Knowledge Management and Web 2.0 – What a nice post!
Luis Suarez over ELSUA has posted a series of 6 posts talking about the impacts of Web 2.0 on Knowledge Management. In fact, Luis transcripts with his passionate style the highlights of a podcast held by Jon Husband and Dave Snowden talking about this same topic. It is worth having a look to give an overview of the next generation KM and how this discipline is finally compelling again thanks to the tools introduced by the new Web.
I personally contacted Luis after reading this post, just to ask him what is the role of these new tools in the world of KM. I know dozens of gurus who say that it is a worrying thing that many companies are trying to enable a KM 2.0 strategy by means of purchasing a product. I fully agree on the fact that in order to establish an effective KM strategy with Web 2.0, companies must be very careful to make sure they understand the network effects of the new Web. They should also assure that these ideas are not wiped out by a product that will be probably missing key features. But if everybody should use Blogs, Wikis, Social Bookmarking, etc…and we know that there are products like IBM Lotus Connections and Confluence which packages all this into one integrated product, why are not these IT products suitable for KM 2.0? How a network can be created without these tools? How otherwhise KM 2.0 can be enabled? Luis then replied with a ray of light:
It is absolutely true that there should be tools and products, otherwhise nothing could be done. But what we are talking about here is that one the major issues of traditional KM is the fact that during a lot of years, the strategies were focused on procesess and tools, rather than knowledge workers, meaning that people could not influence the way in which these tools were utilized. Definitively, tools need to be there, but with a minimal influence and always available to users, not the other way around. They are a mechanism to achieve a goal, not the goal itself, like it used to be in traditional KM. Here is where the real change relies on, as Web 2.0 and KM 2.0 are founded on the principles of openness and free knowledge sharing, using tools we all really know and like, without imposed structures.