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Knowledge Management and the Web

I was reading an article on capturing tacit and explicit knowledge when I realized how the Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 are distinctly related to these terms. In fact, on a second thought, between the mid 1990's and mid 2000 the internet / web has come a full circle in terms of its purposes.

When internet first started as the 'inter-network' of university-LANs, the popular services were usenet /newsgroups and email. The concept of personal or department web pages (precursors to today's websites) though present from the beginning was not the most popular service then. Clearly academicians and scholars were more fascinated by the collaborative nature of the internet and the ability it gave them to reach the most'resourceful' co-scholar for a query or project.

Slowly as 'the net' spread to the business world, the concepts of 'websites' became more popular and the Web 1.0 as we would call it today (traditionally known as the World Wide Web) became a global storehouse of information. Quite aptly it culminated into the rise of Google - the ultimate information search tool. However, the popularity of newsgroups, usenet etc decreased. Clearly, Web 1.0 was a global revolution in capturing explicit knowledge locked in documents and databases within companies; Google provided a method to mine this data.

Coming to Tacit knowledge let me quote Bina Shah [author of the article I read]
Tacit knowledge is an inexact science and is essentially based on skills and experiences... Since the "person to person" approach works best in relation to tacit knowledge, at the very least, there must be a system that allows lawyers [people] to locate the experts.
Web 2.0 has once again seen the rise of tools that aid collaboration - forums, collaboration suites, social networking sites, blogs and e-groups (which have remained popular through the days). Clearly, Web 2.0 contributes towards unlocking the tacit knowledge in the society. Social Networking Sites help to 'mine' the right people in the network, blogs help capture their skill sets and experiences, forums and web-apps help people collaborate.

Nevertheless, both ventures - capturing explicit knowledge (Web 1.0) and tacit knowledge (Web 2.0) have just started - there is too much knowledge out there in human minds yet to be captured, linked, indexed ... and so on. In our expedition to 'cook' the intellectual food, we have probably just discovered fire and there is a long way to go before we perfect our cuisine!

Related Read: The Web 2.0 story [by Prof. Andrew McAfee]


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