Knowledge management

Enterprise Metadata Blog

Enterprise Metadata Blog by R. Todd Stephens

Todd has got a nice mix of enterprise metadata from both theory and practice since he did his dissertation at the same as working at Bell South on real enterprise metadata needs. He has presented at several conferences involving both the more techie stuff at DAMA International as well as Dublin Core and other related conferences. I believe this intesection of the techie/practical world and the theory/academic world gives us a good mix of the challenges we face at managing information systems. He's definitely in the mix of things I'd like to be involved. It will be interesting to see where his blog goes in sharing his experiences. Many of his previous presentations and handouts are also available on his site.

Formal knowledge management ontology: Conduct, activities, resources, and influences

This article by CW Holsapple and KD Joshi describes an ontology for knowledge management. The abstract below is taken from the JASIST TOC for Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology V55, 7, MAY, 2004, p593-612.

This article describes a collaboratively engineered general-purpose knowledge management (KM) ontology that can be used by practitioners, researchers, and educators. The ontology is formally characterized in terms of nearly one hundred definitions and axioms that evolved from a Delphi-like process involving a diverse panel of over 30 KM practitioners and researchers. The ontology identifies and relates knowledge manipulation activities that an entity (e.g., an organization) can perform to operate on knowledge resources. It introduces a taxonomy for these resources, which indicates classes of knowledge that may be stored, embedded, and/or represented in an entity. It recognizes factors that influence the conduct of KM both within and across KM episodes. The Delphi panelists judge the ontology favorably overall: its ability to unify KM concepts, its comprehensiveness, and utility. Moreover, various implications of the ontology for the KM field are examined as indicators of its utility for practitioners, educators, and researchers.

A roadmap for enterprise weblog services

I recently presented a roadmap for providing enterprise information services related to weblogs (k-logs). This is in the realm of what I think Lou calls "Guerrilla IA" in his Enterprise Information Architecture talks. The presentation, given at Computers in Libraries, is aimed at Library/Information Services organizations in corporations, but is applicable elsewhere. It's really an untested discussion starter that proposes near term goals for supporting individuals doing bottom-up knowledge creation. It also discusses a mode of progress that aims at integration of many types of enterprise information in the long term. I'd be interested in getting feedback on these ideas, especially comments that point out weaknesses.

Information Work Productivity Forum Notes

I attended the Information Work Productivity Forum and posted some thoughts (lengthy notes) about the presentations. The day consisted of sponsors of the council and some academics presenting their thoughts on Information Work productivity. A few speakers took the opportunity to talk about their products, which was unfortunate, but some individuals stayed on topic and discussed the real issues related to measuring information work productivity at a high level.

Information Work Productivity Council

The Information Work Productivity Council are an independent group of companies and academics that have joined together to study the issue of information work productivity and profitability.

The Information Work Forum, sponsored by the Information Work Productivity Council, brings together academia, industry and government to discuss productivity as a key factor in achieving global competitive advantage; demonstrate how companies can maximize business performance and profitability through Information Work strategies; and showcase technology solutions and services that help companies achieve the greatest ROI to achieve maximum productivity. Information Work is the act of creating, using or sharing information as a part of a business process. Combined with new information technologies and tools, information work is structurally changing labor markets, business and economies around the globe. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there are roughly 100 million information workers in the U.S. alone. Any broad-based improvements to information work productivity could lead to substantial benefits to both the economy and society.

K-Collector v. 1.0

evectors announces k-collector version 1.0, an RSS aggregator aimed at the enterprise market. If you haven't seen k-collector in action, it's worth checking out. The aggregator organizes weblog entries on four dimensions: what (subject/topic), who (as subject or author), where (events, geographic location) and when (date of publication). More about k-collector from their "About" page:

k-collector is an enterprise news aggregator that leverages the power of shared topics to present new ways of finding and combining the real knowledge in your organisation.

Weblogs are most commonly published by individuals and organised chronologically. This presents a challenge when considering weblogging in the context of business groups which might expect information to be organised in more meaningful categories. The k-collector architecture, and applications based upon it, deliver an interface targetted at business users.

The k-collector archicture combines clients for leading weblogging software with a server based aggregator and web application. WWWW is the first such application and is aimed at small business groups.

An author can associate posts with relevant topics such as project names, people, etc.. The server automatically shares each newly created topic with every other user allowing them to use those topics themselves. News topics are created in one of four intuitive categories: Who, What, When, and Where. The server then uses these categories and topics to provide an effective interface for navigating posts.

ROI calculations: K-Logs vs. traditional Intranet Portals

John Robb summarizes an ROI document produced by PlumTree Software estimating the value of portal software and compares with his estimation of the value of K-Log software. He puts the total ROI of a K-Log system at 1,170% compared to the total ROI of a traditional Portal system at 240%.

