I lurk on one of the more interesting mailinglists in the world. act-KM, originally an Australian but now global community of practice on Knowledge Management or since I abhor the term Knowledge Management, let’s say on the nature of knowledge in general and how to make it grow and flow in and across organisations. It is a high traffic list and not a very peaceful one. The debate rages (I choose the adjective carefully) between academics, practitioners, corporate hacks, and grass-roots types. It is not always kind and at times I find some of the sniping simply unpleasant. However, that is substantially outweighed by the calibre of discussion. It is a privilege to hear the likes of Dave Snowden, Steve Denning, Patrick Lambe (to name just a few) hashing issues out in a community space.

actKM has also a testament to the power of blogs as synthesisers and aggregators of community knowledge generated in Communities of Practice. Many have debated how to abstract the knowledge generated in CoPs and certainly FAQs were an early attempt to do so in the early world of newsgroups and technical mailing lists. Blogs are so much better however in that they take advantage of the self-interest of community members of moving their own praxis forward.

A very effective example of this happened around a recent debate on actKM on whether the term “wisdom” or even (I shudder to write) “wisdom management” should be admitted as legitimate terms of discussion within the actKM community. This provoked a fierce and lengthy debate on the topic with points scored on both sides. Out of that oyster popped these pearls:

Patrick Lambe
http://www.greenchameleon.com/gc/blog_detail/wisdom_management/

Luke Naismith
http://knowledgefutures.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/wisdom-management-and-wisdom-leadership/

Matt Moore
http://engineerswithoutfears.blogspot.com/2008/04/word-to-wise.html

Read these and feel that thanks to the actKM CoP and these knowledge synthesisers (bloggers) the stock ticker for the sum total of human knowledge (or wisdom) has had a good day. 🙂

Posted by Steve Song

@stevesong local telco policy activist. social entrepreneur. founder of @villagetelco #africa #telecoms #opensource #privacy #wireless #spectrum #data