Showing posts from November, 2007

Google's Intranet

Some time ago I asked here and here how Google manages it's own information internally. I didn't get any answers (yet).
However now part of my question has been answered. John Batelle and ReadWriteWeb point to a Blogoscoped post on Google's Intranet! There you'll find a lengthy description of what it looks like, with lots of screenshots.

I found this quote about organizational transparency most interesting:
Ex-employee Doug Edwards mentioned how he came to take for granted everything was available on the intranet, "from the status of products in development to the number of employees at any point in the company’s history." He adds that the transparency was also a motivator, as "Your failures are also visible to everyone in the company, which provides an even greater motivator to continuously improve performance in the areas for which you are responsible." These days however, as Doug writes, Google "clamped down on who had access the complete stat…

Enterprise 2.0 Market Map

FirstPartner is:
...a fast growing strategic marketing and research agency focused on IT, telecommunications and Media sectors.
Not too long ago they released an insightful "Enterprise 2.0 Market Map". You can download it for free. The overview it gives is nice. I also like the fact that it incorporate the "1.0" tools.

What I question though is mixing up "collaboration tools" and "document and records management tools". Actually, "collaboration tools" are not mentioned. For instance, Sharepoint is labelled a "document management tool". I would say Sharepoint (and IBM Workplace to mention another one) is about supporting (document) collaboration. It can only be used for light-weight document and records management.
Furthermore, an important category is also missing. CM, CRM and ERP are mentioned. But tools to support Product Data/Lifecycle Management aren't (e.g. Siemens UGS).

The New Semantic Web wave (3)

Interesting interview with Nova Spivack, founder of Radar Networks, on Twine, by the Downloadsquad.Twine is about sharing, finding and organizing personal information in one place in a new way. This app addresses information overload most knowledge workers experience. (Yes, there's money to be made here!, as Phil Windley says.) Spivack says Twine is the next step in knowledge management and communities of practice. All your personal information is tied together in one place. It's something in between Google and Facebook. Using natural language processing they can find places, people and things in your information.
You can search in your Twine network for relatedness. The search is based on a user-driven crawler.
Later on they will support importing all your information. Money will (possibly) be made using ads.
They are slowly letting people use Twine (I'm still waiting…).
Twine is about "knowledge networking" as opposed to "social networking".I'm wonder…

Slides on Technology/Internet Trends

This is kind of old, but interesting anyway.At the Web 2.0 Summit, on October 18, 2007 Mary Meeker (from Morgan Stanley Global Technology Team) gave their yearly presentation on ‘Technology/Internet Trends’. This presentation is packed with interesting data, analysis, etc. You can find a post on this presentation and the slide at ReadWriteWeb.
Some of my highlights from the presentation:Sheet 3: 3 Decades of Tech - Now = 2 Cycles
We’ve moved from Desktop > LAN > Internet > Cloud (broadband + wireless).Sheet 6: Consumer Demand for New Internet-Enabled Services/Products is Strong
- Technology is evolving faster than most enterprises’ ability to deploy new products/services.Sheet 12: Web 2.0 Driving Enterprise Growth?
- Next wave of corporate productivity gains should be paced by Web 2.0 driven collaboration tools that use the network as the platform to enable users to connect ‘any device to any content over any combination of networks’ (John Chambers, CEO, Cisco Systems, 5/22/2007)…

McAfee and Davenport debate on Enterprise 2.0

Really interesting debate between Andrew McAfee and Tom Davenport on whether Web 2.0 adoption will really change organizations. Davenport thinks they won't, McAfee says they will. Davenport asks, for instance: Is Sharepoint really different from Web 2.0 tools? Are these tools really new?

Surprising fact: McAfee says he doesn't read a single blog! Wow!

Also be sure to check out Luis Suarez's comments on the debate.

