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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Whaddya Call It? All-a-do-about terminology management

"While using multiple terms to describe one thing is common, doing so can lead to product confusion and even compliance issues in the business world. Why you should be worried about terminology management."
By Donald DePalma

"...That’s not to say that big companies don’t worry about terminology. IBM has long employed a terminologist who works with a variety of teams for consistent product representation. The terminologist on staff at medical device manufacturer Medtronic gets involved at the earliest stages of a project, working with the development team to formalize the words used to describe the product they will build. And faced with a proliferation of terms due to mergers and acquisitions, companies like Cisco are actively reviewing their own terminology management futures. Companies such as Oracle, PTC, and Nokia also employ full-time terminologists.

Let’s complicate matters a bit more. Take terminology management one step further, beyond the simple transformations of product documentation in a single market, to a product that is sold in 10 other countries that speak different languages. Those 120 terms that refer to a single product now have the potential of becoming 1,200 terms once translated into those 10 languages. And each one of those translated terms will trickle through the documentation, online help, marketing, advertising, and other collateral information in each of those languages. These downstream uses all lead to the possibility of far more interpretations as creative writers, translators, and transcreators elsewhere in the supply and demand chains for that product.

The bottom line is that formal terminology management benefits companies both within a country and across its global business units. Harvesting, normalizing, and integrating your company and industry terminology into authoring and translation systems will allow you to save money on re-purposed content and translation, improve quality, and increase efficiency. At the same time, more consistent terminology can help you improve safety, compliance, and customer service..."s Read the full article

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Knowledge Management of Local / Indigenous Traditions for a Globalized World

The books in the above slide, and following resources may give some sources for reflection on what works and where it works:

From the Handbook for Culturally-Responsive Science curriculum by Sidney Stephens, 2000. Available from the Alaska Native Knowledge Network.

  • Seeking Future Alaska Native PhDs!
    by Ray Barnhardt and Oscar Kawagley
  • Compensating forest-dwelling communities for drug the work of the Healing Forest Conservancy, by K. Moran
  • Infancy of Tools in the Identification of Native Knowledge, by
    Dr. Lalitha Aswath & Rupesh Kumar A.
    full article

  • Resources - Links: Local or Indigenous Knowledge @ Profit From The Application Of New Knowledge Pattern Recognition Research To Your Business: The Kaieteur Institute For Knowledge Management.

  • Focal Area: Status of Traditional Knowledge, Innovations and Practices
  • Knowledge Management and Indigenous Knowledge: MS Word file Information and Communication Technologies, Knowledge Management and Indigenous Knowledge: Implications to Livelihood of Communities in Ethiopia, by Lishan Adam, PhD, ICT in Development Researcher,
  • Indigenous knowledge, the library and information service sector, and protocols. Publication Date: 01-JUN-05, Australian Academic & Research Libraries,
    Author: Nakata, Martin ; Byrne, Alex ; Nakata, Vicky ; Gardiner, Gabrielle

    See on the same shelf:
  • Vertical and tacit: Multifaith and Knowledge Management in Perspective
  • Knowledge Management Applications in Multifaith & / or Multicultural Transactions Revisited
  • Saturday, October 18, 2008

    Looks Can Be Deceptive: Web Analytics & Transaction Log Demystified

    A quote from the book helps visualizing the true figures of a Website's visitors:

    "One could legitimately wonder if the counted visits appearing in Table 7-6 can be attributed to actual people or to robots, spiders, crawlers and the likes. Robots are usually small applications designed to gather data for search engine indexes. Unfortunately, the record of a virtual visit by a robot, spider or crawler looks no different in a Web server transaction log than that of a visit by an actual person. Robot visits may be traceable through name identifiers (i.e., Googlebot), or by a high volume of pages accessed in a very small timeframe, or by their requests for a file on the Web site called 'robots.txt.' The latter normally describes what may or may not be indexed from a given Web site by search engines. Nevertheless, if found, visits by robots must be systematically filtered and separately counted or just ignored when assessing the real usage impact of a Web site."

    Continue reading this from the book on E-Metrics and the details @ eMetrics or Web-Metrics or Webometrics - A new book for Library & Information Professionals

    Sunday, October 12, 2008

    Which flavour does knowledge have on the web?

    In recent debates within the KiWi - Knowledge in a Wiki project, the need arose to further refine and find a common understanding of the type of knowledge that is (ideally) managed and processed using (semantic) wikis. One of the proposals evolved around a conceptualization of knowledge put forward by Gabi Reinmann-Rothmeier, also dubbed the “Munich Modell” (Münchner Modell).

    In the Munich Modell, knowledge comes in three states of matter: solid (like ice), liquid (like water) and gas (like water vapor).

    “Frozen” knowledge is knowledge in its most tangible, manageable form, for instance the type of verified, expert-endorsed information you would find in an encyclopedia like the Encylopedia Britannica.

    “Gaseous” knowledge, on the other hand, is knowledge in its least consolidated form: think for instance of the type of heated debate you might have with folks in a pub, which is arguably the least structured, most uncontrollable, but also the most engaging type of knowledge!

