Technology is the application of organized and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems.
I dug up this quote from my personal knowledge management (PKM) system, or outboard brain, or whatever you want to call it. The quote is from Harold Stolovitch, and it’s stored on this blog from a post I made over three years ago. My PKM system is a technology in this sense.
I know people who get hundreds of e-mail each day. I don’t. I also meet people who work in companies and have to make decisions or set direction but who do not have time to read. I can understand how time constraints force you to reduce “discretionary” activities such as reading, but how are you able to learn if you don’t take the time to read, listen, reflect and then make your own understanding explicit for others to understand?
One PKM process, of using web tools to sort [triage] , categorize, make explicit, and retrieve, is shown in this graphic:
Some of my practical problems, when I started this blog were:
- I needed a way to connect with others in my field in an inexpensive way (blog)
- I wanted to mine some of the knowledge out there (feed reader)
- After a while, I wanted to share what I was finding, or have it available when I was in a discussion (social bookmarks)
What I found out later was that I was creating a resource that I could use whenever I had some related work to do. My blog is the first place I search when I have an article or report to write. The process of writing, reflecting, discussing & annotating has given me a digital library brimming with my own sticky notes that I can easily find.
If you’re looking for a resolution for 2008, I would recommend the adoption and use of some kind of Web PKM system if you don’t have one yet. Here’s a reason why, from Ryan Lanham:
Leading, or leadership, is the process of using our own learning to enable the learning of others.