Furl is a digital filing cabinet that lets you search every document. Furl is a tool for saving, sharing and finding information (you know, the pages you want to save for future reference but then can never find again). At the core, Furl is a place to store content you find on the Internet and know that you can find it again at any time in the future (i.e. articles, product descriptions, web sites, e-commerce receipts, etc.). Furl is used for many purposes by many different types of people, from travel planning to recipe sharing. Thousands of people use Furl every day to save, share, and find information that is important to them.
• Save articles, pages, and receipts with a single click.
• Never lose a page due to memory, paid archives, or "link rot" again.
• Nothing to install. Access your archive from any computer, anywhere.
• Automatically share what you find through email, RSS and site integration.
• Search across all the data in your archive in an instant.
• It's free and quick to sign up.
Scoble points to a good example of a wiki. dotNetInfluencers.org is “a Wiki devoted to allowing influencial .NET developers to document their activities and present it to the world. A CoreGroup of people are working to drive the goals of this wiki along the lines discussed below. If you would like to contribute and become one of the core members, please contact MikeSchinkel. (President and Founder of Xtras.Net).”
The site goes on to add: “Mike saw the need for years to provide the .NET community with a registry of influencers to help them market themselves and to help those who could use their services locate them. However, running Xtras.Net has always required too much of his time and such a project was too big to tackle on his own. Recently Mike realized he could leverage the entire community of .NET influencers using a Wiki to build just such a registry because it would benefit everyone in the community, especially the influencers themselves. “
To avoid the chaos that might result form a wiki, the site has a purpose, goals, rules, and a profile of who might be accepted to contribute. A part of the objective, helping a group better understand its individual members, is somewhat similar to the use of wiki by the Gennova Group that I discussed earlier. In both cases, the evolving nature of the content lends itself well to a wiki.
I have been reading Peter Gloor’s new book, COINS @ Tipping Point – How to Convert Organizations into Collaborative Innovation Networks. It defines COINs as “self organizing cyberteams of intrinsically motivated people who get together around revolutionary new ideas and concepts.” Peter uses the development of the internet as a prime example of a COIN in operation. The book also looks closely at the experiences of the Swiss sailing team that created and then raced the Alinghi to victory in the America’s Cup. The book explores three main questions:
• What are Collaborative Knowledge Networks
• Why are Collaborative Knowledge Networks better than conventional organizations?
• How can my organization become a Collaborative Knowledge Network?
Peter talks a good bit about the openness and trust required to participate in a COIN. Then he models this behavior by putting his complete draft book available on-line for free download and invites comments from readers. With Peter’s permission, I invite anyone interested to take a look and provide their perspective. In a way, the creation of his book becomes a COIN, itself.
He also put his previous book on-line before publication and it is still available.
Peter was the former e-business practice lead for Deloitte in Europe and draws on his many relevant experiences there, as well as prior industry experience. Examples come from companies like DaimlerChrysler, Novartis, Intel Deloitte, UBS, HP, and IBM. It makes interesting reading and I urge you to join in this COIN.
Peter is now at MIT Sloan and Dartmouth Tuck doing research and development on the open source Collaborative Knowledge Networks, a very effective SNA tool that supplies movies of connection patterns over time. I have posted on it before.
FeedBurner is a free service for those with RSS/Atom feeds that allows publishers to enhance their feeds in a variety of interesting ways. I have signed on. By republishing their feeds through FeedBurner, publishers gain detailed feed statistics, maximum feed format compatibility, and"shockproofing" to absorb bandwidth spikes. A number of other features are available such as their Amazon Burner that inserts your Amazon Associates affiliate ID into any links to Amazon.com product listings automatically. FeedBurner also automates the handling of subscriptions from any format, greatly simplifying a complex process.
I talked with their CEO, Dick Costolo, who said they are building a platform to set the stage for variety of future services as the RSS movement is just beginning. He added that one increasing trend is the increasing integration of tools and services as developers and vendors establish connections, greatly simplifying the landscape and start-up requirements for the user.
One thing I liked about their statistics was the detailed explanations of each term. This makes them very accessible. This type of attention to user needs is sometimes lacking in blog related tools in this initial stage of tool development. Feedburner provides statistics on several things. The click-through stats are provided on an item basis so you see which posts are driving the most traffic through them. I would imagine this would be especially interesting if you were looking for revenue associated with click-throughs but it is still interesting for anyone. They also show the various feed services (e.g. Bloglines, NetNewsWire) used by your subscribers with an explanation of each provider.
All the blogging at the Democractic Convention has brought attention to event blogging. Of course, this has been going on for some time, Here is a non-DNC example from Jack Hodgson who blogged the EAA AirVenture, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the largest airshow in the U.S. It includes a daily column with audio reports, complete with planes going on in the background. You will find these posts in his blog the week of July 29. It reminded me of local news coverage but a bit longer and less rehearsed.
Andy Carvin publishes the web log - Andy Carvin's Waste of Bandwidth. In his day job he is the Program Director, EDC Center for Media & Community. Andy provides some interesting pictures taken on, as he said in a group email, “lunchtime walk today from the Fleet Center to Copley Square. Over the course of an hour I toured the official "Free Speech Zone," spotted Hillary Clinton at Faneuil Hall, visited a rather grim, graphic Falun Gong protest in Boston Common (let the viewer beware before checking out the pictures), and got caught in an anarchist march through Back Bay. I've posted a photo gallery, an audio blog from the march (the recording is rather chaotic since I'm weaving through anarchists and policemen as I talk), and half a dozen video clips, mostly of the anarchists.”
This event blogging puts those who did not want to face the projected traffic and security disruptions almost there. There have been articles in USA Today and spots on CNN about what the bloggers are bringing to the event. I am sure these stories are in many other media outlets as they look for something interesting to say about a scripted event. A number of them have commented on how bloggers are upfront about their non-objective reporting.
Andy’s blog provides translations into 11 languages besides English. They seem to work in some, but not all, cases. For example, the title of his blog can be seen as Отход Andy Carvin's ширины полосы частот or Desperdício de Andy Carvin da largura de faixa.
Steve Garfield is an independent Boston based video producer and editor. He also runs the Boston Beer Blog. According to his site TIME Magazine says, "Garfield belongs to a small but growing legion of video bloggers, or vloggers, who are turning the Web into a medium in which someday anyone could conceivably mount original programming, bypassing the usual broadcast networks and cable outlets."
On Wednesday night Steve went into the theatre district to talk with Boston comedian Tim McIntire just before he went on stage for a John Kerry Benefit and created this video. The audio is a little choppy but you can understand most of it. Tim notes that the convention has greatly reduced Boston traffic, another sign of John Kerry’s leadership. The video shows the street scene in the area.
Kathleen Gilroy writes Kathleen's Web Blog which explores e-learning issues. A recent post provides a very useful discussion on blogs and e-learning. She writes: "The improvements were dramatic: instead of the usual call-and-response you get on email listserv's, people really used the blog to exchange ideas and information. They reached across boundaries of the organization to get help on projects that required expertise beyond their trading desk; they initiated powerful discussions on the role of terrorism in risk management (started by a participant who is based in Madrid just after the terrorist bombings there)"
She adds links to other discussions on the topic. Her organization, The Otter Group, develops blog-based learning programs for both universities and corporations. They have found because of the visibility of blog-based discussions to key stakeholders within the corporation, participants contribute more frequently and with a higher quality than through e-mail or chat sessions. The blog-based format provides a number of benefits over traditional e-learning platforms. It is simple to use, easy to update, facilitates the integration of new materials and people, allows participants to better see the relationships between program components, and exposes the program to the rest of the organization.
Rick Bruner provides another great link to an article that places high on the contest for best titles. It features a conference panel on business blogging by blogging software company Six Apart and evangelists from Microsoft that detailing how blogs lead to better customer relationships. The article comments, "Six Apart, which created the powerful Movable Type publishing software and a hosted blog service called TypePad, was a company of three people a year ago...Microsoft employees were on the panel not to defend secrecy, but to laud their company's widespread embrace of blogs and other so-called social-media tools. Long criticized as a secretive corporate behemoth uninterested in customer feedback, Microsoft now boasts over a thousand bloggers, including the prolific and popular Scobleizer. Microsoft also surprised the tech world on April 5, when the company quietly (without a press release or media event) launched Channel 9, a sprawling developer feedback site that includes feedback forums, a moblog and video blogs from key Microsoft players."
Column Two is an interesting and long running blog on KM and CM with archives back to June 2002. It is run by James Robertson, the Managing Director of Step Two Designs, a knowledge management consultancy located in Sydney, Australia. James is a committee member of the NSW KM Forum. He is also on the Advisory Board for the University of Washington CMS Evaluation Lab. James has written several books, including The Content Management Requirements Toolkit and XML for Knowledge Managers. The blog has hundreds of posts on KM and CM, as well as many related topics. It has also given some good ideas for my blog such as new categories to add. I look forward to exploring it in more depth.