    And the “liquid” form of knowledge, eventually, is the common knowledge of day-to-day-life. It’s probably fair to say that it becomes obvious mostly when in the process of changing its state of matter: When it is calibrated against “frozen” or informational knowledge or when it is debated, becomes “gaseous” knowledge that informs action. (If you’d like to know more about the Munich model and are able to read German, you might want to download the original article here - PDF, 365 KB). continue reading @ The Semantic Puzzle

    Wednesday, October 08, 2008

    How do you describe this industry, and what you do, to your family and friends?

    Posted by Bryant on September 30, 2008 in Infonomics: Question of the Week
    View Discussions
    "I don't know about all of you, but describing this industry to those not in it can be . . . interesting. How do you convey what you do?" continue reading

    PS: I would call this, if I am asked to, as Information Industry or Knowledge Management.

    *Infonomics is a new title of a journal (formerly called AIIM E-DOC Magazine); see also: Knowledge Management - The Next Generation @ TakingAIIM blog

    Wednesday, October 01, 2008

    What I Know for Sure...In Information Management

    AIIM > Infonomics Magazine September/October 2008, by Joan Moumbleaux*

    Extract: "For readers of O, The Oprah Magazine, you will recognize my article title as a riff on the title of her monthly editorials. Oprah’s column ruminates on unchanging truths in a changing world. As I sat reading her recent editorial, I found myself pulling out a list of “lessons learned” that I have created during my 22 year career, and two things happened...

    Taxonomy is a sexy word for a subject classification catalog. Historically, the term taxonomy is linked with botanist Linnaeus who used the term to describe his hierarchical classification of things. Remember learning “kingdom, phylum, class…?” During the 1990s consultants began using the term “taxonomy” to describe library science concepts of classification schemes, controlled vocabulary and thesauri. Why?

    The word had gravitas. It sounded more science-y and hence more interesting, sexier, to clients. The term has come to mean a polyhierarchical classification scheme representing intellectual relationships between concepts. Let’s face it; that is a subject classification scheme created so that we can catalog information. But no one in IT wants to be called a great cataloger! Did I hear someone say “ontology?” continue reading

    *Joan Moumbleaux is the Knowledge Manager for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries' Restoration Center. She can be reached at 301.713.0174 x207 or This article was previously published in “The Capitol Image,” the newsletter of the AIIM National Capitol Chapter.

    Friday, September 26, 2008

    Data Mining Pays Off: 'I'm a PC' made on a Mac

    'I'm a PC' made on a Mac

    Asher Moses, September 24, 2008 - The Sydney Morning Herald
    "Microsoft's "I'm a PC" advertising campaign was created on a Mac and the celebrity spruikers brought in by the software giant are all professed Apple fans, it has been revealed.

    Hidden information contained in images from the ads published on Microsoft's website show they were created on Macs, a Flickr user revealed in a published screen shot. "

    Punchline: Screen grabs from Microsoft's I'm a PC campaign which features author Deepak Chopra ... who now turns out to be a fan of Apple's Macintosh computers.

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Difference Between Overstanding and Understanding?

    Do You Know The Difference Between Overstanding and Understanding?
    Posted on Friday September 12th, 2008 at 21:32 in , octaves, perturbations, resonances, rhythm, sounds, spoken words, syllables

    "Sometimes meanings are conveyed in sounds. All words are sounds. All syllables are notes. Spoken words cause perturbations in the eddy currents of the subtleties all around us. These perturbations are resonances of higher and lower octaves." continue reading: It Seems Incredible That You Can Gain An Understanding Of The Truth About The Origin Of Civilization And Know The Difference Between History And His-tory!
    Don't You Deserve To Know The True History Of Civilization? Read "The Burning Sands" - A novel by Hamza Abdullah

    Saturday, September 06, 2008

    ROI for the knowledge worker is ROI for all, and how KM took an ironic approach

    "I perpetually point out the difference to the old and new KM in this blog, but I’ve never thought of it in terms of ROI for the knowledge worker. I have only thought of this in terms of the incentive and motiviation for knowledge sharing. When you think of the big picture of the need for a return in knowledge sharing, we can say this is the ROI for the knowledge worker.

    My thought are if the ROI for the knowledge worker is high, ie. high reciprocation of value for participating, then in aggregate the enterprise ROI from a social computing ecosystem will be high.

    The old KM was not about people, it went for the knowledge as a separate thing, and knowledge as a separate act approach, where the participants really had no return on their contributions, and no self motiviation to want to participate. In essence this process didn’t blend with human nature at all. Plus there is the other end of naturally seeking know-how off people, that’s just it, you were meant to seek it from a database (not people), and what you find, if you do find something relevant is meant to be context objective so it will suit all needs.

