Category Archives: Technology

A Social KM system for only 20 Euro ?

If you only have 20 Euro to spend on your new social knowledge management system … buy pizza

pizza

Order pizza, get your team together, pick a topic to start the conversation and … enjoy the pizza and the knowledge exchange

pic : Foodies

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Usability of knowledge management tools.

When talking about technology the focus is often on which technology to use.  But far more important for user acceptance (hence succes of your program) is the usability of the tools.

This is a great quote from Dave Snowden :

Hand axes from the Acheulian period 

Technology is a tool and like all tools it should fit your hand when you pick it up, you shouldn’t have to bio-re-engineer your hand to fit the tool.

 

… Systems, processes and tools will only work when they match the way people think, work and connect.

 

 

 

 

 

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

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Wiki myths

cornupia

Wiki wiki wiki. Probably the most popular web2.0 tool around for the moment.

Wiki’s are expected to be able to solve every knowledge and information problem in the book.

But is this reality ?

A good post by Dorthe R. Jespersen from J. Boye pricks some of the balloons.

Myth #1: A wiki will heighten motivation and spark contributions.
Installing a wiki will not motivate employees to contribute new content.
A clear purpose must be communicated and new processes must be implemented to avoid the empty wiki syndrome.
Adding unauthorized content and re-editing each other’s contributions can be a major cultural hurdle.

Myth #2: Employees will know how to contribute
The wiki concept is simple, but it is not always that simple to use. Wiki interfaces are very basic and often require some html knowledge.

Wiki’s, being structured around links, are not so transparent as a book with a table of contents.
Users may struggle to find where and how to add new content. And if they do, they may break consistency and structure.

Myth #3: Wikis will always surface the information you need
Even with a good usage of a wiki, this is not a guarantee that :
– the content is updated
– the content is correct
– the content is not duplicated (contradictory)
– the content is present
– the content is findable

Conclusion : you need guidelines, processes and people for managing the information in the wiki.

Picture by Squirrel Cottage

Web 3.0

What’s next after Web 2.0 ???   …. Web 3.0 of course.
 
According to Eric Schmidt (CEO at Google’s), Web 3.0 will be :
applications that are pieced together” – with the characteristics that the apps are relatively small, the data is in the cloud, the apps can run on any device (PC or mobile), the apps are very fast and very customizable, and are distributed virally (social networks, email, etc)
 
If you wonder what this means, have a look here.   The video shows how to use the new tools Teqlo is developping. 
 
Looks like Web3.0 will be about ‘User generated applications’
 
 

Chatting

Last week I talked to an audience of technology development engineers on the use of alternative tools for communication.

So I explain the use of discussion forums as an alternative for e-mail, … they all look puzzled.
Then a smile is born on the faces when they think they recognise it : ‘This is chatting … but we will not start chatting, be serious.’

So I start explaining what the difference is between chatting, online discussion forums and emails – to clear the first misunderstanding.

Apparently chatting has a very negative image : it is used by young people, on adult websites, … basically chatting is seen as wasting time.

However, it is cheap, easy and fast … So maybe engineers are too serious to use the same tools (toys) as their children.

The relation of technology with our lives

One of my main focus points is to make people realise that there business processes can be done more efficient, more easy and more effective by using the correct technology.

So I arrange for document management functionalities and collaboration tools for projects and communities.
Although I am my own judge now, I think I have been successfull in doing so.
Last Friday, our IT department took the system offline to install an extra component.
The downtime had been announced with a small note somewhere in the corner of our intranet homepage.
You see the picture, Friday morning hundreds of people where surprised – annoyed – some angry, because they could not update process information, budget plans, …

We rely on these technology tools to help us in our work, but too soon realise we are depending on their availability.
There’s a thin line between love and hate.