I recently had a chance to write a review for KM Review of the soon to be released, Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce by David DeLong. I will not repeat my review here as it appears in the September-October issue and I can offer a link then, but here is the conclusion - it is highly recommended for anyone involved in knowledge management. The book provides the first comprehensive framework to deal with the significant knowledge aspects of the looming retirement of today’s largest workforce segment, post-World War Two Baby Boomers. Dr. David is a research fellow at MIT’s Age Lab.
“Although these tools (web-based ones) are not yet everywhere available in the developing world, they are spreading rapidly and present a unique opportunity for developing countries to benefit most from the technological revolution now unfolding: low-cost telecommunications systems could help countries to leapfrog ahead through distance education, distance health services, and much better access to markets and private sector partners abroad.”
As I mentioned in a prior post, the World Bank, his former employer, is also looking at knowledge management as a way to assist developing countries and publishes a knowledge index to help countries evaluate where they stand in the use of electronic knowledge assets. Many people, including Denning, have commented that the big challenges are not technical but social and cultural.
Building on existing patterns of knowledge exchange and then simply adding an electronic facilitation can be one way to address these cultural challenges. Let me provide two examples.
The first example, in this case from a “developed” country in Europe, involved a situation where we were tasked with creating a way for plumbers to share best practices on how to fix residential heating systems. The traditional, and non-electronic, means to exchange best practices was eliminated in a cost cutting move. The plumbers used to gather in several hundred depots around the country to get their daily assignments. While having morning coffee, they would share their best practices. The depots were then closed and the plumbers were given lap tops with a radio link up (this was pre-web) to get their assignments. These lap tops had the manuals on-line but, as we know, the real best practices were not in the manuals, but in the heads of those who solved problems not covered in the manuals. So we set up an electronic bulletin board to put the lap tops to better use as a means for sharing of best practices across the country. There was already a culture of knowledge sharing to build on and the plumbers liked their new lap tops as they felt it elevated their job status. So there were not significant cultural barriers to overcome to activate this new knowledge sharing system.
The second example is from a developing country. My older daughter was recently in Mongolia in the US Peace Corps for two years. She taught school in a small town that was a difficult six hour drive from the capital city. The mail system was not reliable and all these factors made communication difficult. The town also did not have running water. The only water came from a well that only operated a few times a week. Whenever it operated, a large flag was raised to signal people that it was open. Individuals would then stop what they were doing and push large two wheel carts with water containers to the well. Since most people met at the well for this limited time, it was a natural means to exchange knowledge, a version of the “water-cooler” effect in some companies. This meet up at the well would certainly serve as a foundation for wireless electronic communication in an already familiar pattern once the infrastructure was in place.
I am sure there are many other traditional patterns of knowledge sharing in developing countries. The key to the successful realization of what Denning describes will be to build on these traditional patterns as wireless communication is rolled out and not impose structure from the countries or vendors providing this infrastructure.
Another link from Rick Bruner leads to Strange Attractor by Suw Charman. It is sponsored by Corante which also does Many 2 Many. As the site says, "In Strange Attractor, Suw picks out patterns from the apparent chaos that is the blogosphere. She explores business blogging as well as adjacent territories such as social technologies, writing and storytelling, e-learning, digital rights and journalism."
Suw writes about the content of her blog in one of her posts, "If you could visually represent the ebb and flow of my thoughts, you'd find a lot of swirly folded patterns emerging. The cause? Blogs - my very own strange attractors.
But blogs have a far wider effect than just making me think in swirly folded patterns, they are perturbing the business world as well. A disruptive technology that is more often than not smuggled in through the back door by evangelist employees, blogs are helping to unite previously scattered communities of interest.
Like instant messaging, blogging is gaining such a strong foothold amongst business users that by the time the management realises they have been infiltrated, they no longer have the power to switch it off. .."
and adds "What makes for a successful blog? How do we counter high churn rates and rapid abandonment? And how do we implement blogs in business in a way that engages users and brings most benefits? Over the coming months, I will be examining these questions as well as looking at some of the side issues, for example, what is the role of storytelling in business blogging? Are the best bloggers also the best storytellers? Or does content trump language?"
She convinced me. I set up my RSS feed.
Snapping Links by Elaine Nelson has a nice collection of links. Elaine says that, “I’ve been a web geek since 1998. This site is my space for creative exploration of all kinds, including coding, designing, and writing. In addition to my work as a web designer/developer, I have been writing poetry and fiction since I was a child, and I design and craft my own jewelry. The regular features of this site are a blog of links, a blog of thoughts and experiences, movie/book reviews, and photo albums. Other things may appear as I have interest and time.”
Here's another video blog report from the DNC in Boston. This is an excerpt:
"Once upstairs, it was chaos. Hundreds of people were trying to get inside the ballroom, but most of the doors were closed. One of the doors opened, but we were all told that it was just an exit and we had to move down to other doors.
I just happened to be standing there when someone else exited and I politely asked if I could enter. The doorwoman looked at me and my camera and asked, "are you media?" I replied, "Yes I am." and was allowed entry. Nice."
Rick Bruner provided another useful link with his post on IBM Developer blogs. I have been talking with people at IBM about its use of blogs inside the firewall so I was very interested in what developers are saying to the public. I have also seen similar developer blogs at SAP. Microsoft is also famous for its employee blogs. I took a look and what these three firms are doing and here is what I found.
IBM lists its developerworks blogs without any commentary. Here are two examples.
Grady Booch with the tag line - Software architecture, software engineering, and Renaissance Jazz
The site says that “Grady has served as architect and architectural mentor for numerous complex software-intensive systems around the world in just about every domain imaginable. Grady is the author of six best-selling books and has published several hundred articles on software engineering, including papers published in the early '80s that originated the term and practice of object-oriented design. At random times, the laws of physics do not apply to him. He is not dead yet.” His most recent blogs cover a business trip to London, Dublin, and Paris.
Doug Tidwell with the tag line - A technology evangelist's job: To compellingly trivialize the complex.
The site says that “Doug Tidwell works for IBM's University Relations group, where he is actually paid to give away education and software to students and professors around the world. He's also the content coordinator for IBM's Speed-Start Web Services events, coming soon to a continent near you. A living testament to the power of inertia, he has been with IBM since 1989. He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina with his wife, cooking teacher Sheri Castle, and their nine-year old daughter Lily. He is the author of XSLT and a co-author of Programming Web Services with SOAP, both of which make great gifts for your friends and loved ones.” His recent blogs were mostly technical with some family stories thrown in.
SAP NetWeaver site has a section for Developer Web Logs. It has four parts: Most Recent, Topics. Top Weblogs, Weblogers. Topics related to NetWeaver functions and include knowledge management. Here is an interesting one on “What is the difference between Knowledge Management and Knowledge Warehouse?” by Deborah Adams (see below). This post states that, “The Knowledge Management platform is delivered within the SAP Enterprise Portal and provides access to an organization's unstructured information (documents). The information may reside in multiple repositories that can be connected to the portal by repository managers. Knowledge Warehouse: SAP Knowledge Warehouse delivers the infrastructure you need to set up and manage your own enterprise-specific knowledge base in the areas of documentation, training, and manuals.” There are RSS 1.0 feeds for the Webloggers but Newsgator did not pick them up.
SAP Webloggers include:
Debbie Adams is a Product Manger at SAP Labs, LLC. In this role Debbie's focus is on the Knowledge Management solution within the Enterprise Portal. She is responsible for product related questions as they pertain to roll-out and roll-in to and from the customer as well as the SAP America field organization. Debbie has been with SAP for eight years and during this time; Debbie has been a part of the Professional Services Organization as a Consultant, Project Manager, and Consulting Manager. In February 2001, she joined the Enterprise Portals team.
Angie Halderman is a Director in the SAP NetWeaver Partner Business Development team, responsible for building the global partner ecosystem around SAP NetWeaver. Angie has nearly 15 years of technical and management consulting, business development, emerging technologies, and project management experience. Angie joined SAP Portals in October, 2001 as PSO Director for the Central US Region. She moved to the SAP Global Marketing team in October, 2002. Angie lives in Houston, TX and enjoys travelling as well as outdoor activities including skiing, tennis, and golf.
Microsoft has a Microsoft Community Blogs section on its site with a directory to find weblogs about Microsoft technologies written by Microsoft employees. The site says you can ‘Use these blogs to get insights and opinions about using (and creating!) Microsoft technology and software.” There are 385 blogs listed. They included: Chris Pratley's WebLog, Dave Massey’s Weblog, and many others listed alphabetically so Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger is buried in the back but available.
A recent post by Scoble on July 20 relates to his listing here:
“Oh, oh. There's a downside of being listed on Microsoft's Community Blogging Portal. If I post a whole lot (like I do at nights) I kick everyone off of the page. So, I might have to change the format or remove myself from the portal. I don't want to contribute noise to that site, since I'd expect that people who visit there might want to hear from someone other than me.”
I could not see from the blog community site how he might kick people off except in the Recent Posts section which is probably what he is talking about. There were none of his posts when I visited the site but it was early west coast time.
