These are my live blogged notes from Harold Jarche’s LearnTrends session on Personal Knowledge Management. My side comments are in italics. Update: The recording of this session (and the rest of LearnTrends) is now available.
Sense-making with PKM
When he moved to consulting and didn’t have an IT department and those resources, he realized he had to do something different.
Idea from Will Richardson: what do you do when you read a blog post and come across an interesting few sentences? What do you do with that system?
PKM is a set of problem-solving skills for work, focused on getting things done but not necessarily task focused
Personal directed learning as well as accidental, serendipitous learning
Too much information
More important advances in the future will be our advances in dealing with information & problem solving, not in computer technology (he was quoting someone–didn’t catch who, and this is only a paraphrase)
- Big KM = enterprise KM, lots of structure
- Little KM = processes used by distributed teams
- Personal KM = ad hoc, DIY, cheap/free
A PKM Method
Not the only method–not something to force people into, just one way. Basically, this is Harold’s way of dealing with the flow of info
- Make Explicit
Interesting discussion in the chat about whether if you don’t pay for services if you can trust it. I asked if that included open source tools too–basically he trusts libre tools but not gratis ones
Harold uses different tools for different purposes
- Google Reader to pull everything in. Used to use Bloglines, accumulated lots of saved items but never looked back at them. He forces himself to not have too many interesting things in the “holding pen” at a time.
- Delicious: what he uses to save things instead of Bloglines
Don’t worry about missing something interesting; somebody else will pick it up or you can ask someone in your network about it later. In the network, good things come back around.
Important to have a data backup plan. This is related to the trust issue–I’m more likely to trust services that let me get my data out to back it up somewhere.
Make the data searchable and shareable with others
When you bookmark on delicious, you can also see how others have tagged it
Over time, your practices change. For example, he now makes clearer blog titles so in 3 years he can find info easily, rather than being witty in his titles
If you follow dull people on Twitter, Twitter will be boring. He is collecting his “best of Twitter” in his “Friday Finds” each week. He uses favorites throughout the week and looks for patterns and groups. Makes it explicit by posting to his blog.
Other models for PKM
Different models will resonate with different people
Urs Frei: spiral model
Web Tools for Critical Thinking (Dave Pollard)
- Observe & Study
- Challenge & Evaluate
- Tentative Opinions
People worry about putting ideas out there b/c not polished & edited, but you have to get out and participate.
It doesn’t make sense to work through this on our own–we should be sharing and working through things together
PKM is very much individualized process–we have to figure out how to make sense of things
As citizens, PKM is part of our social responsibility; we should be learning about issues together
How does PKM relate to L&D organizations?
Too much of our training has been “we’ll tell you where to get the info.” We can’t assume that we will know all of that anymore.
Social bookmarks are an easy first step–lots of people can have a purpose for this
Social bookmarking sites are less often blocked by corporate firewalls. However, getting people to use the tools is a bigger challenge than IT lockdown
Need to find ways to give people some personal control within any system. What is effective for one person may not be for another.
Difference between PKM/PLE/PLN: PKM is more work-focused
Jay Cross: we have cast the IT department as the bad guy for too long. IT is focused on an entirely different set of goals from most of us.
Virginia Yonkers observed that Harold’s tools are mostly text–someone asked about multimedia in his PKM. He takes pictures, is starting to do slides, may do YouTube in the future