Dave Pollard – Collections and Connections

September 23, 2008

in general

Dave Pollard has been writing a blog even longer than I have. His “How to Save the World” is in my view a classic and still hosted on Salon. His most recent blog post was on Happiness and Dave does seem a lot happier this year. Now I have his slides I can quickly read ahead and then think about points I may want to make. Before reading it I like the shift to Connection!

Key Points
Dave dates KM to 1994 through 2003 and relates it as management information systems. However this is very much a US centric point of view. The Europeans had a much more “people” centric POV. At the time the early conversation was often about Intellectual Capital. This was at time depersonalized by calling these routines Knowledge objects etc. Books I read in those times included Karl Erik Sveiby, Leif Edvinson, Tom Stewart.

I agree with Dave that these repositories didn’t help much and the reality is they created little real value. Quotes Davenport on work that most spend 50% of their time processing information. These workers lacked reserach skills. The paucity of positive results was accredited to the lack of networking. Of course that created other problems like who is talking to who and who doesn’t talk.

In Trying Again with KM2.0 Dave focuses on personal content tools. I think the key thing is write and share for the many rather than the few. Updating a wiki benefits the many. Updating a blog is better than an email it is more transparent and todays tags etc can make sure it is directed at someone. The individual needs to be freed to contribute. More importantly boundaries aren’t fixed anylonger. My experience says organizations are still not opening up. Outside software and small startups few companies can really capture their communities to help and enable them to create value. Think Facebook API, iPhone Apps, Microsoft and many smaller cos which are exposing more and more of their information stucture.

On to Improving Connection. I believe one of the largest challenges facing organzations is how to raise the conversations efficiently and effectively. There’s lots of friction in finding someone and even if you find them they may not be able to talk. Routing the conversations that matter are increasingly less and less likely¬† to take place desktop to desktop. Just like face to face the real value is in the moment. This happens to be a “thing” for me as the co-founder of Phweet that aims rapidly escalate conversations without the need to exchange numbers¬† etc.

JIT canvassing. I’d simply call this Twitter. (Yes their are others Oracle, SAP and IBM all are working on them. Yammer, Presently, and Identi.ca are also example heading into this space). Short messages saying can you help me with… Re Environmental Scanning I’d like to think about this in terms of Mashups! Eg putting data on maps is a most obvious one. However as companies open their information processes new forms of value can be created.

Anyone that know me knows I’m already totally entrenched in these tools. I like Dave’s evangelism of the new tools and finding new practices. Yet I have the same fear I had last year that the audience doesn’t either have much control or isn’t bringing these tools quickly into their organizations. I hope I’m proven wrong as I have more conversations with others here. Makes me fearful of “telling” others buy an iPhone, Tweet, and use some of the location based solutions.

I’m going to say I think Twitter or similar signaling systems are going to have the most impact. If there is one new behavior to go away with it is that. Use Twitter. Experiment.

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