    Whereas the new KM is not really KM at all (considering the key to KM is sharing what’s in our heads), it’s not a separate act, it’s embedded into our regular routines. In an ecosystem where we are networked to people and we participate as we do our work, as well as the finished product of our work, there is no conscious effort to make sure you are sharing your know-how, it’s just happening from being, just like in the offline world. In the offline world I don’t make sure I’m sharing know-how, it’s just blended into how I am as a person, it comes out when I act and speak whether I like it or not...." continue reading: John Tropea @ Library clips

    Friday, September 05, 2008

    5 ways to apply management principles at home

    For The Associated Press

    (AP) - Five workplace management techniques that experts say can bring harmony at home:

    • Mission statements are not only for corporations. Patrick Lencioni, author of "The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family," says households should establish first what makes the family unique _ its core values.
    • Break down the household into manageable parts
    • Get help.
    • Develop systems.
    • Evaluate progress

    Sunday, August 24, 2008

    KM & E-Social Science - Revisited

    Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Sharing, application of Knolwedge Management (outside the corporate work culture) in the social and cultural lives of the Netizens is the focus:
  • 4th International Conference on e-Social Science
  • philbu's blog: Report on the CRASSH Workshop “Subversion ...
    CRASSH Workshop “Subversion, Conversion, Development: Public Interests in Technologies” Cambridge, 24-26 April prepared by Philipp Budka
  • Public & Private in the Blogosphere

  • See also on the same shelf and aisle:

    Info courtesy: Professor Neelameghan and Ann the Librarian

    Sunday, August 17, 2008

    Web self-service: searching for answers

    By Judith Lamont

    Few people who visit self-service Web sites have escaped unscathed from the frustrations that all too often accompany their use or attempted use. Simple transactions such as checking a bank balance can usually be accomplished efficiently, but more complex needs such as finding information about a health insurance policy or how to obtain replacement parts for a product can throw the visitor into an inescapable loop.

    Zachary McGeary, principal analyst at Jupiter Research, explains, "Customers often are not sure how to phrase their questions or search requests. In addition, over half the customers who report usability problems say that their searches offer too many results to be helpful."
    Ideally, the Web site will offer flexibility in how the user seeks information, including the ability to process natural language queries phrased in a variety of ways, and will tune the search engine to produce a relevant and specific answer. continue reading

    info courtesy: Knowledge Management (whatever it is)

    Saturday, August 09, 2008

    Mining for Information -- Chemistry of a Service Provider

    "Take one qualified information professional, mix into a new sector and add some limited resources. Hopefully you can get a decent information service from the results..." @ Posted by The Solo Librarian

    A similar idea but in a different perspective:

    Library + business concepts + 2.0 technology = changing the world. One librarian's exploration of ways that libraries can learn from other industries to grow and thrive! by Adam Wathen @ The Thinking Library

    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    Cyber Worship Resource of the Week is A Buddhist Prayer for Lost Information

    ... According to the Web site guide to Buddhist memorial services, on October 24 of every year, at the Daioh Temple of Rinzai Zen Buddhism in Kyoto, Japan, the head priest conducts a prayer for lost information. Recognizing that "many `living' documents and software are thoughtlessly discarded or erased without even a second thought," the sect hopes that through the holding of its "information service" the "`information void' will cease to exist."

    Paradoxically, at the same time as institutions in the United States and elsewhere may be in danger of losing their collective memory due to routine deletion of information in electronic form, the typical end user is most likely experiencing the opposite sensation: drowning in information overload. A recent Washington Post cover story characterized the time we live in as the "Too-Much-Information Age," going so far as to declare in a bold headline: "Tidal Wave .of Information Threatens to Swamp Civilization" (Achenbach 1999). cited in Recordkeeping in the 21st Century. By:BARON, JASON R.

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    what are pricing models available for Online Adverisements ?

    Q & A @ LinkedIn
    what are pricing models available for Online Adverisements ?
    Asked by: Md Abubucker Alathick.

    5 Answers | February 15, 2007 in Advertising | Closed

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Knowledge Networking in ICT Era

    International Conference on "Knowledge Networking in ICT Era"
    during January 22- 24, 2009 - Conference Brochure

    Call for Papers

    Submit Papers by November 30, 2008 to
    Organising Secretary: Mr. P. Panneerselvam, Librarian,
    B. S. Abdur Rahman Crescent Engineering College
    G.S.T. Road, Vandalur
    Chennai - 600 048, India

    More details also at:

    Tuesday, July 08, 2008

    Library Vendor Assessment Literature Review

    Interesting article, but dated.

    Library Vendor Assessment Literature Review

    by Susan C. Vargas, BiblioTech

    Tuesday, July 01, 2008

    Knowledge production in a profession: Use-inspired knowledge revisited

    NB. Here is an interesting reflection and input for the bank of change. For a reflection on change, you need to recognize change, manage change and record change in a manner that can facilitate the change. There is much more on this change in the May / June issue of AIIM E-DOC Magazine - PM for ECM.

    This sort of strategy also helps as a pathfinder for knowledge production in a profession:


    In this paper, we examine the current state of educational research through the framework of “use-inspired” knowledge. Previous discussions regarding the nature of educational research have disproportionately focused on the soft/applied nature of knowledge in the discipline or a need for methodological priority. After acknowledging these arguments, we consider the role of education as a professional discipline in American colleges and universities, and explore the inherent relationship between researchers and practitioners. Use-inspired knowledge prioritises practice, encourages translational research, fosters interdisciplinarity and dissolves rigid educational structures.
    Keywords: schools of education; research; professional practice
    view references (29)

    Saturday, June 21, 2008

    Research isn’t a Google search

    Says, Kathy Lee Berggren (a professor at Cornell University, teaches oral communication with a “heavy research component") in Research Methods ‘Beyond Google’

    Burnt Out Adjunct has interesting reflection on this beyond the domain of Google, titled: “Google is not research.”:

    "I would counsel against the fallacy of the lazy student. They seem, on the whole, eager to bridge the expectation divide (they expect open, accessible information). They do not expect to have to navigate the Byzantine fiefdoms of disciplined research. Naive and perhaps idealistic? Yes. But really, should research be as hard as it is?
    Consider that you are not affiliated with a university/college. How do you go about finding the research/articles/data you need? Same set of steps confound the Freshman. The databases are not intuitive or well advertised? And why aren’t they all aggregated anyway? Why is it easier to order a pizza than to find a set of vetted articles on a given subject? And then we blame the student for not being able to navigate the labyrinth to find the gems?" Listen

    : You go to the library and look in a biographical dictionary. Or you call up and then sort through the 410000+ references to him. ... The Craft of Research, Third Edition...

