E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

IBM Collaboration Best Practices Conference – Somers, NY – July 2006

Some time ago I mentioned how I was actually going to attend the IBM Professional Technical Leadership Exchange, taking place in Madrid, to give a presentation on one of my favourite topics regarding Knowledge Management: Personal Knowledge Management. Well, this time around I am actually going to the US, Somers, NY, to provide another presentation around that very same subject: Personal KM, next week Monday, from the 10th till the 12th to an IBM internal audience. I will actually be arriving at the Hilton Garden Inn Danbury this coming Friday and will actually be leaving next week Thursday.

As I said, I will be talking again about Personal Knowledge Management and, amongst other things, I will actually be talking about the key role of communities in helping augment the knowledge sharing and collaboration of knowledge workers by making use of different personal KM tools, like weblogs, wikis, social bookmarks, tagging (And folksonomies), IM/VoIP, podcasts, etc. etc. So at the same time that I will be talking about the importance of tacit knowledge, next to explicit knowledge, something that I have already talked about over here a couple of times already, I will be touching base on some of the different KM and Collaboration tools that IBM has been making use of thus far, mainly though those tools related to social software and the so-called Web 2.0:

I will be presenting next week Tuesday. However, and like I have just mentioned, I will be in Danbury from this coming Friday, so if you would want to meet up for a couple of drinks and a chat feel free to append a comment over here or contact me offline. It would be great if I would be able to meet up some of the folks who I have been interacting with here in elsua or out there in the Blogosphere. Thus if you are going to be around, let me know !

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  1. It is interesting to see you writing about social bookmarking, wikis, tagging, web2.0 and (social networking?) as personal KM tools. The irony is you need others to contribute to make these work and this may be at the oposite end of the spectrum from PKM.

    Blogs, VoIP, podcasts which enable publishing, ‘voicing’, personal branding, networking and one-way communication are far closer to the PKM end of the spectrum than the others.

    Now I’m with you, networking, CoPs, many to many communication and open access / editing are certainly key knowledge creation and knowledge work affordances, but they require social interaction, dialog, conversation, shared thinking and common language – this is not what traditional PKM has been all about.

  2. Hi Denham ! Thanks a lot for the great feedback comments and for adding some more into the discussion. Appreciated.

    Re: your comments on:

    “It is interesting to see you writing about social bookmarking, wikis, tagging, web2.0 and (social networking?) as personal KM tools. The irony is you need others to contribute to make these work and this may be at the opposite end of the spectrum from PKM.”

    You would have to agree with me that although these may be social tools they would still need to start at some point, right? I mean, I tend to agree with your thoughts that all these social tools may not be very much related to PKM, but the way I have been seeing all these has always been as a way to self-organise the information and knowledge available to knowledge workers themselves where they pre-select, filter, think over and finally push over / decide to promote that same information / knowledge into the social space. That, to me, unless I got it wrong is also what PKM is all about, more than anything else because it still is about that user-generated content where they are in control of the information, they manage it in such a way that they decide what would be the best form to go ahead and share it, whether it is going to go to a wiki, or through social bookmarks, tagging, etc. etc.

    To me it all starts with the self-thinking process of self-promotion of the information that knowledge workers feel is worth while sharing. Then from there on to the social tools where I tend to agree with you that over there it is the group that then digest that information but in principle it is coming through the knowledge worker who decides what to share and how to share it with others.

    “[…] this is not what traditional PKM has been all about”

    That may well be the case, but then again the way traditional KM and PKM has been considered is not necessarily what may be happening at the moment right now with all this user generated content through social software and Web 2.0. Perhaps we should go ahead and take a look into it and revisit PKM overall. What do you think ?

    Thanks again for the feedback !

  3. The key to PKM may well be inquiry and exploration – this is a very different tack from information organisation, personal taxonomies and PIMs.

    When you start to put social networking, relationships, communities into the mix, I feel you are moving away from the core principles of PKM which center around the individual, concentrate on personal responsibility for learning, focus on organization of individual ideas, thoughts, beliefs and knowing.

    For me PKM = blogs while KM = wikis

    It seems to me, the kind of PKM you advocate is very much towards the social side of the spectrum – almost so much it is hard to call it PKM at all!!

  4. Thanks a lot for the feedback comments, Denham ! I must say that I tend to agree with you and by no means am I trying to put together into the mix social networking, relationships and communities, but I think that you may just be taking things far too literal regarding the world of wikis. Indeed, they were primarily conceived as community tools for a group of people to go and share information / knowledge, but that is *not* the only use of a Wiki. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of wiki instances meant for personal use, like your own personal web notebook where you get to write down stuff you want to put together for yourself to revisit at some point or that you may want to share with others once you have polished it already. Wikis, indeed, are community tools but that does not mean that they cannot be used as PKM tools for individuals.

    Take, for instance, the examples of TiddlyWiki or all of the different wiki instances related to GTD. Although they are wikis per se their main primary use is that of a PKM tool for individuals to organise their thoughts on the web, so this is the aspect that I am talking about regarding the usage of wikis as PKM tools, not the social networking and communities aspects related to them, like, for instance, Wikipedia.

    As I said, what I am trying to do is perhaps trying to look for an alternative way of making use of all of the different tools put together out there in the social software space so that knowledge workers get a chance to decide what they would want to use and how they would want to use them, i.e. individually or as part of the communities themselves. At the end of the day it is their choice, not the tools’ .

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