Search Engine Strategies 2004 on Search Engine Marketing & Optimization, August 2-5, San Jose, provides a number of panels that relate search to blogs. For example, there is a panel on Web Feeds, Blogs & Search on August 5. As the site indicates, “This session explores how search engines are dealing with blog and web feed (RSS/Atom) content and why providing such syndicated content can drive new search-related traffic. “
Thanks to Val who pointed to this site Blogosphere which, like Metaflter, has a community approach to blogging except that it is edited like an academic journal. It explores “discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. Such a project requires a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others.”
They encourage you to post responses to the essays; and provide posting policies.
It has a very inviting list of posts. The authors appear to be mostly connected with universities Here are a few of the posts:
Power Surge: Writing-Rhetoric Studies, Blogs, and Embedded Whiteness
Kathleen Ethel Welch, University of Oklahoma
Introduction: Weblogs, Rhetoric, Community, and Culture
Laura Gurak, Smiljana Antonijevic, Laurie Johnson, Clancy Ratliff, and Jessica Reyman, University of Minnesota
Meredith Badger, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Blogs as Virtual Communities: Identifying a Sense of Community in the Julie/Julia Project
Anita Blanchard, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The Spirit of Paulo Freire in Blogland: Struggling for a Knowledge-Log Revolution
Christine Boese, Independent researcher
Remediation, Genre, and Motivation: Key Concepts for Teaching with Weblogs
Kevin Brooks, Cindy Nichols, and Sybil Priebe, North Dakota State University
Culture Clash: Journalism and the Communal Ethos of the Blogosphere
Brian Carroll, Berry College
A number of people are blogging at the Democratic National Convention. These include those given credentials, a number of delegates who are blogging, and some of the major new outlets with their own blogs. There is link to a list of the 37 people who got press credentials as bloggers, the 20 journalists who are blogging, the 16 delegates and party members who are blogging, and 14 others who are blogging from the convetion.
There are a number of blog sites that aggregate and feature blog posts from the Democratic Convention.
The Republicans have also begun to accept bloggers to their convention.
“Leading companies recognized by Teleos as the Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises are able to show a total return to investors for the period from 1992 through 2002 of 17.9 percent, compared to 9.1 percent for the U.S. Fortune 500 company median. By measuring the financial impact of knowledge management, companies including Amazon.com, Dell Computer, General Electric, IBM, Microsoft, 3M, the U.S. Navy, and Xerox are able to prove that knowledge management leads to bottom-line results. Based on APQC’s 2003 benchmarking report Measuring the Impact of Knowledge Management, O’Dell said that the median financial impact of knowledge management was $15 million with a range of $7 million to $200 million.”
I have seen similar results before. The validity of results like these naturally comes from the details of the measurement approach but they are consistent with prior findings. There is usually a solid financial impact for KM efforts that are aligned with business processes when the impact on these processes can be determined and measured. APQC has consistently provided helpful publications and metrics on knowledge management. I have purchased a number of them and find them offering some of the most useful guidedance.
Actually, the comments were on Tom Davenport’s talk on personal knowledge management by I thought that title would be too long. Lilia Efimova looked at a much more of the article than my post and concluded with some useful comments. She was interested in learning about the companies who were actually successful in this area, (me, too) as well as the criteria used to identify those with successful personal knowledge management coping strategies. She concluded with, “I guess the main challenge is that people do not feel a need to change or do not know how to do it. So, it's not even about behaviours, it's about awareness and motivation...”
While I agree, I think this is going to change. I know many people who complain about the crippling effects of being over-communicated to. I also see their inability to respond to important messages, not through lack of desire, but just having those messages buried. For example, people who are swamped frequently only look at email from people they know, missing a lot of critical stuff. I have to tell them, for example, a person’s name so they can go digging for a time sensitive message. Others require multiple messages to get a response.
Nick Wreden provides some useful suggestions in his April 13, 2004 article in MarketingProfs, as well as a few things to avoid. You need to be a subscriber to get the full article but the subscription is free. His rules are common sense and evolve around being honest, relevant, and trusting but we often see these three ingredients missing from other marketing efforts. Nick includes a link to a presentation on how Lucent is supporting bloggers and how the increased content from blogging can be useful and usable for the enterprise. At this link there is also another presentation that addresses the integration of output from sources such as blogs with other enterprise information using social software and social network analysis. There is also a link to Scoblizier’s The Corporate Weblog Manifesto which offers similar advice with several additions, including providing a human voice.
We were recently in South Carolina for a family reunion. While having dinner at Soby’s in Greenville, we meet Patrick Mulcahy who introduced us to Black Mountain College. Patrick is working on a documentary about this progressive college that operated from 1933 to the mid 1950s. During the first decade of Black Mountain College, my grandfather, Albert Ives, taught summer botany classes in nearby Cedar Mountain and Highlands, NC for Greenville's Furman University. Here is a summary of Black Mountain College adopted from a PBS site.
For a short time in mid-twentieth century Black Mountain, NC became a hub of American arts. Founded in 1933, the school was a reaction to the more traditional schools. The school believed that a strong liberal and fine arts education must occur inside and outside classes. Combining communal living with an informal class structure, Black Mountain created an environment for interdisciplinary work that had a major impact on the arts and sciences of its time.
The first professors included artists Josef and Anni Albers, who fled Nazi Germany after the closing of the Bauhaus. Their progressive work in painting and textiles attracted students from around the country. By the forties, Black Mountain's faculty included some of the greatest artists and thinkers of the time: Walter Gropius, Jacob Lawrence, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, John Cage, Alfred Kazin, Merce Cunningham, and Paul Goodman. Students found themselves at the locus of such innovations as Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic Dome, Charles Olson's Projective Verse, and some of the first performance art in the U.S.
By the late 40s, word of what was happening in North Carolina had started to spread throughout the country. With a Board of Directors that included William Carlos Williams and Albert Einstein and impressive programs in poetry and photography, Black Mountain had become the ideal of American experimental education. Its concentration on cross-genre arts education influenced programs at many major American institutions. Charles Olson and fellow poet, Robert Creeley attracted Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Students included painters Kenneth Noland, and Robert Rauschenberg.
In 1953, as many of the students and faculty left for San Francisco and New York, those still at Black Mountain saw the shift in interest and knew the school had run its course. Realizing that they had essentially achieved their goals, they closed their doors forever.
Other related sites:
North Carolina State Archives - Black Mountain College Collection (with a great photo gallery)
When we were at our hotel in Greenville, SC last week we asked about regional food for dinner, not too heavy. The desk person at first implied that this concept was not an option, that light Southern was an oxymoron, but in fairness the same could be said for most traditional French, Italian or Spanish. Then she thought a minute and recommended Soby's New South Cuisine, a good choice. It is located in downtown Greenville on South Main Street (864) 232-7007.
According to their site, Soby's starts with the culinary traditions of the South, from Virginia to New Orleans, with particular focus on coastal Carolina. Using seasonal ingredients, often from local farmers, the chefs transform these Old South favorites into something new. They are successful and I really liked the flavors of my childhood redone. Of course, I also still like traditional southern and New Orleans cooking.
Sample appetizers at Soby’s: Shrimp and Grits with New Orleans Style BBQ Sauce on Anson Mills Pepper Jack Grits and Roasted Sweet Pepper Relish
Fried Green Tomatoes with Smoked Cheddar Cheese Fondue With Blackened Haricot Verts and Fried Carrot Strips
Andouille and Sweet Corn Fritters with Hominy Pesto
Crawfish and Vegetable Shortcake with Tasso Gravy
We also ate at The Market Place in Asheville, NC (828) 252-4162). It had more emphasis on the new than the southern but still had southern aspects and was excellent. Sample entrees include:
Oven Roasted Carolina Trout Stuffed with Portabello Mushrooms, Spinach and Onions, served over a Potato Galette with Sage Butter.
Breast of Chicken Stuffed with Pecans and Sage, Grilled, Flamed with Kentucky Mash Bourbon served over Yellow Branch Farm Cheddar Cheese Stone Ground Grits, Fall Vegetables and Pecan Butter.
This approach is not really new and we have had this food many times before in places like Herbstaint in New Orleans (504-524-4114), referred to as “modern New Orleans,” with dishes like Shrimp and Green Chile Grits Cakes with Tasso Cream Sauce and Herbsaint, Tomato and Shrimp Bisque or Gumbo of the day. There is also Vidalia in Washington (202-659-1990) with shrimp-and-grits, grillades-and-grits, and Kentucky burgoo, a sandwich of barbecue pork shoulder served open-face on toasted cornbread. Vidalia also has some not so Southern dishes like macaroni with truffled goat cheese and veal sweetbreads paired with a crisp lobster crepe but I’ll take the Southern stuff. But what is the right term for this updated food? Since Google has been known to define language usage, here are the Google hits on some options in order of most hits:
1. “new south cuisine” – 311 hits – # 1 - Soby’s, Greenville, SC
2. "contemporary southern cuisine" – 252 hits - #1 - Horseradish Grill, Atlanta
3. "nouvelle southern" – 230 hits - #1 - South City Kitchen, Atlanta
4. "modern southern cuisine" – 103 hits - #1 - South City Kitchen, Atlanta
5. "modern southern food" – 96 hits - #1 - South City Kitchen, Atlanta
6. "upscale Southern dining" – 32 hits - #1 - Horseradish Grill, Atlanta
7. "updated southern cuisine" – 13 hits - #1 - The Fish Camp Bar, Myrtle Beach, SC
8. "contemporary southern dining" – 8 hits - # 1 - Anson Restaurant – Charlestown, SC
9. "modern southern dining" – 0 hits
10. "updated southern dining" – 0 hits
“Despite losing an average of 10 percent of the long-distance market in each of the last three years, AT&T is still the field's leader, with 30 million customers - a 25 percent to 30 percent share of the market, according to Tim Horan, an analyst at CIBC World Markets. It also has 4 million local phone customers. But as a group, the Bells' share of the long-distance market is now 35 to 40 percent - bigger than AT&T's, Mr. Horan said. Together, the Bells now have approximately 40 million long-distance subscribers, he said, compared with about 8 million at the end of 2002.”
