Saturday, April 21, 2007

$100 dollar laptop

Just wanted to let you know I'm excited about the "$100 laptop" project. It has many interesting sides to it. They hope this laptop will stimulate education of kids in the Third World (and their parents will probably catch on quickly too!). On the other hand, keeping the price low, and focussing on their 'customers', also asks for some major innovations!

I understand we will all be able to buy a llaptop at twice the price. In this way, you also buy a laptop for someone else in the Third World. Most people will like that deal. At least I do.

But what's this going to do with the pc/laptop market? If you can buy a laptop at say $200, why buy a regular one? And what are the laptop's innovations going to imply for technology and infrastructure? For instance the cable networks that we have?


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Storytelling - A masterclass with Steve Denning

The power of stories. I think we all can relate to that. Dad and mom told us stories when we were kids (and usually they still do). We read stories all the time and tell others about them. Companies also move, change and progress on stories. Stories of the past. Stories to get something across. Real stories, fiction. Etc.

The Ark-group and InsideKnowledge are presenting: 'The secret language of leadership. How leaders inspire action through narrative' with Steve Denning. Denning is the leading author in the area of storytelling. (Dave Snowden is also an evangelist of storytelling.)
I find storytelling very interesting. It really stresses the human side of knowledge management, information management and communication. But I still have a hard time translating all this to the enterprise. Several articles have been written on how you can use storytelling in companies. Nasa and Shell a.o. seem to use this technique to capture and transfer knowledge/information. Wonderful! But how do they do it, practically speaking? Do they write them down? Do they record them on video or audio? If so, how do they distribute the video and audio? And do employees really go and watch the video and listen to the audio?
I can't make it to Denning's seminar. But I hope someone else can ask Denning these questions and get some answers! Or are the answers already out there and am I overlooking them?

A framework for evaluating knowledge-mapping tools

This month an article I co-authored with Wolf Huijsen and Marjan Grootveld, titled 'A framework for evaluating knowledge-mapping tools', was published in the Journal of Knowledge Management. Here's the abstract:
This article describes the Knowledge-Mapping Framework the authors designed based on their theoretical and practical research on knowledge mapping. It also shows the practical use of the Framework for companies interested in knowledge-mapping tools.

In the first place the authors position their research in the context of knowledge management and knowledge-mapping research and practice. An example of their practical research on knowledge mapping is given as a preliminary step to describe their Knowledge-Mapping Framework. The use of this Framework is illustrated. Finally, the authors validate their Framework against a number of commercially available tools with knowledge-mapping functionality.

The authors found that their Framework is useful, insightful and robust when applied to new knowledge-mapping tools/functionality.

Research limitations/implications
The important issue how to embed knowledge-mapping tools in organizations is not considered to be in the scope of this article.

Practical implications
Based on concrete examples the authors illustrate the practical implications of their Knowledge-Mapping Framework for companies. The Framework can be used for defining knowledge-mapping tool requirements, the assessment and comparison of commercial tools, and the assessment of available knowledge in an organization.

Originality/value of paper
Knowledge mapping and its use have been a research issue for some time. Companies have also adopted knowledge-mapping tools to support and stimulate knowledge sharing in their organizations and to help employees find the expertise they are looking for. But no research has been done on how to help companies decide what kind of knowledge-mapping tool they need or how any tools they already have can be combined in a knowledge-mapping tool. This article describes a unique and new Framework the authors devised to help companies do just that.