I love reading about social media. It’s a very relevant topic to me. I use social media all the time AND I use it for my internships and classes (this one… :D). I decided to start with the Levy³ article as a way to ease into today’s readings.
Levy talks about the WEB 2.0 (I don’t quite get why she capitalizes it but whatever…) issue and its implications on Knowledge Management (again why is she capitalizing it? I’m just going to use KM). Let’s start with what WEB 2.0 is. WEB 2.0 has many definitions. O’Reilly says it is:
The business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them.³ (pg. 121 from O’Reilly)
That is long and can be confusing. I like it when Mayfield says “Web 1.0 was commerce. Web 2.0 is people” (pg. 121 from Singel). McLean says WEB 2.0 is “the catch-all descriptor for what is essentially a much more dynamic internet computing” (pg 121 from McLean). Weinberger defines WEB 2.0 as “an establishment of ‘open architecture, its lowering of the barriers to publishing, the ease with which people can connect ideas, increase in available bandwidth and compu[t]ing power’” (pg. 121 from Weinberger). Weinberger is essentially talking about evolution of the web rather than revolution.
All these different definitions culminate in one definition for me. WEB 2.0 is a dynamic, people centric evolution/revolution of how people use computers.
I really like how Levy made me think about knowledge management in a WEB 2.0 era. She talks about how, with WEB 2.0 and social media becoming how society interacts and shares knowledge, those that were previously not sharing knowledge in organizations are now doing so. Because sharing is such a way of life now, sharing while at work is more nature and less cumbersome than it used to be. I never connected the two in my head before but it makes total sense. Thanks Levy.
Well Hemsley & Mason² even mentions Polanyi at the beginning of my favorite section of his article. Polanyi is everywhere! They write:
For example, wikis support individual participation in group knowledge production, and this coproduction process can make explicit more of the social knowledge. One of the assumptions behind the architecture of wikis is that knowledge is emergent, not static. The knowledge made available through wikis thus can be expected to be more fluid than in more fixed media and may be viewed as more current.
Blogging also arguably contributes to an increase in the availability of knowledge. Hsu and Lin find that knowledge sharing for reasons of it altruism and reputation building are positively related to attitudes bloggers have about blogging and their intention to continue to use blogs (Hsu and Lin, 2008).² (pg. 152)
A lot of the research I’ve done for this degree has been in blogs because they are the sources that are most up-to-date and current like Hemsley & Mason say. I actually got into a discussion (/argument) with my parents yesterday about how blogs aren’t ‘real’ sources (that’s that they think). Blogs may not be ‘academic’ sources but a lot of the blogs I read and the ones I’ve cited in my papers were just as well sourced (and a lot of times better written) than the academic sources I’ve read. AND when you’re doing research on trigger warnings and whether they should be used in library’s, there are no academic sources so blogs, wikis, and news sites are the only place you can find to cite.
I also love that they mention “contributes to an increase in the availability of knowledge” because that what I see blogs as. There are not enough scholars in the word to write academic and peer-reviewed articles that can cover the amount of knowledge being produced through blogs.
Grace’s article about Wikis as KM tools made me feel a bit dumb. I’ve used my knowledge from working at a call center throughout my academic career and I have just know realized that the database of knowledge called IRIS (Integrated Resource Information System), that we used where I worked was a WIKI! It was this interactive repository of knowledge that we used constantly throughout the day to source our knowledge and tell customers the facts. The only issue with it is that IRIS wasn’t easy to edit for the people who used it. IRIS was maintained by corporate and edits had to be submitted and approved. Towards the end of my career there, they were finally taking the suggestions we submitted (from those who actually used the site) seriously and making changes where it was more like the Wikis Grace talks about.
I really like these readings.
Words I Had to Look Up
None this week! Isn’t that cool?!
¹ Grace, T. P. L. (2009). Wikis as a knowledge management tool. Journal
of Knowledge Management, 13(4):64–74.
² Hemsley, J. and Mason, R. M. (2012). Knowledge and knowledge
management in the social media age. Journal of Organizational
Computing and Electronic Commerce, 23(1-2):138–167.
³ Levy, M. (2009). WEB 2.0 implications on knowledge management.
Journal of Knowledge Management, 13(1):120–134.