Friday, 29 May 2009

Knowledge Bubbles

I love the idea of Knowlege being something that bubbles to "the surface" where it is easily found by people. This is the idea discussed in another insightful post from the Knowledge Thoughts Blog.

"Traditionally the databases or search engines were relied upon to provide this functionality, and they will continue to do so. However, these systems each have limitations which are important to consider. Knowledge databases suffer from scale with firms having more content to catalog than their KM staff can handle while enterprise search can be challenging in terms of finding relevant results despite advances in faceted search."

I couldn't agree more with this assertion and having already seen how Enterprise Search can not only work but also fail it's interesting that the Blog authors suggest there is another way to make knowledge "more visible" The suggestion by the author of the Blog and also of Lee Bryant of Headshift is to use another form of metadata called attention metadata. Essentially this looks for/finds content based on content you're reading, listening to or bookmarking. Not only is the content more relevant because you might have been reading something related recently but as the post describes...

"...taking this in aggregate and by mixing it with traditional metadata (user, practice, industry or client) can help content to bubble up in front of unsuspecting lawyers. Why is this useful? Well, it helps to raise awareness of what is going on, and what people are using. PSLs, Lawyers and Partners alike can get a sense for the resources being used without having to delve through complex usage reports.

I like to think of it like a lava lamp. Attention metadata will heat up your knowledge goo rise to the surface, cooling down over time and then sinking back down until the next time it heats up."

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