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It does appear Andrew is trying to have it both ways. (Guess I've lost that Plato-to-RealWorld translation gig. Gollum!)
Seems to me that this is just another case of making sure that the "process" is held firmly as a means to an end rather than becoming the end itself.
At my former employer, some people were exploring KM applications of our database product (we weren't supposed to call it a database, but no one could decide on a consistent alternative other than "knowledge discovery").
The target market was research mega-corps with lots of divisions that didn't talk to each other. KM was supposed to help these divisions keep track of who's doing what kind of work, so to minimize redundant research and maybe even get some cross-pollination going.
Our product had a fairly cool text analysis feature, based not on key words but rather a semantic analysis of documents. (Semantic relationships refer to similar meaning rather than similar character strings.) The chief scientist worked up a hard-drive indexing tool (Uberdex) that indexed the contents of certain file types, like documents, emails, etc. Ideally, if the contents of 1000 hard drives were indexed, anyone could enter a phrase like "dark matter" and locate documents anywhere in the company with content related to dark matter, such as bright matter or spiral galaxies.
But--more valuable than finding actual documents was the intelligence about who was working on your subject of interest. "Hey look--Joe's got 64 documents on this subject. We should talk to him about our problem."
Here's another possible application of KM. Remember when a certain Redmond company got a bit of a red face over the content of certain documents discovered by DOJ (something about eviscerating Netscape)? Wouldn't they have appreciated a system that would let them "manage" their content? I guess some topics are better left in the brain. Don't kill the messenger...
srush -at- musicnet -dot- com
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