Blogs and knowledge management


    "Knowledge is information that changes something or somebody — either by becoming grounds for actions, or by making an individual (or an institution) capable of different or more effective action," said Peter F. Drucker. In recent times, weblogs (or blogs) are proving to be a useful tool to knowledge workers for personal knowledge management as well as contributing to the knowledge pool of the organization. Codifying, sharing and managing knowledge has been the holy grail of corporate quest for many decades now, and formalized knowledge sharing tools have met with limited success. Knowledge work processes are also interrelated and often disparate. Finding a piece of information and putting it into context could lead to another search for more information. In a conversation with a colleague, a knowledge worker might ask for the location of codified information, negotiate the meaning of a concept and have a new idea at the same time, all while maintaining the personal relationship. Moreover the willingness of workers to share information and the culture fostered in an organization play a pivotal role.

    Today, blogging is pervasive in enterprise environments where individual users are motivated to publish quality (commercial) information effectively. By publishing weblogs, knowledge workers can be discovered by other knowledge workers who have similar interests. Weblogs also lower the barrier of communication. This way, loose connections could lead to deeper relationships. By following weblogs of colleagues, members of the organization can learn from each other: A novice would be able to follow the stream of thought of a more experienced worker without having to interfere into his work and without having to be physically present. Additionally readers can learn from the reactions that a weblog post created. Weblogs capture experiences of the organization’s members, convey corporate culture, and can help in creating a brand. They help to provide the grounds for a learning organization and support the forming of networks and communities of practice.

    Though issues of security and ethics linger, weblogs allow an organization to capture and harvest more knowledge from the heads of employees, partners, suppliers, and other stakeholders. They also help in disseminating information transparently and quickly. Organizations are, however, still far from harnessing the full power of weblogs and utilizing it in a meaningful manner. Perhaps it is wise to remember that in an information-based economy, knowledge is the only competitive advantage!

    — Karthik Gopalakrishnan


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