I’m back!!

I know, I know it’s been a LONG time since I’ve posted and I’m not the world’s most reliable blogger (at least this blog).  But I’m going to do better.  I think collaboration with others is important and sharing ideas/thoughts even more important.  Well, to do that, I NEED TO POST.  I’ve actually been thinking a lot about it since the new year and I’m going to try and post once a week, at least.  I’m going to start there and after that, who knows.

I hate to make excuses but I think one of the reason I haven’t posted is “information overload”.  I think most of us can identify with that.  You know, having something like 130 RSS feeds, getting magazines a couple times a month in the mail and not having the time, or notion to read them all.  For me a degree of guilt comes with all of that.  I would LOVE to be able to sit down and read, read, read but I don’t.  Instead I choose to watch shows on TV with my husband, work or just enjoy life a little more.  I started cleaning things a bit last night getting rid of those feeds that I don’t read much or where people haven’t posted for over a year.  I’m not sure how many feeds I have not but I might be under the 100 mark.  I’ve got my magazines stacked and ready to read and my notebook next to it to take notes.  🙂  My husband and I have also agreed to turn the TV off from 6-8pm too so that’s going to help too.

Here’s to things picking up and posts/knowledge improving.


Knowledge Management

I’ve been thinking a lot about knowledge management and the challenges that it brings.  I mean how do you create that “virtual” file cabinet in such a way that it makes sense to everyone without a ton of naming conventions that to help make finding what you’re looking for.  As I was thinking about it today, I came upon this post and thought it really rang true.

Facebook and the Enterprise: Part 5: Knowledge Management

The piece of this post that really spoke to me was this;

“Knowledge management is not really about the content, it is about creating an environment where learning takes place. Maybe we spend too much time trying to create an environment where teaching takes place, rather than focus on the learning.”

I thought the sentence was very thought provoking.  I think about the opportunities I’ve had to work on projects where the team is trying to embrace knowledge management and we’re ALWAYS asking questions like; “how would I find that?”. “does it make sense to have that material there?”, “do we really need naming conventions?”….You get the picture.  Although those comments could be thought of as jogging ideas on how to help people learn from the knowledge, they’ve been mostly about how do we house things so people can find the content.  Honestly, I haven’t challenged myself and my thinking to think that a KM site should focus on the learning.  Hello, isn’t that really the purpose?  I think we get hung up trying to figure out the environment and what it’s going to look like and it’s functionality rather than the content found within the tool.

Thinking about this, you could really apply this to most things in training. Think about the instances when you’ve got a department developing a tool and thinking about it’s use, rather than the content within it.  All those projects or activities where the functionality of the tool works extremely well but the content wasn’t helpful.

So there it is…… When it comes to KM, focus on the learning rather than functionality.

Help! WordPress tip needed!

Ok, can I just say, I really, really wish that when someone posted a comment to my blog, I got an email telling me so.  I am so SO used to that because of RSS feeds, and other blogs I have that it would be nice if WordPress did the same.

Anyone know how to do that? If it’s not possible, how do those of you out there remember to go check your posts to see comments?  I’d be interested in hearing your processes.

Implications of Wikis

It’s been almost two months now that I’ve been working for BCD Travel and I’m loving every minute of it. I have the opportunity to participate in a lot of activities, etc that I never got to in my previous adventure. One of the things I’ve had the opportunity to implement is the use of a wiki for several “manuals” that we have. It’s a great starting point for the use of wikis in an environment that’s pretty new to the concepts and ideas. Right now it’s just a few of us in teh group that have author privs and can change content. What’s neat too is that I also have it set up that when they’re changes we all get notified. Pretty cool stuff. OK I’m digressing on the purpose of this post. SO I’m sitting here today thinking about wikis and the issue of what’s the next step and how to you set up the most successful environment for wikis to be utilized and successful? THAT is where I started today.

I’ve been reading several articles today on wikis and what makes them successful and found some interesting articles.

