Monday, August 01, 2005

Blogging for knowledge management

Last week I researched how to get my blog noticed. I tripled the number of comments to my postings (going from 1 to 3 comments). I also had 28 hits in the last week. Not huge numbers, but at least there's some activity.

I was asked the question, why am I blogging about knowledge management (KM)? It doesn't appear to have any benefits to my customers or in my current job.

The reason I started blogging was as an experiment. I wanted to see how blogging works and if people use it, prior to investigating business opportunities.

One of my knowledge management goals is to increase our customer's connection to our research. Currently we use traditional communication items newsletters, Web, conferences and other print communications. A few years ago we started having customer account managers visit our large customers. However, we still find that there is the need for more connection to our research. A comment from a recent focus group asked for more transparency in research processes. In the future, I'd like to take advantage of some less-formal or less-structure communications tool to increase the transparency and add a more personal connection to the research. Using communities of practice or blogs are great opportunities.

For example, wouldn't it be great to go to a research project and not only see progress reports, but to also read the observations (in a blog) of the researcher or their graduate students (the later would be really interesting, since they are doing most of the hands on work). Then to be able to post comments or ask questions in a community. This would not only help our customers feel more connected, but could also lead to better research by having end-user review and feedback.

We're taking the first step in this direction by developing a collaborative tool for our ongoing research projects. Blogging and communities could be the next step. This is at least a year off, since I don't want to introduce too many new things at once.


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