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Social knowledge management wasn't built in a day

Social knowledge management is the next generation of knowledge management. But don't think its development is a black-and-white case of "out with the old and in with the new." It's more like "in with the old and in with the new."

I got to thinking about this after reading this week's TCMnet article by Susan J. Campbell. She writes, "The idea of knowledge management is still a good one, but advanced tools and improved processes are necessary to facilitate its use."

She goes on to say that, "... the better the integration of the knowledge management solution with other platforms within the enterprise, the greater the benefit and value for the organization."

As we move forward developing and refining our approaches to social knowledge management, it's important we don't forget about or abandon the core pillars of traditional knowledge management. In fact, this merging of old with new remind me of Rome. (I am an analogy lover after all, if you haven't noticed from my posts!)

I explained all in the comment I left on Susan's article, so surf over to read her piece and my full commentary. What do you think? Might social knowledge management remind you of another city??


David said...

Sorry to say, but this is not Societal KM. Societal KM as a concept was defined by the work of Wiig -

One of the problems with KM is that we fill spaces with "technobabble" - there are established meanings for concepts such as SKM and there is no point in polluting an already confused field with conflicting theoretical ideals.

Articles like this make for interesting reading, but, ultimately, they are flawed in their inception.

Cheers for the read,


Carolyn MacNeill said...

Thanks for the comment, David. But to be sure, our post wasn’t intended to be about Societal KM. It sounds like Societal KM, based on the link provided, has more to do with applying knowledge for the public good (policymakers, cities, governments, etc.), whereas our concept of social knowledge management is focused on extracting and leveraging an organization’s explicit and tacit knowledge to meet business needs.

However, you do quote that, “In general, [Societal Knowledge Management] does share the same foundation as the private sector KM. Hence, SKM uses approaches developed and perfected in the private sector. Most management, organizational, and operational principles are similar.” (Wiig 2007)

Similar, sure, but not necessarily the same idea. As it happens, we were just talking about a similar topic in our Social business vs. Enterprise 2.0 debate blog post. Social Business, E2.0, Societal Knowledge Management, social knowledge management, or whatever terms are used to describe it, are all still subjective in nature, and probably always will be -- which is good, because we can have fun hashing it out. :)

The bottom line from our perspective is still that it's not what we call it, but what we do with it that counts.

I love a good debate, and I appreciate a new perspective. But I’ll leave it to the people in the trenches -– information professionals who use a unique combination of technology, people, and processes to gain knowledge and insight -– to choose which theoretical ideal might fit their style of work best.


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