Web 2.0 and knowledge management
Heather recently presented at the Gurteen Knowledge Café in Adelaide on web 2.0 tools and knowledge management.
Web 2.0 simply refers to a group of new web tools that have been rapidly adopted by users. They include social networking sites, such as myspace and facebook, wikis, such as wikipedia, and blogs and forums that facilitate sharing content and ideas.
Web 2.0 has attracted users with tools that are easy and intuitive to use, link users to one another and other content that may interest them. Web 2.0 tools means they will increasingly start to be used in organisational knowledge management initiatives due to their ease of use. In particular, wikis are likely to be popular in the second phase of intranets as they are easier for large groups to update and maintain and require less third-party maintenance.
The success of web 2.0 is a mixture of the ease of learning the 2.0 tools as a searcher and contributor and the voluntary contribution to content. Does the success of web 2.0 tools in the community mean that they will be successful for knowledge management purposes?
Knowledge management is primarily an organisationally based discipline to encourage employees to share their knowledge with their colleagues via online tools and linking colleagues together.
Before organisations move to introduce web 2.0 tools, such as wikis and blogs to encourage knowledge sharing, it is an opportune time to reflect and review on the success or otherwise of the first phase of knowledge management initiatives.
The constant difficulty of getting employees to be involved in knowledge sharing, due to time constraints, and poorly designed or disparate knowledge management tools, won’t be overcome by offering easier tools, such as wikis and blogs.
Organisational knowledge management may become like the web 2.0 world, where many interested parties actively contribute, but the vast majority of users merely read the contributions of others.