Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 46 - 6th April 2004


First Published

April 2004

The Gurteen Knowledge Letter is a monthly newsletter that is distributed to members of the Gurteen Knowledge Community. You may receive the Knowledge Letter by joining the community. Membership is totally free. You may read back-copies here.

***** The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter (Issue 46, 6 April 2004) *****

I am often asked how I find the time to produce this newsletter each
month. In fact it does not take me that long - about 2 days. It is
made easier by a set of Lotus Notes based applications that I have
custom built for the purpose.

During the month I capture ideas to a Notes database as I come across
them and so I have a ton of material waiting for me at the end of
each month to expand and edit. Notes then stitches all the items
together for me and generates the 10,000 or so personal emails at the
click of a button.

But I find that the time I take each month is creeping up. The
problem is that when I click through to the web to expand on my items
I trip over so many amazing new technologies, products, concepts,
ideas and people that I get drawn in and can't help but read about
them. I realize that even though I spend a lot of time on the web
that I should spend more as I am in danger of being left behind.

We could all spend more time browsing the web however and never have
the time to do anything useful with all our new found knowledge! But
I hope this newsletter makes it just that bit easier for you to keep
up with what is going on in the world of 'knowledge and learning'. It
helps me tremendously in writing it.

*************************** CONTENTS ***************************

1 - Gurteen Knowledge Events
2 - Ray Ozzie on Collaborative Technology
3 - KM at NASA
4 - The RSA Coffeehouse Challenge
5 - Wikipedia
6 - Prospect Magazine: Why Terror?
7 - On Measurement & Incentives
8 - The Entovation 100
9 - Online Dictionaries
10 - What's in a word?
11 - Social Capital & International Development
12 - Gurteen Knowledge-Calendar
13 - What's New?

******************* GURTEEN KNOWLEDGE EVENTS *******************

I am developing a number of "knowledge events" this year but coming
up in the next 3 months are two learning events and what will be my
fourth conference.

Critical Skills for Knowledge Workers, 12th May 2004

Building Knowledge-Based Relationships, 8th June 2004

Creativity and Innovation Conference, 29th June 2004

I am particularly excited about Ross Dawson's event "Building
Knowledge-Based Relationships" in June. Ross is based in Sydney,
Australia and is one of the leading thinkers on the business
application of "networking" - networks in their broadest sense both
technology based networks and people networks. He is an inspiring
speaker too - I saw him present in London last year where I got to
know him.


Ray Ozzie, the creator of Lotus Notes and founder of Groove Networks
is always a guy whose thoughts and ideas are worth keeping in touch
with ...

White paper from Ray and Peter O'Kelly on collaborative technology

Voice interview with Ray by Robin Good

Ray's weblog

Ray Ozzie:

************************** KM AT NASA **************************

Imagine the knowledge management problems faced by NASA when it may
take many years for a spacecraft to reach the outer planets of our
solar system only to find that when the data and images start
streaming back that the scientists who conceived and designed the
mission have long since moved on or retired.

NASA's KM team

NASA's Strategic Plan for Knowledge Management

***************** THE RSA COFFEEHOUSE CHALLENGE *****************

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) Coffeehouse Challenge kicked off on
22 March 2004, exactly 250 years to the day after William Shipley,
founder of the RSA, held the first meeting of the Society in a coffee
house in Covent Garden, London.

Gatherings of Fellows, the general public, MP's and groups of
schoolchildren up and down the country will get coffee houses and
other specialized venues buzzing with spirited debate and the liberal
exchange of ideas.

Issues for discussion are linked to the RSA's manifesto, focusing on
five specific areas of concern of our modern society. They are summed
up as bright ideas, zero waste, capable people, strong communities
and global citizenship.

This is a great example of "knowledge cafes" in action. I love it.

The RSA Coffeehouse Challenge

Knowledge Cafes

Royal Society of Arts

*************************** WIKIPEDIA ***************************

Ever wondered what a wiki was - never mind a Wikipedia? Wikipedia is
a great online resource and a stunning example of how the web
'changes things'.

"Wikipedia is a copyleft encyclopedia that is collaboratively
developed using wiki software. In addition to the standard
encyclopedic knowledge, Wikipedia includes almanac- and
gazetteer-like information as well as timely information.

As a freely-editable document, Wikipedia is subject to some unique
hardships not present in more traditional paper encyclopedias. It has
a self-healing system in place to deal with these challenges, and
even a page designed to explain these systems.

