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

Communities

Habitat Jam Survey

Talking about surveys, and now that the Habitat Jam is just finished, I have just received an e-mail inviting me to participate now on a survey about the event of events, the Habitat Jam.

So since I have participated in the event I decided to spend a few minutes and submit my input into the survey. The set of questions you will find not only have got to do with the event itself on how much you may have collaborated and shared knowledge with others in the different forums but also about the logistics of the event as well, so that you get a chance to provide input on the overall experience.

The survey itself will take you about 20 minutes to complete and I would say that if you have participated in the event you will be about to receive that same e-mail I got and therefore you may be able to submit your feedback. After all it may be very valuable input for future events of the same nature. Who knows, maybe next year’s jam.

Technorati Tags : Habitat+Jam, IBM, WorldJam

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Should Access to Information Technology Be a Human Right?

As you may have seen / read already all over the place Habitat Jam is now closed already and ready to move on to the next stage, which is engaging further into the different conversations that have been taking place over the course of the 72 hours that it last. I have been able to participate on some of those different discussions and also to share a thought or two of my own in a couple of the forums and I can honestly say that if it was flagged as the event of the year it didn’t fall short of the expectations, for sure. Thousands and thousands of visits and further comments have populated the event throughout and it is now time to let it sink, digest it and pick things further from there on to the next level.

There have been lots of discussions that I thoroughly enjoyed following up on but there has been one in particular that grabbed my attention from moment one and that was the one on Should Access to Information Technology Be a Human Right? What a fantastic discussion, folks! I am sure you will be reading it eventually but I just wanted to let you know my two cents worth of comments as I feel it is worth while mentioning elsewhere and engage into further conversations.

While I have followed the thread I kept on thinking that if that same Jam article would have been shared a few years back, like five years or so, we would all be agreeing with that particular statement where we would consider access to IT as a right for a few and nothing else. However, things have changed a lot since that particular time. We now have got the possibility that having access to IT is becoming more and more inexpensive and as such it takes no effort to get up and running and have access to different online resources, which in most cases would be available for free but still with the quality we would be asking for to engage further with it. Yes, folks, that Web 2.0 we have all been dreaming about (And weblogged about for quite some time, too !) and which is making the Internet much more resourceful and interesting to participate in the actual conversations than ever before.

And it looks like we may have done that already, because if before we didn’t take for granted having access to IT as a right, we certainly are taking it for granted now. And that is what Web 2.0 does to you. Accessibility to the information with a very inexpensive method has now become the common rule and although it has been mentioned how even then most people may still not have the possibility of having access to those some online resources it would be a wonderful opportunity for local governments, specially, to start fostering the creation of different IT Centres with the right level of equipment and which would allow those with the least possibilities to have access to the Information Highway to then make it happen and eventually help them become self sufficient. Those locally sponsored centres could very well be the ones that would help shape our short-, medium- and long-term future by allowing the highest number of people possible have access to the right information at the right time and with the right context. Because, after all …

Knowledge Is Power

Technorati Tags : Habitat+Jam, IBM, WorldJam

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Habit Jam Is about to Get Started – Are You Ready ?

Well, here we are, folks. Just a bit under one hour one of the biggest online shows starts: The Habitat Jam. And the main key question is that although few people have been weblogging about the event itself would you still be there to help make a difference ? I know that we are all busy with both our work and personal lives but it wouldn’t harm, I would think, to spend a few minutes every day, during the course of the event, sharing your thoughts and your ideas on ways to improve the cities we live in. Not just for now but for the near (And long term) future.

Thus if you have got a few minutes or if you think you have that brilliant idea you would want to share with the whole world, by all means, go and share it with everyone ! After all you would be contributing to the well being of our homes, our communities and, most importantly, ourselves. It is just up to us, folks.

Let’s make it happen ! See you then !

Technorati Tags : Habitat+Jam, IBM, WorldJam

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Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) – An Update

After the weblog post I shared a couple of days ago on Social Networks – Knowledge Management Done Right I thought you might be interested in another post around the same subject (Personal Knowledge Management) that Dave Pollard (Author as well of Why Knowledge Management Is So Important) shared yesterday: Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) – An Update.

