Context and Connection

Keith March 6th, 2008

Funny how things tend to coincide.  One actKM participant asked in the last day or so for advice on a “… collaboration Enterprise tool that enables you to find internally (to the organisation) the individual (or group) who has the right experience/knowledge to help you out with a specific problem.”

No-one on the forum seems (so far) to have referred to the Lend-Lease “ikonnect” model.  I am not an expert on this (no pun intended!), but from what I understand, it relies on people first, and systems second.  A central group of well-connected people field questions for experts, and use their personal networks to connect the question askers with the relevant experts.  After the question is answered, they document the response.  This way, a data base of both experts and expertise can be built up. 

This even has a public face – with the names of contact people.  This seems to me to be a really strong, practical application of Organisational Networks.

In fact, what we are talking about here is meta-expertise – expertise on experts.

At about the same time, another thread on actKM was discussing the required skills for librarianship.  Luke Naismith commented that this is a rapidly-changing field. 

This role is changing from “one that was about resources and collections to a role that is more about being skilled professionals, more client-focused… and one that connects people with the information resources they need.”  Further, “The emerging future for librarians is one that is… more about information intelligence for the whole organisation.”

There seems to me to be a common theme here.  Michel Bauwens (and probably many others) have put it thus:

“We are moving away from content and collection, and moving to context and connection.”

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