It seems like they are selling “typewriters” and “blacksmith tools” for those old enough to remember these things. Also, a few of you may remember when AT&T was the blue chip stock of older retirees? My uncle had some and it traded in the 60s. I think it paid a safe dividend above markets rates. Now it has fallen from 22 to 14 in the past year.
I worked with AT&T as a consultant at a number of points and the people were always great. In the mid-80s I led the development of several CBT programs to help their sales force with the transition from simply selling telecom products and services to selling computers. I certainly take no responsibility for the results. Then in the mid-90s I was involved in the creation of a knowledge management system to support their call center consolidation. In this case, the major benefit was to reduce the learning curve as people took on new areas of customer service. This effort was very successful and got adopted widely across the organization.
I find it a bit sad to see such a major US institution fall on such hard times. Interesting to compare it to IBM, which sold the typewriters I referred to earlier. I also did work with IBM in the mid-80s. In this case, it started with a study of the competencies of their marketing reps and continued with several courses on how to be a more consultative sales person, although at the time the “sales” word was not used and all men wore white shirts and ties. The radical ones wore blue shirts and ties and as a consultant you were expected to dress like the more conservative ones. I recently ordered, "Who Says Elephants Can't Dance? Inside IBM's Historic Turnaround," to get the official version of their transition from Lou Gerstner.
I came across an excellent blog - Many 2 Many: A Group Weblog on Social Software that is part of Corante –Tech New. Filtered Daily. Also see below for the Blawg Channel, a group blog on legal issues. Like the Blawg Channel, Many 2 Many includes a group of well known bloggers in the field: Clay Shirky, Liz Lawley, Ross Mayfield, Sébastien Paquet, David Weinberger, and Danah Boyd. I am already reading a number of them. I added this to my RSS feed and look forward to reading more. Corante is a news and business intelligence service on technology and science that has several other blogs in addition to Many 2 Many.
Here are a few interesting recent Many 2 Many posts summarized from their words. There are many more:
July 22: Group sponsorship (posted by Clay Shirky) Ben Hyde is thinking about an anonymous reputation system, analogous to the proposed K5 user-sponsorship model, where users could get sponsored by groups, in a ‘letter of introduction’ kind of way, so as to be able to operate anonymously (though I think he means pseudonymously) but with some visible reputation
July 21: Best writing on the ethics of collaboration? (posted by Clay Shirky) Just had a student ask me: Is there a good book or essay on the ethics of collaboration? Particularly of collaborative groups with no formal leader? I already pointed her to “Tyranny of Structurelessness” and “A Dozen Things I Think I Know About Working In Groups.” What she’s asking for though (and what I now want as well) is a good overview on all of the most common dilemmas of such groups — tension between individuals, obstinacy in consensus-driven work, slacking group members, etc. — from a descriptive rather than prescriptive point of view? Does such a piece of writing exist? There are three responses.
July 15: Speaking Searchspeak (posted by David Weinberger) A Yahoo search person said casually that he thinks they’re seeing more complex searches without “stop” words, i.e., the ordinary words like “the” and “of” that search engines generally ignore. In other words, search engines are training us how to talk to them. And aren’t IM and SMS text-messaging becoming free of stop words also? When we use them, we tend to abbreviate them: “r u there?” SMS, IM or search engines are all beginning to speak the same language — one stripped to the minimum number of signifiers in order to communicate. And thus language heads into becoming a code, not a world. (I did a post on how Google may be defining the next dictionary – here is more evidence on the role of technology in language evolution.). I like the way the David looks at deeper issues in the use of language over the web. Here is a post about another example.
I am finding more group blogs like Many 2 Many (see above). In this case, the Blawg Channel has four authors and a shared RSS feed. They apparently just launched this week. They explain that the term “blawg” is commonly used to refer to blogs maintained by lawyers or focused on law-related content. Each of the authors also has their own site and there is an impressive complement of expertise areas.
Dennis Kennedy was named the 2001 TechnoLawyer of the Year by TechnoLawyer.com, received a 2001 Burton Award for Legal Excellence, and is an adjunct professor of law at Washington University School of Law where he co-teaches a class on IP and E-commerce Licensing and Drafting.
Ernest Sverson runs the “Ernie the Attorney” blog. His site says he likes, “Photography, Music (listening and playing), Golf, Humor, Scuba-diving, Computers & Gadgets, Travel, Poetry, Philosophy, Suspension of Disbelief, Self-delusion, Inevitability, and Unintended Consequences.”
Martin Schwimmer runs the Trademark Blog He focuses on international and domestic trademark and domain name counseling, prosecution and litigation. He is Vice President of the Intellectual Property Constituency of ICANN.
Tom Mighell runs “Inter Alia – the internet legal research blog” He offers a definition of the term “Inter Alia: Latin: "among other things", "for example" or "including". Legal drafters would use it to precede a list of examples or samples covered by a more general descriptive statement.”
I think this is a promising trend to see groups of experts, whether in social software, law, or other fields such as cooking or travel maintain a joint effort. I talked recently with a portfolio manager who subcribes to a blog run by some smart financial market guys.
I found out about the Blawg Channel because they referenced my site which is certainly appreciated. When I have the time, I usually learn a lot from looking at links that show up in my TypePad stats to find people with common interests who have also liked something I did. It makes things friendlier even in a virtual asynchronous connection. This is part of the engaging quality of blogs over other web communication. I also look as some of the Google searches that hit my site to see who is also coming up for the same search. That is how I found Many 2 Many.
Thanks to Heather Heart for pointing to Linkfilter.net, a site, like Metafilter, that posts links to blogs the members find interesting. All links are posted and moderated by users. Links can be ranked on several levels: clicks, votes, age, or a combination of all three called points. The topics are eclectic and interesting. For example, there is a link posted on July 22 to an BBC article on the effects of coffee which may explain some of my forgetfulness.
“Davenport said that the average worker spends three hours and 14 minutes a day using technologies to process work-related information—more than 40 percent of an eight-hour workday. The tools and technologies designed to make life easier often have the opposite effect and consume too much of an individual’s time and energy, he said. There is a significant opportunity for organizations to save time and money by focusing on managing an individual’s personal information and knowledge environment. As a result, knowledge management (KM) strategies should focus on managing personal information and knowledge within the organization.”
Seems like a great opportunity for RSS and blogs.
The article provides more data from an IWPC study that Tom was involved with. In the 40% time spent on personal knowledge management, “For the average user surveyed, 45 percent of information processing time is spent on e-mail, 19 percent is spent on voice mail, and 18 percent is spent on shared networks. A much smaller percentage of time (less than 10 percent in each case) was spent on portal Web sites, conference calls, and instant/text messages.”
Davenport adds: “the idea of managing personal information to transform KM will take off for many reasons. First, people are swamped with information and knowledge. Few people today believe they do not get enough information. In fact, we get plenty of information, and we need to use it more effectively. Second, thanks to the Internet, Google, and other knowledge resources, there are greater expectations for information access. Third, because of self-service strategies employed by many large organizations, employees often feel they are on their own. Finally, devices and tools for personal information management are multiplying, and they do not always integrate well with other knowledge tools in an organization. Just when it seems like you figure something out, something else that is better and faster comes out, and you need to relearn a new technology or tool. As a result, there is a greater need to focus on managing personal information and knowledge.”
A number of companies, such as Ziff-Davis, are replacing email with blogs for certain communication to increase efficiencies and provide a searchable archive. RSS feed providers like NewsGator offer RSS feeds to multiple devices such as PDAs. Some of the reasons Tom gives for market reception to personal knowledge management efforts certainly apply to blogs and RSS. Good timing here.
This interesting interview is found on the Sun site. Here is a sample:
Question: You have compared where we are in 2004 with RSS, with 1993 when the web was taking off. Where are we headed with RSS?
Answer: RSS works well in areas where information arrives at irregular intervals, such as news and publications, in which you don't want to waste time looking for information -- you want to be told when it shows up. So, right now, RSS has a huge sweet spot for bloggers and for news sites such as the New York Times and the BBC World Service. But a lot of useful information, such as stock market portfolios and credit card transactions, arrives at unpredictable intervals. RSS users don't need to repeatedly visit their favorite web sites to check for updates, because when the site changes, they are notified quickly with a summary of what's new. To know when one of your investments changes substantially in price, or to be able to track debits in your bank account, is inviting.
