SOME OF MY OLDEST notes include some of the coolest doodles. Presently, I want to teach doodling as a way to gain a handle on the visual dimension of knowledge management. Some of my most creative doodles look like hives, others look like timeworms. Unlike straight timelines, timeworms curl back and forth. I think that serendipitous flow of words can teach people about "knowledge management" without focusing on the formal taxonomy of categorising information. In a past job, I used a timeworm to illustrate a complex co-ordinated launch process of a Close Watch airlift mission. Timeworms showed difficult textual relationships in an easy visual manner. Some internet relationships look like timeworms too (Touchgraph can show this effect.).Timeworms borrow from the BRINT Institute's granular depictions of organisational processes "that seek synergistic combination of data and information processing capacity of information technologies, and the creative and innovative capacity of human beings." In Lee Bryant's mind, "smarter, simpler, social" happens with information laid out in a more discoverable fashion.
During October, I plan to reopen Constantin Bastereau's past work and to explore how knowledge-based relationships evolve online. This can be a simple process, perhaps no more than seeing what Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, or Technorati reveals about subjects of interest. Part of the process looks at people rank, not page rank.
No matter how sophisticated your searching skills and no matter what kind of bespoke crawlers you use, the information you trust is more important than the information you find. You depend upon referrals from others. You read and follow the words of like-minded knowledge workers. And when you can walk away from the information glut by following quality pointers, you have saved time and won competititve advantage.It also means you've done more than skim headlines. Good knowledge detection means filtering contextual and visual results. I started this quest five years ago by following Lee Bryant's short list:
- Use XML/RDF/RSS syndication technologies.
- Focus on distributed, collaborative metadata.
- Organise items into libraries.
- Maintain adaptive design and contextual awareness.
- Engage web services and shared protocols.
Constantin Bastereau -- "3. New tools."
Euan Semple -- "Changing priorities"
Mike Butcher -- "Hive Mind Could be the Future of Internet" in The Irish Times, October 1, 2004.
David Gurteen -- "Unlocking Human Potential Through Social Networking"
Lee Bryant writes the best paper on the topic.
Clay Shirky -- "Folksonomy"
Zack Lynch -- "Brain Waves: neurons, bits and genes"