Class Collaboration Draft

By Tuesday put up what topic you feel you could contribute best to, or want to. And when are best free times for you to meet with other group members.

* Topic 1: Knowledge and Information Defined and Organized Caitlin L., Taylor B. & Jenny M., Courtney C.
o We need to define clearly what knowledge is, what information is, and if managing knowledge and/or information entails different approaches and goals.
o Information should be managed, not knowledge.
o Information should be organized, knowledge must be structured and internalized.
o Groups and individuals need to be considered when defining knowledge and information.

* Topic 2: How to Manage Knowledge? Kara W., Alex O., Kaitlin C.
o Pay for Access.
+ Online journalism and accompanying new revenue models might give us a better idea of how to manage knowledge.
o Learn to manage content on our own — tagging images, for example.
o Let the market decide how to manage knowledge and information.
o Corporations: Investigating corporate KM might give us better idea of proper management practices. Employees need to know if and when KM is being used.

* Topic 3: Expert Knowledge: The web should not replace experts. **Jessica R., Kristen W.

* Topic 4: Mass Collaboration: The web offers interesting possibilities for managing the wisdom of crowds. Amanda D. & Rachel B.

A small section of the paper should include censorship and bans : Sarah T. & Megan Q.
*"Dangerous" Knowledge: Some forms of knowledge cause harm. We should manage these yet-to-be-defined forms of knowledge.

  • Online stalking and "to catch a predator" scenarios.

Sarah Tavernaris

Times I am available to meet
Monday and Wednesday-b/w 9 and 4, after 5
Tuesday and Thursday-after 5
Friday and Saturday-depends on work schedule
Sunday-all day


Topic 1: I want to define knowledge and information as I consider it at the very beginning. I think information is something you can look up Wikipedia, that tells the who-what-when-where-why-how. It's what's transmitted in daily conversation; there's sometimes too much information, yet it's good for everyone to be able to have. Whereas knowledge is more in-depth information, information is surface knowledge. Knowledge is something that must be acquired or taught through instruction, study, and internalization. It has more value than straightforward information. Everyone should have the opportunity to gain knowledge, but due to the time, dedication, skill, and sometimes money required, not everyone can access it. Therefore, information should be organized because of the large amount and its usefulness in daily life. Everyone should have access to it. Because it requires more specialization and internalization, knowledge should be structured by groups of experts.

Topic 2: How should information be organized? Well, it sort of already is and does so naturally. Is there a better way to do it? I think this is a big, tough question to tackle. It may or may not be pertinent to address. However, I think knowledge should be structured and guided by experts through degree programs, universities, skills training, trade schools, etc. I think human interaction is important when gaining knowledge.

Topic 3: I agree with this statement, partly because of Keen's statements in "Cult…". We shouldn't totally put our trust in them, but they are absolutely necessary.

Topic 4: I also agree with this statement, but am not interested in writing about it really. When researching it though, we should definitely look at social networking sites, Wikipedia, examples we use in class, etc. What are the pros and cons?

If we decide to keep it in the essay, I want to write about censorship, bans, and "dangerous knowledge" because I wrote about some of that for essay 1. I have a few sources and am interested in the subject. I could easily write 3-4 solid pages on this. I will cover how to deal with "dangerous knowledge" or information that could cause harm (child porn, how to build bombs, etc.), and give the whole subject a global view. If the internet is a "free space of expression," then how should dangerous knowledge be regulated?

A few related scholarly articles I found related to the topic…
-"With My Head Up in the Clouds: Using Social Tagging to Organize Knowledge" Panke
-"New Expressions of the Self: Autobiographical Opportunities on the Internet" Hayton
-"Privacy Is Dead, Get Over it! Information Privacy and the Dream of a Risk-Free Society" Rauhofer
-"Multiple Presents: How Search Engines Rewrite the Past" Hellston
-"An Integrated Model of Knowledge Sharing in Contemporary Communication Environments" Heinz

Outline: December 1
Here are some of the sources and criteria I have outlined for my part on the collaborative essay, internet censorship, bans, and dangerous knowledge.

-What is the global perspective of internet censorship?
-What are the politics of the nations with strict censorship ("13 Enemies of the Internet")
-What information is blocked? and, why is that information blocked? (generally extremist views, blogs, social networking sites because of fear, maintenance of social norms)

In my portion of the essay, I plan to:
-Look at the global perspective of internet censorshipa general overview of statistics, facts, some thoughts on how censorship affects development/adds to the sociopolitical climate
-Give a detailed example of censorship
use China as an example. In my research, I found lots of good sources about the nature of internet censorship by the government in China. It's listed as one of the "13 Enemies of the Internet," so it's a good extreme example. I will contrast it with the free speech policies on the US internet.
-Discuss what can/should be done—Finland claims internet access is a human right; approx. 95% of their population or higher is wired. While this is the ideal, what about South African nations? Global panel of neutral experts.

-Wikipedia article: "Internet Censorship" (good general information)
-Access Denied: Robert Deibert (book)
-Global Online Freedom Act of 2007 (gov't document)
-Political Economy of the Internet in Asia and the Pacific (book)
(the following are articles/images found through the EBSCOhost database through the VT library)
-Snapshot of Internet Regulation in China (article)
-Welcome to the Machine (article)
-They Know Where You Are (image)
-Mapping Censorship (image)

Kristen Walker

The best times for me to meet are the following:
Mondays after 5pm
Wednesdays after noon
Thursdays before 2pm
Friday & Saturday all day
Sundays before 8pm

Topic 1: I think it’s important to make a distinction between knowledge and information, if we believe there truly is one. To do this I think it would be helpful to reference the articles from the beginning of the semester that dealt with knowledge vs. information. I also think we should discuss if it is possible to manage information and not knowledge and how that would be done.

Topic 2: When it comes to managing knowledge, we all have our own ways of managing content and forming opinions of the validity of information, so I think that fact should be mentioned. However, I don’t think the responsibility of knowledge management should always be left to the individual. Corporations manage information about their employees constantly. The government should be responsible for managing dangerous or potentially harmful information, at least to an extent. Also, how does Google, as one of the most widely used search tools, manage information? Is that the best way?

Topic 3: This is the topic I am most interested in writing about because it has intrigued me most over the course of the semester. I don’t believe that the web should replace experts because there is a very critical need for experts who have extensive knowledge in a field most people don’t know much about (like medicine, engineering, the nuances of language, etc.). But after reading Suroweiki’s The Wisdom of Crowds I do see the importance of collaboration on decision making and shared intelligence, so I don’t believe experts are the sole bearers of knowledge. In my opinion, the web should be used as a supplement to expert knowledge, but not as a tool in itself.

Topic 4: When I think of mass collaboration, I immediately think of Wikipedia, so I think that should definitely be addressed. I also think it would be interesting to use this project as an example, especially the stages in which we plan, write and edit it as a group. What were the most difficult parts about writing collaboratively? What about the collaboration made the paper better or worse?

Working Draft (December 1)

The role of expert knowledge in the field of knowledge management is a controversial one, especially with the advent of the Internet and websites of mass collaboration and citizen journalism on the rise. There are those who feel that the democratization of the Internet so that all users have an equal voice is something to be encouraged and sought after. In such an environment, expert opinion is regarded as equal to the opinion of someone with no knowledge in that field. If this were the case, there would be no incentive for individuals to aspire to be experts, and with fewer experts the quality of available information would decrease significantly, which is in no way beneficial to society. My classmates and I agree that the web should absolutely not replace expert knowledge because it is a valuable commodity that helps society progress and distinguishes truth from fiction; however, the Internet should be used as a tool to supplement, enhance, and provide a greater audience for expert knowledge.

Definition of an Expert
In order to discuss the necessity of expert knowledge, it is critical to have a working definition of what qualifies an individual to be considered an expert. While there is no hard-and-fast formula to calculate the exact level of education or amount of experience required to achieve expert status, we can give the term expert a broader definition that will serve the purposes of this argument. In his book entitled Knowledge Management, Elias M. Awad says, “Expert knowledge is not just a head full of facts or a repository of information for the intellect. It is information woven into the mind of the expert for solving complex problems quickly and accurately.” In a more measurable definition of an expert, Awad goes on to state that, “To become an expert in a specialized area, one is expected to master the requisite knowledge, surpass the achievements of already recognized eminent people, and make unique contributions to the specialized field” (72) (source). In a similar description, Caitlin Laverdiere posted the following on the class wiki: “Expert knowledge is acquired and refined over time and through various, specialized application. This is not something we should allow to go by the wayside just because we have more information available to us” (source).

Given these definitions and the generally accepted concept of expertise, we can label individuals as experts if they can demonstrate extensive knowledge and a significant amount of experience in a specialized field. The question then arises as to who decides when an individual reaches expert status. There may be no irrefutable answer to this question, but most often it is other experts (either in the same field or a related one) or the seekers of knowledge that label people as experts.

