Disruptive KM: Sneaking Through the Backdoor

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008
Jeff Widman, a new blogger over on TechCrunchIT, recently posted a thought-provoking piece on an interesting shift he sees in social networking and the implications for KM.

He begins by pointing out that disruptive KM tools are originating with consumers and less from the enterprise. OK, nothing new there; we have seen how social networking tools are breaking down the walls of knowledge silos and connecting people leading to high levels of knowledge sharing and innovation. This openness and transparency -- the very lack of walls -- has created all kinds challenges for enterprise IT and knowledge managers that are tasked to consider issues such a compliance, governance, security, and control over IP.

Here's Jeff's point though: yesterday's Facebook announcement about creating private groups (e.g silos) may change the paradigm for knowledge management:
...However, [with] the privacy feature, you can decide which friends view the videos, allows users to build walls in their consumer applications.  This shift - putting up walls in consumer apps rather than removing them in enterprise apps - may be the major source of KM innovation in the next few years.
Social networks are now making it possible to relocate silos by allowing users to define the walls and players -- without control or supervision from management. Will this be the major source of KM innovation, as Jeff suggests?

Jeff Widman: Disruptive Knowledge Management

Discussion/Comments (3):

Disruptive KM: Sneaking Through the Backdoor

no, they are just coming to the realization about how companies work.

How exciting, more silo's. Yeah, hold me back, can't wait....yawn.

Posted at 12/09/2008 6:20:33 by Keith Brooks

Disruptive KM: Sneaking Through the Backdoor


As I understand what Jeff is saying.. what Facebook has done makes it possible to share things like videos within a corporation (or within any virtual group)and restrict it to people only within that group or corporation. So I now don't need to use a corporate tool to share within the corporation, I can use a free ware tool such as Facebook to accomplish the same thing?

Is that right? Could I also use Facebook as my corporate yellow pages by restricting access to a specific domain?

Posted at 12/09/2008 9:46:40 by Allan

re: Disruptive KM: Sneaking Through the Backdoor

Allan, I'm not sure what Facebook actually does or does not allow just yet, but it stands to reason that eventually Facebook and other social apps will provide the means to limit sharing to an intended audience. I think a key point that we can take from Jeff's post is how interesting it is that one possible outcome of social software is that the very technologies that broke down the walls of communication and knowledge sharing are now being used to create new walls - in order to preserve and enhance the value of those communications and knowledge sharing. If so, the net effect is that the tools have moved the locus of control to the user. The same challenges of KM as we know it still apply.

Posted at 12/09/2008 12:28:28 by Eric Mack

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