8098RE: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage Discussion-Produced Knowledge
- Jan 28, 2009Re amy's comments about the archives...
There's a chapter by Finholdt, T. A., Sproull, L., and Kiesler, S.,
"Outsiders on the Inside: Sharing Know-How Across Space and Time," in Hinds,
Pamela J. and Sara Kiesler (eds), Distributed Work. (Cambridge, MA: MIT
Press, 2002), pp. 357-380.
It's "old" but argues that the narrative style of a Q&A database were more
frequently consulted because they had situated cues that users (especially
remote ones) found helpful in interpreting technical knowledge that had been
shared. The Q&A form was MORE useful and MORE USED than the summarized and
cleaned up stuff provided by the same company in the same general technical
area (this is all from memory and I tend to simplfy stuff, so you might go
The other source arguing for the long-term utility of list archives (like
trdev) is Peter G. Kilner PhD Dissertation 2006 "The effects of socially
relevant representations in content on members identities of participation
and willingness to contribute in distributed communities of practice".
Again, based on his presentation in CPsquare, people will situate tips and
suggestions IN PRACTICE, suggest who they are, what level they're working
on, etc. (and they often can be coaxed to do a better job of it).
Bottom line: it's a BAD idea to throw away archives.
ON THE OTHER HAND: CPsquare discussions have been kept for years and years
and so when new poeple join I shake my head and worry that they'll
absolutely CHOKE at the volume and complexity. Just don't know.
* John D. Smith ~ Voice: 503.963.8229 ~ Skype: smithjd
* Portland, Oregon, USA http://www.learningAlliances.net
* Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest something
better! Esther Dyson
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf
Sent: Monday, January 26, 2009 7:13 AM
Subject: [cp] Forums & KM: What CoP's Should Do to Manage
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
Cheers, Amy P.
*-- The email forum on communities of practice --*Yahoo! Groups Links
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