This website covers topics on knowledge management, personal effectiveness, theory of constraints, amongst other topics. Opinions expressed here are strictly those of the owner, Jack Vinson, and those of the commenters.

Collaborative Technology versus Social Tools

I just got done writing and posting the piece on the Power of Shared Knowledge when I find the Stowe Boyd article on Metaphors Matter: Collaborative Technology versus Social Tools.  He's concerned that, as happened with KM, "technologists" will take over social software and strip what is really important - the socializing.

I hope that the danger inherent in metaphors doesn't blow up in this discipline, like we saw in the ill-fated knowledge management experiment, where the industrial and financial concept of managing and controlling assets led to a wholesale dehumanizing of knowledge and disastrous results in hundreds of knowledge strip-mining projects.

On one hand, it may seem obvious and sensible that we are talking about people collaborating: sharing information, coordinating activities, and posting messages. Working toward shared goals, in project teams, trying to get things done. All very straight forward, and, perhaps not so obviously, very corporate, very industrial.

The concern is that the technology discussions tend to swamp the activity discussions.  In other words, once you understand "what" is happening, it is natural to start thinking about "how" to support and automate that with tools.  I think this is related to the issue people have with personal knowledge management - it is too much technology and not enough process and reflection.  Once a method is encoded into software, it is difficult to step back and ask whether that is really what you meant to do.  There are iteration loops around using the new tool, but fewer reflection loops around the question of "is this the right tool?" and "does it fit into the larger picture?" 

Is it kosher to put comments in feeds

Power Of Shared Knowledge