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April 22, 2013


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Luis Suarez

Hi Bill, thanks a lot for putting together such an insightful blog post and for the lovely comments. You are too kind! I guess MindTouch's study shows the risks of doing this kind of analysis using something so easy to manipulate as a Twitter hashtag. I am sure if I would have been using the #km hashtag for all of my tweets I would probably have made it into the list. Not that I wanted to, in the first place, but I guess it could have happened. I think the exercise was interesting to raise some awareness on whether the KM community at large is active or not in social technologies coming from an mental state where they may not have been very keen on it all along. In fact, some of what I would consider KM founders are not even using Twitter. At all. Should we then say they are not influential? No, by all means not. That's where studies like this one fail big time and why perhaps we should not pay much attention to them than the odd attempt for some link bait (Yes, 18 years later since first blog post came about, it looks like we still have got to go through that!).

Interesting that you mentioned they have used LittleBird for the analysis, because it's my understanding that LittleBird doesn't look much into hashtags, but more into what the community around you thinks of your skills, expertise and experiences, which is a bit surprising, because if they would have applied LB I am sure the results would have been much more different. Either way, I'm glad you brought this up in a blog post vs. just the 140 tweet conversation. Much more interesting and relevant...

Now, if I add here #KM will that count? ;-))

[Hope you are well...]

Bill Ives


Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree about these ratings systems - see my post - Our Obsession with Scoring is Now Taking on Individuals on the Web In this recent example it seems, it was not Twitter, in general, but a special hashtag. I find it useful to bring awareness of people I did not know writing about #KM. However, the limitations of any scoring system whether it is Klout or a special ranking like this one, are often overlooked in the rush to get something quantifiable and overly simple. Hope all is well with you. Your move to the Canary Islands was one of many inspirations for my move to New Orleans. Cheers, Bill

Luis Suarez

Hi Bill, many thanks for the follow-up comments and for the feedback input. Yes, indeed, it's an obsession we humans seem to have acquired since the beginning of the industrial era in terms of trying to measure everything, because that's what would justify business, and why it's flawed all along, because we keep focusing on the low-hanging fruit of the easy way out vs. looking beyond further into the real transformation of how businesses are changing thanks to those intangibles. It's interesting to see how few decades have passed, social networking comes on board and we still keep focusing on the very same things in terms of measuring what clearly doesn't bring as much value as other things we could be working on... That's why I keep telling people we still need to do tons of work in helping make that transformation take place and break loose from that fetish we seem to have with analytics and measuring stuff... And "big data" is not going to help much, if anything, make things worse! We will have to just keep on pushing, my friend!

Really happy and rather glad to read you are having a wonderful time in New Orleans and surely look forward to coming to visit at some point in time soon! Or you coming over to G.C. for a splendid winter vacation or something! hehe Take care

Nancy White

Hm, I don't think I use the #Km hashtag much, nor do I think I'm a leading KM person. (Heck, I often say I don't believe knowledge can be managed!!) I've had people try to link w/ me on LinkedIn due to this list and I feel a bit creepy and fake that they think I'm someone they should connect to for KM. I dunno. It feels weird but I can't quite put my finger on it.

I was also very intrigued to see how many people were on the list and it got me to thinking if there are different knowledge sharing practices from different sectors. For example, do development KM practitioners use Twitter proportionately more than those from business? Are they more likely to publicly share their ideas?

Bill Ives

Nancy - Nice to hear from you. I agree with you on the lists. I am been embarrassed some times by how high I was on some lists. I am sure that any one can game a list, and this would especially easy for a group. They can also optimize Google rankings, Klout scores, etc. It was interesting even that the E20 conf had people vote on their favorite sessions, but as I understand it, did not base much on the votes likely since they could be gamed. I heard this second hand but it makes sense. It seemed more of a way to get greater engagement with the upcoming event.

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