The Internet Should Not Replace Experts
On page 47 of his book The Cult of the Amateur, Andrew Keen writes, “the Net gives as much voice to a thirteen-year-old computer geek like me as to a CEO or speaker of the House. We all become equal.” As Americans in a democratic society, we are supposed to embrace equality in all forms; however, when it comes to acquiring accurate information, not all sources are equal. It simply does not make sense to believe that information from an amateur is on the same level as that from an expert. Where this elevation of amateur opinion is most prevalent is through online blogs and amateur journalism; the creators of these sites are often individuals with no training or experience in writing or journalism, yet they are regarded as legitimate news sources.

According to an article published in the New York Times on October 26, 2009, newspaper circulation in the U.S. has dropped 10% since last year. The author explains that one reason for this significant drop is due to “rising Internet readership” (source). Many people are choosing to inform themselves about current events through amateur blogs, and even those who use professional news sites like are not paying for access, so the expert journalists are not being compensated. If this trend continues and expands, as it seems likely to do, then there will be little to no motivation for individuals to become experts. In order to become an expert, an individual must invest a great deal of money and time, so to maintain balance it is only logical that the public should pay for what the expert produces and creates. Otherwise we are left with very few experts, and as Megan Quigley suitably asked, “If the web replaces experts and all information or knowledge becomes somewhat ‘mediocre,’ who do we go to create or validate the information if no experts exist?” (source).

The Role of Amateur Info
Experts may be the go-to people for a specific query, and I believe they should remain so especially in this digital age, but amateurs often have valuable insight into a topic and so they should not be altogether excluded. Kara Williams posted similar sentiments on the class wiki when she wrote, “I don’t think experts should be given the final decision, only the ability to give their ideas and concerns on a matter, because sometimes an outside perspective is valuable as well” (source).

The trouble, then, is determining how much amateur opinion should be available on the Internet and how to distinguish it from expert knowledge. One potential solution uses Courtney Carlson’s idea of allowing “non-experts to have control over what is published (via sites like Wikipedia, etc.)” (source). Using websites of mass collaboration, like Wikipedia and social networking sites, as a forum for amateurs to post information is an effective strategy as long as these sites are clearly designated as such so that viewers know to approach the content with a critical eye. Likewise, sites that are comprised of expert knowledge should also be specified as such so users can more easily determine if the content on a website is accurate.

Proposed Solution
I believe expert knowledge should be valued over amateur opinion, and in order for this to happen there must be better management of content posted online. I propose that an organization be created comprised of numerous experts from various fields to somehow mark websites that are verified to have accurate and reliable information from a trusted source. Websites without this marking would not necessarily contain false information, but viewers would know to approach such sites with more caution. This would allow amateurs to continue to add content online, but users would be better able to distinguish expert knowledge from amateur opinion.

In an effort to preserve the value of expertise, I also think it necessary for major online news and information sources to charge for users to access content. I understand that from a marketing perspective this may be difficult to implement because there are so many sources available for such information. However, I strongly believe that experts should be compensated for their work because without it our society suffers.

To put this view of expertise in perspective, we as college students likely have a different opinion on the role of experts than other social/economic groups because we are studying to become “experts” in a field, so naturally we value and respect expert opinion. While I believe most people would affirm that they trust expert opinion over that of an amateur, our demographic as college students puts particular emphasis on expertise.

Kara Williams
Times Available:
Mon & Wed: 1-3pm
Tues & Thurs: after 5 pm
Friday: before 3 and after 6
Sat: all day

Topic 1: I agree with Sarah and Kristen, we should make a distinction between Knowledge and information—defining the two differently. I also agree with Sarah's definition of Knowledge: “something that is acquired or taught through instruction, study, and internalization.” Further, I would differentiate Knowledge and Information most easily as saying Knowledge has a price; it must be paid for (with the exception of public school & home school), and Information does not. Information is what is given freely through the Internet or televised news, etc.

Topic 2: After reading Sarah and Kristen’s posts I think that the Government should not manage knowledge or information, nor should just one individual, but instead a group of individuals (you can say experts) who must vote on different cases (majority winning) after a group of experts of the concerning area have given all of their opinions. The group who decides will hopefully be able to hear both sides of the arguments of how something specifically should be managed and then make a decision with an unbiased view point. I see those who have the power to manage knowledge and the system as a similar to our government’s Supreme Court—judges who decide on each case as they best see fit with the experts giving their arguments/inputs. A panel of judges who are each experts in different fields of knowledge and when combined to make a decision, the decision will come from a balance of perspectives, not just one figure of authority.

Topic 3: I agree as the others before, the web should not replace experts. The knowledge they have is valuable as they paid to gain access to it, so we too should pay for what they have created (i.e. journals, even online news and encyclopedias). However when it comes to deciding who should manage knowledge, just to further Topic #2, I don’t think experts should be given the final making decision, only the ability to give their ideas and concerns on a matter, because sometimes an outside perspective is valuable as well, this being the reason for my idea of a group of ‘judges’ to make final decisions on what knowledge is managed.

Topic 4: I am not interested in writing about mass collaboration. I don’t have a set opinion on it and it feels to broad for me to wrap my head around all the different scenarios that go into play like Wikipedia or the threat of “Group Think” or even how to determine whether one’s name should be attached to a project. Considering what is more name-worthy so to speak, one who contributed little but valuable knowledge or one who contributed lots but not very valuable knowledge like editing marks for example, or whether or not that is valuable to the project. You see, I don’t think I would offer much to this topic expect more confusion.

Working Draft
Managing knowledge is supposed to be about making sure the right information is available to users, at the right time, in a form understandable [to the user]. Therefore, knowledge management should respect the many different forms of individual intelligence-gathering capabilities.

Manage or Cultivate Knowledge?

When considering organizational norms of “managing” knowledge, one tends to think in terms of limitations. How do you really manage an infinite resource not meant, by design, to be controlled? What if instead we used the term “cultivating” knowledge? This term tends to get people to think in terms of possibilities. Getting positive results from infinite possibilities provides motivation for acquiring knowledge or understanding.

Making decisions, taking actions, and achieving performance objectives are key. Knowledge management should be thought of as the “art” of systematically encouraging people to use their knowledge for the future benefit of the organization. This statement is consistent with the concept of cultivating and I believe can be very effective in influencing what is done with knowledge to increase productivity. The ultimate challenge is transitioning managers who are accustomed to managing finite resources (time, money, and things) and teaching them to manage an infinite resource (knowledge). This will involve an order of magnitude managerial paradigm shift from managing knowledge to cultivating knowledge.

Purpose of Managing Knowledge
The primary focus in the actions and thoughts of managing knowledge should be directed toward accomplishing common goals. If this is true, then information is generated in a form that enables people to attain a level of understanding. With understanding, people are better able to make sound and timely decisions. A cynical belief is knowledge management is just a euphemistic term that makes it legal to systematically take advantage of employee ideas. Others believe, knowledge management is luring people together (physically or virtually) to share thoughts and ideas in order to produce a level of understanding needed to make decisions. Still others believe knowledge management involves managing cerebral activities (learning) within oneself to get some type of action. In these examples, knowledge and understanding could be used interchangeably. However, the real concern is not knowledge or understanding, rather, understanding the purpose the knowledge is suppose to bring.

Understanding how to influence what is done with knowledge in an organization can profoundly enhance productivity and is essential to leading and managing organizational change, maintaining an organization’s competitive advantage, and developing an organization’s future required operating capabilities.

Group of Experts
Knowledge should not be managed by any one individual, nor the market nor corporations, but a group of experts in various areas of knowledge decide on different cases brought to them (majority vote wins). Structured off of The Supreme Court system, a group of experts will hear cases brought to them by opposing individuals or organizations, both arguing their points on how they think a specific situation should be managed (i.e. how much knowledge corporations manage on their customers and employees). The group of experts will hear both sides points-of-views and then make a decision with an unbiased view point. I see those who have the power to manage knowledge and the system as a similar to our government’s Supreme Court—judges who decide on each case as they best see fit with the experts giving their arguments/inputs. A panel of judges who are each experts in different fields of knowledge and when combined to make a decision, the decision will come from a balance of perspectives, not just one figure of authority.

Management decisions would be based on whether the knowledge would encourage people to use their knowledge for the future benefit of the organization and not the arguing representatives themselves.

In presenting their argument both sides would have to answer the following The Knowledge Management Framework by van der Spek and de Hoog.

1. Identify what knowledge assets a company possesses:
o Where is the knowledge asset?
o What does it contain?
o What is its use?
o What form is it in?
o How accessible is it?
2. Analyzing how the knowledge can add value:
o What are the opportunities for using the knowledge asset?
o What would be the effect of its use?
o What are the current obstacles to its use?
o What would be its increased value to the company?
3. Specify what actions are necessary to achieve better usability & added value:
o How to plan the actions to use the knowledge asset?
o How to enact actions?
o How to monitor actions?
4. Reviewing the use of the knowledge to ensure added value:
o Did the use of it produce the desired added value?
o How can the knowledge asset be maintained for this use?

