Friday, July 09, 2004

Blogs as a data mine

In our collaboration strategy, we view blogs as a natural knowledge management system. Instead of having to do extra work to put information into a special system, you replace a large chunk of your email with blog posts. Instead of being trapped in email, that information is freely available to those in your corporation who need it. There is no need to mine email like Tacit does, which corporate resource or not, creeps out users and ends up being counterproductive.

But maybe it can go even further than that. In this old Cringely column that I stumbled across today, he mentions the concept of blogs as a personal data mine that could look for patterns in your posts and provide you with alerts along the lines of "Dude, you really need a vacation." As silly as that example is, the idea might be promising.

Where Cringely and I disagree is on the public/private nature of this. Cringely's blogosphere is limited to one, a personal recording of everything in your life. He dismisses idea sharing: "But most people's thoughts aren't really worth sharing."

From a corporate perspective, you have to wonder why you would continue to employ knowledge workers whose ideas weren't worth sharing. So, in that environment you'd hope that most people's ideas were worth sharing. Better yet, those who want to learn can learn from those with best ideas, even if the big brains have no idea who the learners are.

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