Two great Knowledge Management practitioners just posted great insights about how Enterprise Social Software transforms the practice into Doing Management.
Dave Pollard contributes a paper on the Future of Knowledge Management. He addresses the primary failings of traditional KM, the rise of new tools and the need for line worker productivity converging towards a Social Software approach for KM.
I believe that if KM hopes to save itself from imminent extinction, it needs to acknowledge and act upon the truth of Drucker’s assertion [greatest challenge to business management in the 21st century is, and will be, improving the personal productivity and effectiveness of front-line workers doing increasingly complex and unique jobs], and the following two principles that reflect what ‘improving personal productivity and effectiveness of front-line workers’ means with regards to knowledge:
1. Knowledge is most effectively and efficiently conveyed to front-line workers by other front-line workers or outside experts, one-on-one, just-in-time, and in the context of solving a specific business problem...
2. Front-line workers have a large array of tools and technologies at their disposal, but rarely know how to use these tools and technologies competently, and when they do, they often find that these tools and technologies force them to think and work in ways that are not intuitive to them, interfering with rather than helping their work effectiveness...
KM is in desperate need of a new monkier, given the costly failings of the previous top-down approach. The bottom-up approach enabled by Enterprise Social Software puts doing things first -- because doing things socially and openly can be more productive, with social capital and institutional memory as postive by-products of effort.
The new emphasis on doing can by found in Jay Fienberg's post on recommendations for an enterprise system that encourages collaboration in a public sphere. He describes a set of activities that are ideal for wikis, weblogs and other forms of micro-content ranging from meetings, documents, metrics and reports, individual and group uses. Notice the focus isn't on specifically identifying experts or more valuable content -- but activities that if done openly using simple and flexible tools yield lasting benefits.
From theory to practice we are seeing Enterprise Social Software being considered not as knowledge management, but as a better way of doing management. The knowing-doing gap is closing, but not as we expected. Facilitate doing in a social context and you gain learning and insights in social context.
Socialtext is hiring a Senior Linux Systems Admin/Developer
Company name: Socialtext, Inc.
Location: United States, CA, Palo Alto / SF Bay Area
Pay rate: negotiable/DOE
Terms of employment: Salaried employee
Hours: Full time
Socialtext provides a social software suite -- with wikis, weblogs, and chat -- that make teams in Fortune 1000 organizations more productive.
We are seeking a well-rounded individual to help us support and extend our Linux-based wiki/blog service. The job runs the full gamut from Perl development work to systems administration to customer contact for additional requirements and customer support.
The right person will be an excellent communicator, skilled at working with multiple constituencies including developers, operations, and customers, and will have excellent judgement regarding customer priorities.
Work environment will be a mix of telecommuting, on-site in the mid-Peninsula area, and customer-location. You'll be in close contact with the rest of the team via phone, IM, email and wiki/blog.
solid understanding of Linux operating system
Debian system administration and package management
experience running a high-availability, customer-facing web site
experience with integrating and building PC-based hardware for Linux
network application protocols (HTTP, SMTP, etc.)
solid understanding of TCP/IP networking
experience with integrating Linux systems into Microsoft and Apple LANs
knowledgable about requirements analysis, realistic about schedules
customer-facing experience with customer empathy
savvy about online collaboration (but doesn't have to be wikis)
experience working as part of a start-up development team
IT consulting / technical account management
experience with other Linux distros
experience with live CD / bootable systems
experience with other UNIX operating systems
integration APIs/protocols: XML, XML-RPC, SOAP, CORBA, ODBC, LDAP, etc.
Email email@example.com with resume/CV and an informal cover letter relating your experience to the requirements given here.
The latest Berkeley study on the growth of information shows we produced five exabytes during 2002.
Its growing at 30% per year. The obvious question is how do we make sense of such big numbers.
The study underscores the need for companies to smartly manage their information, said Gil Press, director of corporation information at EMC Corp., an information storage vendor and a sponsor of the study. But IT solutions aren't the only answer, because humans still need to look at information with a critical eye, he added.
"We are getting swamped, and we need better ways to organize and manage information," Press said. "Hopefully, information technology will never replace smart thinking and the human analytical thinking."
