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Knowledge-Letter

Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 96 - June 2008

  



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.


Gurteen Knowledge-Letter: Issue 96 - June 2008

Contents

  1 Introduction
  2 Setting targets for knowledge sharing
  3 Upcoming KM Conferences
  4 How culture made your modern mind
  5 Knowledge Cafe Workshop, London, Sept 2008
  6 12:00 am has no meaning
  7 Enterprise2Open Unconference
  8 Where do I find the time?
  9 How the world has changed
10 The Knowledge: David Gurteen
11 My Upcoming Activities
12 KM Event Highlights
13 Subscribing and Unsubscribing
14 The Gurteen Knowledge Letter


Introduction

The big event of the last month (apart from the launch of the Apple iPhone 3G of course) was the release of a vastly improved version of Jimmy Wale's Wikia Search engine.

If like me, you tried the first release last January and were sorely disappointed then go take a look at this new version, it is still rather basic but now actually usable. You can perform a search and then modify the results. Its pretty intuitive other than the fact that its not obvious you can drag and drop the items to change the order of the results!

Its a Wikipedia of search. But like Wikipedia it seems to me that it may prove to be easily gamed. If I wish to boost certain pages and down play others to my own ends then I can. It may not be so bad though as I assume things get averaged out but much depends on how the code works behind the scenes and how the community handles such attempted manipulation.

This is going to be an interesting development to watch especially if it takes off like Wikipedia and a community of editors keep it regularly updated. Its not going to dislodge Google overnight but if the gaming turns out not to be a problem then over time the search results should get better and better and should make it a great alternative to Google.

You will find more about it in this Computerworld article.

Setting targets for knowledge sharing

Dave Snowden tries to get this message across time and time again and so do I!
If you try and set targets for knowledge sharing you have failed to understand the subject.

Credit: Dave Snowden
See my website section on Measures for some of my views.

Upcoming KM Conferences

I thought I had a pretty comprehensive list of upcoming KM Events but this one is huge. You can also see the KM Group on Upcoming for more events or this set of event calendars that I maintain.

How culture made your modern mind

Its interesting to think that maybe we have developed our cognitive abilities through learning to consciously teach our children and of course each other. Dare I even say "share our knowledge"!
It is one of the hottest questions of our time: how did our cognitive abilities explode, leaving other animals for dust intellectually?

Now a new explanation is emerging. Controversially, it challenges the idea that biology alone is what drove the evolution of intellectual skills. What if we acquired abilities such as the capacity to invent, converse or work in unison as a result of a continual process of cultural cross-fertilisation with the world we inhabit, and through the way we interact with other people and material things?

Not only does this idea help explain how our species blossomed intellectually in the first place but it implies that our brains are continually changing whenever we meet new cultural concepts, objects and technologies, whether they are cellphones or new religions.

Credit: How culture made your modern mind New Scientist, Issue 2656, 14 May 2008
Yet perhaps the biggest opportunity opened up by a theory of mind and an expanded working memory was the ability to learn, and to systematically educate other people. Animals learn by random observations of what other animals do. It is very seldom that they recognise the value of an innovation by their peers and then copy it themselves, such as shaking a tree to make fruit fall.

But thanks to theory of mind and the ability to divine the intentions of others, humans were able to train their offspring. During the process of teaching, both pupils and teachers are well aware of what's happening and know they must pay special attention beyond random observation. What's more, as working memory expanded, learning would have become more efficient.

Credit: How culture made your modern mind New Scientist, Issue 2656, 14 May 2008
Unfortunately, unless you subscribe to New Scientist, you cannot read the full article.

Knowledge Cafe Workshop, London, Sept 2008

You may recall that I ran several knowledge cafe workshops for StatoilHydro a month or so back. These were so successful that I have agreed to run a public workshop for the Arkgroup on September 10th 2008 in London. I am really quite excited about this. Take a look at the brochure.

12:00 am has no meaning

Sometimes you go through life with a little blind spot. I have, for as long as I can remember, never been sure whether to put am or pm after 12:00 noon or 12:00 midnight if I am not using the 24 clock which of course I normally do to avoid any confusion.

It never occurred to me that appending am or pm to midday or midnight made no sense whatsoever. Am I the only one?

It took a Google Search and this Greenwich Meantime site for the penny to drop.
A.M. and P.M. start immediately after Midnight and Noon (Midday) respectively. This means that 00:00 A.M. or 00:00 P.M. (or 12:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M.) have no meaning.



Enterprise2Open Unconference

Oh this is a delight to see a major conference with an Unconference portion. This is how they describe it:
Enterprise2Open is the "unconference" portion of the Enterprise 2.0 Conference and is open to anyone who would like to attend. This open event blends some pre-scheduled content with an open grid where the attendees fill in the sessions they either want to discuss or present themselves. It is the perfect space to provide the community at large with a place to connect with other attendees and share your knowledge and experiences.

Credit: Enterprise 2.0 Conference June 9-12 2008, Boston.
Why oh why, won't more conference organisers bite the bullet?

Where do I find the time?

At a social tools conference a few months ago, someone asked a question of the speaker. He said that he would love to blog but did not have the time. "How can I find the time?". Someone in the room piped up and said he should "Stop doing other things!" The questioner wasn't amused and thought it a flippant answer.

But to my mind, the answer was spot on! In today's hyper-busy world we all have far more that we would like to do than we have the time. The issue is not a question of insufficient time but priority. Things low down our priority list don't get done. But we don't say "Oh that's not a priority for me" we simply answer - "I don't have enough time".

