Just freewheeling on a Sunday afternoon

People have been very quick to add the suffix 2.0 to pretty much everything that’s going on nowadays, and as quick to argue about what 2.0 means in each context. I don’t particularly care one way or the other; my interests are in the tools and techniques that emerge, who uses them and why, how culture shapes their usage, how culture is shaped by their usage.

So I land up looking for good examples of “new” tools and techniques, just to see what can be done, what is being done. Many times, these things aren’t new per se, they’re just new to me. Then, as time passes, people get better with the techniques; there comes a point when we start seeing cultural adoption, and then it’s only a matter of time before we see them come into the mainstream.

Here are some examples of stuff I find interesting in this respect:

I’m not “waxing lyrical” about them, nor am I claiming these are best-of-breed. All I am saying is that I’ve learnt some things by visiting the links, and I’m sharing them with you just in case you find them of interest as well. The premise is the same as that which drove me into experimenting with Second Life, or, for that matter, World of Warcraft. Unless I see what’s happening, I cannot figure out what else I can do with such stuff, how I can apply the techniques in the context of enterprise information.

It’s strange, but most of the time, the place I land up is somewhere between enterprise information and education. Maybe there’s a reason. Maybe the next generation of enterprise information will actually have a great deal to do with education, as we begin, finally, to reap the rewards of knowledge management.

3 thoughts on “Just freewheeling on a Sunday afternoon”

  1. I like your vague meanderings into new technologies and your unstructured approach to learning about them. I believe that you are on to something when you link enterprise information and education because any time you allow many people unstructured access to information they will find their own ways to use it (all the while teaching others what they have learned). One enterprise knowledge management tool I have found like that is General Knowledge Base. It is a free form relational database which is securely shared across the internet with client/server technology and can be designed from the bottom up by regular users.

  2. I am less interested in showing off the mud-pies, as J. M. Thorburn put it, and more interested in studying what it is about the mud that yields such interesting pies. The particular mud that seems relevant here is the tight coupling of working, learning, and innovation, about which John Seely Brown has written so eloquently. I raise it because, in Brown’s context, the question of whether or not the information is structured becomes secondary (if not irrelevant). If it can be drawn upon in the course of work (one way or another), then it becomes a knowledge source that others learn and some then engage in innovative ways.

  3. I agree. I too am fascinated by the mud. But what I have learnt over the years is that my customers want the pies, they are less interested in the mud.

    And when it comes to showing them what can be done with the mud, pies are useful. It lets them know what is possible.

    Some of them get interested in the mud as a result. But not everyone.

    So I show people the pies. And continue to study the mud.

Let me know what you think

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