Saturday, April 30, 2011

Daily KM Papers in my Inbox

I realize that most peopledon't want more email and the idea of receiving multiple newspapers in their inbox on a daily basis wouldn't be appealing, but it's all a matter of managing the flow and deciding what's worth subscribing to temporarily vs. long-term. Unsubscribing is as easy as subscribing, so there's nothing to worry about.

I continue to grow the list of people and organizations I follow on Twitter but given the way I use Twitter (mostly to gather nuggets of relevant information), I don't need to constantly check my Tweet feed yet I don't want to miss potentially interesting Tweets.  By focusing on specific topics using Tweetdeck and filtering by columns, and subscribing to a few (four at the moment) Twitter-based newspapers, I am managing the flow while avoiding distractions.

#KM Daily
#KMers Daily
Knowledge Management, Le Journal, by P. Bernardon ... more likely to include French content

Sunday, April 17, 2011


No, I am not talking about Taylor Steven's debut novel, The Informationist, but it is that very book that introduced me to the term and made me wonder if there was such a term or profession.

What is an informationist, then?

An informationist is someone with a strong library science background combined with specialized expertise in a particular topic area. Informationists are usually embedded with the professionals they support rather than working out of a library. It appears to be used primarily within the medical profession (see the Wikipedia definition of "informationist.").  Another terms often used (or that I am more familiar with) is that of "embedded librarian).  The reference librarians I know who work at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center library for example, are extremely knowledgeable about both the science and engineering aspects of what NASA does. They're not embedded at the project level, but they are capable of supporting specific projects on an as-needed basis. 

Next question: Where does the informationist fit in with the knowledge manager? Are these complementary roles? 
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Collective Action

I'm currently reading/listening to Clay Shirky's work (Here Comes Everybody and Cognitive Surplus). This flashmob video fits in like a glove.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Key Elements of a KM Strategy

The key elements of a KM strategy can be summarized as follows:
  • Leadership:  Are the leaders both on board with the KM strategy and communicating that it is important?
  • Incentives: Are the right incentives in place for people at all levels to do what is expected of them in terms of KM?
  • Resources: Have adequate resources been identified and allocated appropriately (in a sustainable manner)?
  • Value:  Does it make sense?  Does the KM strategy address critical business needs?  Do people within the organization believe the KM strategy is adding value?
But none of this will make sense without a deep understanding of the organizational culture and business need.

Friday, April 01, 2011

Informal Learning via Social Media: An Example

Explaining the power of informal learning via social media to non-believers can be challenging because in most cases, the non-believers are not social media users and therefore it's easy to revert to "you just have to try it, then you'll understand."  That simply doesn't work with some people.  You need to give them something more tangible to get them to try it.

I had two very specific examples of tangible benefits this week.  One example involved the use of Twitter at a relatively small in-house conference and was 100% work-related.  The other example belongs to the critical gray area of professional interest that s not directly work-related.  I am documenting both, but I'll focus here on the second on.

I recently purchased The Working Smarter Fieldbook.  I've been following the authors from a digital distance for a while, whether on blogs, Twitter or other channels and I purchased the book or rather, the PDF file.  As I started reading through it on my Kindle, I noticed little black squares and my first thought was that some images were missing.  Something must have gone wrong with the PDF, I thought.  After all, this is an unbook, it's not meant as a perfect final product.  I didn't think too much of it.

A couple of days later, I am attending an in-house conference (the same one where I had that other informal learning experience via Twitter) and one of the presenters has an image of the funny little black squares on his slide.  He must have said only two words about it but that was the trigger.  It wasn't a missing picture, it was content I was missing out on because I had no clue what it was.  Now I knew it had a name, it was a QR (Quick Response) code. Armed with that information, I googled QR, ended up on the Wikipedia page.  The next challenge was to get back to the book I had first encountered them in and figure out how to "read" them. Post a question about it on the Yammer Social Learning Community, simultaneously google QR "reader", find the free iPhone app, and that was it, I was all giddy about my discovery.. so excited about it I had to tell a colleague about it later in the day.  Checked the Yammer Social Learning Community later on and there were a dozen or so messages with links to additional information, examples of how people use QRs, etc, etc..  One post specifically answered one of my remaining questions.  If the QR in a book is just taking you to a website, why not just put a standard URL?  The answer is that a URL doesn't change and you'd have to reprint your book or document if you change the URL.  The QR doesn't change.  You can set it to change where it takes you.

Connected the whole thing to a presentation I had seen months ago about Augmented Reality.
Started noticing QR codes at the mall, tried one  -- the first hand experience remains key in understanding what it does.
Started writing this blog post, which took me to additional resources, including the video below.

Resources collected in the process:

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