Blogs and discussion forum as a medium for knowledge sharing


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Blogs and discussion forum as a medium for knowledge sharing

  1. 1. Amity Business School Blogs and discussion forums as a medium for knowledge sharing Knowledge management ChettupalliSai Praveen (D-23) SumitNandal (D-27) Abhishek Kumar (D-38) UtkarshJaiswal (D-41) 2/26/2013
  2. 2. INDEX Abstract 2 1. Introduction 3 2. Blogs 4 2.1. Uses and advantages of blogs 3. Discussion Forums 5 6 3.1 Uses and advantages of discussion forums. 8 4. Blogs and discussion forums as knowledge forums 9 5. Challenges, Recommendations and Conclusion 9 Bibliography 11 1
  3. 3. Blogs and discussion forum as a medium for knowledge sharing (ChettupalliSaiPraveen,SumitNandal,Abhishek Kumar,UtkarshJaiswal ) Abstract Knowledge is an abstract notion, which has been in the recent past actively categorised as a significant organisational resource(Zack, 1998). The most major activity involved with knowledge is of knowledge sharing. The most important law about knowledge would have to be Dave Snowden’s rule that – “Knowledge can only be volunteered, it cannot be conscripted.”(snowden, 2009). In the present technologically progressive world, primitive methods of knowledge sharing and with them a normal online learning process would prove to be inadequate. We will focus on the uses of blogs and discussion forums for knowledge sharing. Blogs and discussion forums are interactive and creative content development tools, which provide a platform for peer to peer discussion and an interaction platform between educators and learners.(Williams, 2010) Recently, there has been a dramatic proliferation in the number of blogs; however, little is known and published about why people are motivated to participate in the blogs and discussion forums. Based on the theory of reasoned action, we developed a model involving technology acceptance, knowledge sharing and social influences. A survey of 212 blog participants found strong support for the model. The results indicated that ease of use and enjoyment, and knowledge sharing (altruism and reputation) was positively related to attitude toward blogging, and accounted for 78% of the variance. On the other hand, social factors (community identification) and attitude toward blogging significantly influenced a blog participant's intention to continue to use blogs. Together they explain 83% of the variance of intention to blog.(Chin-Lung Hsu, 2007) 2
  4. 4. 1. Introduction Knowledge sharing is the activity of sharing knowledge between people, an organization or a community. One prominent obstacle to this sharing is the concept of property. The major trouble arises from the want of some incentive from people for the knowledge created by them. A lack in knowledge sharing would lead to isolation and resistance to ideas, which could otherwise have been welcome. There is a need for knowledge to be started to be considered as a flow, in contrast to the present object as it is looked upon as. The difficulty in knowledge sharing is in the transference of information from one entity to another, and with new technologies coming out regularly, keeping abreast with forming new and effective methods of knowledge transfer.(Sheng Wanga, 2010) Our focus over here will be an understanding on the process of knowledge sharing and the working of blogs and discussion forums as mediums for providing an environment for knowledge sharing. The usage of blogs and discussion forums as content creator and an interaction tool between peers. Different innovators publish their journals of their findings and by the knowledge sharing the people are able to know about the new things happening in the world. Figure 1 3
  5. 5. There are many senses in which the work that went into creating a knowledge- based system can be shared and reused. Rather than mandating one particular sense, the model described in this article seeks to support several of them. One mode of reuse is through the exchange of techniques. That is, the content of some module from the library is not directly used, but the approach behind it is communicated in a manner that facilitates its reimplementation.Another mode of reuse is through the inclusion of source specifications. That is, the content of some module is copied into another at design time and compiled (possibly after extension or revision) into the new component. A third mode is through the run-time invocation of external modules or services. That is, one module invokes another either as a procedure from a function library or through the maintenance of some kind of client-server relationship between the two.(Robert Neches, 1991) 2. Blogs With the rapid growth in the accessibility of the World Wide Web, there is an endless stream of information available for access. This has given rise to new methods of sharing. Blog, a portmanteau of weblog, is an evolution from an online diary, where people would record an account of their daily lives. Blogs are like mini websites which are easy to use, can be updated easily, shared with anyone by providing the blog address and cheaper in cost, rather free of cost most of the times. It has now evolved to an online journal, which will have one or more contributors. Blogs, along with the conventional plain text and hyperlinks, also has various forms of media, such as images and videos, in them. Most blogs are traditionally personal or journalistic, but there has been an increased usage of blogs as educational tools(Godwin-Jones, 2003). Blogs can also be used as a platform for showing development and progress for language development. Blogs can be used to motivate users to read extensively. The biggest advantage of blogs is its interactive nature. A person can read and comment on what one reads, and can expect feedbacks from other readers on their views. Users have the freedom to read things of their interest and express their truly feelings and insight over there. Initially, blogging was used to share your view on a topic but now it has become an important means of promotion and online marketing of products and services as well. It also increases our social network, as it allows us to connect and know the view point of people all over the world. 4