Possibilities abound. RSS might be useful for tracking change requests during a software build or for bug tracking. So, there's a lot of information that people would like to be automatically notified about. It's too early to know all of the RSS sweet spots, or when RSS will work better than email, instant messaging, or a phone call. We do know that RSS is going to be a major part of the communications spectrum, along with Java software.
Question: RSS is strongly identified with blogs, but as you suggest, its uses extend far beyond blogs.
Answer: Right, blogs, almost by definition, use RSS, but there are many applications of RSS outside the blogging space. Basically, anybody who's blogging now is producing RSS. The fact that so many RSS feeds exist suggests that, of course, you would want to aggregate them. And there are people who are starting to do that. Technorati (http://www.technorati.com/) aggregates huge numbers of RSS feeds, and allows you to subscribe to the aggregates, or search them in real time. It's very different from a Google search, and a potential game changer. No one can predict where all of this is going at this point. But it's a space we're very interested in, and we want to do the right thing in.
Andrew Grumet provided some links to sites that categorize blogs in response to my post on promoting diversity in the blogsophere and supporting many categories of blogs beyond politics and technology. This is much appreciated and I took a look.
The Syndic8 site offers its listings, as well as those from the Open Directory Project (DMOZ). The Open Directory project is “the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.” Its data is used by the major search engines according to the DMOZ site. The project covers regular web sites as well as blogs. Syndic8 has an extensive hierarchy of categories and you can drill down to a very narrow focus but it does not appear to rate the sites. Also, many of the sites I found were simply newsfeeds from the same source. For example, all the basketball feeds in Syndic8 were from the Moveover newsfeed and all the NBA sites in the DMOZ where from the Topix newsfeed. The Boston Celtics category also had some irrelevant listings from Topix including news from Carmel, NY. The official site of the Celtics was not listed nor was the overall NBA site. But this is promoted as a work in progress with more user involvement invited so the opportunity is there to make it better.
Blogstreet offers ten categories (e.g., business education, technology, etc.) with blogs in those categories listed by their ranking (based on number of blogs BlogRolling them). The site also offers the overall Top Blogs decided on the same criteria. This list has many of the favorites on other lists to no surprise. Blogstreet also provides the most Influential Blogs which features those blogs which are blogrolled by other Top Ranking blogs. This seems circular but maybe it factors out those blogs with lots of fans amongst the “little people” and those feeds automatically provided by RSS feed readers like the blogs of Doc Searls and Joho the Blog, driving up their usage with every new feed reader user.
W4 k-collector aggregates content within classifications based on 4 classifications: What, Who, Where, When. So you can look at topics, people, places, and dates There are a large number of categories and you find actual postings from blogs, not blog sites when you drill down to a category like knowledge management (187 posts) or a person like Roland Tanglao (63 posts), Dave Winer (547 posts) and Al Gore (5 posts) or places like Harvard (364 posts). This is potentially the most interesting site. The only concern is that the blog posts seem to come from a limited number of blogs so there is a small universe of content. For example, the last twenty posts on knowledge management came mostly from just two blogs, with one each from two other blogs. The same two blogs, which are both excellent, accounted for almost all of the posts in the knowledge economy category. There is no explanation why these posts and blogs were chosen but you can certainly evaluate the material yourself and it is mostly good. There are also no ratings like Blogstreet but that may not be a bad thing.
“In the end, the value isn't how many people you can link to, but rather how strong those links are. (There's a difference between business services such as LinkedIn, where the focus is mostly on increasing efficiency and limiting contacts to valuable ones, and the more social and would-be portal sites, such as Friendster or Orkut, where the focus is more on increasing the number of contacts. And, of course, some people use either kind of service for the opposite purpose, which only confuses things.)”
She adds: “The fact is, most of my social networks happen in the context of communications about something or other; they happen in my regular mail, not via some social network platform. With many of my contacts, I share several activities, seamlessly.”
I agree and my email folders, organized around logical communities, and my Outlook contacts are my social network system. The ability of Outlook to offer a menu of people with same first letter in their name as the letter I type is a huge productivity gain for me as I create a customized email list for a particular effort. Esther goes on to offer some useful advice to LinkedIn and other similar tools. I have joined LinkedIn myself, originally through an invitation from someone else and I continue to accept invitations but it is a novelty for me at the moment, and I have not figured out how to put it into my personal workflow in a useful way. I have to confess that I am sure I am a LinkedIn underachiever with only 25 friends.
I went to the Plaxo site and there are over 2,500,000 members and counting with over 800,000,000 connected contacts. Soon they will pass the number of blogs. What does this mean?
The Wikipedia defines Blogosphere as “the collective term encompassing all weblogs. Weblogs are heavily interconnected; bloggers read other blogs, link to them, and reference them in their own writing. Because of this, the interconnected blogs have grown their own culture. The term was coined on September 10, 1999 by Brad L. Graham, as a joke. It was re-coined in 2001 by William Quick (quite seriously) and was quickly adopted and promulgated by the warblog community.”
The blogosphere can be considered a giant community of practice. As the wikipedia points out, the initial main interests of this growing community are politics and technology. Now, with expanded use of blogs many new topics are emerging and, by extension new opportunities for communities of practice around these topics. I think it is limiting to only think of blogs in terms of their conformance to the culture of the first community of practice, since there are many uses beyond politics and technology. This is not to be disrespectful of the contributions of this first community nor to reduce its value. I certainly continue to learn from these orginal blogs.
I think it will be beneficial to welcome diversity here, to be open to new uses, and to recognize and support them. For example, blog services that rank blogs by usage, like Technorati, generally look at blogs as one group so the blogs connected to politics and technology will generally raise to the top.
It would be useful to be able to easily find the top rated blogs by categories such as travel. food, music, fiction, and the arts. You can get a bit of this by simply doing a Google search on a topic but it still requires some digging to get to the good stuff.
Forbes has made a start but their ratings are more the personal thoughts of the rater. Here is a prior post on some other ratings available. Technorati has made a start with its book list of the books most talked about in blogs, along with several news related lists. The opportunties to be helpful here are large.
I recently discovered Metafilter. It is a blog where anyone (if you are a member and meet other requirements) can contribute a link or a comment. This website site is designed “to break down the barriers between people, to extend a weblog beyond just one person, and to foster discussion among its members.” The content seems eclectic, and not just politics and technology, with a mix of interesting weirdness. I liked the photo contest.
The site states that. “The privilege of posting links to main page comes after posting a few comments and being a member for at least a week. This lag is built in to allow new members to get used to the place and to understand what other members consider good links.
The site provides some useful posting guidelines that should apply in many places. Following is a condensed version
A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.
As a first-time poster or new member of MetaFilter, take a look at the older posts to get a feel for what constitutes a good link. Look at the links that carry 10 or 20 comments to see what everyone is talking about. Is the link you're about to post provocative enough to show to everyone? A good thread values uniqueness over novelty.
Bad posts include: Posting a link to your homepage and asking for feedback. However, self-promotion promotion can be "earned." If you consistently post thought-provoking comments, people will click on your name to know you better. On the profile page, you can put your own URL and people can check that out.
Posting a press release for your company's latest product launch or website makes for a bad post. You might want to give the TextAds a try, as that is a more appropriate place for such things. And lastly, don't troll (quick definition: posting purposely inflammatory things for the sole purpose of baiting others to argue the points until blue in the face - basically people do this for kicks, to destroy communities). Follow the golden rule, treat others' opinions with the same respect that would like to be afforded.
I tried the serialized history of KM experiment since I was going to be away from the computer at a family reunion in South Carolina. However, even if I was around, I would still serialize this piece in small bits since: the original was too long, not accessible to most people, out of date in parts, and the links were not there.
A number of people linked to this serialized history. I looked back at their sites as I always learn something from people with similar interests. Thanks to elearning post, Val’s Log, Deb's Blog - Tech, Knowledge, and Community, Training Watch, Knowledge Jolt with Jack Vinson, Stephen’s Web – Edu RSS, and Bruce Hoppe's Connectedness. I will do another serial soon even if not on vacation.
Val also commented on some of the questions offered in the series, including: What will be the cognitive effect on the younger generations who grow up within a global knowledge network and become the workers of tomorrow?
“This 'global knowledge network' will allow anyone to become knowledgeable on any topic. To be able to access information all over the world, information presented by experts in any field can't help but influence the younger generations. Often a thinking person knows enough to realize that they don't have all sides of an argument. With information so accessible, if the will is there, the information can be accessed easily. With the present push towards open source publishing that access to knowledge will be even greater. The huge amounts of knowledge will force the next generation to learn to be critical thinkers so they can access and make critical decisions of each piece of info. This of course is assuming that every home will have a computer just like every home has a TV today. “
Val goes on to provide a more extended response as a separate posting in which the personal process for writing in a blog is covered.
