Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 23 - 12th May 2002


First Published

May 2002


Sheila Moorcroft

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.


My apologies for the lateness of this May knowledge-letter but with my
current work load it has been difficult to find the time.

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

1 - Weblogs and Subversion
2 - Henley KM Forum Annual Conference
3 - The future of KM
4 - Investment in Transformation Projects
5 - Call for Papers
6 - New Google Toolbar
7 - Weblogs and Lotus Notes
8 - My Weblog
9 - Long Bets
10 - RSS Feeds Update
11 - RSS Code Download
12 - Gurteen Knowledge-Calendar

******************** WEBLOGS AND SUBVERSION ********************

I have been pondering why I am naturally drawn to the concept of weblogs
and why it is that I intuitively feel they will have a huge impact on our
organizational lives. And then I came across a short item in a weblog on
"Radio community subversion" by Michael Fraase and instantly I knew.

For the past 10 years I have been calling groupware products such as Lotus
Notes - even e-mail subversive. These products allow people in
organizations to make wide ranging contacts and to communicate openly with
each other in their own language about subjects of their own choosing and
without censorship.

Traditional command and control type managers loathe and hate these
products - their power is undermined - they can no longer 'spin' the facts
and when they do - there are seen for what they are.

Weblogs are poised to accelerate this trend and will increasingly
undermine traditional corporate power structures. Here is what Michael
Fraase had to say in his weblog that crystalized this thinking for me.

"For US$40 a head, any organizational workgroup can establish a community
of dynamic websites and aggregate and syndicate the content from those
websites. No longer will it be beneficial for anyone to hoard or hide-or
even try to control-information in an organization ... Personal computers
infiltrated organizations through the back door. Someone brought one in to
make his or her job easier and the notion spread, like a virus. [Radio
Community Server] is going to infiltrate organizations the same way."

I think he is spot on - it is only a matter of time before weblogs creep
in to the corporate world and there will be no stopping them. Just imagine
an organization where it was impossible to 'lie' or 'spin the truth'
without being seen through and where listening to and truly understanding
each other and the business environment were everyday events. What a

And to me this is all about KM!

Radio community subversion:

David Gurteen's weblog:


*************** HENLEY KM FORUM ANNUAL CONFERENCE ***************

Coming up on the 11-12 June is the Henley Knowledge Management Forum
Annual Conference. This is a two day event and includes such speakers as
Bob Buckman, Leif Edvinsson, Karl-Erik Sveiby and Tony Buzan.

I have been a member of the forum for over a year now and I can personally
say that it is a tremendous programme. I have learnt more about KM there
than in any other way - mainly because so many of the events are
interactive. We break into small groups to discuss topics of our
particular interest and share our knowledge. It works incredibly well.

I gather from Edward Truch, the forum director, that they have a couple
of corporate membership places available. If you are interested contact
mailto:[email protected]

Henley Knowledge Management Forum Annual Conference:

Henley Knowledge Management Forum:

Henley Management College:

*********************** THE FUTURE OF KM ***********************

By Sheila Moorcroft, Business Futures

At the Knowledge Management 2002 Conference, we asked the audience for key
questions about the future. The most common were - would KM exist in 5
years time and would KM exist as a separate entity. My unreserved answer
to the first has to be yes, to the second it depends.

Knowledge is central to an organization's competitive advantage: KM should
be central to the process by which organization's realize that advantage.
The role of KM is the interface between the past - the storage of all that
is known and the future, all that might be - the ideas, insights and
concepts developed by people as a result of new combinations of knowledge
that they create.

Until now the balance has been too heavily in favor of hard technologies -
storage, IT systems, and software etc - with too little focus on the
"soft technologies" - thinking and knowledge generation skills. Shifting
that focus to create a better balance of hard and soft technologies will -
to my mind - define the future of KM.

Sheila Moorcroft:

Business Futures:



I read a report recently in which there appeared a pie chart attributable
to "Industrial Engineering". It showed that the investment split in
Transformation Programs was 85% technology, 14% process and 1% people. No
more detail than that but I suspect it is generally true.

So how many years do you think will pass before the people split climbs to
say 10% or even 30%? Or will it ever?

I can't help but feel that future generations will look back to today and
our obsession with technology and silently shake their heads as some of us
do today.

************************ CALL FOR PAPERS ************************

MCIL is a small UK based e-business consultancy and conference organizer
run by Professor Dan Remenyi and Sue Nugus. They have a couple of
interesting conferences coming up later in the year.

The first - The 3rd European Conference on Knowledge Management to be held
at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland on 24-25 September 2002 and the second
- The 2nd European Conference on e-Learning at Brunel University on 4-5
November 2002.

If you would like to submit a paper to either of these conferences see the
links below.


The 3rd European Conference on Knowledge Management:

2nd European Conference on e-Learning:

********************** NEW GOOGLE TOOLBAR **********************

Google recently announced a change to its toolbar which includes two new
voting buttons: a happy face and a frowning face, which users can click to
rate webpages as they visit them.