Productivity sessions

Joost pointed me to this interesting post on wiki sessions on the Workplace Blog. What are these sessions for?
The goal of the meeting was to educate peers about wikis and then talk specifically about the Avenue A | Razorfish wiki.This is interesting and it triggered me. Wouldn't it be nice to set up "productivity sessions" in companies? (Or do you already have them? Please share your!) In these sessions employees can share their ways of working, their way to be productive. For instance, how do you organize your email, your paper, your blog posts, etc.? At the company I work for we have done this by setting up a workshop on coping with information overload. But this was a one-time-thing.

I write for geniuses...

A colleague of mine poked me and asked me to write for 'regular people' instead of "geniuses"... Thanks, Harold. ;-) It's not my intention to write for them, I'm don't see myself as one either. But anyway, here's the proof:

The New Semantic Web wave (2)

Anyway, let’s get back to the new apps. I collected all kinds of information on these tools. Lots of insightful articles have been written on them too. Here’s an overview of the posts:About Twine:
Really short video about Twine.
Presentation on the Semantic Web and Twine.
Techcrunch review of Twine.
RoughType review of Twine.
O’Reilly Review of Twine.
ReadWriteWeb review of Twine.About Powerset:
Not too much posts about them lately. Wrote about them before here and here (and pointed to other posts on them). I’ll be posting again about Powerset soon!About TrueKnowledge:
ReadWriteWeb review of TrueKnowledgeAlso check out this panel discussion on the Semantic Web at the Web 2.0 summit titled ‘The Semantic Edge’ with demo’s (although you can’t see them…) of Radar Networks (Twine), Powerset and Metaweb (Freebase).Metaweb kicks of with a demo of Freebase. It’s about opening up the silo’s of data. And creating interconnections between them. We want to be able to operate over multiple systems. Freeba…

The New Semantic Web wave (1)

There’s (been) a lot of buzz about new Semantic Web and natural language tools the last couple of months (sometimes called 'web 3.0'...). News about Radar Network’sTwine, Metaweb’sFreebase, TrueKnowledge and Powerset. (I got my invite to Powerset the other day!)This is very interesting. And I’m really curious whether these new apps will take us further than all the Semantic Web and natural language processing promises that were made in the nineties. Then semantic search was promoted and question answering, automatic summarization, etc. Semantic Web, language and speech technology was also hyped by companies like Lernout and Hauspie. After L&H came crashing down it seemed that natural language and speech technology turned quiet, was licking it’s wounds and looking for new approaches.With this in mind I was surprised by the fact that there are several companies attempting to address this market again. And practically at the same time. I’m always curious how this can be. How …

Podcasts about Web 2.0 and nakedness

Listened to some morepodcasts on the We are Smarter website.The first one is an interview with Ross Mayfield, “prominent blogger, co-founder and CEO of Socialtext”.He made an interesting remark about “the overall pattern in Web 2.0”. It’s: Share the control to create value.He pointed to two general best practices in this area:Refer to ‘customer stories’ on the Socialtext website for examples.And the wikinomics website on which everyone could collaborate to write the last chapter of the book. This is planned to be published soon!Later on he explained the ‘Inside-out approach’. There is a company that was using a wiki for internal product management and as a knowledge base for their callcenter. As they were developing, they asked why this information shouldn’t be accessible for the rest of the company, and even make it public. So they went on to open this wiki up. In this way all company employees can look in the database and help solve problems. Even customers that have …

Killer Innovations podcast on 'Innovation champions'

Dennis McDonald posted another five of his favorite podcasts. (Thanks for sharing!) One of them sounded interesting: Killer Innovations by Phil McKinney.

So, I listened to one of the recent podcasts about ‘innovation champions’. It’s about three questions: Who are the innovation champions? What to find them? And how to keep them? I’ll give you a short summary.

