Knowledge Management, Social Software and Economics

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008
How can a deeper understanding of social networks contribute to knowledge management and increased innovation and productivity? What are the new methods being used to conduct social network analysis? How can organizations take advantage of existing social networks?  These are some of the topics that will be discussed in session I.
20080909-SoCalKMExchangeStewartSuttonAeroSpaceCorp.jpg
First up, Stewart Sutton, Principal Scientist and Director of KM at The Aerospace Corporation is presenting. At Aerospace, our product is knowledge. That knowledge is embodied in our products.

Human knowledge is increasing exponentially and the KM tools and social software techniques to help manage that increase are being introduced just as fast.

The culture of knowledge: If those that possess knowledge regard it as power, they will guard it more jealously -- this increases access costs.

The same tools we use to search, sort, organize, and process our knowledge are consuming increasingly more time in our daily routine.

(Eric, see slide for details - good PKM Example)

How can we utilize powerful tools and process to manage knowledge with greater efficiency?

Define value.

The concept of "useful knowledge" - term by economist Simon Kuznets (1965)

What
or propositional knowledge - Knowledge about natural phenomena and regularities, Observation classification, Establishment of regularities.

Engineering Knowledge...

Knowledge Tightness
K can be in dispute or speculative. Is it understood or trusted.  Tightness is a function of the ease of verifiability....

Who knows what?

Aggregation

Probability of Transfer Knowledge

Can Knowledge = Currency?


Value metrics for Knowledge:  
Knowledge tightness and percentage of prescriptive knowledge available. (Unusual to measure)

Alan Greenspan: "Our market system depends on trust..."   In the same way, our knowledge systems depend on trust (trust = knowledge tightness).

Social software offers validation of "tightness" in the sense that as we work through these technologies, and through community, we get a better sense of the "collective trust" of the knowledge presented.

Social software can help us establish pedigree and trust in KM.

KM, in the other hand,, offers more of a prescriptive authority and stewardship. This is different from the trust we place in knowledge.

Integrating knowledge patterns with technology.
       Video conferencing
       Screen sharing
       Email
       Tags and Bookmarks
       Wikis
       Blogs
       Document Collection

(See slide)

We can consider knowledge value in using models applied to currency. Tightness is key.  Be sure to see citations and references.

Discussion: What would happen if we tried to model the economies of attention?  (Excellent, listen to recording) Example, think of entering a department store (or Ikea) and the distractions we encounter along the path to our goal. Knowledge work is the same.

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