Post script - I found one more link to the history series from Far Wise in Knowledge Management by Carla Verwijs who offers her own personal history of KM.
In 2000, we worked on knowledge management implementation in Atlanta for much of the year. Our client had the wonderful idea that he wanted his consultants to like working for his firm and for him. So he was always doing nice things for us like loaning one of his son’s basketballs for our after work games.
He would also take us to Blind Willie’s for blues. Located at 828 W. Highland Ave. in the Virginia-Highland area, Blind Willie's is Atlanta's best bar for blues with live music every night. Phone: (404) 873-2583. It opened in 1986, co-founded by Eric King and Roger Gregory. Roger Gregory also doubles as the house band’s, The Shadows, bassist. We heard local blues acts like Luther “House Rocker” Johnson, backed by the Shadows. They would bring in Chicago bands on occasion. A post below discusses how to make Southern grits appealing to go with the music.
Luther “House Rocker” Johnson was with Shadows, the house band for much of the time we were there in 2000. The Shadows are still there. We picked up Luther’s “Retrospective” CD at the club which captures his solid blues performance. It is out of stock at Amazon but there are a few used copies available. You also contact Ichiban Records where they list a new blues CD by the Shadows, “Pale Interpretations.” They do not seem to have a web site but their address is Po Box 724677, Atlanta, GA 31139 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel.: 770-419-1414.
Chicago groups included (If I remember correctly):
Eddie Shaw and the Wolf Gang has been a W. C. Handy Award nominee for the past four years. Eddie Shaw plays on tenor and alto saxes and harmonica. He was Howlin' Wolf's personal manager for five years. Originally from Benoit, MS, Eddie now lives on Chicago's South Side. Band Members include Eddie Vaan Shaw Jr., Eddie's son, Lafayette" Shorty" Gilbert, Eddie's bass player for over 20 years and a strong vocalist. Tim Taylor on drums, is son of the late Eddie Taylor. We picked up their CD, “Can’t Stop Now” on Delmark Records. You can actually find it on-line at the Jazz Record Mart which appears to have a great collection of blues recordings.
Magic Slim and the Tear Drops were one of the best bands. Magic (born Morris Holt in Torrence, Mississippi in 1937) Slim is a well-known Chicago blues guitarist who has led one of the major Chicago blues bands for about 30 years now. His “Black Tornado,” produced in 1998 on Blind Pig records is also available at the Jazz Record Mart along with a bunch of his other recordings. It is a hard rocking, high energy, traditional electric blues. Magic Slim plays regularly in Chicago.
Eddy Clearwater, aka "The Chief," has recorded Country & Western singles for the Nashville market, as well as rockabilly and Chuck Berry-derived rock, while also creating some of the finest, most original Chicago blues. Clearwater, whose real name is Eddie Harrington, grew up listening to Delta blues and Country & Western records in Macon, Missisippi, where he was born in 1935. At age thirteen he moved to Birmingham, Alabama, and started playing guitar in church. He was still playing gospel music when he arrived on Chicago's South Side. But by 1953 Eddy had made his move into blues. We picked up “Boogie My Blues Away,” recorded in 1995. There is also “Live at the Kingston Mines: Chicago, 1978” and a number of others on Amazon.
There is also a blues anthology, “A Chicago Blues Tour” that includes all three above: Eddie Shaw, Magic Slim, and Eddy Clearwater, along with some other good guys. I will have to do a post on Chicago blues clubs soon.
Now for the grits and gravy.
The grits part is easy. A Google search turned up 318,000 hits. Grits, the top site, defines them as:
“Grits are small broken grains of corn. They were first produced by Native Americans centuries ago. They made both "corn" grits and "hominy" grits…Hominy is made from field corn that is soaked in lye water (potash water in the old days) and stirred over the next day or two until the entire shell or bran comes loose and rises to the top. The kernel itself swells to twice its original size. After the remaining kernels have been rinsed several times, they are spread to dry either on cloth or screen dryers.”
There are many recipes, the Grits site has plenty. The problem with plain grits is that they have no taste so you have to add stuff. We were recently at Soby's in Greenville, SC which has "New South Cuisine" and they had about 12 versions of grits on the menu. I selected the grits and shrimp with New Orleans style BBQ sauce. This a modren adaptation of a Carolina tradition.
My father, who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, said you needed to have red eye (ham) gravy to make grits good. The Grits site has recipe for this combination. Here is their version:
6 servings Grits
1/2 cup Brewed Coffee
Directions: Prepare 6 servings of grits as package directs. In iron skillet, cover ham with water and cover. Cook country ham slices until browned. Remove from Iron skillet. Add a little water to ham fat, creating a brown or "red eye" gravy. Some folks add a little coffee. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring in ham drippings from bottom of skillet. Spoon over hot cooked grits and serve.
They punt the grits directions but you can just follow the instructions on the package. Quaker offers several types of grits. I would serve the ham on the side, at least. I like to cut it up and put it in the grits. Do not use the instant grits as it has too much salt.
With the continuing evolution of the computer, progress has been made in solving several knowledge capture and distribution limitations. Some argued in the 1980s that these effects will be equal or greater than that of the printing press and few would disagree now. However, at times, it has seemed that the computer, and now the internet, rather than solving problems, has only made things worse.
Out of this milieu, the modern discipline of knowledge management emerged. Knowledge management, in its current sense, is the effort to make the knowledge of an organization available to those who need it, where and when they need it, and in the form that allows them to perform better. This is little different than the purpose of those racks of clay tablets buried in the ruins of ancient Mesopotamian cities. It is not the basic requirements that have changed, but the enormous volumes of information, the speed of content changes, and the transformation of the workplace, including the need to often work virtually.
Modern requirements dictate automated systems that can bring the right information to the user - wherever that person is located - in an instantaneous manner. New communication means are required to meet these demands. Print first began to make knowledge distribution “scalable” or accessible to large, disperse audiences; however, as discussed, there was a resultant abstraction in the medium of communication lead to both an increased focus, which helped to create a new type of logic, and a reduced bandwidth which limited communication. Now advances in technology are not only addressing the scalability requirements, but they are also expanding the bandwidth of distance communication.
Print was limited in another way that new technology is helping to overcome. Plato, himself, covered this in another work, Phaedrus, He wrote that in the oral tradition learning was based on dialogue, while in the written tradition, the learner has little, if any, ability to converse with the knowledge creator. Enhanced knowledge often only comes out of the interaction of two view points.
Perhaps the re-introduction of dialogue, now on a scalable, global basis, may become one of the most significant cognitive contributions of the current phase of knowledge management, as collaboration is added to computing. The greater the shared context, the less need for direct simultaneous communication for effective collaboration. However, it is still often useful to begin with more direct communication - even face-to-face meetings - and then move to other, less context-dependent means. Studies have shown that scientists and engineers exchange knowledge in direct proportion to the level of personal contact.
The nature of the content can influence how much immediate shared context is required; some knowledge can only be communicated through dialog, whereas other knowledge can be easily acquired through the exchange of documents with opportunities for reflection in between exchanges. In some cases, a combination is appropriate. A document may serve to cover the basics and then the expert only needs to cover the fine points. In these cases, reading the document should be a prerequisite to contacting the expert to make the best use of everyone's time.
Here the richness of a blog can efficiently set the context for a more productive face to face meeting. I have heard people say, no need to go through a long introduction, I saw your blog.
Dialogue Questions: Where are the new opportunities for dialogue within knowledge management systems? What is the best sequence of personal and electronic dialogue? How might one determine when it would be better to use synchronous or asynchronous tools? How can the knowledge sharing dialogue best be enabled, supported, managed, and rewarded?
It is important to remember that managing knowledge is not a new concept - just newly framed and enabled by new technologies, media, devices, and techniques. It will take time for these new capabilities to fully evolve and for their opportunities and effects to be fully understood.
Cindy Gordon, Ben Torrey and I wrote the original version of this seven part history of KM in 1997 before the internet became as pervasive as it is today and collaborative computing was in its infancy. Both knowledge management as a movement and its supporting technology have changed greatly. I just deleted the original conclusion.
Now blogs have entered the picture to make content more personal.
Print made distance education possible by consistently storing information, but it limited the type of information stored and transmitted. It also limited access to this information to only those who could become literate in the new technology. The high multi-sensory bandwidth of direct person to person communication was lost as print replaced oration as the principal means of knowledge distribution.
This transition to reliance on text, helped to complete the challenge to the oral tradition made by Plato and others who questioned the value of the direct data of the senses. They suggested that there was a qualitative difference in knowledge gained directly from the senses as compared with that gained through more abstract systems such as text and mathematics. Consider, for example, the individual variation in perception of visual data, they argued. They ignored the corresponding fact that we also give our own meaning to words.
These early philosophers protested against dependence on direct visual data because of the need to gain a stable understanding of the world, a knowledge that rationally and logically explains everything. While this view is debated in philosophy (e.g., Merleau-Ponty), the pervasive nature of this bias has effected many fields. The printing press helped to widely reinforce this reliance on text for “true” knowledge and the pervasive practice - still current - of “indirect” teaching and testing of performance through written texts and tests. In fact, tests to determine professional potential in a number of human service fields still rely on the ability to solve verbal analogies which always seemed weird to me
The reliance on print and verbal logic to transmit learning has not been without its detractors. Such educational reformers as Pestalozzi, Froebel, and more recently, John Dewey wanted people to learn from direct experience. They sat the stage for today’s learning through multi-media simulations.