Depending on one’s perspective, knowledge, data, and information can have similar or uniquely different meanings-ultimately leading to decisions. The quality of decisions made in how to managing knowledge at all levels is directly related understanding an organizations intent with such knowledge. Unfortunately knowledge is not easily measured economically, a majority of organizational cultures do not foster innovation, and managers are not accustomed to managing an infinite resource such as knowledge. A group of experts would thus help organizations define a layout of how to manage the knowledge they have in regard to the company. This idea of a group of experts is not completely developed but it is a start to in bringing democracy to knowledge. Understanding information and turning that understanding into some sort of action for a greater good or purpose should remain the ultimate goal in managing knowledge at all levels.

Kaitlin Cannavo
I am available to meet:
Monday/Wednesday any time up until 4 or after 5:30
Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-2; after 7:30
Friday any time
Saturday after 12
Sunday before 2; after 7

Topic 1:
To introduce our essay, I think we should provide our definition of knowledge as we identify it and also how individuals in knowledge management perceive knowledge. I think these two different perspectives provide two contrasting definitions. I believe knowledge is something impossible to teach, but rather the result of the practical use of information along with personal experience. Knowledge is used to interpret information in a reaction to an experience. While knowledge is a human process that changes consciousness and is not identically reproducible, information is an easily transferrable physical entity more tangible than knowledge. I think most knowledge-based systems (like the knowledge management we always refer to in class) broaden the definition of knowledge to include information rather than separate the two. This results in the largest problem I find in knowledge management; corporations and such attempt to manage knowledge and discover means of transferring a mental awareness that forms individually, on a personal basis. Information, messages and means of gaining knowledge, should be managed, but it is impossible to manage knowledge.

Topic 2:
I think the management of knowledge should involve more interaction between people. The internet has transformed into the world’s primary mode of facilitating knowledge, and while its founders based the system on a utopian, free-thinking liberator from the binds of the bureaucratic arrangement of society at the time, it has today become more of an oppressor to many people. This form of knowledge management through technology leaves no freedom of choice in regards to itself; you either use the technology or you are doomed to collapse in this rapidly growing digital world. All work and education now involves communication online. Everyday activities such as banking and shopping now may be performed online and most corporations are even pushing for all of their business to transfer to the digital world. We reduce ourselves to our online identity so often that the majority of our daily interactions involve merely a username and password. Very few people know us as a person; our personality, our values, our sense of self. If knowledge management was not necessarily more collaborative, but rather working together to incorporate each individual’s expertise, I think it would be much more productive and beneficial for everyone.

Topic 3:
Experts have obtained a certain type of knowledge that is unreciprocable for many individuals let alone the web. Experts hold the tacit knowledge the internet can only wish to provide. While the web contains information to supplement those looking to gain knowledge or those who hold already posses the knowledge to interpret and apply the information, it is impossible for the internet to ever adequately replace the expert. Knowledge has become a commodity because it is difficult to obtain and takes countless hours of the application of information to comprehend anything close to an expert level. The Internet and large corporations want to learn from experts to be able to teach others, but fail to achieve the acquired awareness of knowledge, merely only achieving the ability to apply information in the long run.

Topic 4:
Although Surowiecki provides many attempts to persuade me into backing mass collaboration, I am still not fully sold, especially in regards to the Internet. Today, rather than refer to reliable sources of experts such as journalists, encyclopedias, and renowned news outlets, the Internet has become the new medium of choice for the truth with collaborative sites such as Wikipedia. Individual creativity and authorship is on the verge of extinction in exchange for the “wisdom of crowds.” Is this always a good thing? Surowiecki provides many optimistic examples of the employment of this collaborative knowledge, but he also provides some unconstructive examples of free-riding and contingent consent. How do we determine when the “wisdom of the crowds” is an appropriate source for knowledge and how do we prevent the crowd from transforming into merely one mind?

Working Draft

Learn to manage content on our own.

The internet has transformed into the world’s primary mode of facilitating knowledge, and while its founders based the system upon a utopian, free-thinking liberator, loosening the binds of the bureaucratic arrangement of society at the time, today conversely acts as more of an oppressor to much of society. Recent knowledge management techniques utilizing technology leave no freedom of choice in regards to its use; you either conform to the technological advances or you are doomed to collapse in this ever-growing conventional digital world. All work and education involves online communication. Daily activities such as banking and shopping are now applicable, and often preferable by the majority of companies, online. Most corporations are even pushing for all business transactions to shift to this digital realm. We reduce ourselves to our online identity so often that the majority of our daily interactions involve merely a username and password. Very few people know us as a physical person; our personality, our values, our sense of self.

Society is slowly losing the concept of life as being what it is, living. We are too preoccupied with trying to make computers do all the work for us that we lose touch with ourselves and with each other. While the counterculturalist ideal view of cyberspace as a liberator may have held true for the beginnings of the internet, this obsession with technology has metamorphosed into more a form of repression. There are no choices anymore- it’s technology’s way or no way. Counterculturalists viewed the internet as a new form of the now illegal drug LSD, transposing their consciousness into a utopian, vindicated state away from the social restraints of the post-war military-industrial complex (Turner). But today, our hierarchal society has taken control of the world-wide web and rather than act as an emotional outlet, the internet is yet another disciplined bureaucrat constantly supervising our online actions. School systems and universities force students to own laptops in order to succeed in classes, companies provide employees with personal computers, and businesses now market and sell products primarily through the web. We must constantly monitor how we portray ourselves online for fear of damaging our reputation. Andrew Keen quotes Thomas Frank in his documentation of the internet’s corruption of culture, The Cult of the Amateur, stating, “‘Life is in fact a computer. Everything we do can be understood as part of a giant calculating machine. … the ‘New Economy,’ the way of the microchip, is writ into the very DNA of existence” (Keen, 215).

In response to criticisms of the depersonalization flanking the internet, Web 2.0 has responded with websites promoting more intimate and tailored online identities. Keen argues in The Cult of the Amateur that “as traditional mainstream media is replaced by a personalized one, the Internet has become a mirror to ourselves. Rather than using it to seek news, information, or culture, we use it to actually BE the news, the information, the culture” (Keen, 7). Social networking sites that promote the expansion of virtual identities, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Flickr, utilize a technique known as “social tagging” to enforce collaboration that is increasingly being discussed as an alternative to standardization (Panke). This phenomenon involves the collaboration and mutual exchange of ideas, in which internet users are much more willing to participate if the benefits of sharing information involve access to further venues of attainable personal knowledge. The most recent forms of social tagging on sites such as Facebook have streamlined the now commonly used term “tagging.” Tagging pictures, friends, interests, activities, movies, and books are only the initial knowledge management procedures on the social networking sites whose bases lies in this collaborative system of interconnections. Social tagging is also more generally being treated as an instrument of online promotion in a newly developed e-commerce setting. According to Stefanie Panke in her article “With My Head Up in the Clouds,” “tagging enables customers to express their evaluation of products and shifts the powers of defining product categories from the producer or shop owner to the customer” (Panke).

Social tagging poses the threat of intermixing private and professional or public knowledge and information, which remains one of the prominent downfalls of Web 2.0. Yet, according to a survey in Panke’s article, individuals consider only the positive attributes of tagging to outweigh the other negative, and possibly damaging, side effects (Panke). Virtual identities have crossed the boundaries between a private and public sense of self. With the merging of these once separate beings, each individual of society must now learn to manage his/her own life. Individuals must also constantly manage the knowledge they share with others to shelter reputation. In this way, social tagging allows the disclosure of only the personal information that the individual wishes to divulge. While this strategy protects identity, the volatile qualities of life and existence as human beings fail to surface in such instances (Panke). In many cases, especially recently, friendships are based on merely digital personalities in which the individual is able to manipulate personal identity. As a result, will we progressively become more comfortable with superficiality and mere exterior facades in regards to individuality and relationships?

The most obvious and dubious answer to this question would of course be yes, and there remains a lack of choice in the majority of these situations. With the invasion of privacy that inadvertently corresponds with social tagging and Web 2.0, users must take into account the personal information they must submit in order to participate in and reap the benefits of such networking sites. Members hold no awareness as to the means in which this information may potentially be distributed or exploited. Social tagging also fails to paint a clear distinction between public and private life, particularly in a professional sense. Because users generally use the same workspace for personal and professional purposes, and because personal interests and professional knowledge often overlap, social tagging incorporates both of these audiences. As a result, social tagging is redefining the social norm of a “healthy work environment,” which usually involves a clear division between work and private life (Panke). Social tagging deems this separation near impossible and participants continually prove willing to accept this invasion of privacy as standard.