Innovation champions are the really passionate and fanatic people in your organization.
To find them: ask employees what they are working on and what they find exciting.
Make sure you offer innovator protection. Give them the authority to decide. This doesn’t imply that they have to lead the project, although sometimes they could. Also give them resources to realize their passion. But work with ‘constraint-based innovation’, which means: don’t give them 100% of the resources to help them focus.
Phil also gives an interesting creativity exercise. And you can join the Facebook group “Killer innovations”.
I subscribed to Phil’s blog and …

The First International Conference on Information Management

How could I have missed this?! I thought I had all my information flows well organized... Next week Friday, the 23rd of November, the First International Conference on Information Management will be held in Amsterdam! They have an absolutely wonderful program with great speakers. The conference theme is 'Business Information Management. Is information management in need of a new identity?'.If you are going, please let me know. I'd like to get a copy of your notes/blog posts.An interesting fact for Océ (the company I work for) is the documentary that will presented to the public. It's titled: The CIO as strategic partner. And our CIO Peter Hagedoorn figures in this documentary. You can get a sneak preview here.

Google Tech Talk by Alex Wright

Just started reading Alex Wright's book, Glut. Mastering Information through the Ages. It's really interesting and gives a wonderful overview of the history of 'information management'.
Alex also just gave a Google Tech Talk on his book. It's not a substitute for the book, but it's worth your time anyway.

Interesting fact: Xerox PARC coined the term "information architecture". (35:00) There mission was: "The Architecture of Information".

The Future of Work according to Manpower

Really interesting and nice video on 'the future of work' according to Manpower. Thanks for sharing, Brain Magierski!

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (12)

Daan Andriessen (Kenniskring Intellectual Capital, Hogeschool INHOLLAND): Metaphors for knowledgeDaan started out by say we used 159 metaphors for knowledge during this meeting. Examples are: knowledge sharing, flows, etc.! Daan is inspired by the “Conceptual Metaphor Theory” of Lakoff & Johnson. The use of metaphors is largely unconscious and they direct our thinking. Knowledge as abstract concept is primarily conceptualized by metaphor. It’s the only way we can talk about knowledge.When comparing the used of metaphors in knowledge management literature they found that:
- in the Western world (e.g. work by Davenport and Prusak) knowledge is used as an object, as a resource.
- On the other hand, in the Eastern/Asian world (e.g. work by Nonaka & Takeuchi) knowledge is used as thoughts or feelings, as an organism.So they wondered: What is the effect of metaphors on the discourse about knowledge management in organizations? Based on a workshop with managers and one with employees, …

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (11)

Ruud Janssen (Telematica Instituut): Coping with information overloadInformation overload is a popular subject. And for good reasons. Lots of media comes at use via lots of different ways. However we can only process a certain amount of information at a certain speed in a certain amount of time. This can stress people, which, in short, we call ‘information overload’. Refer to NRC article, Nov. 8, 2007: "Inbox overflow leads to less colleague contact".Following interviews and workshops, e-mail is usually seen as the culprit (ambiguous e-mails, e-mail avalanches, number of e-mails, etc.). They also found that some managers suffer more from information overload than others. This seems to result from the way they handle information overload. In other words: the way one handles information overload relates to how much you suffer from it.Furthermore information overload is not always experienced, but in periods of time.They focused on information overload coping strategies for e-m…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (10)

Hendrik Kupper (WageningenUniversity): Knowledge policy in the sector Agriculture, Nature and Food qualityThe sector ‘Agriculture, Food and Nature’ has always been characterized as an excellent knowledge infrastructure and showed passionate use of knowledge by farmers and gardeners. However this has changed in the last ten years, initiated by the privatization of the knowledge institutes of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. Now a new knowledge system is growing. All sorts of collaboration between knowledge institutes, companies, community organization, education and government is developing.The model of knowledge management in the sector looked like this:Know why > know that > know how - which relates to:Understand > control > do - which relates to:Create > exchange > utilize - which relates to:Fundamental knowledge (laws, theories) > technological knowledge (control/influence matter, people, organizations) > technical knowledge (recipes, etc.)In the past k…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (9)

