Thursday, September 25, 2008

KMWorld - Next Generation Communities of Practice

Next Generation Communities of Practice: Taking KM to the Next Level with Web 2.0

Eric Sauve -

notes from Eric Sauve's presentation:

communities vs social networking

design principle #1 - Communities need to prove a range of interactivity:

    options:     1) basic interaction - mouse only,

                     2) more advanced interaction - minimal typing,

                     3) power users or leaders

design principle #2 - They need to be simple

design principle #3 - They neeed to create ownership for engagement

    - enterprise idea: add a voting button similar to digg: helpful? yes /no

design principle #4 - Let the community do some of the heavy lifting

    - best practice identification

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KMWorld - How to Measure Web 2.0 Content by Carmine Porco

Carmine discussed a number of issues around measurements with web 2.0 use in a knowledge management implementation. It seemed to be much more of an all around guide to web 2.0 KM than being specifically about measurement. Unfortunately, although he included a few measurements in the presentation, he didn't focus on how to measure. Also, his presentation was outdated with old figures and references to sites, pages or products that no longer exist.

Carmine's bio:

Here are some notes from the presentation:

The power of groups:

 - collective guesses are closer than individual guesses.

 - Google uses collective intelligence in the page rank

Web evolution: web 1.0 -> web 2.0

publishing -> participation

CMS -> wiki

taxonomy -> folksonomy

Sun Microsystems Community Equity - tracks and rewards employees for collaboration

Webnext - Their portal is supposed to be 90% what an employee cares about, 10% ideas that the organization is pushing down

Generate data from simple surveys at the end of blog posts, etc.: Did this help? yes / no

Creating a blog at doubled the conversion rate (from 2% to 4%)

 - the blog doesn't seem to exist anymore though (from my quick search)

Carmine says not to use a wiki as a Content Management System because there is no control, etc. He does say you can use a wiki with teams with time limits.

 - I argue that you can have controls on wiki's, and in my practice deploying wiki's on intranets I haven't seen the pandemonium that Carmine says exists. I think they can work, at least for a limited group, as an editable knowledge base.

He mentioned that some people won't go to your company (work for?) if you ban facebook. He discussed how some companies are using facebook or requiring employees to log on for a certain amount of time.

He showed - "a global incident map showing terrorist acts and other suspicious events"

He suggests using an executive blog that combines posts from various executives including the CEO.

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KMWorld - Sharepoint as a Collaboration Tool - An Independent Evaluation

Michael Sampson is vendor independent and vendor neutral . His mission is to help organizations succeed with collaboration endeavors.

His presentation has parts of his white paper, The 7 Pillars of IT-Enabled Team Productivity: The Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Analysis, available on his website for a fee, although the shopping cart is down currently.

How Sharepoint fares with Michael Sampson's evaluation:

Shared access to team data: (passes standards for) separate team space, many types of digital objects, ability for many people to access, "segregated."

Location Independence: In order to pass it would need connection in the office, out of the office, and on a mobile device. Sharepoint works in a web browser (works), Microsoft Outlook (problems with syncing), Microsoft Groove 2007, Windows Mobile 6 (doesn't automatically sync outlook calendars and tasks from sharepoint). There are ways around the problems, but they aren't practical for users.

A solution: Colligo Contributer allows offline sharepoint collaboration. It lets users know of sharepoint syncing errors, to avoid conflicts that sharepoint makes it difficult to discover.

Realtime Joint Viewing: synchronous sharing, passing of control, etc - fails on its own but does work if you have other services.

Exchange can not see sharepoint calendars, so you can't do free-busy searches of sharepoint. This makes sharepoint calendars somewhat useless. However, you can create all calendars in outlook and invite sharepoint to use it through email. This is a bit backwards.

Social Engagement Tools: To pass it would need to share "the implicit", instant messaging, presence & availability, and blogging. This would also work if you have OCS, but without it doesn't work.

Enterprise location independence of  Task Lists: You can't get a single task list that is separate? Can work to some extent if you have CQWP and MOSS 2007.

Collaboration auto discovery - discovery of capability, "who else can help?", deduced expertise of people, correlated interest between sites. Doesn't work.

Summary: not a mature collaboration platform, would require much additional work, collaboration is only one of the six parts of sharepoint 2007, so you may be satisfied by other things it does.

see sharepoint 7 pillars white paper

strong speaker, made black or white deductions

A final word of advice: make sure you go to training to use sharepoint designer - don't try to use it yourself

Michael Sampson has been working hard on a very detailed blog of KMWorld

Tags: , ,

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

KMWorld - Aligning the Networked Enterprise

Gordon Vala-Webb spoke about using KM 2.0 tools in the workplace with specific examples.

What is networking? - A relationship between content and communication, also with collaboration involved, all within a context.