The content of Wikipedia is entirely created by its users, and is
managed and operated by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikipedia
is free content, meaning free to use, free to edit, and free to copy
and redistribute."

To get an idea of the breadth and depth of the content take a look at
the London Underground section - its awesome.

London Underground


**************** PROSPECT MAGAZINE: WHY TERROR? ****************

If you live in the UK, next time you are WH Smith look out for a
magazine called "Prospect". This is what they say about themselves:

"Prospect has acquired a reputation as the most intelligent magazine
of current affairs and cultural debate in Britain. Both challenging
and entertaining, the magazine seeks to make complex ideas accessible
and enjoyable by commissioning the best writers, editing them
vigorously and packaging their work in a well-designed and
illustrated monthly."

I have often browsed it and can highly recommend it - but I was
compelled to buy this month's issue when I read about "Gandhi's
challenge to Osama Bin Laden". If he were alive today, how might
Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest apostle of non-violence, challenge Osama
bin Laden's worldview?

There is also a great article on conversation and more.

Why Terror?

Learning to Talk

Prospect Magazine

Mahatma Gandhi

****************** ON MEASUREMENT & INCENTIVES ******************

Thanks to Louise Smith who is a Knowledge Manager with SAS Asia
Pacific who pointed me to a posting in Joel Spolsky's weblog - well
worth a look if only for the stunning view of Seattle taken I think
from Lake Washington. This is part of what Joel has to say ...

When Jeff Weitzen took over Gateway, he instituted a new policy to
save money on customer service calls. "Reps who spent more than 13
minutes talking to a customer didn't get their monthly
bonuses," writes Katrina Brooker (Business 2.0, April 2001). "As a
result, workers began doing just about anything to get customers off
the phone: pretending the line wasn't working, hanging up, or often
--at great expense-- sending them new parts or computers. Not
surprisingly, Gateway's customer satisfaction rates, once the best in
the industry, fell below average.

Another great example of the problems of incentives! It is very
difficult to measure something without changing it in the process!

Joel on Software

********************** THE ENTOVATION 100 **********************

Debra Amidon has recently made me a member of her Entovation 100.
Take a look at her Global Knowledge Leadership Map - its a little
crowded but you will find me somewhere in the South Atlantic off Cape
Horn with a rather long connecting line to the England :=) I am in
some interesting company.

Global Knowledge Leadership Map

Debra Amidon

********************** ONLINE DICTIONARIES **********************

I usually use the online Meriam-Webster dictionary when looking-up
words on the web but increasingly I use Hyper Dictionary. I prefer
the results and get a set of Thesaurus results as well without
having to conduct a separate search.


Compare this:


with this:


which do you prefer?

Another fascinating dictionary is Urban Dictionary which is a slang
dictionary where you can actually submit your own words and vote on
words submitted by others:


but I'll warn you now if you are easily offended don't look up
'knowledge' ... I thought I had come across most definitions but not
this one - as they say in a footnote "Urban Dictionary is not
appropriate for all audiences" :-)

*********************** WHAT'S IN A WORD? ***********************

Each month many of my newsletters are 'bounced' by organizational
mail servers because they contain words that are deemed to be
offensive or unsolicited. I am usually not told what the offending
words are but I am starting to learn and have built up a short list
of words to avoid - most of them rather obvious.

Clearly I cannot share these words with you but the one offensive
word that I will repeat is actually my own name "Gurteen". I was
Gobsmacked! until I looked at the last four letters of my name. I
think an overzelaous IT person when configuring the e-mail filter
told the system to reject all words that contained those last four
letters. So I guess thirteen, fifteen etc would also have caused the
e-mail to bounce.

I understand the need for the filters but the cure could end up being
worse than the disease :-)


I often receive interesting e-mails in response to this newsletter -
here is a recent one from Lucky Lowe that she agreed I could share:

Dear David,

Thanks for your usual interesting collection of articles. I was
struck by the fact that you highlight social networks as an upcoming
issue in the field of KM.

Social capital is a well recognised concept in the field of human
development - see for example the Department For International
Development's (DFID) framework for analysing livelihoods; social
capital is often found to be a significant assets in the livelihood
options of people living in poverty.