In Chris Taylor’s article Why commercial Wikis don’t work he shared some really good reasons why some wikis don’t work or are not successful. What I liked more than the examples of those wikis that don’t work was his explanation of what makes successful wikis and the idea of the concept of “walled gardens”.

When you think in the sense of Web 2.0’s success being “walled gardens” it’s sort of an ah ha moment, at least for me. I like the term garden because in a lot of respects what we do with collaboration tools and shared learning is a garden, We’re cultivating an environment where we share learning, help each other out and provide insight.

I think about some of the tools I use, like Flickr, and how I really do only look at specific sections, topics, etc in that “environment”. When I go to locations that seem to have no walls it’s very overwhelming and I’m not sure what I’m doing, how I can contribute or what the goal is. According to Chris,

The future of Web 2.0 belongs to sites that give its users directions and goals as well as total control. People need a common focus, a shared obsession, to be productive as a crowd.

I really think this statement has a lot of validity to it. Without an understanding of the purpose of a wiki, some direction and goals, a wiki has the high potential to become a “dumping ground” for content. I mean isn’t one of the many benefits of wikis that it enables immediate information sharing and collaboration? With this in mind it is vital that there be direction. Look at some of the examples out there of unsuccessful wikis and consider if they met the three criteria.

After reading this article and thinking about our team wiki, I really think we got it right, perhaps without even realizing it. I’ve created a wiki for us where we have a select group of us that are authors, our purpose and pages. I think because we do have a small group of users and pages are specific and the goals clear we’re set up pretty well. Now I think the fun part is to see what happens of the next few months.

Resource Links:
Why commercial Wikis don’t work

Don’t know what to think

“Losing Faith: How the (Andy) Grove Survivors Led the Decline of Intel’s Corporate Culture” (Bob Coleman & Logan Shrine)

Tonight I went out with an old Intel friend. She’s one of those people you’re really sorry you don’t work with. She’s an amazing person and works hard. Anyway, she was telling me about this book. Apparently it’s about how Intel has fallen since Craig Barrett was the CEO. i think that’s interesting. What I also think is interesting is the fact that supposedly the “high ups” at Intel have tried to find the Bob Coleman and Logan Shrine w/in the company and they’re not there and there are no records of them. The story goes that those are pen names to protect the true authors of this book as it’s highly likely that those authors still work for the company. Is it urban legend or true. Humm.. I’m not sure but I’m thinking I might have to get the book and check it out.

Coventi Pages Blog

What makes Coventi Pages different? « Coventi Pages Blog

Ok, tell me this isn’t TOTALLY cool. I love wiki’s and blogs and things but think of the ability to put comments in the margin, etc. What a great collaboration tool. This I HAVE got to check out!!!

Web and Social Networking

You know I’ve been a blogger for several years and really like the idea of the whole thing. I love that I can share with my family what I’m up to and how things are going. It’s a little passive, I know, but it’s great because I stink at making the monthly or weekly phone calls to family to tell them what I’m up to. So… blogging.

When I moved to a new group in the company I once worked for I was challenged by a colleague, who was an early adopter of technology and rich media, to put my professional thoughts down on topics. She felt I had something to share with others and really encouraged me to share in this webisphere. So I did, and here it is.. of course this is the second version of it all.

So where does this lead? Ok, my point is this. I love the web and social networking. Because of this medium I’ve had the opportunity to hook up with some great people. I’ve been working on a project for the company I now work for that entails determining authoring tools for us as a group. Because of this medium (the web etc) I’ve been able to hook up with some great people like Steve Case and talk with him about different authoring tools and LMSs and LCMSs. He in turn has led me to other people that use LMS’s etc that I can talk to and get a real commentary on the tool(s) they’re using. It’s so much more valuable than just talking to vendors because they’re always going to tell you their tool is the best. I’m just so excited about this all. It’s great to be making connections with people around the globe and networking with others with common interests. It’s great too because I have to wonder, if not for the web and blogging, would this have been possible? Would our spheres of contacts really reach as far as they do? It’s an exciting time for sure.