Research has shown that media effect cognition in many subtle ways. For example, the zooming aspects of video can increase attention to detail in subsequent tasks and the animation in computer graphics can enhance performance with visual math concepts. On the other hand, the relatively passive perception associated with linear video was found to be less effective in supporting imaginative tasks than still pictures and audio – which require the viewer in fill in more gaps.
Different media can affect performance even within similar tasks. Take for example, spatial problem solving. When comparing responses through two means, verbalization and visualization, verbalization has been shown to help solve spatial perspective tasks, selecting another’s viewpoint, while in other spatial problems, when placing objects in ascending order and mentally rotating objects, visualization leads to more correct responses.
These studies and others suggest an interaction of media and human performance. It can be argued that the characteristics of each medium provide a better vehicle for the expression of certain cognitive skills used within specific tasks. The spatial perspective task mentioned above is best solved by determining specific labels for each view; specific labels are best supplied by verbalization. The ascending order and mental rotation problems are best solved through an understanding of visual relationships, a task best served by visualization. The zooming-in abilities of video can better “model” the process of focusing on details than a print presentation.
There are other situations in which the combination of verbal and visual means provide additive benefits to learning. Pictures can best represent structural relationships while text can best represent functional aspects. Each medium has its own characteristics and each requires different cognitive skills. Each affects human performance in a different manner. When communication occurs solely through print there are limits to the type of knowledge that can be transferred, type of intelligence employed, and the type of performance achieved. For example, some of the developmental psychology research that found stages in moral development was found to be more likely reflecting stages in verbal reasoning. The results changed when video was used to provide the examples for testing moral decisions.
Bandwidth Questions: What are the characteristics of different media that support or limit different types of cognition and communication? Where do we need to increase the bandwidth (for audio or video, for example) to transmit what types of knowledge? What do we lose by limiting the bandwidth? When is a limited bandwidth better? For example, when are pictures, audio, or video distracting?
The printing press is often considered to be one of the greatest inventions as it accelerated the dissemination of knowledge exponentially and lowered the cost, bringing it into the hands of ordinary people. Since the 15th century, the sheer quantity of information has steadily increased as the technologies for creating and preserving knowledge have progressed. Now the internet may eclipse the printing press in impact. As the volume of information increased, many great thinkers have pondered the problem of making information more accessible and converting it into knowledge.
It was not until the era of the printing press that educational reformers such as Peter Ramus initiated the widespread educational reform from oration to text at the university level. Comenius carried this movement to the lower schools, authoring more than 100 children’s books. Up until this time most education was still in the oral tradition, and relied on the indoctrination of wise sayings rather than the analysis of textual statements. With textbooks, “knowledge disseminators” needed to create linear statements whose implications were logical, rather than rhythmic sayings, which captured dogma. Print literacy not only provided a new means of instruction, and allowed advances in distance education. It allowed people to think in new ways.
Now there are many claims about the impact of the internet. Global communication has certainly increased, in some ways, but the case can be made that global misunderstanding is still pervasive. I think it is still a bit early to really know the impact of the internet. It took thousands of years for the long term effects of the phonetic alphabet to appear and perhaps hundreds for the printing press to transform content distribution.
Cognitive and Business Impact Questions: What new ways of thinking will the internet open for us? Will it really support global thinking? What will be the effect on business, on our daily lives? What will be the cognitive effect on the younger generations who grow up within a global knowledge network and become the workers of tomorrow? Will the new masses of content enable or swallow us?
The invention of alphabetic writing was accompanied by parallel developments in the technologies of recording media and devices. The cuneiform of Sumer and Akkad used a wooden stylus on wet clay. The tablets were then baked. While lasting for millennia with no degradation, they were not very portable, and transportation was difficult. Pieces of pottery were also widely used for letters, accounts, and even homework, but they were not much good for lengthy texts.
It was not until the development of papyrus that real literary and academic works could easily be recorded and transported. This technology was used by the Greeks and Romans from the 5th century BC until the 8th or 9th century AD. It was superseded by parchment beginning in the 4th century AD. Both of these new media were easier to store and transport than the clay tablets but they were also more susceptible to the fire of invading armies.
As older civilizations passed, great efforts were made to preserve their knowledge. Much of the knowledge of the Greeks and Persians was preserved in Arabic translations by the expanding Islamic empire. This knowledge eventually made its way into the monasteries of Europe where monks preserved and translated these works. While the skills of translation and library science became highly developed, content was disseminated only with the great physical effort as it was still copied and preserved manually.
A knowledge revolution begun with the invention of text but it took a while for the delivery media and devices to be available to take advantage of the possibilities offered by text and for educators to adopt them. In addition, it took a while for new techniques to evolve that took full advantages of the options within the new media and devices. For example, the first use of text via the phonetic alphabet recorded and mimicked the oral tradition (e.g., Homer) even though it rendered this tradition potentially obsolete.
Subsequent works evolved to non-poetic prose volumes (e.g., Plato’s Republic), but the full transition from oral to written culture was slow. In fact, it appears that reading was often done aloud until after the 6th century. Ivan Illich relates that St. Augustine refrained from reading after his brothers went to sleep for fear of waking them. After the 6th century, silent reading became more commonplace, and such techniques such as tables of contents and indexes first appeared. These new devices allowed for random access to text information, a concept we take for granted now.
Media, Devices, and Techniques - Questions: What media, devices, and techniques have emerged in current knowledge management systems and what these new capabilities do they allow? If CD-ROM is the new papyrus as some claimed in the late 90s, what is the internet and now, blogs? What new capabilities will become available and what devices and tools will be developed to enable these capabilities? Are document links, content aggregators, wikis, blikis, intelligence search agents, data visualization, and real time audio and video on the web just the beginning? Are they only gimmicks? What do they add?
Knowledge has always been central to human performance. Sveiby defined it as “the capacity to act” and Davenport and Prusack added that knowledge “is a high value form of information that is ready to apply to decisions and actions.” The history of managing knowledge goes back to the earliest civilizations. The palace archives of Sumer and Akkad and the extensive cuneiform archives discovered at Ebla in Syria, all more than 4,000 years old, were attempts to organize the records of their civilizations so that high value information could be used to guide new transactions and to prevent the loss of knowledge from generation to generation.
This imperative to preserve knowledge led to the great libraries of antiquity, the most notable was the Library of Alexandria in Egypt, founded around 200 B.C. and lasting almost 1,000 years. At its peak the library contained more than 500,000 hand written works and copies were disseminated throughout the world. This time-consuming hand-done reproduction and hand-carried dissemination fortunately saved much of the knowledge of Antiquity as the library was often burned by invading armies. Driven by the need to make knowledge capture, storage, and distribution more efficient, new technologies were developed.
Each new advance in communication and learning technology expanded the possibilities for knowledge capture and distribution. In each case it took a while to understand the possibilities and the requirements to enable them. Take text or writing for example: the invention of the phonetic alphabet around 700 B.C. made enabled a number of unforeseen and unintended capabilities.
In the pre-writing oral tradition, the conditions for the preservation of ideas were mnemonic. To promote memory, instruction and knowledge preservation made use of verbal and musical rhythms; however, these rhythms placed severe limits on the verbal arrangement of what was said, as in Homer, and the need to memorize used up cognitive energy that otherwise could have been devoted to learning. Because of the heavy memory load, the epic poets did not actually memorize content verbatim; they created new versions from a set of possibilities as they went along.
The concept of an original version that could be preserved did not evolve until after written text. This was critical to the development of modern science and essential for many forms of instruction. In many ways, the epic poets, chief knowledge distributors of their day, made up the details as they went along. Text made available a visual record of thought, abolishing the need for an acoustic record and hence the need for rhythms. Greek thought changed and such works as Plato’s “Republic” are described by some scholars as an attack on the oral poetic tradition of knowledge distribution (see Eric Havelock’s “Origins of Western Literacy” or his better known “Preface to Plato”).
Cognitive Performance Questions: What cognitive requirements are lifted with the use of a global electronic knowledge management network? Where do we no longer have to invest a portion of our mental energy?
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.
Michael Feldstein makes a nice point in his blog on on-line learning. Thanks also for the reference to a prior post. This is something I have found to be very true.
"What’s nice here (blog as filing cabient) is the resonance between personal needs and knowledge management value. The fact that the blog is public tends to force the user to annotate with more detail. I can’t tell you how many times I have written down or bookmarked a URL only to forget why I marked it. Both the act and the fact of annotation help me remember why I cared about the web page (or, as KM-heads would put it, the “context")."
Bruce Hoppe has started an interesting blog, Connectedness, that contains "explorations of social networks, organizational effectiveness, and community development." It does other stuff on the weekends like look at Antartic explorer, Ernest Shackleton. Patriots fans will rememeber that Bill Belichick showed the movie of Shackelton's struggles with impossible odds before his teams first Super Bowl victory. Bruce provides more lofty, but no less interesting, observations.
