PKnF Personal Knowledge networking Friends

February 25, 2003

in Knowledge Innovation

Can we exist in a world without e-mail? What would happen if the push-pull of cyberspace just became our workspace that we shared from time to time as we connected? What happens when Knowledge Management strategies are no-longer centralized but decentralized? What happens when knowledge sharing capabilities skew P2P centric? I’m not in favor of the term Personal Knowledge Management “PKM“; I’m fairly certain PKnF is about to take on new meaning.

The Entovation 100 is using Metalayer as part of a new innovative knowledge sharing initiative. I was reflecting today on my experiences so far. Metalayer first impressions is like Open Space (Harrison Owen) meets Smart Wiki and Post-it notes. As a group we’ve been jamming out some “mini reflective conversations”. These differ from typical threaded discussions (thankfully)— tend to be non-linear, and rapid fire. The postscript to each session is the surprising amount of value that is emerging. Links, new connections etc.

While in the space I’m not yet at the point where I can say with pride its “ours” neither can I say this piece is “mine”, it doesn’t automatically merge with my daily life of e-mail and word. Yet if it did all my exchanges would take on a different slant. I really would be managing my desktop.

Let’s think for a moment. Assuming I could work in a single personal knowledge space rather than e-mail on one system IM on another, Word on another etc. I’d have a few opportunities. Let’s say I want access some Scenarios from 2000. Currently I know about when I did it. Might be able to track them down. Similarly I might be able to find e-mail exchanges (much more difficult). Then I might slowly re-connect with those I did the work with. Hope their e-mails haven’t changed etc. This is in my view the David Gelerntner approach for Lifestreams, which I’ve also blogged before and was one reason I started blogging. A diary record. I don’t think he included FOAF type thinking.

So what is the opportunity for PKM’s? It’s the capability to access knowledge not only by “lifestream” – date but by friends. If my example was amended to looking up the Scenarios created by Richard, Stuart, Chris, Lynn in 2000 I’d have a much more powerful search. I’d also instantly reconnect with my friends or colleagues. Over the intervening period others may have added notes, perhaps other have entered the dialogue. Our origination may have become a further shared resource. This would be knowledge turns in action via your friends.

So imagine Metalayer as a personal space, tied to a Ryze like profile and fotolog, RSS news in via blogs, my friends FOAF writing on my “chalk board – my open space” coming to me, similarly my broadcasts selectively free to the world. Visitor spaces melding with mine for that portion of the exchanges we share and our spaces duplicating… growing together and coexisting separately. IM integrated, Voice integrated. Effectively our online personas merging at time synchronously, other times asynchronously.

To sum up a personal knowledge paradigm where knowledge accumulates not only by time/date but through connections with friends.

What does this mean? It’s my space, I may share a part of it with my organization, with share it with my friends, family, mentors, etc. Interestingly, this PKFN space duplication shared with friends would enable “future memory” spaces. Something new for historians. It also implies permeable boundaries.

This is a world of decentralized KM. The idea of centralizing KM is overturned pushed to the fringe. The purpose becomes accelerating knowledge creation. By embedding my FOAF knowledge my 7/12/150 paradigm is overturned. Using the metalayer to connect and reconnect means new networks are more likely to be formed on the fly. Similarly, Search via BLOOGLE enables me to capture friends and earlier exchanges immediately.

Knowledge sharing is tied back to community groupings and broadcast for securing additional feedback, new input.

The implications for brands and marketing is to act retail and become my knowledge experience shopping companion.

And that is enough speculation for tonight!

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