Knowledge management used with Web 2.0 Technologies
David MosesMay 2007MBAMS 611Knowledge Management Used With Web 2.0 and Groupware Software TechnologiesIntroduction Web 2.0 technologies such as social networks, wikis, blogs, and podcasts and softwaretechnologies such as Microsoft’s Groove can be thought of as knowledge managementtechnologies. Social networks may be used for knowledge mapping, knowledge sharing, andknowledge transfer. As an example of how social networks may be used for knowledge mappingand knowledge sharing, I will highlight IBM’s Lotus Connections software for use on acompany’s intranet. Groupware Software such as Microsoft Office’s Groove and webtechnologies such as Wikis, blogs, and podcasts may be used for knowledge sharing andknowledge transfer.Background Information and Analysis of Social Networks A social network refers to the “personal or professional set of relationships betweenindividuals. Social networks represent both a collection of ties between people and the strengthof those ties.” (www.parliament.vic.gov.au/sarc/E-Democracy/Final_Report/Glossary.htm).Examples of internet social networking websites include linkedin.com, facebook.com, andfriendster.com. IBM has recently created software for the use of a social networking site within acompany’s intranet. IBM’s Lotus Connections allows for the creation of user profiles,
communities, and blogs that will allow employees within a company a better means ofcollaborating than traditional means. As stated in a press release from IBM, Lotus Connections“facilitates the gathering and exchange of information through professional networks, provides adashboard-like view of current projects and connects users to like-minded communities.”(http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/20941.wss).Background Information on Lotus Connections For Knowledge Mapping and KnowledgeSharing As stated in a press release from IBM, Lotus Connections has five web 2.0components-Activities, Communities, Dogear, Profiles, and Blogs. “These components helpusers save time by making information previously qualified by others easily accessible. The paceof learning increases as users easily find and exchange ideas with experts across theirorganization. Since they have access to the experience of others, users can avoid makingmistakes and duplicating tasks, saving time and improving the quality of their work.”(http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/20941.wss). Lotus Connections enablesemployees to search for “people-based on things like the person’s name, their organization,location, reporting structure and interests.” Additionally, with profiles there is an expertiselocation engine that helps you find people within your organization that have specificknowledge. (http://www142.ibm.com/software/swlotus/products/product3.nsf/wdocs/lcprofiles).Another feature of profiles is the ability for employees within an organization to expand theirprofessional networks and maintain relationships with people that go beyond reporting structure,industry sector and geography.
Another feature of Lotus Connections is communities. The communities feature of LotusConnections links people together who have similar interests, responsibilities, or expertise.(http://www-142.ibm.com/software/sw-lotus/products/product3.nsf/wdocs/lccommunities).Similarly to communities of practice (COPs) that we discussed in class, the communities featureof Lotus Connections groups people together in self-interest groups by expertise orresponsibility. A screenshot featuring Lotus Connections is seen in Exhibit 1. Thus the social networking software Lotus Connections enables knowledge mapping,knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer.Background Information on Microsoft’s Groove for Knowledge Sharing Microsoft Office 2007 features Groove, which is a groupware software tool thatcompany’s may use for knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer. As evidence of theimportance that Microsoft is placing upon its knowledge sharing product, Groove, the ChiefSoftware Architect for Microsoft Ray Ozzie, co-founded Groove Networks which created thefirst version of Groove and was acquired by Microsoft. As described on Microsoft Groove’sproduct page with Groove Server 2007 “deployed in combination with Office Groove 2007software, business teams can work together dynamically — anywhere, anytime, and withanyone.” (http://office.microsoft.com/enus/grooveserver/HA101656461033.aspx). Teamswithin an organization may now collaborate effectively by sharing knowledge “within and acrossorganizational boundaries.” Groove provides several tools “that can be used in a workspace tocustomize the functionality of each space (for example, calendar, discussion, file sharing,outliner, pictures, notepad, and
sketchpad).”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Office_Groove). A screenshot of Grooveis pictured in Exhibit 2.Background Information and Analysis of Wikis For Knowledge Sharing A wiki is a website that allows people to add, edit, or remove content from thewebsite. An example of a wiki is the popular Wikipedia online encyclopedia. Wikis provide theability to “link among any number of pages. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wikian effective tool for mass collaborative authoring.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki).Companies may use wikis as collaborative software within a company’s own intranet. Wikis areoften used within a company’s intranet as “internal documentation for in-house systems andapplications.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki). One positive aspect of wikis is that they “cutthrough bureaucracy and make it easier for people to share information.” One negative aspect ofwikis is that “you may not know who has contributed what, and with what degree of authorityleading to possible confusion.” (http://www.braintique.com/research/mt-archives/000246.shtml).Background Information of Blogs A blog, which is short for a web log, is a website where entries are written inchronological order and displayed in reverse chronological order. A blog provides commentaryon a particular subject and may be used within a company’s intranet for knowledge sharing. Thetype of information that is contained on a blog is explicit knowledge which can be codified on ablog. An example screenshot of a blog is pictured in Exhibit 3.Background Information and Analysis of Podcasts
A podcast is a type of web 2.0 social media that allows people to share information byway of a digital media file such as an MP3 media file over the internet. A podcast may be usedfor knowledge sharing on a company’s intranet. The type of information that is usually enteredon a podcast is explicit knowledge which can be codified on a podcast.Conclusion Companies would benefit from using web 2.0 technologies within their own intranet andusing software such as Microsoft Groove for knowledge sharing, knowledge transfer, andknowledge mapping. Examples of web 2.0 technologies that may be used for knowledgemapping include social networking software such as IBM’s Lotus Connections. LotusConnections maps employees to each other by means of a search engine which includes aexpertise location engine that would allow an employee to locate someone within theirorganization by level of expertise in a particular skill. Wikis, blogs, and podcasts allow forknowledge sharing within an organization and may be utilized within a company’s intranet.Wikis are a powerful knowledge sharing tool in that they allow anyone within an organization toadd to or edit a particular knowledge base. Blogs are a useful knowledge sharing tool since theypermit an employee within an organization to provide their own knowledge on a particularsubject that they have knowledge of. Podcasts are a good method of transferring information inaudio format for knowledge sharing within an organization. Podcasts allow an employee totransfer knowledge in audio media file format in the case when an employee finds that he isbetter able to share knowledge through a podcast than by means of a wiki or a blog.