Thursday, April 11, 2002

Simplifying Knowledge Sharing to Promote Sharing

Jim McGee at McGee’s Musings talks about the perils of “knowledge sharing” in his latest post.

A largely unexplorted dimension in KM is that of visibility. I’ve written one initial stab at it in a piece looking at knowledge work as craft work.  I suspect the underlying fear in this debate is that of having your work taken and used without credit more so than simply having it used. This is one of the intriguing aspects of a weblogging/knowledge-logging environment. It gives you both a tool for simple visibility and a tool for watching the chronological evolution of ideas. Many (not all) of the arguments about who thought what when are effectively eliminated by weblogs. Sure we’ll find new things to argue about, but wouldn’t it be nice to eliminate this one? [McGee’s Musings]

Couldn’t agree more. Attribution, coupled with visibility, are the two keys. Attribution ensures that people don’t worry about others claiming credit for their own work. Visibility creates an incentive for individuals to contribute.

In much the same way that Google’s page rank respects linking, these two elements allow individuals to reap the benefits of participating in a knowledge sharing environment. The act of me attributing the thoughts above to Jim McGee infers that I respect his opinion on the subject, and simultaneously gives visibility to his comments so that others may benefit.

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