    See on the same shelf:

    Sunday, June 08, 2008

    Ranking Chart Blog -- Library of a Librarian

    A kind gesture of a business professional, Devry, has resulted in reviewing this blogosphere:

    First line of this Review reads: "Librarians as knowledge masters” is a brief encyclopedia for librarians."

    Friday, June 06, 2008

    What Really is Benchmarking?

    by , Apr 10, 2008
    Have you ever wondered what Benchmarking really means? Is it just management hype or jargon used by expensive consultants? Here is a short outline of Benchmarking as used in business organizations. ...


    Different kinds of Benchmarking:
    There are basically four different kinds of benchmarking:
    >>Internal - Here benchmarking takes place inside an organisation, e.g. between departments or business units
    >>Functional - Here benchmarking is done for similar processes within the same field or industry
    >>Competitive - Benchmarking operations/processes and performance with competitors in the same field or market is conducted here
    >>Generic - Here processes/operations and performance is compared between organisations of similar size in unrelated industries. continue reading

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    Who's tracking your health? Paging Dr. Internet

    IVOR TOSSELL, The Globe and Mail, May 23, 2008 [posted here with permission of the author]

    Google, pursuing its strategy of monetizing omniscience, has launched a product that will track every bit of your health information. Everyone together now: Yikes!

    Called Google Health, it seems destined to exacerbate the pent-up fears that underlie our increasing reliance on massive technology corporations. But the scariest thing about Google Health is how useful it looks like it will be. It's an oasis of sanity in the madness of health-care record-keeping that we know and loathe. But will its Googliness be enough to keep people away?

    Following in the footsteps of other companies - including Microsoft, which launched a competing product called "HealthVault" - Google Health made its debut this week in the United States, though Canadians weren't barred from signing up.

    The site offers a handful of linked services. First and foremost, it wants to be a storehouse for health information, everything from the names of conditions to the nitty-gritty of test results, including blood tests and imaging results. Users can input this information in one of two ways: They can plug it in by hand or by choosing options from Google's exhaustive lists, from "Aarskog syndrome" to "zits." But American users who signed up also discovered that Google Health not only lets them punch in their own test results, but import information directly from the handful of health-care networks and pharmacies that have partnered with them.

    The service is simple and elegant, but more to the point, it highlights a glaring need. Too many of us are trapped in a nightmare where our medical records are scattered across the offices of every clinic and surgeon we've ever visited, instead of one central location.

    Referrals are accompanied by faxed wads of paper, which may or may not contain all the relevant information, and occasionally get lost in the shuffle. Patients have become used to starting from scratch with every new physician they see, sometimes needlessly duplicating tests.

    The ramifications for quality of care are enormous, and in emergency situations, digital record-keeping can go from convenience to life-saver. The upshot of the present systems is that if you want to guarantee that results will be there when they're needed, it's best to keep copies for yourself - which is something the system discourages, too.

    That's not to say that things aren't improving. A patchwork of digital-record initiatives have sprung up across the country, though many of them work in isolation. Many clinics and hospital networks, for instance, do keep electronic medical records, but don't freely share them with other providers on account of privacy concerns.

    Most promising of all, Alberta and Prince Edward Island already have province-wide electronic record-keeping systems that store records centrally for each patient, giving them the same kind of one-stop access to their records that Google is offering.

    According to Richard Alvarez, executive director of Canadian Health Infoway, a non-profit organization that's spearheading the drive for electronic records in Canada, the rest of the country should follow suit over the next couple of years.

    Even if government steps up to the plate, however, private services like Microsoft's and Google's will still be around. In fact, Infoway is working with them to see that their products will be able to talk to the systems that are being built in Canada.

    The question is whether Canadians - who have never had a huge fondness for privately delivered health care - will entrust their most sensitive secrets to a company that's made a fortune by selling ads on cat videos.

    In time, we might. Rather than being rendered obsolete by province-wide electronic systems, the likes of Google Health could remain a useful complement.

    As Alvarez suggests, snowbirds might find it useful for keeping their health information together when they travel beyond their province's borders. And Google Health does things that austere government systems might not, like link to extensive reference pages that detail various medical conditions.

    By the same token, Google's servers are located in the United States, and as such are subject to the Patriot Act, which can see data handed over to the authorities. (Though the idea that U.S. authorities might actually wait for legal sanction before intercepting data seems increasingly quaint.) And, as American observers have pointed out, Google claims that it isn't subject to the U.S. laws that regulate the handling of health records.