Lilia Efimova (Telematica Instituut): Employee weblogs: a knowledge management approachLilia is conducting her PhD research on ‘employee blogging’. She’ll present part of her research results here. This part of her research was published in Efimova & Grudin (2007), Crossing Boundaries: A case study of Employee Blogging.Weblogs are:
- used as a (personal) KM instrument
- passion driven, bottom-up tools in a (non-)business environment
- used as a research toolLilia investigated employee blogging at Microsoft (- at that moment 10% of MS employees were blogging).Why do people at Microsoft use work-related weblogs:
- To communicate directly with others inside and outside of the organization
- To document and organize their own work
- To showing the human side of the company (Within Microsoft employees are not asked to blog about why they’re proud of the company by their managers. They themselves want to write about why they’re proud and why things go the way they’re going. They don’t like to…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (8)

Jose Kooken, Robert de Hoog, and others (University of Twente, IPIT, Politie Academie): Knowledge Sharing at the Police: Police Knowledge Net (PKN)PKN is (“push”) system that was implemented for daily use of the whole police organization to support knowledge and information sharing.This presentation is about how PKN is used and who uses it, why and with what success. What other sources does the police use for acquire knowledge? They observed police employees in several police units for one hour to define their knowledge need. A ‘knowledge need’ is defined as a need that one has for which he/she searches for and analyzes for longer than 10 minutes.The highlights of the observation are:
- the use of PKN, as part of all the digital knowledgebases, is approximately 12,5%.
- the most-used knowledge sources are colleagues.
- knowledge use reported in the survey was much higher than seen during actual work.
- 80% of the surveyed employees say they never have a knowledge question.
- the majority o…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (7)

Daan van Tienhoven, Ebru Göçmen, Boudewijn Elsenburg (ErasmusUniversity, RSM): The influence of unit performance requirements on knowledge sharing between unitsIn their daily work they found resistance to share knowledge over business units and wanted to find out why. They investigated the relationship between two constructs:KPI’s/targetsknowledge sharingHow do the organizational goals influence inter-unit knowledge sharing?They defined several types of organizational goals:
- Quantitative-qualitative goals
- Learning-outcome - performance goals
They joined these two goals because quality relates to learning and quantity relates to performance. These do split into hard and soft goals. They found that hard goals, such as KPI’s (key performance indicators), tend to obstruct knowledge sharing, soft goals encourage and stimulate it.
- Less strict boundary goals (?? Didn’t quite get this one…) > There were no conclusions on the influence of this goal on knowledge sharing.
- Time horizo…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (6)

Kees Vreugdenhil en Marijke Dieleman (Kenniskring Kennisorganisaties en Kennismanagement, Hogeschool Zuyd): Knowledge policy and sustainably continue (Dutch: “duurzaam doorwerken”) working in the mid-sized businesses in Parkcity LimburgParkcity Limburg (Limburg is a southern Dutch province, Parkcity is a group of cities in Limburg) is the first region in The Netherlands where ageing (“silver economy”) in the Mid-sized business is clearly hitting home hard. (90% of the employability in Parkcity is in Mid-sized businesses.)Therefore a project was set up to develop and implement policies to address the loss of knowledge due to retirement, to develop and implement an HR policy to allow employees to continue working if they are able to and would like to. Their preliminary results are presented today.They mention that what ‘graying’ really means, is not clear; we’re learning on the go. “The key is to use knowledge about age to manage it.” (Prof. Ilmarinen - He defined the 12 pillars describ…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (5)

Marjan Grootveld (Telematica Instituut) & Anja van der Hulst (Cognitive Tools): Knowledge retaining at Thales.How do you retain critical knowledge in an organization (Thales) with many retiring employees? How do you combine strict need to know policy in practice with knowledge sharing? How can the internal training department and the group that trains customers learn from each other? How do you spread the knowledge retaining effort over the different business units?50% of employees at Thales are between 46-50 years old. And these people usually are life-long employees. Furthermore, the products (radar systems) Thales sells require 20-30 year maintenance and support.How to retain knowledge due to reorganization, aging, shorter careers, and outsourcing? They used techniques as interviews, story telling and knowledge mapping to analyze the situation at Thales.They found that knowledge retaining is really expensive. So, retain only company critical knowledge. ‘Critical’ was defined as…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (4)