This is, yet again, another superb weblog post that will certainly provide you with some good insights about that relatively new Knowledge Management approach where knowledge is shared locally and there is a much more profound commitment from the knowledge worker to produce some more quality materials than ever before and share it with their peers. However, with all that said I thought about including a couple of interesting, and thought provoking, quotes from Dave’s weblog post:

“The old model, which we pursued from 1994-2004, is focused on content and collection — the acquisition, organization & aggregation, storage and dissemination of content under organization-wide taxonomies using customized tools and containers, just-in-case it might be reusable. The new PKM model, which we believe will replace it, is focused on context and connection — connecting to the right people just-in-time, canvassing them to gain their knowledge and advice in the context of a particular business problem or pursuit, synthesizing that knowledge and applying it to the issue at hand […]”

Indeed, I couldn’t have agreed more with that particular quote and that is why I have always felt very strong about how crucial the role of communities (whether they are physical or virtual communities) will become over time when people start realising that they can get to share so much more knowledge within a community than just as an individual. To start with it will make things easier to establish those connections that Dave mentions and in most cases in almost real-time, regardless of how disperse the community members may be. With the current set of collaboration tools out there it has never been easier sharing and managing content in a community space by allowing each of the community members to take ownership of their own contributions and conversations.

“[…] KM as a means of improving productivity, capitalizing on the best available knowledge and experience, tapping the collective wisdom of employees and customers, facilitating more robust collaboration, improving the quality of decisions and enhancing agility and innovation […]”

That collective wisdom certainly would be the one from the communities that the knowledge workers may belong to and as such you can already see how those communities would be the invigorating organisms that will foster collaboration to share knowledge and to learn from one another. Yes, indeed, a successful Personal Knowledge Management approach will have to be based on the key role played by communities where community members may find their own individual space to collaborate but at the same time still feel part of the larger entity.

Further on in Dave’s weblog post you will be able to read with much more detail how he describes the key four different components that PKM is made of. So you may want to have a look and read further on those:

  • Know-How Canvassing & Connection
  • Know-How Harvesting
  • Personal Content Management
  • Personal Productivity Improvement

And after finishing off that reading you will probably understand now why this relatively new wave of tools for collaboration in the enterprise, like Weblogs, Wikis, IM, VoIP, Web presence, Flickr, etc. are grabbing a stronger focus by the day. People are starting to realise that sharing knowledge with others and learning from one another is a personal and a more localised exercise than ever before, and the fact that there are both individual and community tools put together out there that certainly help effortlessly to promote that new approach to KM could make it all work out just fine. Just fine !

Technorati Tags : Personal Knowledge Management, PKM, KM, Communities, Collaboration, Social Networking

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Frappr – Mapping Your Web Community Space

Ok, folks, here we go with another social networking application that may become very helpful for communities, specially for those who are disperse throughout different time zones, countries, regions, etc. A number of different webloggers have already commented about it (Downloadsquad, Lifehacker, Full Circle Online Interaction Blog, Micro Persuasion, even my colleague Ed Brill on the subject of the LotusSphere 2006) but I thought I would share a few comments to indicate how virtual communities could actually make use of this new beta offering. The new application is called Frappr and you can find more information about it here.

As you will be able to see from its homepage, Frappr just puts together Google Maps for your group(s) with the possibility of uploading and sharing different photos between group members. The key success factor from this particular new offering is the fact that it will provide you with a key web presence between group members by allowing you to know where folks are at any given point in time. And not only that, you are also able to share some of your favourite pictures so that they can be used as icebreakers, specially for those groups or communities where they may not know well enough one another and they would need to work some more on their social capital.

The great thing as well about Frappr is the fact that you can embed the actual map directly into your own web site, whether it is a regular web site or a weblog and that way you can always keep in touch with those people who are regular members of the group or who would visit the web community space on a regular basis. Either way, if you would want to provide instant awareness to your web community space you might as well go ahead and create your own Frappr map.

