Monday, 16 March 2009

Here comes everybody

Recent reading has included "Here comes everybody" by Clay Shirky. I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone seeking a thought provoking read on the effect of the web and of social tools more particularly on how we get things done.

There is plenty in there to link to KM. How do we exploit the low transaction cost and barriers to shared working that web tools can offer? In a world of folksonomies and full text searching via google books does our formal cataloguing offer enough added value to justify the costly professional time (at least in a library like mine)? How do we position ourselves in terms of the filtering role?

I was really interested in some of the theory around communities and how they work as they grow. What sort of semi formal and formal structures might we participate in to ensure both a closer understanding of user needs and a two way flow of information with the widest number of people?

I recently experimented with inviting reader reviews of items in our collection to appear on our library catalogue but this drew a very limited response. In this instance I think it was a combination of insufficient audience, insufficient incentive to participate and too high a barrier with online submission linked to the item not available.

Shirky identifies three requirements for a successful online collaboration

Promise - a plausible goal
Tool - easy / free / appropriate
Bargain - what you expect what they can expect

I'll be bearing these in mind next time I set out to try and generate some participation in my service.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Still thinking

I am more than conscious that I have not posted to this blog since I finished reading Learning To Fly. This has not been because I stopped thinking about Knowledge Management! On the contrary I have been involved in many fruitful discussions with colleagues around how it might develop at my Trust.

I have still been reading - just not in such a structured fashion.

One book I have been reading is "Healthcare Knowledge Management" by Bali and Dwivedi. I have found this a bit of a mixed bag with practical chapters in the minority versus some rather academic discussion. It can also be rather repetitious of the background basis of KM. It does have a couple of helpful chapters about KM in the context of the NHS in England and Scotland. All in all I would say it is a borrower rather than one you would want to add to your library.