Surprisingly, society has managed to relentlessly validate social tagging in its positive facets. Crashing hard drives often accomplice the unreliability of computer technology, in which case tagging preserves an online record of previously visited locations and favorites so easily lost in the fallibility of computers. Rapidly increasing “technological infrastructures and trends toward web-based services” are also motives for using social tagging networks (Panke). The feature also operates as a means of personal knowledge management through self-organization. Panke categorizes social taggers into groups, one in particular known as “ego boosters.” These taggers place value in the community’s use of one’s own content (Panke). Studies in Panke’s article prove numerous social tagging participants use the feature not for accessibility of information and growth of knowledge, but for personal benefit in which individuality and organization is the primary attribute. Also called “ego taggers,” these individuals exploit the tagging feature for the personal advertising of his/her presence “as part of the information elite” (Panke). There is a personal level of motivation rather than a focus on the ideal goal of the vast accessibility of knowledge to a broader audience. Although an unimaginable amount of knowledge is readily available online, internet users fail to acknowledge its advantages.

-Keen, Andrew. The Cult of the Amateur. New York : Doubleday/Currency, 2007. Print.
-Surowiecki, James. The Wisdom of Crowds. New York: Anchor Books, 2005. Print.
-Panke, Stefanie. "With My Head Up in the Clouds." Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2009): n. pag. Web. Nov 12 2009. <>.
-Turner, Fred. From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2006. Print

Caitlin Laverdiere
Monday: 11:15-2
Tuesday: 9-1:45
Wednesday: 11:15-12:45
Thursday: 11-1:45
Friday: after 11 (usually)
Saturday: all day
Sunday: before 3:30

Topic 1: I also agree that a distinction needs to be drawn between knowledge and information. Building upon the definition of knowledge presented already, I believe knowledge is processed information and incorporates our beliefs, attitudes, ideas, and lived experiences to produce our own unique perceptions and patterns of thought. I don’t know if I would agree that knowledge itself has a price. Sometimes information has a price, and acquiring the tools to analyze and synthesize information within a new framework – thus transforming it into knowledge – has a price (within the university or corporate environment). But does knowledge, as the final product of our unique thought processes, actually have its own price?

When it comes to information, I think it should be managed. This is how people are able to specialize in certain skills or areas of study – and thus how we get the experts who can help guide our decisions or understanding. Collaboration can still exist in the presence of experts and specialization, and allows for the exchange of ideas that results in new, innovative approaches to problem solving. Without the management of information, specialization is harder to come by. If all information is free – and the university slowly fades out – people will not be able to specialize and exchange their expertise for the expertise of others. Surowiecki may think this is ok, and that the wisdom of the crowds will prevent us from plummeting into a world of mediocrity, but I have a very difficult time accepting that experts no longer have an important place in our society. It’s virtually impossible for each person to accrue and retain enough information to embody the expertise or specialization necessary in the diverse areas of our social economy: commerce, education, health, security, scientific technology, law, and agriculture, just to name a few.

Topic 2: If we agree that specialization - and expert knowledge - is an important part of our society and the functioning of our economy, then it's important for the exchange of information and knowledge to be managed in some sort of market context. Allowing the internalized preferences of consumers and producers to dictate the exchange of information (as goods and services), allows the self-interest of individuals to also benefit society as a whole. Collaboration and exchange of valuable information and specialization is necessary for the functioning of our economy.

Topic 3: I think I began this conversation slightly early under Topic 1. I definitely agree that the web should not replace experts. The web provides a forum to give more people a voice, but knowledge and skills that experts possess are not easily accrued or understood by simply reading information on the web through blogs, online journals, or any other various mediums. Expert knowledge is acquired and refined over time and through various, specialized application. This is not something we should allow to go by the wayside just because we have more information available to us.

Topic 4: I don’t think we should view the web as a source of truth and as the final (and often only) mode of inquiry. However, the tools offered by Web 2.0 that encourage communication and mass collaboration have benefits in certain contexts. Within the university, or within a business setting, exchange of ideas through wikis or networking over professional networking sites can broaden and enrich our understanding and opportunities. However, a universal acceptance of the “wisdom of the crowds” can have adverse consequences in the future. It’s important to protect individual authorship, maintain professional sources of information (such as scholarly journals and newspapers), and prevent excessive free riding that can undermine the transfer of information within a market context.

Working Draft

Understanding the dichotomy of information and knowledge – or at lest presenting a rudimentary explanation of what each entails – is central to any discussion on knowledge management. I intend to identify and explain the basic criteria that compose information and knowledge and how these two concepts are similar, yet distinctively different, and therefore require different management approaches.

Information is static. It is comprised of facts and data. It is impersonal and independent of human thought processes. As such, information can be understood to be more easily organized and disseminated. Robert Aumann cited a definition of information from the Symposium on Information and Knowledge in Economics as “the raw material from which knowledge is manufactured” (88). He notes that because information resides outside of the human mind, it can be assembled and organized more readily.

Furthermore, information is usually quantifiable. We can measure and calculate percentages and probabilities. We can then aggregate our information to present a more holistic picture of what the data represents. This is an important aspect of scientific research. Researchers can share calculated information with others as part of a collective endeavor to solve a complex problem or further a specific inquiry. (Feel free to elaborate)

Knowledge, by contrast, is a process. It does not exist independently of human thought, nor is it universally approached and understood in the same way among different individuals. Knowledge is processed information that incorporates our beliefs, ideas, attitudes, and lived experiences to produce our unique perceptions and patterns of thought. It is a way for us to make meaning of the world. The active process we undergo when creating knowledge, through assimilating and synthesizing disparate pieces of information, is greater than the sum of the individual parts; thus, the process of knowledge creation supersedes the separate pieces of static information. This process of knowledge creation gives context to information. It aggregates the facts and data we have gathered, incorporates our values and preexisting knowledge, and becomes further refined through our individual assessment and applications.

The process of knowledge creation requires active learning – an idea we described in class as “learning in the mind.” This requires not only identifying and extracting information, but also how we comprehend the information and ideas others present and share with us. Communication and collaboration with our classmate or colleagues is integral to our own knowledge creation – it is not reserved solely for the individual. Collaboration will be an important component in our later discussion of how and why we need to have some form of knowledge management in order to foster communication and the exchange of ideas and discoveries between researchers.

Forms of Knowledge
In our class discussions we have discussed two distinct forms of knowledge: tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge. Tacit knowledge refers to our knowing that we can do or perform something, but we cannot explain exactly how we do it. In “The Knowledge-Creating Company,” Ikujiro Nonaka describes tacit knowledge as “the valuable and highly subjective insights and intuitions that are difficult to capture and share because people carry them in their heads” (Nonaka 162). This tacit knowledge is often found in experts – and while Surowiecki advances the notion of the “wisdom of crowds”, crowds do not embody the tacit knowledge imperative to understanding the nuanced complexity of specific problems or practices. Practitioners internalize knowledge – which we discussed in class as “hand knowledge” – and their understanding and distinct interpretations lead to their specializations. Nonaka acknowledges that tacit knowledge is often “deeply rooted in action and in an individuals commitment to a specific context” (165). The personal, hard-earned skills and understanding that compose an expert’s tacit knowledge makes it difficult to transfer. For this reason, organizations can plan and institute creative approaches to knowledge management in order to transform individualized tacit knowledge into organizational knowledge that can be shared among the institution’s members.

Explicit knowledge, on the other hand, is “formal and systematic” and is thus “easily communicated and shared” (Nonaka 165). Scientific knowledge typically resides in this category. We can generate it and commodify it. Researchers actively investigate and share their findings, which facilitates the ongoing research and development within many scientific and technological disciplines.

When you are taking in knowledge and information, it affects you; it affects how you make meaning of the world. It becomes self-knowledge and is distinctly different from another person’s comprehension and internalization of the same information. Through organizing and sharing knowledge, companies and organizations can extract and integrate individual knowledge, transforming it into organizational knowledge.

Knowledge and Information Management Issues
Information is easily organized and managed due to its quantifiable and independent characteristics. Through the management of information, people are able to specialize and apply their specializations in individualized and unique ways. Information management also helps ensure the validity and reliability of the information we extract.

Knowledge, however, is dependent on personal synthesis and integration. It is processed information and incorporates our beliefs, attitudes, ideas, and lived experiences to produce a unique perception and pattern of thought. People build upon their specializations through further development and application of knowledge. Because knowledge is personal, it is innately harder to manage. This is especially true of tacit knowledge, which includes fundamental insights and mental models that are difficult to share and commodify, unlike the systematic, more easily describable characteristics of explicit knowledge.

The organization of knowledge within institutions allows individual knowledge – and thus the intellectual capital of institutions – to be more easily and effectively employed and distributed. However, it is not extracted and disseminated as easily and objectively as information.

Aumann, Robert J. “Musings on Information and Knowledge.” Symposium on Information and Knowledge in Economics. Econ Journal Watch 2.1 April 2005 <>.

Nonaka, Ikujiro. "The Knowledge-Creating Company." Harvard Business Review. (Dec. 1991): 162-171.