Networking has to do with conversing with others, while teams need collaboration. A simple solution used at his company is just collaborative spaces. For this they use Lotus Notes. This restricts collaboration to pre-defined teams though, so a wiki or other KM 2.0 technology would allow for a more flexible collaboration.

On a different note, Gordon says that customer service related call-centers don't need networking, what they need is good FAQ's to be able to answer questions quickly. I wonder, how do you get KM to work in a call center then?

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KMWorld - Snowden on KM: A Hot Seat Interview

Some notes from Mary Boone's interview with Dave Snowden:

The strategic agenda is going to change. It's going to involve human and social components, not just search. Dave prophesizes that this may doom Google, or at least prevent it from being able to reinvent itself since it so focused on the idea of the search.

When setting up an intranet, Dave recommends experimenting with freeware. Other than his own product of course, Dave thinks you should try and see what works for your organization. Institute blogs, etc, but don't buy social networking collaboration software, just use the free stuff.

Dave also says that twitter is one of the most useful apps he's used, as it has solved more little problems that just about anything else. He uses twitter to ask a question and possible solutions are presented by others. He even uses it to answer the question of what music to listen to next.

On KM history, Dave says that KM started with good theory and bad technology, but no we have good technology and no theory.

On the book Good To Great, the true explanation of the companies success may lie in them being the first predator in the niche, that was able to dominate it. This reiterates the idea that following others best practices won't necessarily create your own successes. It is context that creates the behavior.

Things that are up and coming: Crews. Dave's notes that crews have a cognitive capacity that exceeds the collective capacity of the individual. His company is looking at mapping roles and assembling crews.

He is also working on social networking simulations that force people to move across silos. Also, Dave points on that he believes strongly in management. Some KM theories seem to advocate a social freedom and anarchy, but Dave insists that we must have management to keep things organized and working.

Dave Snowden's site is

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Innovation & Knowledge Management

John Kao delivered the opening keynote address on Tuesday morning. The main topic of his speech dealt with the lack of a clear direction towards innovation and also was a pitch to buy his book, among other things.

First John attempted to define innovation, since it appears to be yet another KM related concept that few people can agree upon. He says that innovation has to be new and has to create value for society. Also, innovation has to be an answer to a question. Innovation for innovation's sake doesn't have value, but if it solves a problem then that is useful.

According to John, innovation can exist in a number of areas, not just science. We must have the science and technology part of course, but also innovation in design to allow technology to be used by customers, and have innovation in business processes.

John notes that not only have other countries started to focus on innovation, but they also have picked up enough of the American dream to provide a comfortable standard of living. He spoke about a brain drain taking away America's best and transplanting them in Singapore. Finland and China are also innovation centers he mentions. His main argument for supporting a high standard of living involves the number of Starbucks and other chain stores though.

The flight of Sputnik appears to have focused the US on innovation previously. And now there just isn't a focus on being as competitive in technology and innovation fields. John notes that with the high number of high school drop-outs that we are in jeopardy of creating a "large class of marginally employable people." John appears to have a solution though, make him the first advisor to the president focused on innovation. He didn't explicitly state that, but that appears to be his aim.

More information on John's book can be found at

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Welcome & Evening Event - Learning From Mistakes

I made it in from the airport just in time to see Dave Snowden instructing the attendees to create their own heaven and hell in the world of knowledge management. The room was setup with small groups surrounding several tables, and each group was constructing timelines and with color coordinated post-it notes.

The blog on shows some photos of the event and offers a description of the process -

Each group defined it's heaven and hell and then found the timeline that got there, in reverse order. By going in reverse it makes it harder to lie to yourself. It is possible that one group's heaven could be another group's hell.

Dave Snowden had many great stories and observations. According to Dave, "organizations are largely determined by fear of their past common failures."

Instead of building best practice databases consider building "worst practice" databases. People like reading stories of failure more than success, or at least are more interested focusing on problems than seeing how to do things right. If people learn to recognize what is wrong, they can avoid it, and are more likely to do so than to copy someone doing things right. He told a story about having a company focus on wrong ways to carry coffee, including a propaganda campaign showing burns and the creation of coffee wardens, that ended up lowering accidents with the carrying of industrial chemicals.

In the end, negative stories get more attending and carry more learning.

When telling stories you should suck the listeners in before you get to the message. If you are told the message first, you will try to discount the message while hearing the story. If you're involved in the story, you will accept the message.

Dave closed the session by urging km professionals to be a part of the solution and not a part of the bureaucratic problem.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

KMWorld and Intranets 2008

I'll be attending KMWorld and Intranets 2008 in San Jose next week where I'll be blogging and bringing you the latest updates in the world of Knowledge Management. My attendance comes with many thanks to Jane Dysart.

Stay tuned for posts.