Special report on KM in the AFR

Did you see that today’s Australian Financial Review (AFR) has a special report on Knowledge Management? The particular reason I mention it is that I was interviewed for this report and there is short quote from me in the article, titled Firms alert as bloggers get a helping hand:

As social software tools merge and become wireless- and proximity-enabled, business applications will abound, according to James Dellow, principal consultant with Chief Technology Solutions.

For instance, by merging a professional networking site like LinkedIn with photo-sharing capabilities such as those provided by the Flickr photo-sharing site and an interactive mapping application like Google Maps, Dellow says, your professional profile could include snapshots by location of projects you have worked on.”

Fellow New South Wales KM Forum committee member, James Digges from SAI Global, also gets a mention in the same article and another friend in the industry, Sue Halbwirth from UTS, is quoted in another article in the report talking about the problem of knowledge lost through staff retrenchment and retirement.

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Companies don’t blog, people blog

Care of the Full Circle Online Interaction Blog and worker bees blog an informative whitepaper by Jeaneane Sessum that discusses some key issues about business blogs. It includes Ten Rules for Starting Your Corporate Blogging Off Right:

1. Read Before You Write
2. Links Are Key
3. Don’t Use Your Own Blog to Sing the Praises of Your Company
4. Don’t Spam in Comments or Email
5. Monitor What Bloggers Are Saying About You
6. Don’t Do Denial
7. Comments—Tread Carefully
8. Set Your Employees Free (Because They Already Are)
9. Don’t Forget Traditional Marketing and PR
10. Aggregators Are Great—But Start Small

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New KM book by Dr Kimiz Dalkir

The world of knowledge management (KM), which I take an interest through the New South Wales KM Forum, goes through cycles and at times even comes across as a bit faddish. At the moment the use of narrative, the application of complexity concepts and social network analysis (SNA) are the hot topics and require special skills. So it was surprising to see the publication of a new generalist book on KM, called Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice.

Dr Kimiz Dalkir‘s (no, I hadn’t heard of her either…) new book promises to provide “a comprehensive overview of the field on knowledge management with an emphasis on translating theory into practice.It apparently contains a whole bunch of case studies, but to be honest it doesn’t look like they tread any new ground. However, have a look at the table of contents and judge for yourself.

I was also a bit worried by this comment in one review of the book that said, “One reason we like this book for executives is that Dalkir gives effective summaries of key points that provide for an intelligent scan of the work if one doesn’t have time to read the whole thing.” And they think that’s a good thing??? IMHO KM fails when stakeholders don’t engage fully with the concept.

PS If you can hold on long enough a new KM Standard will soon be released in Australia…


Using a conversation cafe to kick start an ICT industry network

Yesterday I spent the morning helping the Illawarra Regional Development Board (IRDB) to facilitate a half-day workshop to kick-start an information and communications technology (ICT) industry cluster/network in the Illawarra (we have in mind something like the successful clusters in the Hunter and Central Coast regions of New South Wales, Australia). This has been on the local and state political agenda for a while, but yesterday was about moving from talking to action. About 35 people attended the workshop held at Wollongong Council, half representing the local ICT industry and the remainder from various local and state organisations.

I used a conversation cafe for the first half of the workshop that asked them to discuss three key questions about the cluster or network that they wanted to see created. With an emergent technique like this you can never be sure of exactly what the outcome will be, but the benefit is that it is difficult for one view or person to dominate the discussion. However feedback about the process was positive and it helped the group focus on the immediate goals of the network and next steps. In the meantime I’ll be continuing to work with the IRDB to put together funding applications that will be used to resource the development of the network.

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Self-Service Checkouts at Big W

Sad, but true. Considering my geeky interest in retail self-service technology, I’m disappointed that I didn’t hear earlier about the Retail Business Technology exhibition taking place in Sydney this week.

What’s worse is that heard about it on TV Channel Nine‘s A Current Affair (ACA) show (honestly, I wasn’t really watching it). Unfortunately you won’t find a transcript on the ACA site, but what I can tell you is that their report included a visit to a Big W store which showed shoppers using self-service checkouts. However, after a quick bit of googling I discovered much to my disappointment that they’ve been in place since at least 2003 and more recently in Cessnock. At least Australia isn’t quite as far behind the US and UK as I had previously thought.

Fujitsu was a major sponsor of the exhibition and there are a couple of related articles available – Retail: Remember how it used to be… and Why shopping might never be the same again.

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Key Trajectories of Social Software

Mark Daggett in his COLLCOLL blog gives his take on the key points of Social Software for the immediate to mid term future. He talks about interoperability, “Swarm Serving”, Liquid Democracy, the digital divide and wireless networks.

I particularly like his point about the digital divide where he says “The digital divide is not specifically the separation between those who have technology and those who don’t. Instead, it is the gap that exists between those who understand the emerging metaphors of information use and those who don’t.

PS In another post he also links to this bit of cool prototype tech, the Optimus keyboard. I want one too.