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8097Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge

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  • Amy
    Jan 26, 2009
      The discussion about the closing of a forum has triggered me
      thinking on the KM aspects. Just stopping a forum doesn't have to
      stop a community - the same group of people could start up again
      elsewhere (just move the tent to another location). However the
      archives are indeed lost with the move.

      This brings up an issue I've been grappling with recently: the
      discussion group/KM conundrum. Having worked in this domain for many
      years, I'm of the opinion that the majority of what is said in
      discussion forums should be deleted periodically, and that it's up
      to the forum community to capture the important info (know-how and
      know-who) in another form for ready reference by all members.

      But that doesn't seem to be the situation with the aforementioned
      community, and it's certainly not evolved beyond discussion in the
      groups I work with (in fact, members publish complete solutions out
      to the forums with attachments).

      Email archiving policies (deletion after X number of years) may be
      creating a 'burning platform' to cause companies to look more
      closely at this issue.

      So my questions are:

      -- How do we make the leap from forums to preserving the good bits
      of knowledge they produce?
      -- Do we need better tools, practice/process or both, and if so,
      -- What has worked for people on these boards?

      Web 2.0 seemed to be getting us to a place where some of this would
      be possible, but I'm afraid that proliferating forums will result in
      bigger dumpsters. I'm ok for occasional dumpster diving but I don't
      want to make a career out of it. And I don't believe that Search
      will ever be good enough to solve this issue.

      Inputs are most welcome. (I'll document the good stuff at the end of
      the discussion.)

      Cheers, Amy P.
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