How do you share your knowledge?

More getting ready for the Knowledge Share Fair in Rome

knowledge eye chart on Flickr – Photo Sharing!

Knowledge sharing: for doing complex work in a complex world

Here’s what I’m up to this week – today prepping for the FAO/CGIAR/BIOVERSITY/WFP/IFAD joint 3 day knowledge Share Fair, with a close focus on KS in global development as it relates to agriculture and food security. One of the activities is a 90 second challenge to talk about what IS Knowledge Sharing…

“Knowledge sharing is necessary to do complex work in a complex world”

There is also a blog, Flickr pictures, etc.  I’ll try and reblog so of my “social reporting” activity as time allows.

Your recommendation has power

I started entitling this blog post “don’t underestimate the power of your recommendation. Then I stopped myself. There are enough “don’ts” out there already!

I have barely read the blogs of dear friends and trusted colleagues over the past months. The toll of 76,950 miles of airplane travel (and countless trains and buses) last year really dug into both my blogging and my blog reading. I am having to clear all my blog reading subscriptions and start again from zero which I am doing today. I did that to all my “nice but not necessary to respond to emails and forum postings” on December 31st. I am also noticing that being home for a full month, exercising, doing yoga and eating right has restored my energy. I guess that means I’m ready for the overseas trip that starts tomorrow! Here I come, Roma!

But some stories beg to be passed along, and this one from Lee and Sachi LeFever at CommonCraft is one of those stories that makes the point of the importance of recognizing the power of both recommendation, story and reciprocity. Read for yourself.

Photo by Sachi LeFever via Flickr creative commonsThe Best Christmas Gift – From a Driver in Sri Lanka

We became friends with Mervyn and had a wonderful time in Sri Lanka.  We always felt safe and Mervyn was a perfect driver and guide – he gave us a local’s perspective and became our friend. He introduced us to Arrack, a favorite alcohol of locals.  We told him that we would write about him on the Internet and hoped it would help his business. It was the least we could do.

Last night, on Christmas Eve, 4 years after deciding we would go on the trip, we received this email message from Mervyn:

DEAR SIR,

HOW ARE YOU? I AM FINE AND ALL OK WITH ME. I HAD GOOD BUSINESS FOR THIS YEAR. THAT IS BECAUSE OF YOU. THIS YEAR 90% FROM THE BUSINESS I GOT FROM YOUR WEB SITE THAT YOU RECOMAND ME. I SAY AGAIN AND AGAIN THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

I WISH MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOUR WIFE.

MERVYN

This message made our Christmas extra special this year. Mervyn is honest, has a good heart, is very hard-working, and deserves to have a successful business.  It’s inspiring to me, as a blogger, to think that a couple of blog posts can make such a big difference to someone like him on the other side of the world. Our post is the #3 result for  “Driver Sri Lanka” on Google. I hope we can continue to help Mervyn’s business in 2009.

In the days of loose ties and swift creation and forgetting of connections, a small signal sent out in gratitude and appreciate can have unexpected results. Yes, our complaints may get those big businesses to improve their customer service if enough of us bitch and moan. But our little, individual generative acts, can have swift and powerful repercussions to people like Mervyn.

Who have you thanked or recommended today? How will that help them have a better financial year in tough times, or simply give them a little energy to get through the day?

I’m saying thanks to Lee and Sachi for blogging about Mervyn. And for Mervyn writing back to tell them what was the result of that blog post.

Exploring the place between boundaries in communities and networks

the spaces between the scoring spacesIn her PhD work, Lilia Efimova has been one of my teachers and thought partners, starting from the summer she spent with my family here in Seattle while doing a fellowship at Microsoft Research. In the post Blog as Edge Zone, Lilia gets to the heart of what has been drawing me lately in my thinking and slow, personal research.

…blogging supports creating relations with unknown and unexpected others, often across various boundaries.

While many of us struggle to define “community” or “network” or “group” I keep on getting the sense that the important changes, fundamental changes in the way those of us online live our lives, are happening in the margins in between and across boundaries. Yes, we belong to tight bounded communities and broad reaching networks. But it is how we navigate across them, and connect, disconnect and reconnect with ideas, content and people in those transversing practices. 

Lilia has done a great job of describing what I have been “sensing” from the perspectives of blogs. I think there are similar things we can describe around different online interaction tools and the practices associated with them.  We can examine this from the quintessential change these tools and practices create in our ability to “be together.” 

In February, Barbara Ganley, Laura Blankenship and I will be exploring this with a session we’re offering at Northern Voice. We will dance the limbo, talk about being in limbo and look for patterns for making the most of this boundary crossing and all the unnamed places in between.

I had hoped to write more about this, but lately work keeps me away from that loose time I need to write these things. So this is a little bookmarker out to the world. 

Let’s think together.

A humorous presentation of Blogs vs. Wikis

Beyond the cleverness of this video, it is interesting to note that the creator decided to focus on the control aspect as the key difference between wikis and blogs. I’d like to suggest that control is not simply a technical issue, but one of culture and practice as well. Openness or tight control can exist in either tool.

The real question is, how do we get real about the role of control and/or openess is our work! Enjoy the video.