Archive for the 'Technology' Category

Silver bullet?

Keith July 21st, 2008

The debate question: “Technology is the silver bullet for knowledge management.” The final vote result: overwhelmingly opposed.

Even the team arguing against freely admitted that technology is an important enabler – we aren’t Luddites – the argument is that it’s first and foremost about people.

Arthur asked another question – how many people changed their mind as a result of the debate? Only two.

Now looks better on a mobile

Keith July 18th, 2008

I have just heard about MoFuse. So what?  So now you can view my blog in a neater way from a mobile device.  Check it out now at:

(The idea is to open this URL from a mobile device – but you can see a simulation on a PC browser…)

MoFuse is “Mobile Fusion”, and it was mentioned by Chris Brogan in an email that was forwarded to me.  It is “a web application that allows content publishers to easily and instantly create a mobile version of their blog or website.”

I wonder if it will be friendly to me?

Social badges

Keith March 4th, 2008

The Human Dynamics lab at MIT has developed some interesting “surveillance badges”.  This has been brought to my attention by Andrew MitchellNew Scientist Technology blog reported this January that these badges “recognise each other using infrared, then record your speech, note your distance from other people, and track your movement.”  With these badges, researchers can “monitor people going about their day – working, meeting, eating, going out and sleeping.  The devices record where the wearers go and how fast, their tone of voice, and subtle details about their body language.”

These badges have been apparently been used for some interesting investigations into free will.  By tracking individual movements and personal interactions, MIT researchers found that “we are more instinctual and a lot more like other creatures than we care to think…  a good 90 per cent of what most people do in any day follows routines.”  Interesting…

In a more recent application, as New Scientist reports, “… one of the researchers, Ben Waber, has blogged about handing out the badges to delegates meeting with their corporate sponsors.”  This application was used to develop and display a social network map, visible to the participants.  “… over the course of the day, more people became connected within the network as they met more people.”

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Where is the context? (And another event)

Keith November 7th, 2007

A belated note from the Enterprise Change Management conference in KL at the end of August:

“The context for most structured data lies in unstructured data.  The IT industry has come a long way in managing structured data, but has a long way to go yet in managing unstructured data.  The two are handled totally separately.” 

 - Alan Pelz-Sharpe, CMS Watch


Next week, I will be in Sydney at two conferences for Ark Group: Driving Effective Intranet Delivery in the Public Sector and Promoting a Culture of Knowledge in the Public Sector.  I am talking about Maintaining the currency and accuracy of content at the first of these, and Using social media to engage stakeholders and the community at the second – a late inclusion in the program.

After realising that Matt Moore and I would be somewhat overlapping in our content, we are now planning a double act – should be a bit of fun!

If you are in Sydney, and would like to catch up, drop me a line!

They said it couldn’t be done!

Keith August 29th, 2007

Had a great day at the ECM conference today – it was great to meet some new people!  As promised to the participants, here’s my very brief summary of the “three errors of ECM” from the McKinsey report that I mentioned.  This is from Making a market in knowledge, by Lowell Brian, from 2004:

  • Build it – and they won’t use it
  • A huge DM technology investment is not a solution
  • Content too hard to find, and not kept up to date
  • Top-down Intranets don’t reach audience needs
    • Corporate staff may not understand needs
    • Expertise is distributed around organisation
  • Distributed model better, but has flaws
    • Closer to people and needs, but no guarantees
    • Can lead to islands of incompatible technologies
  • Solution – Knowledge Markets
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    Who are you?

    Keith August 7th, 2007

    “Man is least himself when he talks in his own person.  Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”

     - Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)

    Although it has been around for a while, I am just starting to hear a bit about the use of Second Life as a training environment.  I certainly support anything that associates learning with fun, and this sounds like fairly serious fun!

    It seems that Second Life provide a lot of support for education.  From a quick Google around, it seems that applications can include learning games, simulation-based learning, system training and suchlike.  One application that looks interesting is a Teamwork Tester.

    Disclaimer – I have not yet entered the world of Second Life, and I will be the first to say that I will only be qualified to comment on it once I (make the time to) get inside and have a look.  I obviously need to do some more work on this, so this post will not dig very deep!

    However, I would be interested to find out more about how well Second Life works in an organisational training environment.

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    The vendor conundrum

    Keith July 31st, 2007

    There are some more good comments on KM Australia from Serena Joyner on the NSW KM Forum blog. 

    Serena raises the perennial question of how to cope with vendor presentations at such major events.  KM is about people, but I think that most of us agree that many (although certainly not all) KM initiatives require some technology to support them.  Events like this need funding from vendors to make them possible (or they will come with much higher fees).  The vendors need to see some return on this investment, so they need a speaking spot.

    The result is two entirely different types of presentation.  One from the viewpoint of people (and these may be either actual case studies or may be more about possibilities and research) and the other from the viewpoint of IT systems. 

    Ark did concentrate on having the vendors present much more from a Case Study point of view this year, which did help.  But one vendor case study presentation that stuck in my mind still tended to focus much more on the actual system implementation and rollout than on the business situation that the technology solution was intended to address.

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    Knowing your Environment

    Keith July 18th, 2007

    The current discussion on the AOK Star Series is on the topic: Can KM Rise to the Challenge of Solving the Climate Crisis?  Bruce Karney, the “star” moderator of this discussion, asks the excellent question – if we are all so smart, why don’t we do something about some of the important things? 

    Most of us would rather work on important interesting projects than trivial boring ones.  If you are like me, you find the evidence regarding global warming to be compelling.  During the past year I have come to the realization that there is simply nothing more important for me to be working on than helping to alleviate climate change and the myriad disasters it will likely unleash on our descendants.

    Is it possible that we, as a species, KNOW what is coming, KNOW how to prevent the worst of it, and yet will fail to take action in time to do so?  If so, it will be the worst failure of knowledge management since humans obtained the ability to distinguish between good and evil.

    One aspect of the climate change “debate” is the pros and cons of alternative energy sources, and whether they can provide “baseload” energy production.

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    Chasing the will-o’-the-wisp

    Keith June 26th, 2007

    So, is the iPhone going to be a winner?  Many analysts seem to have their knives out for it.  Reading between the lines, it appears that the heat of the controversy is caused by colliding world views.  Traditionally, devices are made by hardware designers.  However, Apple has carved out its market niche by taking a different design approach, particularly seen in the iPod.

    The touch-screen interface and the user experience of the iPhone (quick scrolling and navigation with a range of hand movements) are much more software-driven than any other mobile phone.  Even though its mobile phone features are apparently not particularly revolutionary, it is the design and operation of the iPhone that could reshape an industry.  We may soon see similar touch-screen interfaces not only in mobile phones, but in many other devices.

    Technological shifts are often a matter of clever marketing, but can also have a lot to do with timing.  Many inventions and ideas never quite “make it” at the time of their conception, often due to shortcomings in available technology or manufacturing.  Years later, new developments pave the way, and the original idea is finally born.  By this time, the original creator often receives no credit or glory.

    One of my favourite stories on this topic is the story of Delilah and the Mobile Phone.

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