    All of which will likely give a lot of people pause before spilling their guts to Google's servers. But in time, others might realize that online privacy has always been a bit of a mirage, especially where Google is involved.

    Anyone who's spent a morning searching Google for a health concern has already told that company what they've got - or worse, what they think they've got. And it's been shown that an anonymous user's identity can easily be deduced from what they search for.

    Google Health, then, is a test of how comfortable we are confronting the reality of omniscient, inscrutable databases. Odds are, Dr. Internet already has your chart. Will you own up to it?

    Saturday, May 24, 2008

    Microsoft kills Book Search project

    From Microsoft's Live Search blog:
    "Today we informed our partners that we are ending the Live Search Books and Live Search Academic projects and that both sites will be taken down next week. Books and scholarly publications will continue to be integrated into our Search results, but not through separate indexes."

    Full blog posting -- Live Search : Book search winding down

    info courtesy: Bernie Sloan

    Saturday, May 10, 2008

    The difference between cooperation and coordination

    After writing our paper on collaboration there were several things we wanted to explore that just wouldn't fit into the original work. We are interested in when it's unhelpful to collaborate, examples of when collaboration has failed, and how collaboration differs from similar terms such as co-operation and co-ordination. continue reading
    See also on the same shelf:
    A Definition of Collaborative vs Cooperative Learning, Ted Panitz (1996)

    Sunday, March 23, 2008

    Cyber Worship Resource of the Week is Church of Ontology

    Here is a sample from inside the Book: Cyber Worship in Multifaith Perspectives--full of resources, and KM accessories, that will facilitate building bridges in a Multifaith society. Table of Contents / Reviews

    Chapter 4. 'Navigating the Deep Sacred Space via Experiences of the Wise':
    Resource of the Week is Church of Ontology

    Ontology means the science of Oneness or all being. We are a small church located about 1 hour north west of Asheville in the Spring Creek community, situated near Luck and Trust, NC. Our church is under the guidance of ascended masters and dedicated to world peace, spiritual upliftment, and inner evolution... continue

    Order the book with Publisher:Order from Publisher

    My book Talk
    More in this Weekly series @ Multifaith Information Gateway

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Push vs. Pull: Trends in Retail Shopping

    Something I read in this month’s issue of Fast Company resonated with me:
    "When employees become sharers of information, instead of sellers of products, customers respond." (Full article: Magic Shop by Alex Frankel)

    Once a consumer enters the door of a brick and mortar store or navigates to a webpage, they don’t want to be sold to. At that point in the buying process, buyers are looking for one of 2 things: more information or a quick and easy way to execute their purchase.
    I shop most often at stores that let me peruse indefinitely, undisturbed… but who also have knowledgeable people available for those times when I have a question. Like IKEA, Barnes & Noble, LL Bean, and most online stores.

    <<>>see on the same shelf: Pull and Push Communications: Ranganathan's Laws re-interpreted

    Sunday, March 02, 2008

    KAMP is a BarCamp for Knowledge Management

    Excellent program management, using the Web 2.0 tools for the event, 24th Nov 2007, Bangalore, India. See details

    Who's blogging?
    Post-event Blogging

    Thursday, February 28, 2008

    Google Sites: What's all the fuss?

    Before you read the fussy part, can you find the Way: Where is the link to this new tool @ Google??? News stories don't point to the link, either. Google has added a JotSpot, as well!!!

    Aha: You need to go an extra mile to find, here is the link:

    News story posted by Dan FarberToday on CNET

    The launch of Google Sites is like the opening of a movie or play. The critics (including myself) feast on it, churning out copy and opinions as to whether Google Sites is a Microsoft SharePoint killer or merely the McDonald's of wikis, with more nutritional value than the venerable fast food burger and no cost.

    Saturday, February 23, 2008

    Researching with Wikipedia: The Experiences of Experienced Librarians

    A quote from 'Many hands make crappy work' New Jack Librarian's blog: "Its largely unsaid, but Wikipedia is thought to improve by means of a strange evolution-like process...
    1. Anyone, irrespective of expertise in or even familiarity with the topic, can submit an article and it will be published.
    2. Anyone, irrespective of expertise in or even familiarity with the topic, can edit that article, and the modifications will stand until further modified.
    Then comes the crucial and entirely faith-based step:
    3. Some unspecified quasi-Darwinian process will assure that those writings and editings by contributors of greatest expertise will survive; articles will eventually reach a steady state that corresponds to the highest degree of accuracy." see also: Read about Griefers. Then be one

    This post is based on what was discussed by some participants of the forum. Many voiced their concerns, happiness, and / or tragic experiences, and came up with solutions that would probably work-well. It is hoped that some of these annecdotes will be useful in the area of evidence-based librarianship. Otherwise, are we willing to agree with some who say: today's librarians do "less complex work."

    Following is some of that discussion reproduced with the permission of the respective voices.

    "I warn against citing Wikipedia as the credibility of the author is, by definition, unknown." Michael Simmons, Reference & Instruction Librarian, James Addison Jones Library, 815 West Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27401

    I'd like to say that I do everything in my power to scare students away from Wikipedia in the instruction sessions I lead.

