Friday, November 21, 2008

Mashlogic ...

I have been planning to write about this for quite some time now, but travelling, and not keeping well, and so, here i am, delayed writing about this for more than a month ... no, not excuses, but ... well, ya, excuses! Natasha had written this one about Mashlogic. And, it seems to be a cool tool. No, i dont think this is what web 3.0 (if at all we ever reach it ... and why i say that is because, in all probability, by the time we are ready to reach 3.0, someone somewhere will come up with something promising to take us to 4.0 ... isnt that what happened with 2.0?), but its a really nice tool. This is a plugin for Firefox, which tells you more, context sensitive things about the thing you are reading. This sounds really cool, somewhat on the lines of snap, but quite different. In fact, i would like to take this further (if i had even an iota of technical sensibilities in my pea-sized brain). Imagine this ... you are reading a blog, and you come across an idea on the blog. select the text, and this little add-on shows you other possible blogs, which could be related to this blog. Or, in the organizational context, this add-on runs a search through your repository of content, as well as through the various communities you run in your organization.

Why would you want to do that? No reason, really. Except that, there was an interesting statement that came out of KM India ... that people are not really interested in KM. They are interested in doing their work, and so, if knowledge contributions are over and above their work, then it is, in all probability, not going to happen. If this sounds a little cynical, this is something which is happening in most organizations. In some of the discussions that i had with folks over at KM India, this aspect came out quite too well ... that no matter what tools, processes, you bring in, adoption is the challenge. And, this is something i have believed for some time now ... that your KM initiatives are as good as the adoption for these initiatives. And i have written about this before. Which is probably one of the reasons one of the labels i put to my posts is "People Aspect". Which is why you find that social networking, within and outside the firewall are two totally different ballgames.

Now, the question that this brings up ... if people are only doing their work, how do we get them to relate to the entire idea of knowledge, and management and sharing ... something which is important, but hey ... why should i do it! And this is where serendipity (hey, i am liking this word more since i found out its meaning) comes into play. I think more and more KM initiatives will need to be centred around people, and will need to consider knowledge sharing as a product of the work people are doing, instead of being something they explicitly have to do. Think facebook ... and its not really that difficult to do. Most of the aspects of people's work is already to be found in some systems or the other in the organization, so its a question of integrating these web 2.0 tools with some of the enterprise apps you already have in place, and viola ... XYZ is rolling off from this project in another 2 months time, so if you are a Project Manager, you should be able to see whome you probably want to talk with.

Coming back to the idea of mashlogic, a tool like this could be built into one where a person, when seeking information, should be able to use this for quickly having a look at stuff similar to what they are looking at, and see where they can get more details ... making discovery that much simpler ... in a search mode, rather than in discovery mode.

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