Vanessa Dirksen & Ard Huizing (University van Amsterdam): The Networking Knowledge Worker, Technology Appropriation and the Shaping of Learning PracticesThis very interesting presentation reports on “an ethnographic study performed in a large and distributed, knowledge intensive ICT company. It gives an in-depth account of the introduction of virtual communities in this organization and what happened afterwards. When confronted with organizational change ideas such as virtual community, people make sense of and appropriate these ideas to make them ‘their own’.”Basically they asked: What could or should knowledge management be? Why is the game Warcraft such a success as apposed to corporate Intranet for instance?They see to main approaches to KM: One from ‘Objectivism’, and the other from ‘subjectivism’.Objectivism says: Knowledge and information is a thing, product, etc. Objectivism: the philosophical tradition that for knowledge development we should view the world as consisting …

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (3)

Henk Smeijsters, Hans Koolmees & Sylvia Schoenmakers (Kenniskring Kennisorganisaties en Kennismanagement, Hogeschool Zuyd): Practical research and action learning in learning organizationsEncouraged by the government, the Maasland hospital of the Orbical (Dutch: Orbisch) Medical and Care concern is realizing the hospital of the 21st century. Part of this venture is the Patient-focused treatment (PFT), which should help this hospital evolve into a learning organization.The project developed a mental model of PFT rules of conduct, a PFT training and a method to embed it in their work. This is done in dialogue with the employees, using data collecting techniques, techniques for co-creation and natural inquiry techniques (such as member checking, triangulation, peer debriefing). Embedding in daily work is done using action learning, which is still work-in-progress.There are hiccups w.r.t. embedding: the employees don’t have much time, limited experience with ICT, big differences in ed…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (2)

Christiaan Stam (Kenniskring Intellectual Capital, Hogeschool INHOLLAND & de Baak – Management Centrum VNO-NCW): Knowledge productivityThis presentation is about designing and testing a method to diagnose knowledge productivity and to subsequently make a knowledge management plan. It will address what we mean by ‘knowledge productivity’, how we can diagnose and improve it.Christiaan wrote a PhD thesis on this topic and will defend it in December (2007).Christiaan mentioned that addressing and defining knowledge productivity is a real challenge.Currently there are two approaches to knowledge productivity:Knowledge productivity as a process. Focus on knowledge, improvement of process on knowledge creation. (Dutch KM-ers like Weggeman and Kessel represent this group.)Knowledge productivity as result. Focus on productivity. Measuring knowledge results, insight in knowledge performance. (Sveiby is a representative of this group.)Christiaan definition of Kn…

National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland" (1)

Ton Zijlstra (Proven Partners): Knowledge management scansSince 2000 Proven Partners collects the results of 4 knowledge management scans, using an online benchmark engine. The scans are about the following themes:
1) How important is knowledge in our organization?
2) How clear is our future direction?
3) How good are we at knowledge management?
4) Is our company organized in a knowledge sensitive way?These scans are based on the Knowledge Value Chain (Weggeman, 1997) and filled in by a broad selection of Dutch organizations. In this presentation Ton looks back and gives an analysis of seven years of data collecting.Impressions from the surveys:
- the survey consists of 600 questions of which 151 are taken from standard scans. Weggeman helped define the questions.
- there is a big gap between KM ambition level of companies and what they are doing in practice.
- Companies find it hard to define knowledge goals and strategy.
- Most companies do not find it difficult to get an overview of ‘Knowi…

Live blogging the National Knowledge Management Research meeting "Made in Holland"