    I do make it very clear to the students that no resource is perfect; there will always be the occasional error. But, this is entirely different from Wikipedia, where "errors" are often intentional. Look at the need to lock controversial topics such as "The Holocaust," "abortion," and "evolution." I tell my students that any information they glean from Wikipedia for academic use must be confirmed in another, more reliable resource. So, why in the world would they double their work? I've had one or two pro-Wikipedia students respond that the errors are caught and corrected. Well, sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't. But, what if a student uses the article prior to an error (intentional or not) being corrected? Yes, there are occasional errors in professional/academic encyclopedias and other resources. But, these errors are rarely -- if ever -- intentional. If a student uses a reputable resource such as Britannica or Academic Search Premier and there is an error in the article, that is not the student's fault. But, if a student uses an article from Wikipedia, which is in no sense a reputable source, then the majority of blame is on the student (and will no doubt be placed as such by their professor). I tell my students that if they're curious about the history of the yo-yo, or want to learn more about Darth Vader, then feel free to use Wikipedia. But, if they need the information to be the slightest bit reliable or in any way scholarly, then never go near Wikipedia. I strongly feel that just because students are familiar with a source and therefore comfortable using it, that doesn't mean we should teach it in our instruction sessions. I am surprised at how many librarians are so open to using Wikipedia. I don't understand why so many librarians countenance the use of such an unreliable (sometimes intentionally so) source.

    I disagree entirely that the logical conclusion here is to scare students away from search engines. Search engines are creatures altogether different from an amateurish, unreliable encyclopedia anyone can create articles for or alter in, unless of course said articles have been locked because too many people have already been altering them maliciously.

    We do indeed provide guidance when it comes to search engines. But, I think it's entirely within our bailiwick to do our best to steer students away from unreliable, mostly useless resources such as Wikipedia. I suppose if one wants to show students an example of a very bad resource, then Wikipedia serves a purpose. But, why not concentrate on providing them with good resources?

    With regard to instruction sessions, I have lost count of the number of subject faculty who have thanked me for reinforcing what they already tell their students with regard to Wikipedia. One professor, in fact, told me outright that he would have serious reservations with regard to bringing in a class for instruction if he knew that Wikipedia was being mentioned as a viable information resource. He tells his students right up front that any paper citing Wikipedia will be returned ungraded and won't be accepted until all uses of Wikipedia are removed.

    Robert Daniel Vega
    Reference Services Librarian
    Christopher Center for Library and Information ResourcesValparaiso UniversityValparaiso, IN 46383Ph: 219-464-5023
    Fax: 219-464-5972

    In answer to ... question -- I guess the biggest difference between Google, et. al. and Wikipedia would be that Wikipedia professes a certain authority, while most people know information gathered from Google is kind of a toss up.

    This is an interesting discussion and I can see both sides: On one hand there is good evidence of Wikipedia’s unreliability (i.e. the well-documented John Siegenthaler and Diebold Co. incidents as well as Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales posting false biographical information about himself.) Wales , by the way, earned some startup money for Wikipedia by running a porn portal called “Bomis.” And then there was Massachussets Rep. Martin Meehan whose staff was caught deleting unflattering information from a biographical site about him, and on and on – so many that someone had to invent the “Wikiscanner” to root out false information posted by companies and individuals. (I urge you to read “Wikipedia and Beyond.” By: Mangu-Ward, Katherine, Reason, 00486906, Jun 2007, Vol. 39, Issue 2.)

    On the other hand – Wikipedia seems like a grand venture linking vast numbers of bits of knowledge contributed by millions of individuals in the quest for truth and wisdom. I use it a lot, but always seek verification from other sources and that’s what I advise my students to do as well. I also tell them it’s a good place to start, but like any encyclopedia, it is not an appropriate source for college-level work.

    In the end, I hope Wikipedia succeeds with providing great information, but am pessimistic because it is falling prey to vandals and greed.

    Garet Nelson, Director
    Samuel Read Hall Library
    Lyndon State College
    Lyndonville, VT 05851
    ( 802.626.6446

    A year or so ago, I decided to learn about Wikipedia by contributing to and significantly expanding a short article. The subject of the article (a person) was one about which I have written a scholarly (and published) book. The person, dead for some time, is still of interest to many people, since he was a religious figure. To make along story short, "my" article was rather quickly hijacked by a person who has contributed and edited a great many Wikipedia articles having to do with Christianity, and he (I've always assumed it was a"he") has a clear conservative bias.

    We argued through the discussion section for some months, generally about how this figure should be presented. He had enjoyed some fame before he became religious, and over the course of his life he became a cultural hero of sorts; I wanted to present that part of his influence. Nope; only the subject's theology and conservative credentials were important to the hijacker. Over and over I had to refer the hijacker to the source literature to back up something I had written that he disliked; it was apparent that he had not read agreat deal about the person before then. Eventually I just got worn out, and I gave up and declared defeat in the "edit war." Since Wikipedia is anonymous, I never revealed that I was the author of one of the books that I cited, and the hijacker never revealed his identity either.

    I remain displeased with that Wikipedia entry. Although it is lengthy and there is a lot of good information in it, there is also extraneous material that doesn't contribute to our understanding of the subject, and a very important facet of the subject's life isn't discussed. I don't consider the article to be as useful a presentation of his life, influence, and importance in American culture and history as it could be.