  6. 6. Figure 2 2.1 Uses and Advantages of Blogs Blogs, have a wide range of advantages available for itself. Blogs create learner-centric environment, wherein users can pace their learning according to their wish. Blogs incorporate multiple perspectives and put together a number of most recommended aspects of effective knowledge gain. Blogs promote an analytical, critical, innovative and analogical thinking.(Eide, 2005) However, on the flip side there has to be a self-governance of the information put out on the public forum, as any incorrect information would be spread as fluidly as a correct one. Some uses of blogging areImproves writing skills- Blogging is expressing and sharing your view point, which automatically improves your writing skills. Solution Provider- Since, blogger can be used as a platform for sharing your view points, one can also reach to a solution for his/her problem by posting in the blog and knowing others point of view and reach the best possible solution. Increases knowledge-Via blogging, one can find information related to any topic and at any place at any time, which is a good and easy way to increase knowledge. Money- Blogging is an easy way of earning money by promotion of products and services. 5
  7. 7. Social Media- Blogs are one of the best ways to communicate with people all over the world and know each other’s point of view. Hence, blogging increases social network of people as they get to interact with people from all over the world. Hobby- People with reading and writing as a hobby are more into writing the blogs. These people create their own blogs. Figure 3 3. Discussion forums A discussion forum or an internet forum is an online site of discussion where people can embrace discussion and talks onmessages that are posted. Here discussions are held on specific conversation sets, popularly known as a thread. Blogs and discussion forums are similar in many aspects, but the major difference between them is that discussion forums is primarily a shared community space, where individual voices are not lent any space for their self. Blogs on the one hand provide a platform for individual expression and support reader commentary and critique, whereas discussion forums have a predilection towards the voice of the group. (Benford, 2008) This is very useful tool when views from varied personalities and groups are needed over some common aspect. An example of it could be a discussion relating to the path to be taken ahead in a scientific research, where people related to it, across the globe, discuss and suggest future course of action. 6
  8. 8. Forums are an important tool for creating a knowledge forum as human experience says that discussions always lead to a deeper insight on the aspect and also creates never thought before aspects into it. A problem with discussion forums is the difference between the opinions of people giving rise to a conflagration of posts aimed at individual replies and persons. Also there is the problem of the discussion pulling apart towards various directions and ending up in a circular discussion wherein they arrive to the point of discussion where they started off. But, nevertheless the knowledge base that discussion forums create, with the active participation of personnel all around related to it, and cannot be undermined. Figure 4 7
  9. 9. 3.1 Uses and Advantages of Discussion Forums In today’s competitive and fast paced world, it’sparamount for businesses to develop ways to attract more and more visitors for their websites, retaining them and improving the websites' page rankings. One tool that can help achieve these objectives is a forum or discussion board, and today these have become some of the most popular ways of engaging and interacting with others online. Discussion forums can be a great addition to any website. Some of the uses and advantages of discussion forums areContent-It generates fresh content, as many people contribute to the forums; add new posts and replies to the already existing posts generate new and fresh ideas. Increase Sales- At the first stage of customer buying cycle, discussion forums play an important role. Figure 5 Visitor Retention- New and fresh topics give the visitors a reason to visit the page again and again, so forums are a great platform for visitor retention. Market Research- Forums allows you direct contact with the customers and this allows you to know the customers point of view and demand, which indirectly helps as a market research tool. 8
  10. 10. Community Building- Like blogs, forums also provide a platform to interact with people and create relationships within overlapping industries. Individualization of learning- Discussion forums are not time bound and length bound. Individuals have the freedom to put their point in any number of ways. Flexibility and convenience- Discussion forums can be accessed from any place and at any time, and are not limited to certain time period. More democratic exchange- In a discussion in class, we are limited to a number of students but in a discussion forum, there can be any number of people involved in the discussion, and hence more interaction with the people worldwide. (visitor, 2011) 4. Blogs and discussion forums as knowledge forums Today, in the Tech savvy world, no one searches to dusty library to find information on a topic. There has been a huge transition from the hard copy research to electronic way of research. Knowledge sharing can be taken in different forms depending on the type of information and the way of information is to be presented. Over a decade, there has been a growth in use of blogs, discussion forums, wikis and micro blogs. Blogs, discussion forums, wikis, etc, all provide a way or platform where anyone can share and present their view point in any number of ways and at any time. Because of the ease of use, they allow companies with limited IT budget to rapidly set up a web presence and establish a contact with customers. This allows companies to tailor and change their product and services according to the customer needs. Also, companies are using blogs and discussion forums as medium of communication and feedback from customers. Blogs have become a very popular media for the deployment of advertising. Many companies are using it as a platform for marketing. A great example of this is the constant banners that can be seen in Facebook, from events like concerts to charity organizations, games, and ads by SMEs. It must be noted that although websites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn are not blogging websites per se, they offer blogging features. This is a similarity between blogs and discussion forums; their role within the structure of the site can be absolute, or they can be just a feature of the site, with importance ranging from vital to trivial. 