Saturday night we went to a session of the Marblehead Jazz Festival. Appearing were Guitar Summit, a group composed of jazz guitarist, Gerry Beaudoin, Jay Geils of the J. Geils Band, and Fred Lipsius, sax player with the rock group, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, along with a bass player and a drummer. Fred did both sax and piano. The J. Geils Band sold over 10 miilion albums as a rock group and Blood Sweat, and Tears sold even more. Last night they played great mellow jazz. I am listening to an earlier CD, Retrospective, recorded by Gerry, Jay and another rock great, Duke Robillard, but without Fred. It is similar to the easy jazz they played in Marblehead and highly recommended.
This is the third, and final, installment on New Orleans music selected by my personal shopper in the Quarter last November with a few I added. The Jambalaya recipe follows the music. These music selections start with two examples of the Mardi Gras Indians. These groups continue a tradition from the 1800's when the tribes were formed to pay homage to the native-Americans who befriended runaway slaves and afforded them a safe haven. In New Orleans, on Mardi Gras Day these Indian tribes conduct street parades called second lines. These second lines are conducted all over New Orleans with 16 Indian tribes; whose members total close to 400. I could go on forever on New Orleans music with artists like the Neville Brothers, Harry Connick, Jr., Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Allen Toussaint, Jelly Roll Morton, and the Marsalis family that I do not cover, but it is time to move to other topics. These descriptions were taken from several Web sites.
The Wild Magnolias is led by 'Bo Dollis, Big Chief of The Wild Magnolias and Monk Boudreaux, Big Chief of the Golden Eagles. In 1975, Dollis and Monk recorded James "Sugarboy" Crawford's 1954 R&B hit "Jockomo, Jockomo." They are childhood friends and the only two professional Chiefs now performing in New Orleans. In 1970, they appeared at the first New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and have led many second lines on Mardi Gras. The Wild Magnolias have toured with Robbie Robertson, Lionel Richie, George Clinton, Bob Dylan, War, Dr. John, The Neville Bros, and do their own tours of Europe, Japan, and several US Cities. Our critic selected “Life is a Carnival,” which will certainly have you dancing and start a party.
Monk Boudreaux and the Golden Eagles also produced another critic pick, “Mr. Stranger Man.” On this CD he is backed up by Cyril Neville and Dr. John on some cuts. Monk has been chief of the Golden Eagles since 1966 and first put on his mask in 1957. This CD begins with Jockomo. It is difficult to sit still while listening to their music.
Dejan’s Olympia Brass Band represents the many street bands that also played at funerals. When I was a kid, about once a month in the late afternoon, a black funeral procession solemnly passed on foot down the middle of Lowerline Street, where we lived, on its way to a special section of the Carrolton Cemetery near our house. On the way back the music and the procession was much more likely as the members felt the deceased had now gone to a better land and they could celebrate this person’s life. Saxophonist Harold "Duke" Dejan revived the Olympia Brass Band, first formed in 1883, to help save this important New Orleans musical culture. His band has a number of CDs, including “The Best of New Orleans Jazz” with the standard, “When the Saints go Marching In,” and “New Orleans: Mardi Gras,” recorded live with one of my favorites, “Lil’ Liza Jane.” You can also get "Here Come Da Great Olympia Band" - Dejean's Olympia Brass Band, recorded in 1974 at the Preservation Hall site. This i sone I have on vinyl.
Professor LongHair grew up playing blues clubs on Rampart Street and later became the patron saint of Tipitina's, the club itself named after one of his most popular songs. He was also instrumental in establishing the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Professor Longhair became the embodiment of New Orleans rhythm and blues at the peak of his musical career in the late '70s. He influenced many musicians, including Fats Domino, and Dr. John. His "rhumba-boogie" piano style, with heavy, percussive left hand, had a significant impact on R&B piano. Our critic picked, “Professor LongHair: Way Down Yonder in New Orleans,” which nicely demonstrated his piano style. The first tracks are from his first recording in 1947 at the Hi-Hat club in New Orleans and the last cuts were made in the 1970s.
Dr. John is a veteran New Orleans jazz and bluesman whose gravel voice has been well known since the late '60s. Our music critic picked, “Dr. John, All by Himself” recorded live in 1986 as his favorite Dr. John. It includes an excellent DVD of Dr. John playing and discussing New Orleans music, demonstrating different piano styles, including Fats Domino, Ray Charles, and Professor LongHair. Dr. John said Ray influenced New Orleans musicians but they modified his style with their own flavor. He also discusses the Mardi Gras Indians who he saw as a young boy. His most recent album, "Creole Moon," was released in 2001 and he will issue a new album, "N'Awlinz: Dis, Dat or D'Udda," on July 13, 2004. The new set features special guests B. B. King, Mavis Staples, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Cyril Neville, Randy Newman, Willie Nelson and others. There is also his “On a Mardi Gras Day” recorded in 1983 in London with many standards.
Preservation Hall, 726 St. Peters Street opened in 1961, created as a sanctuary to protect New Orleans Jazz, which had lost much of its popularity at the time to modern jazz and rock n roll. Allan and Sandra Jaffe, the hall’s founders, wanted a place where New Orleans musicians could play traditional New Orleans Jazz. I first went in 1967. At that time Sweet Emma was the band leader and the 1964, “Sweet Emma and her Preservation Hall Jazz Band” captures their music. I bought a vinyl record and many band members autographed the cover. Emma Barrett began playing the piano bars and dance halls in 1910 at age 12 and continued almost up to her death in 1983. I returned in 1987 and some of her band members were still there. I purchased another vinyl, “Preservation Hall Jazz Vol. 3,” recorded in 1983. Willie Humphrey and Percy Humphrey signed this album. Josiah Frazier, on drums, was also there from the 1964 recording and Narvin Kimball on banjo was there in 1967 but not on the 1964 recording. William Russell, curator of the New Orleans Jazz Archives at Tulane wrote the notes to both albums. Volume Three appears to be no longer available but you can get Volume Two at the Preservation Hall site.
Louis Armstrong is probably the most famous jazz performer from anywhere. Like many of the early jazz artists, he started in New Orleans, born in 1901. He started listening to music in dance halls. Joe "King" Oliver was his favorite and the older man acted as a father to Louis, even giving him his first real cornet. He then began playing in a series of bands. In the 1930s Louis’ own band became one of the most popular in the US. He also began touring on a global basis. In 1963 Armstrong made an international hit with his version of "Hello Dolly." He spent his later years in New York until he passed away in 1971. The Armstrong house, a National Historic Landmark and a New York City landmark, is open to the public. There are 712 hits on Louis Armstrong in Amazon. Some recommendations include, “Satch Blows the Blues” which has many traditional tunes, “Louis Armstrong: Jazz Around Midnight,” also with a lot of standards, and “Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong” with many classic ballads.
Now for the food: Making Brown Jambalaya
This recipe is loosely based on Emeril Lagasse’s recipe on the Food Network as he provides a good show. However, I made some important changes based on personal taste and what I remember of Cajun cooling. First, I took out the tomatoes. This is brown jambalaya which is country (Cajun) jambalaya versus city (Creole) jambalaya which includes tomatoes. Then, I took out the celery and substituted red bell peppers for the more traditional green ones just because I like this better. You can really add any type of meat or seafood and try different combinations of vegetables. You can use many types of seasoning Cajun or Creole seasoning and there are a lot of packaged versions like Emeril’s. Others are: New Orleans School of Cooking and Zatarain’s.
1 tablespoon jambalaya seasoning, (recipe at bottom of post)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3/4 cup rice
3 cups chicken stock
5 ounces Andouille sausage, sliced
12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
4 ounces chicken, diced
In a bowl combine shrimp, chicken and seasoning, and work in seasoning well. In a large saucepan heat oil over high heat with onion, pepper and celery, 3 minutes. Add garlic, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauces. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid and becomes tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. When rice is just tender add shrimp and chicken mixture and sausage. Cook until meat is done, about 10 minutes more. The important thing is to make sure the rice and meat are cooked. You can let it simmer as long as you add more water to keep the rice from drying out. I always make a big pot and would double or triple this recipe as its better the second day after the flavors sit together over night. Be sure to play Cajun music or other New Orleans selections while you eat this.
Emeril's Essence Creole Seasoning:
2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Good eating and good listening.
The Learning Community Group (LCG) is a research and teaching organization that provides schools and community organizations with strategic technology programs. They also provide technology courses for individuals, artists, teachers, community members, and small businesses at their Exploratorium in Boston. They also do research on a daily basis and put it on their site. It looks like a good resource for educators.
Andrew Grumet points to a Celebrating the Underblogger post where you can nominate up to five of your favorite blogs. This effort is designed to recognized under recognized blogs or "underblogs." It says, "Do you know of (or run) a quality blog that deserves a bit of extra attention? What blog/s do you read that you wish others knew about?" I can think of a few, including Rick Bruner mentioned earlier today.