Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Exponential Knowledge for Web 2.0

Web 2.0 has certainly helped us move even faster
from incremental and episodic knowledge creation
to continuous knowledge creation and sharing, at
an exponential rate!

People, all around the world, are creating
inspirational videos, commenting and sharing
knowledge in video and blogs, creating new knowledge
in radically new ways with wiki-editing tools and
hybrids, and tagging, organising and distributing
information and knowledge in all sorts of clever ways.

It feels like this process of creating, sharing and learning
is now happening so fast around the world, that it has
become 'beyond human' comprehension.

The richer and increasingly varied inter-connections,
and increased collaboration, with people we don't even know
but who we increasingly depend on, to make it all happen,
is quite extraordinary.

As a KM consultant, I am particularly interested in rich
and complex informational associations and connections that,
even when made explicit on the web, are increasingly
resembling knowledge forms and representations of the brain.

I believe that progress in this area, for Web 3.0 will be staggering
and exponential over the next 5 years.

Ron Young

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Encyclopedia of Life - The world's knowledge about plants and animals

It was so exciting to read in the Daily Telegraph,
Thursday 10th May, 2007, about the launch of
the Encyclopedia of Life - The whole story of life
on Earth to go online at:


The aim is to list 1.8m known species and animals
and other forms of life, and the project could take
another 10 years to complete. So far, £30 million
has been pledged in grants from charitable foundations
and academic institutions to complete it. The design
looks very good.

From a knowledge management perspective, I am
very interested in the collaborative effort to achieve this.
No doubt, some inspiration has come from the wikipedia
initiative to demonstrate radically new ways to
collectively create new knowledge.

The Encyclopedia of Life website says:

"Comprehensive, collaborative, ever-growing, and
personalized, the Encyclopedia of Life is an ecosystem
of websites that makes all key information about life
on Earth accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world. "

I do particularly like the reference to an 'ecosystem of
websites'. I think that there is much we can do to further
develop more natural knowledge ecologies. It's also
interesting to see that the information and knowledge
will be with contributions from scientists and amateurs
alike. So I imagine an academic 'peer review' process
acting together with 'wikipedia like' capturing of new
learnings, ideas and insights?

Dr Richard Lane, the Natural History Museum's director
of science said:

" It is a monumental project that will open up the world's
knowledge about plants and animals we share the planet

I am sure that the Encyclopedia of Life is the start of an
exciting trend in global knowledge management initiatives
for the good of all on Planet Earth.

Ron Young

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Thursday, May 03, 2007

India and/or China lead Knowledge Management

Once again, Europe and USA have become complacent.

Last time it was Quality management. This time it is
Knowledge Management.

I remember Duran saying that although he developed his ideas
around Quality management in the USA, he could never get
people to truly see what he was trying to do. They were too
busy, couldn't easily see the ROI and were generally cynical
of anything new.

They were not hungry enough for new innovative ideas and

Eventually, the Japanese embraced Quality Management the
way he envisaged, and the rest is history. We learned how to
do QM properly from the Japanese.

I see the same with Knowledge Management.

The West has still not got it entirely.

We are still playing around the edges of the field.
Also, we are too busy, cannot immediately see the ROI
and are, also, generally cynical about change.

I predict that India will get it fully. I predict China will get it
fully. Why? Because they have deep and rich cultures that
have always highly valued knowledge. Because they are
incredibly intelligent, talented and innovative in this area.
Because they know this change has to happen, and they want
it. The Far East will continue to provide innovative
technologies to support innovative knowledge creation and

Then, I expect that Europe and USA, at least, will all learn from
India and China how to do KM properly.

One example: Take a look at the Vedas and Upanishads,
the great spiritual heritage of India.

The first books of knowledge of several thousand years ago.

Then you will see that they will undoubtedly understand
what 21st Century knowledge management should be,
if they don't already!

Ron Young

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