Conference Notes

Notes on "Social Media – The Next Generation of Knowledge Management?" (Kim Sbarcea)

Kim is the Chair of an Australian Standards group (the Knowledge Management Committee), and blogs at ThinkingShift.

2.0 Stuff
– It’s about going from “connectivity” (the first wave of the Internet) to “connected intelligence” (blogs, wikis and podcasts)
– You can publish your own stuff and get feedback. We become our own journalists. We blog about what we want to blog about. We write our own content.
– Conversations on a global scale.
– Building sufficient maturity in online communities so that knowledge is emergent.
– Andrew Keen, “the amateur is replacing the professional”

We Have a Transformational Change in Organizations …
– A generational change … for the first time in history, we have 4 generations of people working in organizations. The teenagers of today — very good on the new tools, very willing to engage with all sorts of people.
– A change from “coffee and check the papers” to “coffee and check blogs/RSS feeds”
– The knowledge you receive becomes more timely. You can change what you pay attention to, by changing what you subscribe to by RSS. Knowledge is no longer a “thing”, but is rather a “flow”.
– … eg, can quickly drop items from your RSS reader that you no longer find interesting or relevant, and you can add more and new ones in.
– This gets rid of the tacit and explicit nonsense in knowledge management. With social media, you just get what is.

So … the world is waiting for you …
– There is a growing global interest in what people are doing on an individual level, and the summing up of that as a collective experience.
– There’s a whole lot of new services, eg, Flickr, Facebook. These networks of like-minded people provide a new resource for learning things.
– Provides a way of building your own brand … for employees and friends.
– It’s about shaping your public identity … you can show your expertise, attract (or repel) an employer, can find people of shared interest.
– It’s all about serendipity. Finding new things that are interesting.
– Web 2.0 challenges the traditional notion of knowledge as a static thing.

Trust in knowledge management …
– Social media gives us the ability to build up trust. Can link to other people who we trust. Can share comments on each other’s blogs. Trust becomes based on what others know.
– We create a non-structured environment by trust and connecting.
– Social media tools give rise to emergent knowledge; there is no structure and control.
– We go from sharing knowledge to trading knowledge. Consumption of what others are doing, in addition to giving back to the other people.

Tyranny of the IT Expert …
– End users are finding that it’s no longer difficult to understand and use technology.
– There is still a mysticism around technology in organizations.
– Kim’s view: getting rid of the IT department … days are numbered. Especially the centralized IT department, the “business prevention department”

Top 10 barriers to social media …
The research on the above, from WIRED magazine:
1. the lack of a demonstrable business case … 72%
2. a resistance to change (management and staff) … 34%
3. a fear of loss of control or a loss of real control … 44%
4. a fear of transparency (amongst senior managemen) … 37%
5. not a sufficiently high priority … 34%
6. a fear of misuse … 34%
7. a lack of employee access … 28%
8. a lack of clarity over implementation – process and technology … 28%
9. no clear measurement for success … 28%
10. compliance and regulation … 12%

Case Study: A Museum in Sydney
Are using social media to encourage scholarly debate. Using a blog to engage with its community members.

Real Lawyers Have Blogs
– are called “blawgs”
– the firms are finding that blogging lawyers are generating business, and in attracting new staff (especially the younger set).
– can learn about the life of a lawyer.
– suggested law blogs: KMSpace, Trixie Allen (anonymous)

Blogs in organizations …
– with all of the benefits, Kim doesn’t get why some organizations don’t “get it”
– the three “C”s of blogging … (a) capacity, (b) competencies, and (c) comfort (thick skinned, be in the spotlight, willing to learn, honest and transparent). What is your voice? How do you keep up to date with what everyone else is taking about.

Social Bookmarking
– help to form and support social networks around interest areas
– provides specialists with a place to share research findings
– supports information discovery and serendipity
– people can explore tag clouds

– Can deal with knowledge as both an artifact and a flow
– Document posted to the wiki … knowledge as a static artifact
– It becomes a flow as changes are made and I can see the historic changes, who and when … knowledge as a flow

– People want to learn by watching others.
– It’s about the activities, relationships and paths followed
– Facebook is “the new email”

… there are organizational challenges … but it is a ripe area for enhanced organizations

Categories: Conference Notes