Amy Wohl‘s post is about a year old, but as relevant today. She asks, “What if blogging and Knowledge Management got together? That is, what if we took the technology that allows Bloggers to quickly annotate their journeys through the web with information about the whys and wherefores with a KM system that allowed their organizational colleagues to use the weblogs as a source of expertise?”
She goes on:
— If experts could use blogging software that was part of their normal work environment, probably part of their browser, to note and annotate web sites they wanted to share as part of their area of expertise (note the expert decides what to share, avoiding privacy problems);
— If these weblogs were collected by the KM system and then indexed by a spider against an organizational taxonomy (list of categories) that was optimized for the organization, its interests, and its experts;
— If organizational employees could search for collections of expertise by topic (or, as they became aware of their identity, by expert), assisted by the spidered weblogs
All of this assumes that such weblogs would be internal to the organization (or limited to authorized external users such as contractors and business partners).
Knowledge Management offers the possibility of allowing organizations to tap into not just the documents theyve created, but the expertise of their employees, past and present. Weblogging is interesting because it is a fairly non-intrusive way of allowing workers to share the process by which they seek, analysis, and select information.
If we could then add to the process some of the web-certified techniques for validating information and expertise we could further enhance the KM process. For example, we could (as popular expert sites on the web do) encourage users of KM expertise to rate information and experts on their usefulness so that others could pick based on high ratings. Or we could ask experts peers to validate their information before it was posted (as occurred in the Xerox Eureka experiment), so that each piece of expertise carries more credibility.
Users today nearly live on the web. If we can offer them tools that extend that experience and build on it, taking their web work and turning it into reusable information for their colleagues, perhaps KM is not so far away as some think