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

From the blog

The Impact of Web 2.0 on Knowledge Work and Knowledge Management by Dave Snowden and Jon Husband – Part I

I know that I am coming to this a little bit too late, specially after seeing all over the place the good bunch of folks who have already been talking about this particular topic I am going to talk about today. There has been an incredible amount of conversations already and to tap into each of them would take plenty of time, so I am going to skip through all of that and perhaps come back over the course of time and for now just spend a few minutes commenting on the original resource that originated all the buzz.

I have been drafting the blog post for this subject already and got so excited that I feel I am going to split it up in several parts with a link to each of them into this particular blog post. Too long, indeed, for a single post. So as you go along, come back to this one and find the links to the following blog posts so that you don’t miss out on any of them. Getting exposed to stuff like this podcast I am about to comment on is just priceless.

Yes, indeed, I am talking about the superb podcast put together by Jon Husband interviewing Dave Snowden on the Impact of Web 2.0 on Knowledge Management and knowledge workers. I realise that there is very little that I would need to add to describe the stunning piece of work that both Jon and Dave have done over the course of the years around the subject of Knowledge Management, but when Jon advised me the podcast was live I just couldn’t help bouncing up and down as I knew I was off to a wonderful trip down the memory lane on where KM was and where it is today with regards to social computing.

The podcast itself lasts for a bit over 30 minutes and it surely was really nice done. Very professional touch at the beginning and throughout the whole show. Notice though that at the time of putting together this blog post, the link to the Odeo episode does not seem to be working, so you will need to download the .mp3 temporarily from Dave’s Cognitive-Edge’s pages here. Hopefully, Jon would be able to fix the issue shortly. (Update 24-11-07): I just got pinged by Jon and he advised that the working link with the professional intro and the cleaned up interface can be downloaded from here. Thanks much, Jon, for the quick update and for sharing with us the corrected link! Greatly appreciated!

So far I have listened to it about three times and every time I listen to it again I learn something new. On top of that, and over the course of the last couple of weeks. I have been recommending it to plenty of folks to listen to it, if they would want to find out some more as to how social software is changing the knowledge sharing and collaboration landscapes and where we may be heading with things. And for now I am going to take this opportunity to share with you why I have enjoyed it quite a bit and why I keep recommending it to various different folks wanting to find out some more on the topic of KM and Web 2.0.

The podcast starts with a short introduction of who Dave is and what he does (His Cognitive-Edge blog would tell you that as well 🙂 ) and right away it gets into the heart of the matter with Jon asking Dave what his thoughts are about Web 2.0, his definition of it and how it is shaping up the knowledge work taking place at the moment.

Dave comes to share how the main key differentiation from Web 2.0 versus traditional Knowledge Management from 10 years ago is how Social Computing tools "effectively self-assemble, self-organise and deal with informal connectivity learning", focusing more on the unstructured sharing of knowledge than on the structured one, which is what we have been exposed to so far for a good number of years . So in a way he mentions how if there is anything that works with social software is its immense power to connect people.

Now if you have been reading this blog for some time now you can probably imagine how glad I was to hear that. They say that content and tools are key, they say that processes are what rule our interactions and from what I can see, and Dave seems to confirm that as well, it is actually the people, and how they connect, what makes it all work together nicely and therefore the success from Web 2.0. So whoever was thinking that the focus should be on the tools and on the processes, probably should think about things again, because it is actually the nurturing of making those connections and empowering people to do so what actually matters in the Social Computing and Knowledge Management 2.0 space.

I actually agree with Dave 100% that if social software would have been available 10 years ago when KM was getting started, we would be talking now about a completely different story on knowledge sharing. It would certainly not have the negative reputation that we seem to still be suffering from at the moment. At the same time the focus would have been where it should have been all along and I suspect that if that would have been the case we probably even wouldn’t talk about Knowledge Management nowadays, but something else. Perhaps KM would not have survived till today in the way it was envisioned in the first place.

To be continued …

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  1. Hi Sawada-san! Thanks a lot for dropping by and for the feedback comments. Yes, I know what you mean, perhaps the best way to get started is to listen to Jon’s & Dave’s podcast and then re-visit the blog posts. They would probably make a bit more sense.

    Either way, while listening to it I just couldn’t help thinking about a number of the things that have been in my mind lately and thought I would also put them down together so that I know where I could refer back to them and everything. Lots of great stuff in that conversation that we should take into account on how social computing is influencing KM at the moment.

    So go and have a listen to the podcast and then we shall see how that goes from there 😉

    Thanks again for the feedback!

  2. Thanks for sharing this info Luis.
    Dave was over in Wellington (NZ) a week or so ago thanks to the fine efforts of the NZKM (notably Alistair Gibbons and Julian Carver) and gave a very similar talk. At the time I wished I was live blogging it all – and now I no longer have to rely on my memory, thanks.

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