Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Video Introduction

(after a test, it appears that this video is not fully embedded. On my computer at home, it plays right where the picture is. Just to clarify that embedded video is possible, even if on your computer the video opens a new window.)

What is a Wiki?

A wiki is a database of pages which visitors can edit live via the internet. They typically allow all users to edit any page, with full freedom to edit, change and delete the work of previous authors.
Another way to understand a wiki is as a document that is collectively created and maintained.

This links to a short (3 minute) video from ZDnet, entitled "What is a Wiki?":

Here is an interesting example of a wiki, a site that is a dynamically written novel:

Here is another wiki, which serves as an online university:

This site lists dozens of other wiki examples:

What is a Blog?

What is a Blog?

Blogger.com, the host of this site, defines a blog as:
"A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space.
A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links.
Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.
Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.In simple terms, a blog is a web site, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not." source

Wiktionary defines the word blog as:
"A personal or corporate website in the form of an online journal, with new entries appearing in sequence as they are written, especially as dealing with reflections or opinion, and typically incorporating links to other articles."

Wikipedia defines a blog in a similar way, and includes useful information regarding the history and evolution of blogging.

Here is another comprehensive definition of a Blog from an avid blogger:
"Most blogs are primarily text based. However, increasingly popular are video blogs (vlogs), and photoblogs, which offer potentially more interactive ways to share content than via mere text alone."

As this blog tries to demonstrate, all of the different media elements can easily coexist in a single blog. Posts can be categorized, and are automatically archived by the blogging program. Thus they are easily referred to in the future, and accessible via labels.

Posts can be e-mailed to a dedicated e-mail address which automatically publishes the e-mail's content on the blog. Individuals interested in the specific content of the blog also have the option to subscribe to the blog and receive updates whenever new posts are published.

What are blogs typically used for?

Blogs are commonly used by individuals as a type of on-line journal in which ideas, social commentary, or anything else are shared. These can either be focused on a specific theme, or dedicated to whatever random string of topics the blogger wishes to share. A typical theme for blogs is politics / political commentary. Increasingly, blogs are finding a function in the realms of education and organizational communication as well.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Wikis - Tools for KM

A Wiki is esentially a content management system plus.
They can be used to manage web pages (articles, etc.) as well as other documents, and all information in a wiki can be searched and categorized.

They are also a form of groupware, used to enhance communication and collaboration:
- Wiki pages can be changed by anyone; people can work together to create web documents.
- They allow collaborative content work and production, simultaneously.

In other words, a wiki provides two main services in one package: a tool for knowledge creation / collaboration, and a tool for sharing explicit knowledge / managing content.

It strikes me that a perfect application of a Wiki would have been the aula virtual glossary revision that we did at the end of 2007. Instead of offering feedback and having a central agent to make the changes, if it had been a wiki, updates could have been on the spot and dynamic.

An interesting site showing just how a Wiki can be used in terms of KM.

Here is an interesting blog, detailing how wiki's work as KM tools:

Here is a link to a site which contains a Master's thesis on Wikis as tools of Knowledge Management.

Blogs - Useful as KM tool?

Here are a number of links to blogs which have information regarding the knowledge management process:

In addition to the useful content on each site, you will notice the different layout of each blog. For instance, the third link goes to a site which is mostly topical headings followed by links to other sites, while the first two are text-filled entries with complementary links found throughout the text.
These links also show that even if Blogs are not the best tool for KM, they are a good forum for presenting information related to KM. ha!

However, as a case for Blogs as KM tools, I would like to cite some points from a post on Joho the Blog: (Emphasis added)
"I continue to believe that for many companies the best path to blogging is by using them internally as a knowledge management tool. The dream of KM has been that people will write down what they know. KM regimes, however, have assumed they would have to discipline people into doing that. Blogs entice people to write down what they know and to share it widely. A project blog or a department blog not only surfaces and shares knowledge, it also makes it searchable and archives it. And once a company gets used to internal blogs, it's only natural (if anything about a corporation can be said to be natural) to open up some blogs to trusted customers and partners, bringing them into the intellectual bloodstream of the organization. And then why not open some blogs more widely? Thus companies inch their way into the blogosphere. "

This site offers additional perspectives on Blogs as KM tools:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Hopefully this page was informative. More examples and further information can be provided upon request.
It occurs to me that this project would also have been a great opportunity to use a wiki, instead of a blog. That way, the information could be easily updated and your comments would be available in the body of the posts. Perhaps the next project will inspire a wiki.

Also, this Blog is meant to be read from top to bottom, which took adulteration of the posting dates on my part. Normally blogs are published in reverse chronological order, so that the newest post is always the first thing a blog visitor sees. I thought this site, as an introduction to blogs and wikis, would be better received if read in the conventional top-to-bottom way.