This is an experiment. I am going to serialize a long piece over the next six days. The total would be too much to read in one day, especially for people with my attention span. It will not be nearly as exciting as the Flash Gordon episodes I watched every Saturday afternoon at the Popular Theater in New Orleans but it will be on topic. I was planning to rewrite a long piece I co-authored with Cindy Gordon and Ben Torrey in 1998 when we were all at Andersen Consulting, as it was called then, so this seemed like a natural time to try it out.
The original appeared as, “Knowledge Management is an Emerging Field with a Long History,” in the Journal of Knowledge Management, June 1998, still available but only with a paid subscription. Some of the ideas in this piece go back to my doctoral research, portions of which were published as, “Children’s ability to coordinate spatial perspectives through structural descriptions.” In D. Olson & E. Bialystok (Eds.), Explorations in inner space: Aspects of the nature and development of spatial cognition. Erlbaum, 1984. See post below for more on David Olson, my thesis advisor. Some of the more philosophical thoughts were first in “A critique of pure imagery: Examining the Piagetian perspective.” Genetic Epistemologist, 1983, 11, 11-14. (It only went on-line in 1995.) This academic work focused on the role of media in cognition and still serves as the grounding for much of the way I look at knowledge management, blogs, portals, and other media.
This serialized work attempts to puts the current state of knowledge management in context, providing a brief historical overview of knowledge management and communication media, and offering a framework for examining issues based on cognitive psychology. Key questions and challenges are offered at the end of most sections. It begins tomorrow with “History of KM Part 2: The Early Days.” In this case we are talking about 4000 BC, not the mid 1980s.