The toolbar is free and works with Internet Explorer 5.0 on Windows
95/98/ME/NT/2000 or XP. It takes only a few minutes to install and
automatically appears under the Internet Explorer toolbar.

The toolbar offers the following features:

Search Site: Allows you to search the site you're using to find what
you're looking for.

Page Rank: Check Google's ranking of any page you're visiting.

Page Info: Allows you to access more information about a page including
pages that link back to it and other similar pages.

You can also highlight and find every instance of your search words as
they appear on the page.

The new voting system that has been added is not readily apparent after
installing it. If you have Google's old toolbar installed you'll also need
to uninstall it before installing the latest version.


******************** WEBLOGS AND LOTUS NOTES ********************

Although web logging is new to me - the funny thing is that I have been
"Notes logging" for the last 10 years or so. I have a personal journal
going back to 1992 and an 'ideas' log that I have been posting to for the
last 4 years. I also frequently use Notes to log information and insights
and to capture notes and ideas at seminars and meetings.

My knowledge-letter is also build from a Notes log. I blog items during
the month and then edit, order and merge them into the knowledge-letter at
the end of each month. This removes much of the tedium and I could never
publish this newsletter without the help off the technology.

Not only have I been logging stuff - I have also been building Notes
logging databases for clients - the simplest of Notes databases are single
forms with guess what - a title, an author, a posted date, and a body
field - plus more often than not a category field. Such databases must
have been developed and deployed globally in their tens of thousands over
the last 10 years and many people in corporate life have no problem with
the concept.

So what is so different about web logging?

Well the biggest difference is that they are public. The information in
them is 'shared'. They are also highly personal - people write naturally -
they talk or should I say write in their natural voice. They are also
highly interlinked. Blogs linked to blogs. On most blog sites -you will
find a blogrolodex (a la rolodex) of other blogs that the author likes or

What is interesting now is to see to what extent blogs will move from the
web into organizations. There is no reason why everyone in an organization
should not have their own blog ... also team or project blogs and
departmental blogs. There are a lot of corporate uses.

Also - and this is key - they can be aggregated and communicated across
the web or corporate intranet using the XML based RSS feed standard.


Lotus Notes/Domino:

*************************** MY WEBLOG ***************************

Since creating my weblog a few weeks back - I have not had the time to
contribute to it as much as I had hoped nor develop it further

But take a look - it is coming along quite nicely and you may find one or
two snippets of interest.

I have added a blogrolodex that's lists a few other bloggers whom you
might find interesting. KM bloggers seem thin on the ground - if you come
across any please let me know.

I have also added the capability to mail a blog entry into my weblog.
Lotus Notes allows you to not only send an e-mail to a user but to send an
e-mail to a Notes/Domino database. As my website is a Domino database, I
asked my ISP to configure their Domino server so that e-mail addressed
to"[email protected]" is mailed to my website. An agent then runs and
creates a weblog entry from the incoming e-mail. Simplicity itself!

David Gurteen's Weblog

*************************** LONG BETS ***************************

A computer - or "machine intelligence" - will pass the Turing Test by
2029. Mitch Kapor says 'No', Ray Kurzweil says 'Yes' and they are prepared
to bet on it. If you are a gambling man or woman and like long bets then
you really must take a look at this site - it is just so cool!

If you believe that by 2050, we will still not have received intelligent
signals from outside our solar system and you have $1,000 to gamble then
go to the site and put your money where you mouth is!

Oh and one last point - the winnings all go to charity! You may not be
around to collect your winnings anyway :-)

Long Bets:

*********************** RSS FEEDS UPDATE ***********************

When I was exploring XML and RSS feeds a few weeks back - it occurred to
me that Amazon should make book information available in XML format for
automatic download. I visited the affiliate section of their site to check
if such a facility was available - but nothing.

But more recently I was looking at Amazon and discovered that they had
released a simple XML capability - only a few days after I had looked!

I have since written an input feed to my website that makes use of this
capability. It not only pulls book information from Amazon and formats it
for my website - it also pulls down the associated book images and stores
them in my image library.

So now, not only do I have a Amazon input feed - I have added the Amazon
book cover images to most of the books referenced on my site - take a look
- my site is becoming more and more graphical by the day - I've just got a
keep careful watch on the page load times though.

Resources on RSS Newsfeeds:

Some sample RSS feeds inclduding Amazon:

*********************** RSS CODE DOWNLOAD ***********************

I happened to mention in a web discussion forum that I had developed RSS
feed code to allow me to read RSS and XML data channels directly into my
Domino based website (including the new Amazon feed). As a result I have
had several people ask me if I was prepared to share the code with them.

So in the spirit of 'knowledge sharing' I have posted the code on my
website in my download section. If you are a Notes/Domino developer and
are interested in using the code you are welcome to download it.

RSS code download:

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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