Narrative and Social Computing

March 6, 2008

For those interested I will be presenting on the above subject in the National Library Theatrette in Canberra for ActKM. Start time 0540 for 0600. Full description below.

We live in a world where everything is fragmented. Blogs represent fragmented conversations and comments that link and connect in unpredictable and unstructured ways. When we ask people for advice we don’t receive fully constructed stories, instead we get fragments or anecdotes that we can blend and connect with out own experience.

In these worlds no one asks “How can we create a knowledge sharing culture”, knowledge sharing comes naturally. One reason is that the nature of narrative and many aspects of social computing reflect the way our brains have evolved to handle knowledge and collaboration – fragmented, messy and unstructured in many ways the antithesis of much of the focus of knowledge management over the last decade and more.

This presentation will look at how social computing and narrative can be used to re-energise knowledge management programmes and provide radical reduction in costs while increasing effectiveness. It will look at some of the pragmatic issues of using tools such as wikis and suggest ways in which organisations can use the power of the blogosphere within a structured environment without destroying its vitality.

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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