KM in Atlanta, Social networks for innovation, Graham Durant-Law, Everything Is Miscellaneous

30-May-07 Archive of Weekly KM Blog by Stan Garfield

KM Question of the Week

Q: Can you refer me to other Knowledge Management practitioners in the Atlanta area or professional organizations where I might pursue networking opportunities?

A: I lead a KM community which you can join. When requesting membership, please provide your name, location, organization, role, and links to your web site and blog (if any). You might wish to join one or more other KM communities.

The Atlanta KM Forum may or may not still exist. The Atlanta KM Cluster no longer exists.

The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has the Information and Communications Laboratory (ICL). If you know of other KM programs, practitioners, or communities in Atlanta, please let me know.

KM Blog of the Week

Network Weaving by Valdis Krebs

Social network interaction will become the engine for innovation. Master it.

Good advice from the Gartner Group at their Symposium/ITxpo: Emerging Trends.

They gave 4 core messages for Leading Edge IT Change. Message #1 includes network mapping and network weaving.

Gartner said that Social Network Interaction is where leading-edge companies will make their mark and wield their influence. It advised CIOs and IT leaders to:

  • Expose your trickiest business and technology challenges to open forums and learn how to identify real contributors.
  • Solicit and respond to customers’ input, feedback and new service ideas through communities of customers.
  • Use social network analysis software to map out how information and ideas flow among your people across regions, continents and business entities.

KM Link of the Week

Graham Durant-Law’s WebPages

Knowledge management is a subject that fascinates me — so much so that I am a doctoral candidate at the University of Canberra. My topic is ‘A knowledge productivity model for the public sector’. I am a knowledge practitioner and currently I am assisting in the design, development and deployment of a knowledge management system for the Australian Defence Force, colloquially known as TARDIS. I am a director in a small company called HolisTech® Pty Ltd, which specialises in problem projects and knowledge management. Accordingly much of this web site is devoted to knowledge management.

Inside you will find some theory on knowledge, and in particular knowledge models, which I trust will be of interest to you. There is also a growing list of books and journal articles, and some links to papers and presentations I have presented at conferences with a knowledge management theme. I have also included a page that will take you to my favourite websites. However, knowing that I am interested in knowledge management only tells you part of the story. You will also find information about who I am, what I am doing at the moment, and what I have done in the past — just surf through the pages using the navigation bar, or follow the hyperlinks on the pages.

KM Book of the Week

Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder by David Weinberger

Human beings are information omnivores: we are constantly collecting, labeling, and organizing data. But today, the shift from the physical to the digital is mixing, burning, and ripping our lives apart. In the past, everything had its one place — the physical world demanded it — but now everything has its places: multiple categories, multiple shelves. Simply put, everything is suddenly miscellaneous.

In Everything Is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger charts the new principles of digital order that are remaking business, education, politics, science, and culture. In his rollicking tour of the rise of the miscellaneous, he examines why the Dewey decimal system is stretched to the breaking point, how Rand McNally decides what information not to include in a physical map (and why Google Earth is winning that battle), how Staples stores emulate online shopping to increase sales, why your children’s teachers will stop having them memorize facts, and how the shift to digital music stands as the model for the future in virtually every industry. Finally, he shows how by “going miscellaneous,” anyone can reap rewards from the deluge of information in modern work and life.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Information in Space

  1. The New Order of Order
  2. Alphabetization and Its Discontents
  3. The Geography of Knowledge
  4. Lumps and Splits
  5. The Laws of the Jungle
  6. Smart Leaves
  7. Social Knowing
  8. What Nothing Says
  9. Messiness as a Virtue
  10. The Work of Knowledge

Coda: Misc.

Blog and video presentation by David Weinberger

Review by Larry Prusak

David Weinberger is the most erudite and reflective of the hearty band of webtopians: those who believe that the web brings us varied and untold joys, with little pain. While I’m not at all a member of this tribe, I do believe the webtopians are all worth reading and engaging with. This book is a good case in point. The main argument of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder is that the various categories by which we organize our understanding of life have been more or less limited by the physical world. With the vast power of modern computing and the various ways the web can be used, we no longer have to use such categories and we can better exercise our imaginations and understanding through the structured miscellaneousness that cyber tools make possible… It’s not perfect. I wish that he had elaborated on some of the points about knowledge. A further discussion of power and politics in the world of categories would have been useful, too — especially as one has a strong sense that these subjects are all bubbling in the author’s mind.

(Not) Everything is Miscellaneous by Peter Morville

To the librarians. So begins Everything is Miscellaneous, David Weinberger’s mesmerizing new book about organization, authority, and knowledge. I received my advance copy last week and read it in a single day. I found it interesting and inspiring, and I recommend it highly. But, I don’t agree that everything is or will be or should be miscellaneous, and I don’t believe David is entirely fair to librarians, information architects, and other professional organizers.

How the Web destroys categories, disciplines and hierarchies by Cory Doctorow

David Weinberger’s “Everything is Miscellaneous” is the kind of book that binds together innumerable miscellaneous threads and makes something new, coherent, and incontrovertible out of them. Weinberger’s thesis is this: historically, we’ve divided the world into categories, topics, and hierarchies because physical objects need to be in one place or another, they can’t be in all the places they might belong. Computers and the Internet turn this on its head: because a computer can “put things” in as many categories as they need to be in, because individuals can classify knowledge, tasks, and objects idiosyncratically, the hierarchy is revealed for what it always was, a convenient expedient masquerading as the True Shape of the Universe.

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