And, finally, just to show you how it would work I have now created the group elsua and I have added it into my weblog template. From there you can add yourself and show us where you are. Pretty much like what was happening with ClustrMaps but this time around you can also show the rest of the weblog readership some of your favourite pictures and add some further comments as well. So go and spend a few minutes and show us where you are !

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Social Networks – Knowledge Management Done Right

A few days back you would remember how I was providing in a few lines some more information about what IBM is doing in the areas of Knowledge Management, Collaboration and Communities. And while that particular weblog post would provide you with some good details, I thought I would also point out to you a number of different weblog posts that may be even much more representative than anything else in the recent past.

It all originates with the recent event hosted by IBM Corp’s Lotus Software division and for which you can read all about it over at IBM Sets Its Sights on Social Networking Tools. As you will be able to see, there have been quite a few people who have been sharing their experiences about the event itself and from which you will be able to learn a great deal not only about what the event itself was like but also about what IBM is doing in the area of Knowledge Management and how it is slowly but steady changing its traditional way of dealing with Knowledge.

I particularly recommend you have a look into David Weinberger‘s IBM shows del.icio.us for the enterprise, and more (Including the different comments), Mike Gotta’s IBM: Future Of Social Networks, Bill Ives‘ several weblog posts on the subject (IBM’s Social Software Initiatives: Blogs, Wikis, Tagging, and More – Part One, IBM’s Social Software Initiatives: Blogs, Wikis, Tagging, and More – Part Two- External Applications and IBM’s Social Software Initiatives: Blogs, Wikis, Tagging, and More – Part Three- Internal Applications), and, finally, my fellow IBMer, and avid weblogger, Irving Wladawsky-Berger on Social Networks – Knowledge Management Done Right.

I know that the above reading list may be a bit too much information for one go, but one thing for sure that I can comment on is that each of those weblog posts is a must-read if you would want to know what IBM is doing around the world of Knowledge Management from the perspective of communities, collaboration and social networking.

The interesting thing though from all of the above reading is that this is something that although it may well be relatively new it is actually not the case. What is happening right now is that there is a whole lot more hype around that new wave of Knowledge Management. But all along it has been there already for quite some time now. Check out Irving’s comments on this subject to get a good notion of where we are:

” . . .[social networks] play a critical role in determining the way problems are solved, organizations are run, and the degree to which individuals succeed in achieving their goals.”  These were very much the objectives of knowledge management systems, which never achieved much success in the past because they were so cumbersome to use.  I think of social networking as knowledge management done right, with the Internet essentially becoming a very effective social networking platform supporting a wide variety of tools.”

I am not sure what you would think, folks, but, after reading that, it all sounds to me like the good old Personal Knowledge Management. Indeed, Irving’s comments of what KM used to be are right spot on, and why it may not have succeed as well as it should from the very beginning. But then again everybody knows that knowledge can only be shared on a local, and more compromised, way, which is something that KM did not succeed with in the past but that it is starting to make some more sense now. Why ? Mainly because with all these new social networking tools out there every single person can become an efficient (And an effective) Knowledge Worker and therefore will share their knowledge in a much more personal and committed way, that is, Personal Knowledge Management at its best. And all that is what will make it stick around for a long while, like Bill Ives mentions in IBM Sets Its Sights on Social Networking Tools:

“Blogs and wikis have the opposite effect of keeping unique ideas down, and may even inspire people to try harder at their jobs based on the (increased visibility) of their work,”

It is that commitment to make things work just in the right way for all those knowledge workers that will help push KM’s limits far off to where it should have gone from the very first beginning. But I guess it is always better late than never. Either way, if you have been reading all the different references above you will now see how IBM is trying to make its way further into that Personal Knowledge Management system so that now we have got the right tools in place (Wikis, weblogs, social bookmarking tools, context search, etc. etc.) it would be easier to manage our own assets and intellectual capital and share it with one another.

Thus stay tuned for some further updates, as I am planning to weblog about all this with much more detail as we go on. Including some further descriptions of most of the IBM tools that have been mentioned elsewhere in the above referenced weblog posts.

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