Tomorrow I’ll be at the National Knowledge Management Research meeting “Made in Holland” in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). I’ll be live blogging (most of) the sessions.Here’s the program:Theme ‘Valuing Knowledge’- Ton Zijlstra (Proven Partners): Kennismanagement scans- Christiaan Stam (Kenniskring Intellectual Capital, Hogeschool INHOLLAND & de Baak – Management CentrumVNO-NCW): Knowledge productivityTheme ‘Knowledge creation’- Henk Smeijsters, Hans Koolmees & Sylvia Schoenmakers (Kenniskring Kennisorganisatiesen Kennismanagement, Hogeschool Zuyd): Practical research and action learning in learning organisations- Vanessa Dirksen & Ard Huizing (University van Amsterdam): The Networking Knowledge Worker, Technology Appropriation and the Shaping of LearningPracticesTheme ‘Knowledge retention’- Marian Grootveld (Telematica Instituut) & Anja van der Hulst (Cognitive Tools): Kennisbehoud bij Thales.- Kees Vreugdenhil en Marijke Dieleman (Kenniskring Kennisorganisatiesen Kennis…

Inbox overflow leads to less colleague contact

In my newspaper the NRC I read an interesting article about our always overflowing inbox’s and its implications for our contacts with colleagues. Douwe Egbert coffee systems saw that less and less colleagues meet at the coffee corner for a talk and a cup of coffee. Contact with colleagues, even if their just around the corner, is often done by email. So, they asked a bureau to investigate this. They found that more than 50% of Dutch employees says that personal contact has decreased because of email. They would like to be able to talk (live) with their colleagues.For this reason companies, such as U.S. Cellular, Deloitte and Intel have a ‘no e-mail Friday’. This does not seem to be a structural solution, others say, because now everyone sending more e-mail on Monday to Thursday. Anyway it’s a good signal to the employees.Others say there should be an e-mail code of conduct. (Within R&D 20 colleagues defined such a code of conduct in a workshop some time ago.)What do you think? Is …


Some time ago I commented on an essay by Larry Sanger titled "Who says we know". In short the essay:

... questions the "epistemic egalitarianism" adagium of Wikipedia. Simply stated: everybody is equal, an expert is not more (knowledgable) than a non-expert, together we define what is true.I went on to say:
I understand the point he's making. And, though I too am enthralled by the success of Wikipedia, I also wonder how Wikipedia will solve, for instance, the "edit wars", that Sanger also mentions. Don't we need a mediator/expert to end those wars? Or can we simply allow two definitions to one entry?Another solution could be to get in between Sanger and Wikipedia. Every now and then we would let experts in Wikipedia and have them correct, extend, etc. the entries. After they've come in, we let "the rest of the world" in, etc. In this way we have expert and non-expert "waves".Well, it seems Veropedia comes close to my solutio…

The Future of Printing (2)

Some time ago I posted about the 'future of printing' and 'printing the web'. ReadWriteWeb has an interesting post today on this topic. It says:
HP acquired Tabblo with the aim of making printing from the Web easier. For example, webpages are sometimes difficult to print (R/WW is guilty on that count!). In terms of the big picture, Antonio explained to me that the print business is huge, but that HP is starting to think in terms of digital devices now - rather than the old model of [paper] pages. So in terms of products, HP's Print 2.0 strategy is about delivering products and services such as the Tabblo Print Toolkit - which enables publishers to provide template-based PDFs of their webpages for easy printing. HP also wants to get into the on-demand printing business, where it will face competition from the likes of and Antonio told me that the vision is for a self-serving site to create books. However he said that there are practical issues ho…

How many blogs do you have?

Nice (old) cartoon about blogging! I have two blogs (internal and external)... One too many.

Context Organiser

Talking about 'context', tools like Context Organizer are trying to offer context to knowledge workers. I was asked to evaluate Context Organizer for the Web the other day. (They found me using LinkedIn, which was a wonderful first-time experience.)

Context Organizer reminds me of Pertinence and Copernic. The basic idea is they want to help you cope with all the information you get by summarizing the information for you. What struck me was the fact that they really want to integrate their tool in all much-used knowledge worker tools, like Office and browsers. They even have a Firefox addon!
I'll tell you more about this tool in a little while.