Jenny Milne
Times I'm available__
Monday and Wednesday: anytime before 2:30 and after 5:15
Tuesday and Thursday: Any time after 4:45
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: anytime after 11 and before 4.

Topic Two: Knowledge could be managed by (depending on the type), access codes, or some sort of identification fingerprint or something, especially if the knowledge is potentially dangerous (I.E. where submarines are). Also, I don't think anonymous postings or sites should be allowed. Everyone should be required to be accountable for what they say. This may be a violation of rights, but I think it is a necessary safety precaution.

Topic Three: I don't think that the internet should replace experts per say. The internet should provide a resource for experts to continually maintain expert status. Mainly, they should utilize the internet to the best of their ability. The internet could also be used to question experts to insure that they have a logical explanation for their choices or knowledge, or to make sure they back up and stand behind their decision.

Topic Four: I think the internet is a great tool to allow others to work together. Even from long distances. For example this wiki could allow us to complete our collaborative essay together, but never once meet. It is ideal for Corporations with locations around the world. However, this should not completely replace human interaction, it is just a tool to expand and work with others that on a normal basis, would be unable to meet.

Information For Draft
Knowledge and Information Defined:

Knowledge is the idea that you are aware of something. awareness, as of a fact or circumstance (

Information is the facts that you can know. knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance (

Information and the knowledge acquired from said information should be categorized.

In practice, knowledge management often encompasses identifying and mapping intellectual assets within the organization, generating new knowledge for competitive advantage within the organization, making vast amounts of corporate information accessible, sharing of best practices, and technology that enables all of the above — including groupware and intranets. (

Knowledge management is hard to define precisely and simply. (The definition also leapfrogs the task of defining "knowledge" itself. We’ll get to that later.) That’s not surprising. How would a nurse or doctor define "health care" succinctly? How would a CEO describe "management"? How would a CFO describe "compensation"? Each of those domains is complex, with many sub-areas of specialization. Nevertheless, we know "health care" and "management" when we see them, and we understand the major goals and activities of those domains. (

Knowledge has two basic definitions of interest. The first pertains to a defined body of information. Depending on the definition, the body of information might consist of facts, opinions, ideas, theories, principles, and models (or other frameworks). Clearly, other categories are possible, too. Subject matter (e.g., chemistry, mathematics, etc.) is just one possibility.
Knowledge also refers to a person’s state of being with respect to some body of information. These states include ignorance, awareness, familiarity, understanding, facility, and so on.

In traditional perceptions of the role of knowledge in business organizations, tacit knowledge is often viewed as the real key to getting things done and creating new value. Not explicit knowledge. Thus we often encounter an emphasis on the "learning organization" and other approaches that stress internalization of information (through experience and action) and generation of new knowledge through managed interaction

In brief, knowledge and information have become the medium in which business problems occur. As a result, managing knowledge represents the primary opportunity for achieving substantial savings, significant improvements in human performance, and competitive advantage.

There have been many roadblocks to adoption of formal knowledge management activities. In general, managing knowledge has been perceived as an unmanageable kind of problem — an implicitly human, individual activity — that was intractable with traditional management methods and technology.

We do know a lot about how people learn. We know more and more about how organizations develop and use knowledge. The body of literature about managing intellectual capital is growing. We have new insights and solutions from a variety of domains and disciplines that can be applied to making knowledge work manageable and measurable. And computer technology — itself a cause of the problem — can provide new tools to make it all work.

-Knowledge work is fundamentally different in character from physical labor.
-The knowledge worker is almost completely immersed in a computing environment. This new reality dramatically alters the methods by which we must manage, learn, represent knowledge, interact, solve problems, and act.

-Management of Information. To researchers in this track, according to Sveiby, "… knowledge = Objects that can be identified and handled in information systems."
-Management of People. For researchers and practitioners in this field, knowledge consists of "… processes, a complex set of dynamic skills, know-how, etc., that is constantly changing."

Amanda Thomas
I am able to meet:
Mon/Wed between 12:00 and 3:30 (Wed after 5:30)
Tues/Thurs between 10:00 and 12:00, and after 3:15
Friday anytime
Saturday depends upon the weekend
Sunday between 2:00 and 5:30

Topic 1: I really like Kara’s comment about price being a way to differentiate knowledge and information. I would like to add to this that the price to be paid for knowledge is not always monetary—“time is money.” There is certainly much controversy surrounding the issue. At some point in this essay, we should also discuss the positive and negative aspects of knowledge management and why this controversy is.

Topic 3: I find that the rise in amateur online journalism has encourages one to distrust the media. What makes ensures that the experts truly have expert knowledge? How does one identify accurate knowledge? Is there any validity to the amateur’s knowledge, and how do we gauge it? I like Kristen’s comment, which says, “I don’t believe experts are the sole bearers of knowledge. In my opinion, the web should be used as a supplement to expert knowledge, but not as a tool in itself.” I would like to add to this that the web could also function as an extension of expert knowledge, which can be used to share knowledge. Is it possible for the web to act as a forum in which amateurs can develop into professionals?

Topic 4: Mass Collaboration is an interesting concept. Wikipedia is a very clear example of a mass collaboration effort. One of the major flaws of Wikipedia is its being open to all to post entries and its lack of a review process. How does mass collaboration affect individual authorship? Does it destroy one’s ability to claim authorship? How does editing play into this? Are there multiple authors, or just one? What happens when there is a dispute within the group?


MWF before 4pm (as of right now - might change with work).
TH: 12:30-2pm and 3:15-5pm.

**Topic 1: **
I define knowledge as the context in which information is viewed from and used in.
Knowledge, in my experience, is something that should be managed, but I believe that it will be managed on its own accord without forcing it upon the employees, and it should not be forced upon employees. I believe that employees will share their tangible knowledge willingly without being asked if the right process/opportunity presents itself. For example, if they are told to report their findings in a report with set company guidelines that spell out how to do it, they will not object if this is usual the process. Also, they will be willing to use share their knowledge with other teammates if they are put in a position where the benefits of sharing are mutual.

I do not believe in forcing employees to share their knowledge if they openly object to it; for example, forcing an employee you’re letting go to train younger hires that you’re replacing him or her with. Their knowledge, in that case, is being abused by the company and for the benefit of only the company. Shared knowledge should always benefit both parties mutually. However, if there are parameters set by the company for all employees to share in the form of reports or some other way, then while the result of making employees share their knowledge is the same, there is a greater acceptance for the method of how it is done. Employees who do not accept company policies have the option of leaving—they are not tricked into sharing their knowledge, or their job security.

**Topic 2: **
I agree with whoever said that we manage content on our own. Like I said in topic 1, I believe that knowledge will manage itself if people in the right circumstances and under the right policies. In a way, this partially aligns with the thought that the market can decide how to best manage knowledge and information. Each year, the standard of living in the US improves, no matter how “bad” the economy becomes. This is because there’s a willingness from people to tell others what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. Sometimes called “innovation,” this demand drives the market through businesses striving to beat competitors to a new market or in an existing one. Businesses, a conglomerate of individuals in its own right, are the aggregate of their employees’ knowledge, determination, drive, etc., and employees are generally willing to do what it takes to make sure their company, which they spend more “awake” time in than just about anywhere, survives.

—side note: marketing/ads seem to drive the research of how knowledge is used and where people go on the web.

Topic 3:
Experts, in no way shape or form, should be replaced by the web, and I don’t believe they can be because of the trend towards specialization in the job market. While Suroweiki claims that there is wisdom in crowds, I firmly believe that it is the individual knowledge of these experts that drive the crowd itself. Diversity, as stated, is one of the important factors in the wisdom of crowds, and I think that these “experts” are the ones that start a thought or idea (even if it differs from the norm) and the mass spreads this new knowledge amongst themselves on the web. An example would be twitter. If something happens, such as Facebook’s change to terms of use, it becomes a trending topic. Then all these different opinions come together to give each twitter user an array of opinions to read from and form their own. The experts, in these cases, are those who first share the information.

Another reason why the web cannot replace experts is because people need the reassurance that “experts” provide. While they can research a sickness on the web until they turn blue in the face, they need the reassurance of those who have daily experience/training in such things to tell them that they are either right or misguided.

Working Draft

Has It Already?
Some people argue that the question isn’t “Should the Web replace experts?” but rather “Has it already?” The growing concern of the general public seems to suggest that the Web is indeed replacing expert knowledge and therefore replacing well-earned and researched information with mediocre information collected by amateurs. And why not? Most amateur Web information is still useful to some degree—and best of all, it’s free. And as Andrew Keen says, it’s hard, maybe even downright impossible, to compete with free.

