Saturday, October 04, 2003

I've just been to Intracom 2003 in Montreal. A predominantly Intranet-based conference but with a strong KM track. Turnout was good (more buoyant that other KM conferences I've been to recently), though there's still a general sense that KM professionals are struggling to keep the momentum of the programmes going.

Hubert St-Onge was there advocating that we abolish our Training departments. Unable to resist this provocation I cornered him afterwards. To me what he mostly seems to be anti is the politics\inertia of trad training departments that assume putting people in a classroom is the default answer. That much I agree with, though I do feel e-learning advocates understate the problems of motivation in self-paced learning.

Richard McDermott and Marie Eychene (Ericsson) gave a presentation on Virtual Communities that generated a lot of audience interest. McDermott had a nice observation that online quiet is quieter (are people silent in rapt attention or disinterest?) and loud is louder (an argument between 2 people can swamp a discussion forum and there are no social cues like rolled eyeballs to shut them up).

Naturally, there were some misses too - one presenter claimed "Knowledge in the world is doubling every 12 months, perhaps every 10 now". Pah! Content doubling I might believe, but knowledge? We also had the old humbinger of a hierachy of data-information-knowledge-wisdom, as if wisdom comes from knowledge by adding the right meta-tags.

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