The DFID definition of social capital higlights its importance in
accessing information:

"Social Capital is a category of livelihood assets. It relates to the
formal and informal social relationships (or social resources) from
which various opportunities and benefits can be drawn by people in
their pursuit of livelihoods."

These resources are developed through investment in:

+ interactions (through work or shared interests) that increase
people's ability to work together;
+ membership of more formal groups in which relationships are by
accepted rules and norms;
+ relationshps of trust that facilitate co-operation, reduce
transactions costs and sometimes help in the development of informal
safety nets amongst the poor.

Critial benefits of social capital are access to information, to
influence or power, and to claims or obligation for support from


This makes me think of the discussion we had at, and about, the
recent Knowledge Cafe about the value of CoPs.

Our own research into the knowledge and information systems of people
living in poverty also highlights the important role social networks
play in creating access to information and knowledge.

As I mentioned before - it would be interesting to share more of the
ideas about KS which are evovling in the sphere of international
development with the Gurteen knowledge network.

Warmest regards, Lucky

Lucky Lowe
Knowledge & Information Services Unit Manager
Intermediate Technology Development Group
Schumacher Centre for Technology Development

Social Networks:

****************** GURTEEN KNOWLEDGE-CALENDAR ******************

My website contains such a comprehensive listing of knowledge related
events that it is no longer possible to display aqll of them in this
knowledge-letter. The list below only shows major events or ones of
special interest that will be held in the next 3 months. You can see
the complete list on my website by following the Gurteen-Knowledge
Calendar link below.

Gurteen-Knowledge Calendar:

Knowledge Management
12 - 14 Apr 2004, Washington DC, United States

Knowledge Activist Masterclass
20 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Library & Information Show 2004
21 - 22 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Measuring and Managing Intangibles
26 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Communities at Work
27 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Innovation Masterclass
27 Apr 2004, London, United Kingdom

Leveraging Knowledge for Value
29 - 30 Apr 2004, Copenhagen, Denmark

CROinfo 2004 Knowledge Management Conference
03 - 04 May 2004, Zagreb, Croatia

Culture begins across the channel
04 May 2004, London, United Kingdom

KM Intranet Site Visits 2004
05 - 06 May 2004, Sydney, Australia

Workspace at Work
18 May 2004, London, United Kingdom

Project Management for Government
24 - 28 May 2004, Canberra, Australia

Best Practices, Tools and Techniques for Managing The Front End of
24 - 26 May 2004, Boston, United States

The 2004 Knowledge Management/Organizational Learning Conference
09 - 10 Jun 2004, Chicago, United States

International Conference on Virtual Communities
14 - 15 Jun 2004, The Hague, Netherlands

Knowledge Summit 2004
21 - 23 Jun 2004, Noordvyk aan Zee, Netherlands

30 Jun - 02 Jul 2004, Graz, Austria

BlogTalk 2.0
05 - 06 Jul 2004, Vienna, Austria

************************** WHAT'S NEW? **************************

The following pages have been added to my website within the last
month. It does not include all of them as the list is typically quite
long. You can follow the What's New link below to my website for the
full list.

What's New:

Book: Developing Knowledge-based Client Relationships by Ross Dawson

Book: Innovation Strategy for the Knowledge Economy by Debra M. Amidon

Person: Andy Burnett

Person: Richard Potter

Quotation: On computers in the home by Ken Olsen

Quotation: On laughter and character by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Quotation: On taking a shower and ideas by Nolan Bushnell

Quotation: On traditional views of leaders by Peter M. Senge

******* S U B S C R I B I N G & U N S U B S C R I B I N G *******

You may s u b s c r i b e to this newsletter, via the following link:


or you can e-mail your request to s u b s c r i b e or u n s u b s
c r i b e to
mailto:[email protected]

***************** THE GURTEEN KNOWLEDGE-LETTER *****************

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based knowledge
management newsletter for Knowledge Workers. Its purpose is to help
you better manage your knowledge and to stimulate thought and
interest in such subjects as Knowledge Management, Learning,
Creativity and the effective use of Internet technology. It is
produced in association with the Knowledge Management Forum of Henley
Management College, Oxfordshire, England

You may copy, reprint or forward all or part of this newsletter to
friends, colleagues or customers, so long as any use is not for
resale or profit and the following copyright notice is included
intact: "Copyright 2004, David Gurteen, All rights reserved."

David Gurteen
Gurteen Knowledge

Copyright 2004, David Gurteen, All rights reserved.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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