Jimmy Wale’s Wikipedia vs. the Encyclopedia Britannica is a prime example of this debate. According to Keen’s “The Cult of the Amateur,” “Wikipedia, with its millions of amateur editors and unreliable content, is the seventeenth most-trafficked site on the Internet,” while “, with its 100 Nobel Prize winners and 4,000 expert contributors, is ranked 5,128” (44). This example underlies the root of the problem of the Web replacing expert knowledge. The Web allows amateurs, who have possibly only dabbled in a subject, just as much voice and exposure as someone who has dedicated their life and passion to the subject. And all because it’s free.

In the end, the amateur user on Wikipedia has just as much of a voice—if not even more of one because of site rankings— than a proven expert. In the end, fewer experts are being paid for their hard-earned knowledge on subjects, and this lack of incentive will dissuade them from sharing it so readily with the public, maybe even dissuade people from pursing knowledge on certain subjects in the near future. And in the end, the overall quality of the knowledge will decrease in its value to society, as amateur knowledge, while free and plentiful, cannot possibly have the same trustworthiness as hard, proven expert knowledge, right?

The new question necessary to answer “Should the Web replace experts?” then becomes “Can we trust it?”

Can We Trust Knowledge On the Web?
Over a cup of coffee with a “Friend of O’Reilly’s,” Keen mentioned that the man said the Web, which gives voice to even the smallest and youngest player, would help take down what he called the “dictatorship of experts,” upon which Keen inwardly (and colorfully) thought, “… instead of a dictatorship of experts, we’ll have a dictatorship of idiots” (35). The two obviously had opposing viewpoints of the reliability of Web knowledge—or rather, the reliability of who the knowledge was coming from.

However, in a write-up called “How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility?” taken of a large study, the results indicate that perhaps experts are needed in order to assure the quality of information. In the report, the testers say, “We found that when people assessed a real Web site's credibility they did not use rigorous criteria” and “In comparison, the parallel Sliced Bread Design study revealed that health and finance experts were far less concerned about the surface aspects of these industry-specific types of sites and more concerned about the breadth, depth, and quality of a site's information” (citation). This study signifies that perhaps amateurs need help distinguishing good quality information from inaccurate or misleading information, and that trained experts are generally the ones that can do it properly. In the study, the average consumer used visual cues to assess the quality and credibility of the site, which are aspects that can be easily manipulated.

Advantages of the Web:
The Web gives everyone, known or unknown, a chance to contribute to the spread of information.

In the classic example of Wikipedia, where amateurs (non-experts) take full reign, Keen notes an entry by Wikipedia staff that further represents the idea that the Web is taking over experts’ place in society because of the easy access to information one can find online. Wikipedia had said, “In the areas of computer programming and open source, as well as astronomy and ornithology, many amateurs make very meaningful contributions equivalent to or exceeding those of the professionals. To many, description of an amateur is losing its negative meaning, and actually carried a badge of honor” (39). In this context, readers can see that amateurs’ contributions have been extremely valuable to society, perhaps even greater than paid professionals’ contributions have been.

Jimmy Wales, one of Wikipedia’s creators, “believes that the expert is born rather than bred and that talent can be found in the most unexpected places” (42). In this case, the Web is the vessel which allowed those with interests in open source, IT, and programming to come together and share the outcomes of their interests to benefit others. Professionals/experts, on the other hand, only provide content with a paycheck, and they often are limited to the confines of what their payers want to create and the product is not shared equally to all who need or want it. In contrast, amateurs are benefitting society without expecting much—if anything—in return. In which case, their contribution is strictly through the passion they feel for the subject. The Web allows for this free-flow of information, knowledge, data, and tools in a way that experts cannot or will not use in the same way because they feel they need to receive retribution in some form.

John Connell from Cisco Systems defends the Web 2.0 spike of user-generated information against the growing concern over it causing experts to fade out. He states in his blog that “We are not dealing with a zero-sum game of any kind — the rise of one source of information does not (necessarily) cause the dissipation of another” (citationcitation). In theory and practice, Connell’s statement holds true. This argument for the Web can be backed by the Wikipedia example. Wikipedia permits both amateurs and experts to collaborate to create a finished product, such as a page of Wikipedia itself, and an expert’s opinion is heavily sought after in citing this information. And while companies will look for good free software and upgrades, they often want something specific, in which case they will hire a professional/expert to create it.

Disadvantages of the Web:
In “The Cult of the Amateur,” Keen brings up a valid point about finding and cultivating talent. He comments that “talent, as ever, is a limited resource, the needle in today’s digital haystack…. Nurturing talent requires work, capital, expertise, investment. It requires the complex infrastructure of traditional media—the scouts, the agents, the editors, the publicists, the technicians, the markets. Talent is built by the intermediaries. If you ’disintermediate’ these layers, then you do away with the development of talent too” (30-31). The sheer velocity of information on the Web makes it difficult to sift through and find the talent, and in some cases, accurate and depth-driven content needed. Keen also insists that talent is necessary to nurture into expertise, which can only be done through a time-tested infrastructure of traditional development that involves investment resources like money.

Jessica Razumich
I am able to meet:
Monday : After 5:30 pm
Tuesday: After 3:30pm
Wednesday : After 5:30 pm
Thursday: After 3:30pm
Friday-Sunday : all day

  • Topic 1: I feel that the distinction between Knowledge and Information needs to be made immediately. I personally believe that knowledge is something that we as individuals learn independently/on our own through experience; where as information is something that we are taught or we make a point to learn. Managing knowledge and/or information entails different approaches; this can go two ways. Here is where we can split up the fact that knowledge and information can or cannot be managed:

• Knowledge is power; if everybody has it then it is not as powerful
• If we look at knowledge as a commodity, that we can buy or sell, the market for knowledge sets its value.
• What keeps you valuable on the market is how much knowledge you have (Expertise)
• With the group we lose the sense of individuality, we lose individual value.
• If we don’t value individual knowledge, then we will have an ignorant group.
• Experts —It’s a complex social world, so were going to make certain people experts on different topics. Then we will go to these people for help
• The question becomes, the way we aught to distribute knowledge.
• Tacit knowledge – not sure how you do something, yet you are able to do it.
o The public should know how to do things such as
• Play guitar
• Sports
• Mathematics
• So forth
• We want to have certain knowledge so that we can turn it into something
• We already do it, WWW (world wide web)
• If a doctor is an expert surgeon, and he has that knowledge that allows him to save lives and use technology well to save lives, we should try to obtain that knowledge to help others.
• Certain people should be kept from certain information
o EX.
• Younger children being exposed to information on how to build bombs, or how to make chemicals.
• All of our government knowledge and information NEEDS to be managed so that the public does not jeopardize the safety of our country.
• We already manage knowledge
o It’s a way of life for our generation and the generations to come
o Its an advancement for the human population

• Society has an obligation to educate its populous.
• It creates Group Think.
o A bunch of people who are like-minded, who tend to think the same way and solve problems the same way.
o So you don’t get that collective wisdom
• While we do possess individual pieces of knowledge we do not possess a whole. So we need to get together and share information.
• Knowledge is dangerous.
o What do you want people to know?
o When do you want people to know it?
o Who do you want to know things?
o Who gets to determine this?
• If I really want to get at answers on some things, as long as I create a group with the following criteria:
o Diverse – cognitive.
o Independent
o Decentralized
• We learn from first hand experience, we need to experience things and gain knowledge on our own, everyone learns in different ways
• Our privacy
o We would lose our privacy through constant monitoring, thus losing our freedom
• Where would we store all the knowledge if we attempted to manage it? And how would we organize it? How do we determine the criteria and who develops the criteria? Who translates all the knowledge (languages)?

  • Topic 2: I agree with Kaitlin Cannavo that the management of knowledge should involve more interaction between people. The World Wide Web already does this to an extent. However, there is the generation gap (And always will be) and we constantly need to -here’s the kicker- Learn how to use the technology to come together and create information. We learn through experiences and discussions, and knowledge is a compilation. What I Mean by this is that I might know part of something, I talk to Jaclyn who knows something other than me, and she talks to Alan who knows something else…. And so forth. Not necessarily a group, but a thread of ideas.
  • Topic 3: Expert Knowledge: The web should not replace experts. I agree. Experts create the information and the knowledge, if we did not have them, where would we get the information from to put onto the web? I feel that they should use the web to, once again, as a group come together and collaboratively share their information and help advance one another.
  • Topic 4: Mass Collaboration: The web allows for the public to have information readily available to them. They in turn can create their own ideas and contribute bit by bit to create a working collaboration. This is a tricky idea though because who is contributing information that is reliable and correct. Anyone can post anything, thus returning back to management. The information on the WWW is something that I know personally I use to research with, not take as 100% the truth or correct.

Dec. 1 Working Draft

Why Internet Should NOT Replace Experts

We all use digital social networks in some way; we access and distribute this knowledge at our discretion. Through the use of the World Wide Web, WWW, we are able to connect to this unlimited source of information at any time, anywhere. However, what we need to take into consideration are the “experts”.
What makes a person an “expert”? According to Wikipedia an expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary an expert is someone having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience. Usually a person is an expert in one or two specific areas. The WWW, under these definitions and limitations, cannot be considered an expert. There is too much information for the Internet to simply claim that everything it produces is expert information.

