisions).
That's what lead Traction to focus on collaborative editing (with full audit trail and integrated WebDAV file versioning), combined with the time ordered Journal which we now call a blog.
From Doug Engelbart's "Toward High-Performance Organizations: A Strategic Role for Groupware", see Traction Roots - Doug Engelbart
4) The evolving blog, wiki, IM, syndication (RSS) and search infrastructure proves that it's possible for anyone to find and stay informed about what matters to them across a network as large and chaotic as the World Wide Web.
The expectations everyone gets from finding what they want and staying informed on the public internet will drive people in business to ask why they can't know what's happening in their own enterprise.
I believe that within the next five years the communication pattern we're discussing will become the norm for business groups of all sizes, displacing broadcast email for dissemination, working communication and collaboration.
For annotated screenshots from my five minute demo (9.