Our priorities, typically, reflect the value we see in doing something. If we don't perceive the value in blogging as greater than other things then we won't do it. Its the same with knowledge sharing. Saying "I don't have enough time to share." really means "I don't believe it is of sufficient value to me to stop doing other things". And its why I try to help people to see the value for themselves!

But as I write this, at the back of my mind, there is a little voice saying, David, its not just about the business value - we tend to do the things that we enjoy doing regardless of the business value!

The value of knowledge sharing, indeed many things, is in the enjoyment for many of us.

How the world has changed

In his early twenties, my grandfather was fighting in the trenches in the so called Great War; my father was a prisoner of war in Germany having fought and been captured in the desert of North Africa and I, having graduated, was in my first job.

Where is my son, Jonathan, at 22? Having graduated, he is back packing around SE Asia and I am following him almost day by day, tracking his photos on Facebook and his whereabouts on Google Maps. I even talk to him on Skype. What I find amusing is that he tries to tell me where Hanoi is, thinking that I don't know, when at his age the Vietnam war was in full swing and then he tells me he has passed through a sleepy little border town called Dien Bien Phu and is even more surprised that I knew where he had been although I was only 6 years old when the French garrison there was overrun.

Oh how the world has changed but the wars still go on; though I haven't had to fight in one and hopefully neither will my son.

The Knowledge: David Gurteen

You will find a profile of me written by Jerry Ash in the June issue of Inside Knowledge. If you wish, you can read it online in plain text or better still see the pdf embedded on a page on my website using the Scribd iPaper utility (if only all PDFs were rendered online like this).

My Upcoming Activities

This section of my Knowledge Letter highlights my planned activities over the next six months or so. Its prime purpose is to allow you to know where I will be and to contact me if you would like to meet.

I also use Dopplr to allow people to track my travlels more closely and to potentially meet up with me.

You can see a list of my immediate activities below or a full list here.

Special Libraries Association Annual Conference
15 - 18 Jun 2008, Seattle, United States
I will be running a Knowledge Cafe at this event

SE Asia Trip
12 - 21 Jul 2008, Jakarta, Indonesia
Jakarta/Bali 6-15 July to run a workshop & speaking at MAKE Award; Singapore 16-18 July

World Library and Information Congress: 74th IFLA General Conference and Council
13 - 17 Aug 2008, Québec, Canada
I will be giving a talk at this event

Brazil Trip
23 Aug - 01 Sep 2008, São Paulo, Brazil
I will be giving a keynote talk at KM Brazil in São Paulo 23 Aug - 1 Sep

Kunnskapstinget 2008
22 - 23 Sep 2008, Oslo, Norway
I will be giving a keynote talk & facilitating a Knowledge Cafe at this event

Australia Trip
06 - 24 Oct 2008, Canberra, Australia
I will be visiting Australia & New Zealand about the week of the 6th October for 3 weeks

South Africa Trip
10 - 21 Nov 2008, Cape Town, South Africa
I am planning a two week trip to South Africa, the week of the 10th November

KM Event Highlights

This section highlights some of the major KM events taking place around the world in the coming months and ones in which I am actively involved. You will find a full list on my website where you can also subscribe to both regional e-mail alerts and RSS feeds which will keep you informed of new and upcoming events.

Special Libraries Association Annual Conference
15 - 18 Jun 2008, Seattle, United States
I will be giving a talk on the Knowledge Cafe at this event.

4th Annual Text Analytics Summit
16 - 17 Jun 2008, Boston, United States

KC UK 2008
25 - 26 Jun 2008, London, United Kingdom
I chaired the collaborative steam of this event for the last two years but due to other commitments will not be attending this year.

Social KM Cafe
09 - 10 Jul 2008, Jakarta, Indonesia
I will be facilitating this workshop.

The 2008 Indonesian Most Admired Knowledge Enterprise (MAKE) Study
15 Jul 2008, Jakarta, Indonesia
I will be giving a talk on KM goes Social at this award ceremony

KM Australia 2008
21 - 23 Jul 2008, Melbourne, Australia
I won't be attending this event in 2008 but I can highly recommend it.

KM Brasil 2008
27 - 29 Aug 2008, Sao Paulo, Brazil
I will be giving a keynote talk at this conference.

9th European Conference on Knowledge Management
04 - 05 Sep 2008, Southampton, United Kingdom
I have attended this conference for the last 3 years. I will likely attend this one.

Implementing a Knowledge Cafe
10 Sep 2008, London, United Kingdom
I am looking forward to facilitating this Masterclass in September.

KMWorld & Intranets 2008
22 - 25 Sep 2008, San Jose, United States
I attended this conference in 2007 and hugely enjoyed it but I will not be attending in 2008 as it clashes with the KM Conference in Oslo at which I am keynoting.

Kunnskapstinget 2008
23 Sep 2008, Oslo, Norway
I will be giving a keynote talk at this conference.

KnowTech 2008
08 - 09 Oct 2008, Frankfurt, Germany

actKM Conference 2008
14 - 15 Oct 2008, Canberra, Australia
I am pleased to say I will be participating in this conference again this year.

Subscribing and Unsubscribing

You may subscribe to this newsletter on my website. Or if you no longer wish to receive this newsletter or if you wish to modify your e-mail address or make other changes to your membership profile then please go to this page on my website.

The Gurteen Knowledge Letter

The Gurteen Knowledge-Letter is a free monthly e-mail based KM 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. Archive copies are held on-line where you can register to receive the newsletter.

It is sponsored by 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 I am attributed. And if you have any queries please contact me.

David Gurteen
Gurteen Knowledge



If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café 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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