“Who is Dave Snowden?” and other questions

This was one of the questions asked in the conference earlier this week.  Obviously, people new to the KM field may not have heard of Dave Snowden, but somehow this question struck me from a couple of odd angles. 

Firstly, the philosophical: “Who exactly is Dave Snowden?  Who is this complex and complicated (yet knowable) character?”  But before digging into this too far, a local TV beer advertisement came to mind: “Who is James Boag?”  (In this site, click somewhere near the bottom middle to get to the TV advertisements, then see “Waiter”.  Obviously inspired by James Bond.)  So if you don’t know the answer, hopefully I have given you enough food for thought!

Catriona Byrne of Sageco, our chair for day two of the conference, has responded here with a summary list of the questions asked.

Does anyone have success stories on influencing stakeholders?
Does anyone in your organisation have KPIs for KM?
What tools, resources and networks have you used for KM?

I gave my own answers to these questions at the conference.  For more of the history of our approach, see the Case Study in this post.  You may also like to read about The Ivory Tower.  If you have any of your own answers to these, please feel free to post as comments here.

What wiki software do you recommend?

The wiki software that everyone is talking about is Confluence.  I am told that a couple of the most important features that make Confluence so good for enterprise applications is its ability to handle attached files, and to provide good integration with corporate directory structures.  Microsoft thought it was so good that they are now in a partnership with Atlassian, and you can now get the SharePoint Connector for Confluence.  (I have not yet used it myself.)

As per Catriona’s comment, see also: wikipatterns.com, a “toolbox of patterns & anti-patterns, and a guide to the stages of wiki adoption.”  For free wikis, see wikispaces (spelt without a space, oddly) and wetpaint.

Does anyone blog?

If you are blogging on any topic remotely related to mine, let me know, and I will add you to my Blogroll here. 

Should we blog?  How do we educate others about blogging?

Blogging will suit some applications better than others.  It is a tool for one person or a small group to share their thoughts with an audience, and it allows the audience to engage via comments.  It is thus an asymmetric tool, whereas wikis can be more symmetrical – everyone can potentially share equally in the construction of something.  Blogging also breaks things up on a time basis. 

Bearing that in mind, my response to this is always: “Just try it”.  It is either free or very cheap to set up effective blogging software, so it is low-risk to start.  If it works, and if it suits the needs of enough people in the organisation or community concerned, then it is probably worth it.  So should we blog?  There’s one way to find out…


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