5. Challenges, Recommendations and Conclusion The number one challenge that Web 2.0 knowledge sharing tools such as blogs, discussion forums, wikis, and microblogs face is the willingness of people to adopt them. Even though these technologies enjoy a healthy user base thanks to websites like Facebook, MySpace, 9
  11. 11. LinkedIn, and Twitter, there is still many people who are hesitant to adopt new technology. True success for future technologies will come not only from making sure they are adopted by users of current knowledge sharing solutions, but also from recruiting those that usually do not participate in virtual sharing of knowledge. A further challenge for these knowledge sharing technologies is the digital divide. For these technologies to truly become global, their supporting platform, the internet, must become global first. Data from the International Telecommunication Union shows that in the year 2007, sixty two percent of the population of the developed world had access to internet, while in the developing world the percentage was 17%. This means that if you work for a company in the developed world and you have branches, subsidiaries, etc. in the developing world, implementing one of these four tools will not have the same return on investment in underdeveloped regions.(Blogs, Wikis, and Discussion Forums, 2009) Moderation- Whenever you open up a public forum or discussion board then you are going to have to think about moderation. Spam- Like the majority of things on the internet, a forum is just an open target for any spammer because if your forum gets big then it could have some weight in Google (and other search engines). So it's vital to consider how you will deal with this before it becomes a problem for you. Kick starting your forum- It can be difficult at first to attract visitors to your forum. An empty forum basically has no hope of attracting people that participate. People need to see content and be able to explore topics. Creating all this content can be a lot of work and time. Establishing a discussion forum can take some initial time and effort but once people start contributing to the discussion, you'll start to see the benefits that your forum is bringing to your business, and the time and effort needed to maintain it will seem less and less each time you see your traffic and profits going up.(visitor, 2011) Security is another challenge that these technologies face. As more and more people adopt wireless solutions, security has become a vastly underestimated problem within non-IT experts. With the incremental improvements to hacking technology that we have seen lately, the fast adoption of wireless devices could be a major problem in the not-to-distant future. If people eventually reach a point where they vacillate over the use of wireless, services like Facebook and Twitter will suffer a significant decline in their traffic volume.(Blogs, Wikis, and Discussion Forums, 2009) In summary, blogs can be treated as a virtual classroom wherein people can share their own knowledge which would help person gain knowledge, and thus setting up a knowledge flow. Also discussion forum create a platform for active discussion about some common topic and creating a knowledge base into it with their opinions and replies. 10
  12. 12. Bibliography Blogs, Wikis, and Discussion Forums. (2009, november 27). Retrieved february 18, 2013, from insy444-4:,+Wikis,+and+Discussion+Forums Benford, P. (2008). The use of Internet-based communication by people with autism. Nottingham: University of Nottingham. Chin-Lung Hsu, J. C.-C. (2007). Acceptance of blog usage: The roles of technology acceptance, social influence and knowledge sharing motivation. Elsevier, 10. Eide, D. F. (2005, march 02). Brain of the blogger. Retrieved february 18, 2013, from www. Godwin-Jones, B. (2003, may 1). Blogs and Wikis: Environments for On-line Collaboration. Language Learning & Technology , pp. 12-16. Hitler, A. (2012). Blogs and discussion. Noodly Savior. Robert Neches, R. F. (1991, september 1). Enabling Technology For Knowledge Sharing. AI Magazine, p. 21. Sheng Wanga, R. A. (2010, february 12). Knowledge sharing: A review and directions for future research. Human Resource Management Review, pp. 115-131. snowden, D. (2009, february 22). Dave Snowden's 7 Principles of Knowledge Management. Retrieved february 18, 2013, from visitor, d. (2011, december 16). The Benefits of Having Discussions & Forums on your Website. Retrieved february 14, 2013, from digitalvisitor: Williams, Y.-J. A. (2010). Teaching with Web 2.0 Technologies:. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, 12. Zack, M. H. (1998, September 1). Developing a Knowledge Strategy. California Management Review, pp. 125-145. Soanes, Catherine. “World of words.” 01/02/2005. 11
  13. 13. k AssessNet Glossary. Cambridge Assessment Network. Princeton WebNet. Knowledge Management - Tapan Kumar Panda, 2008 Knowledge Management: Processes and Technologies - Herwigg Rollett, Finin, T., and Fritzson, R. 1989. How to Serve Knowledge---Notes on the Design of a Knowledge Server. Presented at the AAAI Spring Symposium on Knowledge System Tools and Languages, 28-30 March, Stanford, Calif. 12