Technically the Internet mentally and physically CANNOT replace experts. There are Internet experts who allow for you to look up and discover through the use of search engines, such as Google, the expert in the field of your need.
Rather than replacing experts the Internet will complement them. The Internet can enhance the work of the experts. Experts can place their ads and information onto the Internet and reach an unlimited number of people. For example, if I want a bike expert I type in “bike expert” into the Google search engine. The first name that comes up is “John Allen's Home Office Home Page”. The Internet works hand in hand with this “expert”. It helps people who are seeking a bike expert and it helps him to get his name out there and allow people to find him specifically. He can publicize his ideas and get his opinion out to people who might not be able to seek him out in person. However, there are websites out there that are attempting to replace the real-life experts and take away that human factor. Such a website is WebMD. This website has posted a description of themselves as follows:

The WebMD content staff blends award-winning expertise in medicine, journalism, health communication and content creation to bring you the best health information possible. Our esteemed colleagues at are frequent contributors to WebMD and comprise our Medical Editorial Board. Our Independent Medical Review Board continuously reviews the site for accuracy and timeliness.

However, the internet/website can only provide certain information, that information might be bias, or regulated to deliver a certain message or idea to the public that the site manager might want. In other words the information could be “cleaned” or “polluted”. WebMD takes away the one on one contact that a person would have with an expert doctor. This could potentially become a health risk!
Think about this:
If your stomach started to hurt and you went to the WebMD symptom checker and typed in stomach pains, the website would give you a list of possible symptoms that could cause your stomach to hurt. From there you are required to read through a list of questions, when all of a sudden on of the messages that pops up reads “If you are experiencing tearing abdominal pain please seek emergency medical attention”
They are telling you that you need to see a medical expert.

The Internet cannot replace a medical expert. The web cannot do surgery for you, nor can it teach just anyone to perform surgery. People go to school to learn from experts so they can advance to medical school. They then go to medical school to learn and watch medical experts in hopes of becoming a medical expert themselves one day.

In the end we are always going to need experts. The information that gets put onto the WWW has to come from somewhere. That somewhere is the expert, the information has to be reputable and has to be trusted. I am not a doctor or a scientist so why should Wikipedia recognize my information as expert/correct information. Then there are the questions about who gets to post what on the WWW? The WWW cannot replace the experts but rather help enhance their ability to reach more people and spread more information.

Megan Quigley
Monday and Wednesday: After 5pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 11am-2pm, after 3:15pm
Friday: After 12pm
Saturday and Sunday: all day

I prefer to write about Topic 2, specifically about paying for access because I touched on that in essay 1 and also about corporate KM and employees’ knowledge of KM in the workplace and their reactions to it. For corporate KM, I think it’s important to look at the type of websites or sources that company’s use to manage knowledge and their different rules pertaining to each. For example, if a company uses a Wiki as a KM tool, what are their guidelines for participating and contributing information or their knowledge, which should be defined (Topic 1). If collaboration is stressed by the company and they consider the “wisdom of crowds” to be ideal, are employees responsible for what they post or is it anonymous? How much will an employee’s identity be whittled down to just an ID number and password, and how will KM tools change the corporate culture? Along with the possible positive results of KM, like best practice sharing, the negative consequences must also be explored, especially dealing with employees who are prone to hoard information and are unwilling to change their practices.

Topic 1: I agree with everyone else that we need to distinguish between knowledge and information from the start of the paper. I interpret information as straight facts that you could look up in an encyclopedia and is readily available. On the other hand, I think knowledge is information from someone’s point of view, with their personal experiences and thoughts have somewhat of an impact of influence. I also believe that groups and individuals need consideration when defining knowledge and information, but am not quite sure how to approach this. Most of the time I feel that groups and individual knowledge is being managed without their considerations, and that they groups and individuals themselves don’t know it’s going on either.

Topic 3: The web should not replace experts. I agree more with the ideas from “The Cult of the Amateur” than I do with “The Wisdom of Crowds.” If the web replaces experts and all information or knowledge that people becomes somewhat “mediocre,” who do we go to create or validate the information if no experts exist?

Topic 4: Mass collaboration instantly reminds me of Wikipedia, and look how great that once-questionable source of information turned out to be. As far as managing mass collaboration, I also think that Wikipedia has managed to come up with a good system and can validate good, factual articles and provide disclaimers for those that are not or are still under construction. As far as things like mass collaboration, or KM in general, I think it’s important to let your audience know the type of information being presented and if there are any biases.

Working Draft

-Look more at internet censorship and privacy in the United States:

-On the education side: “The free exchange and exploration of ideas is the foundation of higher education. ‘Therefore, academic culture and its computing infrastructure must by design remain open—free of safeguards and barriers that would stifle the transmission of knowledge.’”—Kevin Sayers, assistant provost and assistant to the president at Capital University

-From the business side: “Knowledge is compressible, encrytable, copyable, distributable…all at incredibly low cost. Therefore, censorship on the Internet is always destined to be partial and failing.”—Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia

-On a personal note: The debate between legal protections and censorship on the internet and self-censorship, and how legal censorship would affect freedom of speech. Raises the question: “At what point does sensitivity become censorship, and who should decide?”; discuss example of Polar Rose—an online tool that automatically reviews public images across the web and tags faces and register names, and would be indexed in Google for everyone to view
-Bring in issue of online stalking and harassment, and the increasing occurrences and dangers, and their relation to the amount of information we put on the web about ourselves
-Discuss Keen’s Cult of the Amateur and the example he brought up of online gambling and how some people thought that government and schools should regulate usage or ban it, but others thought it was more an individual’s choice and how it would violate their rights and privacy if government regulations were involved

“Trust Me, I’m a Website” by Bill Thompson
“10 Trends to Watch in Campus Technology—Plus 8 Myths and 7 Key Skills for CIO’s” by James Martin and James Samels
“Future Web: Setting Knowledge Free” by Jimmy Wales
“Internet’s Seedy Side: Consumer Scams, Child Pornography, Cyber Stalking” by Jenni Bergal and Purva Patel

Rachel Burch
Monday and Friday are good days to meet.
Every other day is pretty booked.
Sundays after 4 before 10 are good too.

Topic 1: I again agree that we need to distinguish between information and knowledge for the beginning of the paper. If everyone remembers, the first 2 weeks or so of class was spent on defining knowledge management, as opposed to information management. Addressing this is certainly priority. And after defining the differences between both, that will segway well into topic 2- how to manage.

Topic 2: It is important first to define both knowledge and information in order to understand how best to manage it. I originally wrote about this in my email proposal, but I would rather right on another topic. Sarah was correct is saying that knowledge and information already are managed. I think a good approach to this topic would be to look at powerhouse sites, like Google, and see how they manage information and who decides in what format? How do the sites come up in the order they do, does it have to do with money? This may be an urban myth but I heard somewhere one time that whoever throws google the most money comes out in the first 10 or so. This should be researched and addressed. I agree with everyone's comments that allowing individuals to manage any sort of knowledge sounds like a scary idea- which segways into topic 3.

Topic 3: I think this topic is extremely interesting. I agree that experts need to continue to be around, or else what's the incentive for attaining to become an expert? However, I think never allowing someone without such heavy credentials to input an opinion is no good either. I think there needs to be a balance, and people need to be able to make the distinction between an expert and a layperson.

Topic 4: The topic of mass collaboration is the one I am most interested in, which pans out nicely as I don't think many chose to want to write on this topic. Obviously, Wikipedia will be an immediate section for this topic. I like Kristen's idea of incorporating our steps/problems/likes/dislikes of the collaborative essay into the essay itself. After all, none of us have ever done this before, its completely experimental, and a possible great example of how mass collaboration can thrive and fail. I agree that collaboration has its ups and downs. Sometimes it could be viewed as an "easy way out". Think about when you're allowed to work in partners or groups on a test. Someone will know more information than someone else, and that person has the advantage of being able to steal information from the other person. This is written somewhat confusing, but hopefully you get the idea.

Noted: I have been super busy this week. I will begin researching as soon as time permits.

Courtney Carlson
Times I am available to meet:
Mondays: after 3pm
Tues/Thurs: after 5pm
Wed/Fri: after 3pm
Sundays: between 12 and 4; after 8

Topic 1: I also agree that we need to distinguish between information and knowledge for the beginning of the paper. If we can effectively define knowledge management, we will be able to better define knowledge and information and determine how to best manage it. I am most interested in this topic and would like to research this further.

Topic 2: I definitely agree that knowledge and information has already been managed. We should examine sites such as Google, Wikipedia, and other search engines and look into how they organize and manage “their knowledge”. I also agree with the above comments that allowing individuals to manage knowledge is a scary idea; however, addressing this will allow us to address topic three more fully.

