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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Comments

I agree with most of what you are saying, except most of my google hits are coming from searches for project server stuff and Im reposting year old content as a way of reassessing how things are going. :-)

I agree that people are somewhat leary of speaking out. I think it takes a special courage\stupidity to put yourself out there and let people read and comment on your opinions. Most people hold their opinions pretty strongly (as it should be) and it is hard to watch people disagree strongly with your ideas.

I am starting to see companies use blog type technology within teams and groups to help with knowledge sharing but it is not widespread. I agree that "KM" has not lived up to it's promise but Im not sure this is the fault of "KM". I think it is unfair to blame KM for not living up to expectations when I see the biggest problem with KM is that people are too lazy\apathetic\scared to share their K! People with knowledge not sharing is why KM is not living up. The tools are there. Sure some high end KM systems make it harder because they demand categorization schemes that might seem cumbersome but blogs are about the easiest and most transparent thing I can think of as a means to share whats in my head with others. I see KM and PM in much the same place. The software and tools to assist in doing a good job at both are available to almost everyone that wants them. The problem is with people being ready to use them.

I am wondering how YOU think things have changed. I note that there are fewer 3 part series on your site nowadays. I note that the same couple dozen PM bloggers (you all know who you are) are all reading each other's blogs. (an indication of the dearth of interest in project management blogs is that my logs show more google searches for African Millipedes than anything project related on my blog) I note that I've only posted one thing in the past week. I note that some of the PM blogger sites I see on blogrolls have been cold for a year or so. I note that this is a post about a series of posts over a year old :-) The simple conclusion is that it is interesting but has yet to change the world, a world which is still fairly small.

That said, I think it will only get better in the future. The people you mention as being "scary smart" are still smart and more people are reading blogs every day. Bit by bit good content is piling up in archives. Bit by bit we are educating each other or challenging each other to build a stronger understanding of project management.

My personal opinion is that is going to be a slow process. There are relatively few people out there who have the inclination to share their knowledge for free to anyone who wishes to read it. In many discussion groups and mailing lists the percentage of those who are "active" is typically just a few percent. Even with the barriers to getting a blog set up and publishing stuff as low as they have gotten, that percentage is unlikely to increase. I believe it is something you either want to do or it is not. For most it is "not".

I've found that I enjoy it though. I find it helps me to clarify my thoughts. Occasionally it generates a good conversation or even a laugh. For me that is enough to make it worthwhile. But I know many who hesitate to voice their opinions even in private conversations. Only the bold or stupid blurt stuff out in public.

I'm not going to comment on the other two parts (KM and internal blogs) as I'm still thinking about them. KM seems to have not lived up to promises and is sitting in the corner trying to figure out how to get back into good graces.

So, to conclude, yes, blogging is something useful and something which will grow, but the growth is not explosive and perhaps it is better that way. It is kind of nice to have a fairly small community. The only down side is that it leaves me fewer people to skewer :-)

-Jack

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