Guess that's what us bloggers are doing.
Here's something that keeps the Net in perspective, passed on from a friend. Netflix ships 1,500 terabytes worth of information a day. Andrew Odlyzko suggests that daily traffic flow on the Net is 2,000 terabytes. Only 1/3 more than a single CD-ROM rental company.
In northern climates you notice something that effects us all. While the fall is especially crisp and wonderful in the Bay Area, the impending darkness has impact. In Estonia, where I lived once, its compounded by the fact that coming winter solstice the sun barely skirts the horizon and its basically dark except mid-day. A strange and wonderful cycle ensues. From summer solstice, the party of the year, on to Christmas people get a little depressed. From Christmas to party time moods heighten.
Im convinced daylight savings time was invented only to remind us of change. I love having mornings back again and having a cycle broken. But I do miss having daylight to play with when I knock of work and have time with the kids. You can feel in Fall the clip of a new pace, the rush the crowd backing your old team -- the time to harvest what we have sown.
Business2.0 chose Social Networking Applications as its technology of the year because it applied the power of the network to one of the most fundamental problems in all of business: finding the person who has the critical information you need, right when you need it.
Good cudos for LinkedIn, Visible Path, Spoke, Friendster, Ryze and Tribe.net. The article also says privacy is the achillies heel of social networking, but the lure of increased social capital is too tempting to hold back its development.
(btw, same issue has a really cool picture of Ben and Mena)
Sent the blogger a little email. I have been on the other end of these cease and desist letters, and figured it was an honest mistake, so kept it simple. Then I was in Joi's IRC room and ran into the guy himself. We whispered a little and figured out that he was trying to get something across with his blog name. How texts created in communities differ from traditional press. We tried to come up with an alternative names, then asked the community channel for suggestions -- came up with Group Text. Oliver has only been at it a month, posting in both German and English, good stuff.
Now the blog hosting provider that is ripping off Blogger's trademark is another thing. This may be the only communal message telling them they are doing something very wrong. I wouldn't fault Google for taking legal action, its an important market they are misleading. Would also be a shame if we lost potential voices because they went to try blogging at the wrong Blogger.
Mr. Henning provided a number not released as part of the study: the growth in active blogs, rather than abandoned ones. Last year there were 1.62 million active blogs, according to Perseus's research. This year that number is expected to rise to 3.3 million. In 2004, Mr. Henning predicts, the figure will rise to 5.86 million. That's a number worth talking about.
Clay on blog churn:
Clay Shirky, an adjunct assistant professor in the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University, said it was important to discuss the half-life of blogs even though the "numbers are threatening to some people." Referring to blog dropouts, he added, "The truth is, a churn rate of less than 80 percent on a technology growing this fast is very, very good."...
The only way to take churn out of growth is to increase the risk of the customer, which puts reputation at stake and decreases growth.
The reasons for blog churn lie somewhere between:
* low switching costs
* high transaction costs for some who face real world pressure (time)
* low transaction costs who don't have the time burden, or
* utility of networks (some have their work relate to public facing blogging, social feedback, support networks)
So you squish the well curve by through network time sharing and augmenting real lives to give time back:
In the past quarter-century we've added 200 hours to our annual work schedule -- five more weeks...Given the choice, about 50 percent of people say would give up some pay for more personal time...Research consistently demonstrates that, over time, total productivity is the same, whether you work 40 or 50 hours per week.
Counter to demand is email supply: Research indicates that employees using wireless email will have put in an extra 55 minutes of work per day.
Which brings me to Joi's space map. Time is saved in a social context. The spectrum is from media companies (content) to communications, when it should be from content (control with closed property) to social context (commons with control over privacy). Plot companies within tools and services. Drop the stack, at least the OSI Networking model made sense. At risk of 2x2 mgmt consultant analysis, add the dimension of synchronicity. Then step back and visualize the value of asynch, context and feedback to our time.
Huge thanks to the team of night-owls for getting it all out, our advisors for their advice, our customers for their collaboration and our supporters for their backing. So many good people made this happen. I'm really proud of what we have built.