6 March 2008

What will be the impact of Social Tools on KM?

This was the topic of the latest Gurteen Knowledge Cafe and, like all the others I have been to, it was an interesting and provocative night out.

For a change, David led the session himself, rather than facilitating a session for a guest speaker and it was probably because of this that he forgot to do the "speed networking" session that normally opens the show and we had to remind him to do this after his presentation instead.

The presentation was just a way of introducing the talking point and so it was short but still fairly broad in scope. It was based on a talk that David has been giving in various forms recently, e.g. at Online Information 2007. This explained how KM started with two opposing perspectives, technology led and people led, and that Wed 2.0 had become a disruptive change. Hence the question, what will be the impact of Social Tools on KM?

Following the usual Knowledge Cafe format, we then discussed the topic in our tables and, as is also part of the Cafe tradition, the conversation wandered off in all sorts of directions that may, or may not, have been related to the topic in hand. Table discussions like these enable everybody to contribute to the debate and is one of the main reasons why the Cafe format works.

After half an hour or so it opened up to a whole room discussion where points that were discussed earlier were shared and built on. David stopped the session around 8:15, probably something to do with getting a train home, and we die-hards went down the pub to carry on talking. So, a good night was had by all.

And as for the question, well there was no real answer, nor was one expected, but there seemed to be a consensus that social tools are useful and are here to stay but whether KM has any role in this or will survive as a discipline (if it is one) is much less certain.

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