Topic 3: I also agree that balance is key when it comes to managing knowledge through books, and that we certainly still need experts. Otherwise, who will be the authority of certain issues regarding knowledge? Who would want to aspire to be an expert? If we have no experts, there will be no “credentials”, if you will, to determine whether or not someone is the authority on certain topics. We cannot, however, allow the experts to take over all control of the knowledge, and should thus allow non-experts to have control over what is published (via sites like Wikipedia, etc.)

Topic 4: When I think of mass collaboration, I think of Wikipedia and sites like our own Wiki. When collaborating, I think it is important to have some sort of disclaimer of who is an “expert” and who is a “layperson”. As mentioned by others, this is also very tricky.

Working draft/information to be addressed
What is knowledge?
• practical use of information
• involves a personal experience.
• a third person reading the results will have information about it, while the person who conducted the experiment personally will have knowledge about it.
• consists of facts, truths, and beliefs, perspectives and concepts, judgments and expectations, methodologies and know-how.
• use knowledge to determine what a specific situation means. Knowledge is applied to interpret information about the situation and to decide how to handle it.
• is accumulated and integrated and held over time to handle specific situations and challenges.
• can be more complex than information
• represents expert human problem solving mechanisms
• we are changing our knowledge every second of our lives, without consciously or actively acquiring knowledge.
• Knowledge is fluid, tacit, and forever changing. We cannot recall knowledge, as we can recall information, we can only experience a situation as similar and react to it in a similar way.

What is information?
• Information consists of facts and data organized to describe a particular situation or condition.
• We can represent knowledge as information
• the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence
• knowledge obtained from investigation, study, or instruction (Merriam-Webster)
Different approaches and goals for knowledge management:
• Information should be managed, not knowledge.

• Information should be organized, knowledge must be structured and internalized.

• Groups and individuals need to be considered when defining knowledge and information.

o Knowledge acquisition is an activity. If we are to "manage" something we must fully understand what exactly knowledge is.

Taylor Bryan
Available Times

Monday after 4
Tuesday after 5
Wednesday after 4
Thursday after 5
Friday Anytime

Topic 1

I agree that we need to clearly distinguish between information and knowledge conceptually before the topic or the essay can get off the ground. Information composes that which is available to all people through the internet and other forms of media, education, etc. Knowledge consists of organized information within a person's mind that has been categorized through experience and can be utilized for given purposes through such experience. Knowledge ultimatly consists of people's personal management of information and the ways in which one can use such knowledge to address practical problems. Because knowledge requires a vast amount of work on the part of individuals over a lifetime of work, it should not be free, except of course in public education, and should be the sole possession of the individual who has spent the time to attain it. In terms of defining knowledge management we need to reach a common ground. If managing knowledge entails each individual using their knowledge for their own personal gain than I believe it should be managed by the individual; however, corportations, etc. should not reserve the right to use what a person has achieved through processing information into organized and usable knowledge or require the individual to leave a record of his or her knowledge for the company. In knowledge is managed by any organization outside of an individuals mind it completely removes that persons worth within the job market. If companies are capable of recording the knowledge of an employee who worked for a significant amount of time, nothing is stopping them from teaching entry level personel that same knowledge, thereby removing the skilled and experienced employee's worth entirely.

Information on the other hand must be managed but the question lies in what entity should have the authority to determine what can and can't be learned and later formulated into knowledge. Obviously information regarding dangerous subject matter should not be available to the general public. People should not have the opportunity to learn to make weapons, drugs, or other dangerous items and should not necessarilly have access to knowledge about people's private matters (although we often broadcast our own.) However, managing information certainly has negative connotations as those in authority can mislead people by denying the access to information. If the power to manage information emerges it must rest in the hands of a collective, diverse group of people so that group think does not take over and so decisions can be with the best interest of all parties having a say.

In order to distinguish between the individual and the group scenarios in which the individual and the group surmass information and knowledge require discussion. As information is readily available to both the individual and the group the difference seems irrelevant. Individuals and groups can both attain information and synthesize it into useful, practical knowledge. Knowledge, on the other hand, does hold a distinction between the individual and the group, however, I believe the individual's role in producing knowledge is far more valuable and should be protected. Groups certainly produce knowledge in ways similar to what we are doing in thie essay but the collective knowledge is a collaboration of individuals knowledge organized together to suit a groups interests. When such knowledge is created it should be available to the entire group but not at the expense of removing an individuals agency. Because groups create knowledge most frequently within the structure of a company or corporation and because the company or corporation placed the individuals together (and pays their salaries), the knowledge created must be usable to the company. This creates a dangerous situation for the individual, however. By sharing one's own knowledge with a group, although certainly not all of it is utilized, a person makes him or her self vulnerable to a loss of worth. In order to manage knowledge in a group or in general, the individual must be protected above all else.

Topic 2
I agree that knowledge and information are already managed often to a degree that we fail to recognize. Through pay for access data banks such as encyclopedias, authenticated information is managed by only allowing paying customers access to the information; however, in the wake of sites such as wikipedia information has become practically free and as trends towards the collective continue it will become nearly impossible to manage information in this way. As I mentioned in topic one dangerous information needs to be managed but the groups chosen to do so must be monitored through a diverse group of contributers who make their decisions known to the public, i.e. people are informed that they cannot access certain information because of the dangerous content it contains. I am weary of studying corporate buisiness models to learn ways to manage knowledge as corporate knowledge management can seriously harm an individual. Perhaps we should examine ways in which corporations do manage knowledge and determine what is safe and beneficial to all parties involved.

Topic 3
I do not think that the web should replace experts but obviously this trend is already taking place. I feel we should explain reasons why expert knowledge should not be replaced but also discuss the trend and formulate an opinion on how if experts are replaced it can be done without sacrificing access to authentic information and knowledge.

Topic 4
I see mass collaboration as a trend that will continue for better or worse. I feel we should examine how collaboration can affect knowledge and information in both positive and negative ways in order to prepare ourselves and whoever reads this essay for the future of the internet.

Alex Orchard-Hays

Working Draft (Dec. 1)

Topic 2: How to Manage Knowledge – Paying for access, online journalism and accompanying revenue models might give us a better idea of how to manage knowledge

Paying for access to knowledge is a widely used method for managing it. All media contains knowledge of some sort, so when you buy a textbook, rent a movie, subscribe to a magazine, pay your tuition, or legally download music, you are paying for access to particular knowledge. The knowledge is thereby managed; if you cannot afford the product, are not exposed to it, or even choose not to buy it, you do not access the knowledge it contains. An exception to this rule appears on the Internet. While you still have to pay to access the Internet, the Internet itself is not a type of media on its own. Instead, it is a source for infinite media, some of which you still have to pay for, but most of which is free.

Who controls the knowledge on the Internet is a point of contentious debate. By nature, the Internet is a public venue. Even areas of the Internet intended for private use are in essence public due to the ease of spreading information. For instance, you can email one friend a photo, but that friend could post it to a website or forward it to an infinite number of people, and any of those people could forward it, save it, and upload it to an even more public space. So one might think that the individual with whom the piece of knowledge originated should have full control over it, but what about in instances where a photographer takes a photo without the subject’s awareness or permission? With the rise of smaller, more portable, and better quality devices that can more readily share data, there is no way to control this but to somehow ensure that the identities of these subjects are not revealed. And given the supremely public quality of the Internet and the inability for one to determine initially in what context and for what purpose the media was created, managing media this way would be next to impossible without restructuring the functionality of the Internet as a whole.

The Internet as a public media outlet and avenue for the free flow of ideas should not be compromised. This may have to apply to personal information as well, as currently there is no effective way of controlling or containing it. Essentially, members of our society must now participate in public spaces – be it the Internet or the grocery store – with the awareness that anything they do, say, write, or share could be viewed by millions. Online journalism shares this habitat, which allows bloggers to copy and paste from news sites to create their own spins on stories that may be misleading. Further, bloggers are not just repurposing information from news sites, but competing with them for it, which blurs the distinction between journalist and blogger. This increased competition as well as the “free” nature of the Internet creates a difficult financial scenario for established news sources.

It is generally known that online news sources cannot function on selling advertising space alone. In order to support the employment of trained journalists and editors and the facilitation of in-depth research for stories, online journalism has turned to other revenue models. The primary model involves readers paying a subscription fee for access to full length articles and all of the site’s features. This model adheres to the notion that knowledge that you have to pay to access is of better quality than knowledge that is free. In the case of journalism, this may be true. The main problem with this revenue model is that it alienates a large percentage of the potential readership who is accustomed to accessing news for free. In order to gain the revenue that quality news sources require to function online and otherwise, the vast majority of Internet users must value well researched news, trained editors and journalists, and a review process for stories before publication. Further, they must subscribe to the notion that this “credible” news can only be bought. One way to accomplish this is to mandate disclaimers on all “illegitimate” news sites and blogs so that information consumers are at least aware of how and under what circumstances the information they are given is presented.

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