    An article can be long and reasonably well written and still not beas informative and/or as objective as we assume encyclopedia articles should be. There are Wikipedia contributors who are bullies, and there are contributors who have an ax to grind. (Perhaps I have an ax to grind, but I'm not much of a bully.) Although it is possible for anyone to correct an inaccuracy, it is also possible for those corrections to be deleted or corrected again. Inaccuracies are in the eye of the beholder.

    The moral of this story is......Democracy is a messy business. Town meetings are great political instruments, but the discourse is messy. Caveat emptor.

    About Wendy Knickerbocker

  • Jack Kessler:

  • Wendy Knickerbocker,
    Your good story of misadventures with Wikipedia echoes my own experience.

    Fan that I am, I first dipped my toe into the Wikipedia morass in order to test it. I set up several articles, and so as you did I quickly learned my limits regarding both technique and my chosen topics. Only they were wrong about the topics: I did know a great deal about those...

    Like you, then, I discovered several things about democracy. First, I learned that Wikipedia is _not_ one. There even is an article asserting and explaining that, on Wikipedia itself.

    Also I was reminded, several times brutally, that pure democracy is not necessarily a good thing, that republics can be better, that separation of powers and tripartite government and regulatory bureaucracy all are needed, that all systems require transparency -- and that Wikipedia neither addresses nor even acknowledges any of the above, yet.

    That's all for my next article on the Wikipedia effort, the one I'll write when I've calmed down from my anger at anonymous know-nothing nuts and meddling power-mad administrators who messed me up the last time, there...

    I encourage you very much to write up and publish your own Wikipedia critiques as well, Wendy, relating and elaborating upon the frustrations you describe below: if you get one done please send me the cite, as I'd like to read it.

    But the pressing issue for you and me and most of us now, I think, is how to define and grapple with the Wikipedia beast as it now presents itself, current warts and all. It is extraordinarily useful, and extraordinarily well-used: we need to understand it.

    One day, or perhaps over time, we all may have a chance to improve it, to alter its direction: that is Jimmy Wales' ultimate hope, I believe, and if so I share it -- Wikipedia appears to be growing beyond the size and scope of anything he or any small group might control, like so many other things about the Internet, so perhaps We The Users ultimately will run it after all. Democracy, then.

    In the meantime, though, that's not it. Nothing democratic or really otherwise, in the way you and I and others have been roughly handled, by the current -- interim, maybe -- Wikipedia administrative structure or lack thereof.

    So what exactly happened, to us and to others, and by whom was it done, and with what authorities? Wikipedia needs many articles on such questions, if it is to improve as it grows: I hope you will write some.

    To just sit & stare, though, or to deny the very existence of the rough & slouching & new Wikipedia beast -- as some in the information (!) professions apparently do -- to me seems at best unprofessional. Librarians, and professors in all disciplines, are in the information professions: students should learn about all information sources -- if only to criticize and even dismiss them, perhaps, but at least they should learn -- and to me it seems incumbent upon librarians and professors to teach them.

    And to try them out... Just the way you did, Wendy: homo faber, homo ludens -- try out authoring a Wikipedia page or two and get some real-life / hands-on experience with the thing, play with it a bit -- _then_ a student can sit back and criticize, maybe, but not until.

    I bet that Valparaiso prof never really had used Wikipedia himself, just heard about it from others and grandly diss'ed the idea en principe. I once tried showing the then-very-new Internet to a group of very-grand professors, by encouraging them to sit down at the keyboards and try it out themselves: most did eagerly -- professors are curious types, usually -- but one particularly-haughty individual drew himself up and announced, "Personally I do not type, I employ *staff* for that..."

    Caveat lector,
    Jack Kessler, About Jack:
    FYI France (sm)(tm) is a monthly electronic
    journal published since 1992 as a small-scale,
    personal experiment, in the creation of large-
    scale "information overload", by Jack Kessler.

    Bottomline: I myself, a Wiki victim, and a pessimist in dealing with WIKIPEDIA (i.e., embeded with tonnes of space: open-for-all and free-for-all), and yet a compassionate disseminator.

    Friday, February 22, 2008

    Managing Information Overload: News and Views

    News Media @ CBC

    Today on the Scroll: CBC Radio tries covering technology in a style that fails to shock and appall its existing listenership while doing double duty in earbuds everywhere... But it’s a constant battle against information overload. I’ve got Facebook fatigue now — at some point it becomes, 'No, I don’t want to download another ... continue reading

    • Information Overload, Submitted by Jesse Hirsh on Mon, 02/04/2008. [He frequently appears on CBC radio]

    Information overload is a growing problem that most of us face each and every day. Email, phone calls, voice mail, facebook notifications, and that doesn't include the endless flow of spam. However there's no reason all this constant communication can't be tamed and organized so that we don't feel the stress and anxiety associated with being under a waterfall of information... continue reading

    • CBC Radio show adds a wiki, Mathew Ingram, January 23, 2008 at 1:22 PM EST

    • Information overload? Digital data could exceed storage space by 2010 posted Last Updated: Tuesday, March 6, 2007, The Associated Press at CBC radio:

