Archive for September, 2008

KM and Social Media

Keith September 30th, 2008

Just heard from “Pumacy” that they are publishing a “a study about knowledge management blogs“.  The study is intended to “explore the potential of Web 2.0 technologies for knowledge management”. 

“First step is a systematic survey of private and commercial blogs that inform about knowledge management.  Web 2.0 technologies are already standard communication tools in private communication. The results of the survey point out that Web 2.0 becomes more and more interesting for community-based knowledge management activities in companies.”

So this stage has included publishing a list of the 50 or so active KM blogs that Pumacy found in their research.  This page includes figures relating to numbers of postings and comments and search engine rankings in August 2008. Nice to be included in such “august” company!

May be interesting to compare this list with Kaye Vivian’s wiki list of bloggers on actKM.

The Sunstone City

Keith September 26th, 2008

The first installment in a new fantasy adventure – my daughter Renée is now online with her creative writing – read it here.

Practice makes perfect

Keith September 25th, 2008

I wrote earlier this year about “Practice, Communities and Technology“.  This post stressed the importance of the “practice”: 

For a CoP to be successful, the community must become part of the practice itself… the community needs to become part of how they do their job.

People in an organisation will just not do things that aren’t part of their job accountability and that they see no point in doing. 

Just today I hit on a really neat metaphor to illustrate this…


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How not to apply for a job

Keith September 20th, 2008

I was reading somewhere online the other day about mistakes people make when applying for jobs. It reminded me of one episode some years ago – back when I was working in IT, and leading a small team.

Most times when we recruited new staff the process was fairly uneventful. Where it got interesting was the time that we advertised a new vacancy only about six months after a previous one.

The job descriptions for the advertised roles were pretty much the same each time. I noted that one of the applicants for the second vacancy was a guy that we didn’t even short-list for the first one. Let’s call him Mike.

Mike just didn’t seem to have what we were looking for the first time. When he applied the second time, he called me and said that he wouldn’t send me a copy of his CV, because he had: “already sent me one six months ago”.

I’m not sure that I was able to say much for the rest of the phone call. I also never found out if Mike was surprised when he again failed to make the short list…

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Keith September 19th, 2008

A bit of breathing space on my current project…

Just reading about yet another organisational survey-like tool – you know, “rate your organisation’s ability at (xyz) on a scale of 1 to 10″.  It reminded me of one I was asked to respond to some time ago.  Working for a multi-siloed behemoth of an organisation, my response to each question was “it depends”.  There was no way to answer this sort of thing on an organisation-wide basis, because the answer would be different in different silos – or even different areas within each silo.

… which in turn made me think about other surveys that never seem to offer choices that make sense, and the general low opinion of surveys that many people have (particularly the odd one or two on actKM). :-)

So, I thought, why not make a survey a two-part approach. 

First, you send out an outline of the information you wish to collect and the set of questions that you think will be useful to collect the information (maybe to a sub-group of the full survey population).  Ask your correspondents to fill in the sort of answers that they would like to choose from, and to also suggest better questions to collect the information.

Then, use what you have collected to construct the actual survey.

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Keith September 10th, 2008

Several things to say, and not enough time right now to say them all.  In brief:

  1. Check out Yammer, a “micro-blogging tool for the Enterprise founded by David Sacks, former COO of PayPal and current CEO of Geni” (from the press release).  “Yammer is a tool for making companies and organizations more productive through the exchange of short frequent answers to one simple question: ‘What are you working on?’” Yes, basically Twitter for the enterprise.
  2. There may be some teething issues, but how impressive is it when a web company contacts you when you have a question!? All via the magic of Twitter.  See it here.
  3. Where did they get the name?  “Yammer” in English means to whine or complain, make an outcry or clamour, or talk loudly and persistently.  But this word is very similar to the German “Jammer”, meaning (among other things) a wailing noise.  More particularly, the word “Katzenjammer” literally means “wailing cat”. (And by extension colloquially, a loud, discordant noise, a state of depression or bewilderment, or a hangover, but hopefully those definitions aren’t relevant here.)  How do I know this? I can remember seeing some old, handed-down Katzenjammer Kids comics years ago, although it is apparently still being published.

    So? A cat’s wail is louder than a tweet:-)

Now I really must get back to some paying work.

Everbody’s doing it

Keith September 4th, 2008

In yet another great pointer from the Twitterati, check out Peter Kim’s List of Social Media Marketing Examples.

This is an A to Z listing of 131 companies (and probably increasing) that are “using and being used by social media marketing”.

Do you know of any that aren’t on the list?

Knowledge as an asset

Keith September 3rd, 2008

The slide pack I presented at the Web Content Management Forum in Sydney this week is now available on SlideShare. It’s about Managing knowledge as an asset and building a knowledge transfer toolkit, and includes ownership and currency maintenance.  (Interesting to note that my pack from the last conference has now had 539 views on SlideShare.)

Jonathan Cooper of the Art Gallery of New South Wales was one of the other speakers there yesterday morning.  They are doing some interesting things at myVirtualGallery – and he also introduced a few other interesting web sites:

Something else I picked up from Twitter – see how popular your name has been over the last 100 years (in NSW) at The Baby Names Explorer.  (Interesting to see that my name was ranked number 8 – in the 1920s.  Since then, the popularity of the name dropped to almost zero by 2005, but it is making a slight recovery now.)


Keith September 3rd, 2008


“… I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.”

(If you are out there, Yorick, I hope you don’t mind me posting this.  I’m not making fun of you, but I do wonder about your parents’ taste in names…)

When a cartoonist manages a restaurant

Keith September 1st, 2008

Scott Adams – of Dilbert fame – owns and operates a restaurant.  He also writes a blog.  In a recent post, he outlines a number of initiatives he has introduced to increase his competitive edge, to some extent borrowed from Internet marketing techniques.  In summary, these are:

  • The lunch menu has been rearranged to rank dishes by popularity.
  • Monday night (normally the slowest night) is now Game Night.  Bring your own board game, use one of theirs, or play the Trivia questions on the big screen TV at the bar.
  • Sign up online for the Networking Lunch, and have lunch with five randomly-selected strangers.
  • For an instant party, bring your own iPod.  They provide the private room, food, dance floor and the iPod DJ sound system.  They’ll even play your photos on their laptop and big screen TV. (Almost forgot to add this item!)

Neat ideas – where else could you apply this sort of thinking?