Clancy of the Knowledge Flow

I had written him a snail-mail, which I had, for want of email
Address, sent to where I met him in Canberra, years ago.
He was sharing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just “on spec”, addressed as follows: Clancy of The Knowledge Flow.

And an answer came directed in a format unexpected,
(And I think the same was emailed from an iPhone in a bar).
‘Twas a sharing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
“Clancy’s gone collaboratin’, and DOPPLR knows where he are.”

In my wild and tacit fancy, visions come to me of Clancy,
Gone a-posting on actKM, where collaborators go;
As the threads are slowly stringing, Clancy moderates them singing,
Collaboration has pleasures that the solo never know. 

And Facebook has friends to meet him; the notifications greet him
And the postings of the bloggers and connections on LinkedIn.
Yes, he sees the feeds so splendid of the RSS extended,
And he makes his calls on Skype, and works in Google Docs and Ning.

I am working with my icky MS Office – not a wiki –
As the IT thugs block all attempts to share knowledge at all.
For the all-embracing firewall, and the silo walls built so tall
Just serve as a reminder – they don’t trust anyone at all.

And in place of sharing people, I can hear excuses feeble,
As the hoarders and the blockers sit in cubicles and cower.
And the gross pontificating of the managers dictating
Echoes faintly up and down the halls of the Ivory Tower.

And I somehow rather fancy that I’d like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at Twitter where the tweets just come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the email and the journal –
But he won’t like MS Office, Clancy of The Knowledge Flow.
No, he wouldn’t like this office, Clancy of The Knowledge Flow!

Read more about the performance of this hereBreaking news: A video of this is now on YouTube here.

Keith De La Rue & Serena Joyner, 13 October 2008
Performed at “Collaboration Cabaret”, actKM Conference, 14 Oct 2008, Canberra
With apologies to A. B. Paterson, The Bulletin, 21 December 1889.


  1. Keith
    Great job on this and it was brilliant to hear it played live at the dinner.

    I cracked up watching Arthur Shelley trying to count how many KM tools Clancy used.

    Dave Williams

  2. Mate, you mentioned this at dinner the other night and I though it was a good idea, but actually reading it I am astounded. You have outdone yourself.

    I don’t know how it came across on the night in song, but I hope people appreciate the wit and knowledge behind this little reworking.

    An Australian classic.

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