Is Social the Future of Knowledge? Help Me Find Out


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There has been a lot of discussion lately about the role of Knowledge and Knowledge Management in the age of Social.

I am not going to offer links here, sorry, since I consider most of the entries out there to be hype-full and wrong. Yes, I am entitled to my opinion. I have not seen many people correctly determine the role of knowledge in the new era (I do like this post by Kate Leggett from Forrester, my new favorite analyst).  For the most part, most of the discussion focuses on how the whole world is going to change, how outdated workflows and processes for knowledge generation and management are going to be the ruin of the organization, and how any person in any community is completely capable (without training, assistance, knowledge of the enterprise need and processes, or supervision) of creating exceptional, functional knowledge.

Truth be told, there is a lot more to consider.  There are issues of transparency, openness, control, distribution, legal, and even moral issues that are not being discussed in depth.  There are issues of regulation, compliance, workflow and work processing, subject-matter-expertise, and even roles and responsibilities for each participant to address. There are many more, mostly related to how to better leverage the knowledge and expertise available in the best possible way for all involved.  These are what  will  make or break the next generation of knowledge management – and the lack of discussion is almost worrisome.  As a complete  and unabashed pat-on-the-self-back and plug, I wrote a lot about this when I did the Product Report for FuzeDigital (client), which you can read here (no product endorsement; it contains a good discussion of community-generated, community-managed knowledge).

I want to know your opinions on this, and I will tell you mine.  Here is the catch — not on this post or blog. Let me explain…

My friends (and client) at Moxie Software had the same questions and concerns about Knowledge Management (or I might have pressed them into having them – chicken-egg type of question)

Moxie  is trying to break the barrier between internal and external knowledge, to create better ways to manage expertise regardless of where it exists – and they want to know what is going on around the world of Knowledge.  They asked me to put together a webinar to discuss it (this is where I will show you my perspectives).  It is on March 16th, at 11:00 AM PST and you can get more information and register here.

But wait! There’s more… This is not just a webinar promotion post, not by far — it is the start of a research project.

I suggested, and they were gracious enough to indulge me, to do a research study on the State of Knowledge in the world today.  I told you earlier this year I was going to spend more time doing research studies – this is just the beginning.  I put together a small, eight questions survey on the role of social today, investments, what people are doing and how, and what are they planning to do.  All in all, a very brief  State of the Knowledge World survey.

I’d like your help.  I would like you to complete this survey (if you are working in Knowledge initiatives). When you do, you will  also be given the chance to register for the webinar — which is where we will present the results of the survey.  A little bit of an experiment – even more daring by the short time we have available to make it happen.

Even if you cannot or don’t want to attend the webinar, please take the time to complete the survey and give us your impressions.

So, what do you say — would you like to help us put together an accurate picture of the world of Knowledge today and into the near future? (link to the survey goes here – yes, I intentionally wrote that).

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Esteban Kolsky
ThinkJar, LLC
Esteban Kolsky is the founder of CRM intelligence & strategy where he works with vendors to create go-to market strategies for Customer Service and CRM and with end-users leveraging his results-driven, dynamic Customer Experience Management methodology to earn and retain loyal customers. Previously he was a well-known Gartner analyst and created a strategic consulting practice at eVergance.


  1. Esteban, good luck with your project. I trust that you are open to finding that social is NOT the future of KM. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, I would welcome an objective study of the issue.

    I can’t resist saying, however, that companies seem to be moving away from traditional KM where you try to organize everything, and into more of a federated search with social input, so that non-experts can help sort the wheat from the chaff.

  2. Bob,

    I agree – the future does not come from social, but rather from the ability to leverage and use experts – which could be aided by social. Will see where things are and where they are going, then follow up and get more details on the new model.

    Thanks for the read!


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