    ...The report, assembled by the technology research firm IDC, sought to account for all the ones and zeros that make up photos, videos, e-mails, web pages, instant messages, phone calls and other digital content zipping around. The researchers also assumed that on average, each digital file gets replicated three times. continue reading

    • IDEAS-Schedule... The Greek philosopher Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living; butwhat does that mean in an age of media saturation and information overload. ... continue reading from


    Thursday, February 21, 2008

    Wikipedia and Wikiscanner in the Newsroom

  • Wiki's Other News stories:
  • Saturday, February 02, 2008

    Third undersea Internet cable cut in Mideast -- Resource Shelf Blog Re-visited

    Are you reading this the News Headlines?
    Internet: a wake-up call:
    'Dawn' stresses the importance of devoting resources to protect and maintain functional Internet service, @ AsiaMedia

    Do you have an idea of tools that are for free and help you support the Business intelligence / competitive intelligence. These tools are mostly in the invisble Web & / or hidden Web & / or deep Web. And, some of these are:

    Bottomline: Don't forget the basics of using this free ride (Internet resources need to be used with the sensitivity and care: look for evidence of bias; look for the source of the material--original or verifiable; material is current; etc.)

  • Choose Databases-- courtesy Ebsco Host: Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA) / Teacher Reference Center

    Much more of this hidden ... Web is indexed at Gary's Resource Shelf

    See also:

    Steal This Book? Don't Bother: By Candace Lombardi Staff Writer, CNET July 23, 2007, PDTCNET News

    When it comes to outsmarting the content establishment, your library may be your best accomplice. Libraries are offering more free search services, database access,articles, photos, eBooks, audiobooks, music and museum passes than ever. Chances are you are buying, subscribing to, or stealing something you can get for free with a library card. The hardest part of using the wealth of free sources out there may be finding them.

    There are easy ways to locate these sources, but few people use them, according to Gary Price, founder and editor of the Resource Shelf and director of online resources at While there are no hard numbers on usage of such free services, several resource specialists and librarians echo Price's comments.

    "People who gather national statistics about libraries have started adding that, but it will take awhile for the libraries to aggregate the data and respond," said Leslie Burger, director of the Princeton Public Library in Princeton, N.J., and past president of the American Library Association.

    But there is some evidence that people are beginning to access their local library home page more frequently. For instance, Massachusetts public libraries, which recently began tracking electronic access, report (PDF) that they received more than 248 million hits on their home pages in 2006.

  • Monday, January 28, 2008

    The ComputerWorld Canada View: Search no more

    By: ComputerWorld Canada staff (25 Jan 2008)

    Out of nowhere, it seems, the news has been full of enterprise search-related stories, including the acquisition of long-time player Fast by Microsoft and the release of user- and human-powered search engines like Wikia Search and Mahalo.

    This stealth ninja of applications could blindside a lot of IT managers. It has a lot of trendy aspects — from user-driven content to proper information management to business input — and also requires both tact and cunning. Enterprise search involves the three players — the IT manager, the brass and the users — in a deadly game with a lot of pitfalls, but there are a few ways to get out alive.. continue reading

    Saturday, January 19, 2008

    HBS Cases: How Wikipedia Works (or Doesn't)

    For HBS professor Andrew McAfee, Wikipedia is a surprisingly high-quality product. But when his concept of "Enterprise 2.0" turned up on the online encyclopedia one day—and was recommended for deletion—McAfee and colleague Karim R. Lakhani knew they had the makings of an insightful case study on collaboration and governance in the digital world.

    HBS professor Andy McAfee had his doubts about Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia created and maintained by volunteers. "I just didn't think it could yield a good outcome or a good encyclopedia. But I started consulting it and reading the entries, and I said, 'This is amazing.' "
    So when the concept of "Enterprise 2.0"—a term coined by McAfee on the general idea of how Web 2.0 technologies can be used in business—popped up on Wikipedia, McAfee beamed. "I was bizarrely proud when my work rose to the level of inclusion in Wikipedia." Then, however, a turn of fortune took place. A "Wikipedian" nominated the article for deletion as unworthy of the encyclopedia's standards. McAfee thought, "It's not even good enough to get on Wikipedia?" continue reading

    info courtesy: Wikipedia Enterprise 2.0 Story by Aa..ha! [Thinking Inside The Blog!]

    Tuesday, January 08, 2008

    The Tacit Knowledge of Team Leadership

    Posted by Sam Marshall @ Intellectual Capital Punishment

    Don't let the title of
    Towards an Ecological Theory of Sustainable Knowledge Networks by Jeff Conklin, et al put you off. Its full of insight about project teams (rather than knowledge networks in general). One thing caught my eye:

    "The process of team formation is complex. Leaders have tacit knowledge about how to move a team through a process, and they access that knowledge in face to face meetings. When in virtual collaborations, they don't have that, e.g. they may not recognize that they don't have alignment about team goals"

    Note that the barrier isn’t lack of knowledge, but the absence of the stimulus needed to retrieve it. The dynamic of the face-to-face interaction is what triggers the intuitive manager to take the right course. He may only sense subliminally the lack of alignment, but he'll intuitively do what it takes to correct that. Few managers would explicitly have a process with a "check alignment" gate, but they all know it must be done. Even bumping into a team member and subsequent chit chat can lead to an explicit awareness that they need information you hadn't thought to pass on. continue reading


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