Every now and then I have got a tendency to check out my Technorati’s profile to see who is linking to my weblog because more than once I have been able to read some interesting and worth while mentioning weblog posts by other folks but this time around I bumped into another weblog post that I thought not only was it a good read but worth while sharing my two cents worth of comments. And you will see why. The weblog post is titled I’ll show you my tags if you show me yours by Jeffrey Treem and it is actually referencing another equally interesting post from Niall Cook on Social Software on the Enterprise.
Both weblog posts are worth while a read, I tell you, specially from the perspective where they are touching base on something that we see happening more and more inside businesses about how their different employees are managing their knowledge both in the Intranet and the Internet. Jeffrey, for instance, talks about IBM’s Dogear whereas Niall links to one of SAP’s initiatives. Either way, there is no doubt that over the last couple of years, if not longer, there has been an increase in the so-called social software in order to allow employees to share content and collaborate with one another in a perhaps much more effective way.
While reading through those weblog posts I just couldn’t help thinking that all this hype about the social software is something that actually happened a few years ago but from a different angle as far as Knowledge Management is concerned. Indeed, those folks who have been doing KM for quite some time would recognise some of this hype when the first strategies around KM came afloat; when for the first time there was a distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge; where from the very beginning there was probably far too much focus on the explicit knowledge and therefore there was far too much emphasis on the tools and processes as opposed to the people themselves.
For a number of years that is how most KM strategies were running. Everyone admitted that it was much easier to help promote explicit than tacit knowledge from the perspective where tacit knowledge is a lot more difficult to quantify and measure than the explicit one (Mind you though that I am not implying that measuring explicit knowledge is easy enough. It is not!). So after the initial hype of businesses adopting those KM strategies very soon they started to realise how it all wasn’t the complete picture. There was something missing. Something important and crucial to the success of every single KM strategy: yes, indeed, the people !
And this is where we are now. Companies have finally realised how crucial it is for every KM strategy to focus primarily on the people alone (Through the building of communities) as that will be the main trigger to get everything else sorted out. Thus there is now a massive need for that social software so that knowledge workers are encouraged to share what they know, their experiences, their knowledge, in short, their tacit knowledge with others in order to start capturing some of that, till now, invisible knowledge, that is perhaps even much more important than the explicit one, if we judge for how companies are aggressively implementing more and more of those social computing technologies.
That is why over the last few months we are starting to see how more and more companies are starting to implement some of that social software inside of their corresponding Intranets, like weblogs, wikis, social bookmarking tools, podcasts, vodcasts, VoIP, etc. etc. And I bet that would not stop any time soon, because it is thanks to all the excitement from those knowledge workers that more and more knowledge and information is shared across the board. So the initial effect of what happened with the explicit knowledge is now taking place but with the tacit knowledge.
So much so, that, if back then, we would be talking about Enterprise Global Knowledge Management (The Explicit Knowledge), now we should probably be talking about Personal Knowledge Management, more than anything else because people are taking now a much more committed and personal involvement towards the sharing of their knowledge and information in order to collaborate much more effectively with other peers. And this relatively new and fresh method of sharing what people know is mainly due to that social software we are constantly getting bombarded with: the so-called Web 2.0.
[tags]Knowledge Management, Personal Knowledge Management, KM, PKM, Social Software, Web 2.0, tacit knowledge, explicit knowledge, wiki, weblog, podcast, social bookmarking[/tags]
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