Euan Semple writes about an opportunity for KM from the perspective of all the hoopla about "web2.0." The Obvious?: KM 2.0
Thankfully more and more people are coming to realise that KM, if we persist in using the phrase, is much more about people, connected people, empowered people, people who don't always do what you expect or what you tell them but invariably end up taking you to exciting places you that would never have expected to get to.
Anything that gets you to look at something in a new light is good. Euan is suggesting that maybe a parallel change in the view of KM from command-and-control, "I know what's right for you," to more distributed and a sense that "we know what is right for each other."
One of the areas that I see coming back in the KM2.0 mode is the good old "yellow pages" that were popular in the early days of KM. At that point, they were databases of some sort that listed everyone in the organization and what they knew, which became expertise locators. The idea was the people should be able to find others who have an important skill or experience. The thing that was missing was the social fabric of the interaction: Were people required to respond? What if the requestee gets too many questions? What if the answer isn't enough?
Take a different view today, and the expertise locator is the extended social network in the organization. It isn't so much about what do you know, but who do you know that has that specific skill or experience. How can we connect and help one another? The social fabric is woven of the same cloth that has motivated people all along: If I can help someone I know, then their estimation of me will increase. Helping people I don't know is nice, but the positive feedback isn't quite so comfortable.