Knowledge Management glossary, primer and bibliography

AOK: Knowledge Strategy newsletter (login required) pointed to these resources for knowledge management:

Data Management meets Unstructured Information

Just came back from a conference on data management(Wilshire Metadata/DAMA International 2003 Conference. A recurring topic that surfaced about data management was the relevance of their work in relation to unstructured information. A reality check for everyone was that most corporate information actually existed in semi-structured of unstructured information and not in databases. From this thought, I was directed to DM Review and in particular this article. Digging Into the Web: XML, Meta Data and Other Paths to Unstructured Data - By Robert Blumberg and Shaku Atre. I definitely see an opportunity between IA(metadata/ux) type folks cross-pollinating with data modelers and data managers. It will be interesting to see and I look forward to hearing more from here. Thoughts?

disinfojournal for February 2003

The second issue of disinformation is out. Especially interesting is Don't trust your eyes - a laboratory study investigating consumer behavior on the net:

Responding pictures of secondhand goods or used vehicles, which are offered in the Internet e.g. with Ebay deceive frequently over the true quality of a commodity away. ...In our laboratory study which runs over a period of 3 months we logged the Internet purchase behavior of 859 persons with a customized XMosiac 10.5 browser. We can show in this study that during identical description of a product the preference was given to the article with a photo, in 87 percent of the cases. ... We can significantly show that a worse product with photo can be sold thus better than a better without photo.

This very clearly shows the power that information architects and web designers have to persuade visitors, which is what Andrew Chak and FutureNow (and I) have been saying for a while.

And, yes, as someone commented last time, disinfojournal is a bit strange, but that's what I think I like about it...


disinformation, “the first international e-journal of disinformation on the net,” has launched, and the first issue is available online. From their home page

There is obviously a huge lack of quality information on behavior, amount and usage regarding disinformation on the internet. As information has been increasingly invested with value, people have tried to manipulate, destroy, or acquire it in any way possible. Circumstances and instances cover a broad range of disinformation on the net or IP-based networks. The disinfojournal deals with topics in all areas of disinformation. This includes, but is not limited to library and information science, information technology, electronic publishing, database management, data mining, knowledge production, knowledge dissemination and of course malinformation and disinformation approached from sociological, psychological, philosophical, theoretical, technical, and applied perspectives.

The first issue includes About 5 percent of your intranet information is malicious or wrong and The usage of forms and false data: a field study, among others.

Unfortunately, the only way to get the full text is via email (?); HTML and PDF abstracts are available online.

Ideagraph - interesting project for semantic/RDF/topic map folks

Ideagraph is a "Personal Knowledge Manager" that is in early beta. It is intended to eventually be a commercial product, but is currently free to download.

Collaborative Knowledge Networks

Gunnar pointed me to Deloitte Consulting report, Collaborative Knowledge Networks: Driving Workforce Performance Through Web-enabled Communities, which I'm reading today. (Warning, lengthy regisration process to download the PDF). A lot of research reports available there for free if you register. This one is helping me with a KM article I'm writing presently.

Content, KM tools collaborate

Article in InfoWorld about vendor efforts to capture content at point of creation.

    In an effort to strengthen control over collaborative content inside enterprises, content and knowledge management tools are fortifying integration with e-mail and business applications to capture content at its point of creation.
Knowledge work as craft work

I just got around to reading Jim McGee's article "Knowledge work as craft work" which is an excellent discussion of visibility in the knowledge management process. McGee gives a great example of how visibility of knowledge has gone away since the arrival of desktop computing. In the pre-PC age, paper documents and deliverables (and the knowledge embedded within them) were passed between many people within an organization in the iterative process of knowledge conception/production. With computers, often the traces of this process are lost -- note taking and modification, for example. Because KM is concerned with the dynamic processes of knowledge creation, communication/transfer, and storage, this visibility is essential. He argues that the use of blogs/klogs in this process helps bring back some of that visibility, but the focus he says has to remain with this dynamic process.

I don't doubt that this fundamental aspect of visibility is really lost in most enterprises. Version control and sophisticated KM solutions that capture annotations and recording of other ephemera support the capture of aspects of the knowledge management process, but I'll bet that technology becomes a barrier for most people when it comes to capturing ephemera. The issue of visibility is very interesting to me as an information professional and must have some implications in doing IA, although I haven't quite made the right connections yet. [Damn you, synapses. Fire already!] I'm going to have to read The Social Life of Paper again.

Measuring the Return on Knowledge Management

Andrew brought to my attention the LLRX article by Kingsley Martin, Justifying knowledge management ROI in law firms. James says on Column Two, that it's a "comprehensive article on measuring the return on KM" and is "serves as a model for other industries".

I gotta start paying closer attention to what appears in the news feeds. Marking this one for later reading.

Multilingual Dictionary of Knowledge Management

I'm sure the Multilingual Dictionary of Knowledge Management will be useful to me someday. Otto Vollnhals' dictionary translates KM terms in English-German-French-Spanish-Italian.

KM Pings

David Gammel has come up with an excellent use of MT's trackback mechanism to track knowledge management resources. Individuals ping his KM Pings site under this URL:
Pings to that URL are tracked on the page and the site offers an XML feed of the last 20, 100, or 200 pings. Very nice. I'm going to start pinging that site with KM resources as well and am going to be aggregating the top 20 in the news feeds here. Might create some noisy feedback as we see stuff I ping get reflected back, but should be worth it for me anyway -- I rarely read people's sites anymore, I just read their feeds. If you don't exist in RDF/RSS I'm probably ignoring you.

Maybe we should implement something like that here for IA? IA Ping? Anyone using MT or Drupal that wants to try that out?.

Practical Taxonomies: Stop Searching - Start Finding

My office mates, Dave Goessling and Raphael Lasar, are giving the presentation, "Creating and implementing an effective taxonomy" at ARK Group's taxonomy seminar at Le Parker Meridien in New York, NY on 18-20 November 2002. A PDF for the "Practical Taxonomies" seminar is available for the rest of the program from ARK's conferences page. Other speakers include Amy Warner and knowledge managers from various financial institutions, government agencies, and other large corporations.

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