January 2007 KM-Blog

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

From knowledge couch potato to knowledge creator

I enjoyed participating in a Webinar this week on Web 2.0 Metrics.

One of the speakers presented an interesting 'Participation Pyramid' for web browsing.

The pyramid has four levels:

Level 1 - Couch potatoes

The bottom wide layer he called 'couch potatoes' who don't 'participate' but simply browse.

Level 2 - Collectors

The next layer up in the pyramid, fewer in numbers, participate as the 'Collectors' who find something useful and save it. I remember a friend of mine once referred to extreme types of collectors as 'magpies'.

Level 3 - Critics

The next layer up in the pyramid, even fewer in number, are the 'Critics' who actively participate in thinking, reviewing and commenting and providing feedback.

Level 4 - Creators

The top layer in the apex of the pyramid, even fewer in number (maybe as little as 1% only of the total pyramid) are the most participative - they are the creators of the content.

I think this is simple and cool !

The challenge, apparently, is to gradually develop couch potatoes into creators ?

I like the notion of thinking about knowledge couch potatoes, knowledge collectors, knowledge critics and knowledge creators !

It reminds me of another statistic I came across in my earlier change management consulting years.

In any organisation:

20% Ludites - they will never change 50% Pragmatists - I'll believe it when I see it ! 20% Enthusiasts - boy do we need these supporters 10% Creators and Innovators

Monday, January 22, 2007

Free 30 minute video presentation 'Introduction to Knowledge Management'

We have now embedded a free 3o minute video presentation 'Introduction to Knowledge Management ' on our website, courtesy of Knowledge Associates.

It is presented by Ron Young, CEO Knowledge Associates, and it is well rated, so take a look.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Accelerating the knowledge creation process !

I never cease to be amazed by the speed of web working, and the acceleration of the knowledge creation and knowledge transfer processes.

Let me give a simple example of what happens to me daily in my knowledge creation work, and, indeed, what happens to any knowledge worker using the blogsphere.

Example: A knowledge worker in Europe blogs his/her critique and insights on, say, the emergence of some exciting new knowledge technology enablers at 13.15pm on a monday. At 3am tuesday morning, a knowledge worker in Canada reads the blog and makes valuable comments and further insights. A knowledge worker in Australia immediately builds and comments on the comments from Canada further. And so it passes on, building new insights and comments as it passes through India and SE Asia.

The original blogger in Europe wakes up the next day to an amplification of his/her insights, gets inspired and stimulated by the feedback, and, as a result, develops the new insights even further. And so the process continues.

What I find to be extraordinary, in this ever flattening world, is that this new knowledge develops equally, as it is created and shared throughout the world!

The knowledge creation and knowledge transfer process has accelerated beyond individual comprehension - to a truly collaborative virtual team effort. The primary knowledge creating entity is, without doubt, the collaborative virtual team.

The difference is - I never know from one day to the next who the virtual knowledge team will be, or where they are !

Also, I never need to tell anybody to do anything at all - they just want to do it!

Ron Young

writing 'Planetary Knowledge - enlightened knowledge working'

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Web 3.0 tools for both structured and unstructured information

I very much enjoyed reading the article from Nova Spivak on 'Minding the Planet' and responding on his site. There is much that he writes that I simply and strongly resonate with. His article is a 'must read' for futurists


I have also included my response to his article here, as I would welcome further comment and feedback on the direction Web 3.0 tools need to take.


I certainly agree with your views on collective intelligence and helping to enable a better world. I agree with your distinction between information and knowledge and how we can look forward to technologies helping us to develop explicit knowledge on the web through multiple connections in context.

When I founded my km consulting firm, Knowledge Associates in 1993, in Cambridge UK, we thought we had the tools and answers to help individuals, teams and organizations better manage their knowledge.

We had no problem at all with tools to help people better capture, store, share, better collaborate, and amplify their knowledge. That works well.

The problem started higher up the km process, with getting organizations to invest in, and getting people to want to create, more meaning through effective ontologies metadata, etc. The problem centred around the ‘harvesting of new learnings and ideas’, and then turning this into better knowledge.

I welcome and support your view that people will now, to a degree, create their own metadata and tagging e.g. flickr and del.icio.us examples. I also welcome new developments in semantic metadata creation tools and techniques.

The other development I observed, whilst chairing many km conferences in Europe, was the debate on the development of content meaning, between ‘structured’ information tools based on logic and metadata on the one hand, and ‘unstructured’ information tools based on pattern recognition, statistical probability theory, and automatic metadata creation, on the other hand.

This reminded me of the analogy with the two hemispheres of the brain. For the brain to function well, in sensing, interpreting and creating meaning, it needs both the logical, digital, interpretation, and it needs the illogical, analog interpretation. I came to the conclusion that the next wave of tools needed both/and and not either/or.

It seems that your thinking has come a long way towards this, since then.

Once these tools are available, I believe that we will then move to the next level of, both people and machines, being able to harvest new learnings and ideas and truly create new knowledge faster and better than ever before.

That’s the quantum leap for me!

Good luck with your developments and tools for 2007.

Ron Young

Monday, January 15, 2007

Explicit knowledge on the Web?

We have always said that 'my knowledge made explicit on the web, becomes information to you, until you choose to internalise any of that information, and add it to your knowledge internally'.

The argument being that only humans can make the connections and associations internally.

Now, we are constantly reminded that we can tag and connect pictures, videos, blogs, wiki's, websites, aggregators and all. A website can now be a huge and increasing set of connections and associations externally.

It is argued, by some, that these external clusters of links and associations, becoming increasingly complex, are not just information, but can now be considered as emerging primitive explicit knowledge representations!

Do you agree?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

KM why bother - it's already known!

The greatest lesson for me continues to repeat itself - it's already known!

Every time I think I have discovered something quite new, even leading edge, I get pointed to an article or a book that describes it. Often much much better than I had known it!

The question 'What do I/we know?' bears no comparison with 'What is known'

I have had some extraordinary ideas, over the past 20 years, about the development of the global brain and how humanity is just prototyping the evolution of our next brain, using the web, only to find another tremendous article that says it all! So much better than I ever will.

I learned that 'sem' is Tibetan for Mind; that 'semantikos' is Greek for having meaning; and that 'semantic' is English for pertaining to or arising from meaning. Wrap that meaning around the 'semantic web' !!!

Forget my KM consulting hat for a moment, but terms like 'facilitating the world's knowledge' and , at last, considering how the semantic web will contribute to true 'explicit knowledge on the web' (highly interconnected contextual connections) as opposed to turning 'my knowledge into your information' on the web, really resonate deeply!

So I am not sure whether to keep on learning, to give me personal knowledge, or just enjoy the beauty of life - knowing that it is already known anyway :-)

I recommend you read Nova Spivack 'Minding the Planet - the Meaning and Future of the Sematic Web' at:


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Web 3.0 debut and KM - here we go !

My blog of January 2006 talked about 'KM and Web 2.0'

Coincidentally, January 2007, I start this year by reading some extraordinary developments forecast for Web 3.0 by Nova Spivak over at the Kurzweilai.net set entitled:

" The Third-Generation Web is Coming

Web 3.0, expected to debut in 2007, will be more connected, open, and intelligent, with semantic Web technologies, distributed databases, natural language processing, machine learning, machine reasoning, and autonomous agents. "

It's a great 'must' read for Web 3.0 followers and global KM visionaries :


Do you buy in to Web 3.0?

Go to daily KM-Blog 'KM-Consulting'


Share this page: