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Objective: Knowledge sharing via the confluence wiki

Available resource: CDI members.

Obstacle: Unless a member is officially allocated time to work on knowledge management for CDI, it is somewhat unlikely that members will extensively contribute. The most to be expected (based on past experience) is that members will respond to emails or share links or thoughts w/ others occasionally.

Solution:  We need a solution that can be incorporated into a member’s everyday workflow rather than trying to change his/her workflow (especially if rewards associated with the change are abstract).
One potential option is social bookmarking, e.g., using a service such as delicious (http://www.delicious.com/) that integrates into a web browser, and thereby makes the process of knowledge sharing part of a member’s workflow (assumption: members use web browser for the duration of their workday).

Delicious is a social bookmarking service where users store bookmarks that they can share with other delicious users via a network. These bookmarks can be tagged and the tagged resources can be published as RSS Feeds. The process to accomplish this may be

  • Set up a list of topics, e.g, for MAD: mobile (mandatory for all content), mobileux, android, iOS, blackberry, html5, mobile-gis, development, reference, api, guide, toturial. This list can be extended.
  • Set up a network. This requires buy-in from members of the group. Plan may be to first approach members of the community and ask to be beta users. MAD: Android developers (Brad Williams, Travis Lawall), iOS developers (Austin Reandeau?, Chris Hill), HTML5 enthusiasts (John Aguinaldo, Mark Hamill, Gregory Gunther, David Maltby), Adobe Products (David Maltby), Mobile GIS (Torey Alford), usability (Megan Hines, Dave Govoni), Windows (Burl Goree). Others?
  • Encourage network members to bookmark (via browser add-on for delicious) resources they find most useful and harvest these resources into the confluence wiki via RSS feeds.

8 Comments

  1. Delicious has proven generally useful to accumulate and -- with those who take the time to learn how -- collaboratively share links relevant to particular subjects.  I use it as one of several "PKM" (Personal Knowledge Management) tools and have also used it in a team context.  In the latter case, I served as a 'semi-passive aggregator', where team members could submit suggested links to my Delicious account and I would add the requisite description (usually just cut and paste from the site) and topical metadata (of my own devising), and "publish" them for all to see.

    The up sides: Very easy to use and annotated links are immediately informative.  The down sides: Without exercising some forethought and discipline the tagging scheme usually degrades from a more controlled vocabulary system to a rather hodgepodge "folksonomy" (thus the need for the 'tag bundles' alluded to below).  If you don't believe me, just have a look at my Delicious tag cloud:  http://www.delicious.com/tags/dgovoni

    To be effective for CDI groups, I think that the aggregator approach would work best, especially there were a simple but sufficiently broad controlled vocabulary to draw on for uniform tagging.

    Some examples (using Delicious' "tag bundles"):

    Another option that is built more explicitly on a 'cloud communities' model is Diigo, which has several "communities" of interest to me (e.g., Data Working Group, http://groups.diigo.com/group/escience) and potentially to CDI as well.  At the moment I receive more useful information than I contribute, but it has considerable potential.

  2. On the broader subject of KM for CDI, also see my concepts for a "Knowledge Management Framework" and "GSpedia" for some other ideas:  https://my.usgs.gov/confluence/display/cdi/Bakery+for+Half-baked+Ideas.

  3. Unknown User (jagui@usgs.gov)

    Yes, I think Farial is on to something!

    I don't know exactly how it will work, but I had struggled for several years trying to maintain a Technology Watch page for my team of developers.  2-3 years ago, I was updating it quarterly..  then last year I noticed that changes in technology were happening at a much faster rate so I went to monthly...  then this summer things really took off with HTML5 so I found myself reading weekly, but that still wasn't enough..   I finally found a solution where I could aggregate all of my blog sites and RSS feeds into an application called Flipboard (magazine style reader) on my iPad.  When I found an interesting article on my Flipboard, I could quickly share it within 2 clicks.  The shared stuff would automatically end up aggregated on my personal Google RSS "Shared Stuff" feed which my team could subscribe to.  So this works great for a single user sharing to a single RSS feed (which I assume we can somehow consume in Confluence - Farial?).  Not sure how it works with multiple people submitting to a single feed...  or even multiple different feeds.  

    Actually, my Flipboard solution also involves simple tagging of articles so that my team doesn't see my personal items - I use Yahoo Pipes to filter them.
    I think we can do the same thing using a desktop computer.. doesn't have to be an iPad.  There are plugins for Firefox (and other browsers) that allow this type of sharing of web pages to an RSS feed.  And as Farial describes above, it doesn't have to be RSS feeds, it can be social bookmarking...  but the concept is the same.  CDI users can easily share web pages to some social bookmarking/RSS service which gets displayed on a Confluence page.

    Anyone know anything about this?  I can help with the Google Pipes stuff when we get to a point where we have web services to filter or manipulate and republish.

    1. Unknown User (fshahnaz@usgs.gov) AUTHOR

      If you are sharing a feed via google reader and you want to publish that on Confluence, that can be done I believe. I've been using widgetbox to create widgets for RSS feeds and incorporate that into confluence (see Tech Trends). The issue I've encountered w/ Google Reader is that I  haven't been able to filter my shared items based on tags/labels and I've had a few performance issues w/ Y!Pipes, but otherwise it's a great combination.

      1. Unknown User (jagui@usgs.gov)

        I've also seen the performance issues with Ypipes occasionally, but I figured it might be due to testing (adding new item to shared feed, then checking in Ypipes).

        not sure.  I see people talking about using Feedburner to alleviate this.  Are you seeing any truncating issues with Ypipes?

  4. At the OGC meeting this week, I heard about this delicious page: http://www.delicious.com/tag/ogcdoc

    The people who work on it are dedicated to its cause and they said they don't get much help, but that isn't surprising with the limited scope it aims for.

    I think this is a good resource and potentially a model for us to look at critically if this is the sort of path we want to take.

    1. Agree with potential value ... have a look at the first comment for some closer to home examples.

    2. Unknown User (fshahnaz@usgs.gov) AUTHOR

      So Dave (& Dave :), this approach definitely couldn't replace original content that we would hope to get from members. Social bookmarking can be an easy (and for some, a very familiar) way to share online resources pertinent to the various CDI topic areas.

      As for original content, I'd be very much interested in learning about what folks are working on as part of their day job. I suppose the thinking is that as confluence is adopted across more groups (folks set up their projects on confluence and post updates), this generates original content that helps both extend the knowledgebase and promotes collaboration/awareness? I'd hope so.  Personally speaking, I'd be interested in following what Tim Kern's (how do I tag a user here? :) group is doing wrt/ mobile app development. That is knowledge that a lot of the MAD members would want to tap into. If the code bases are made available as a community effort, that's even more useful b/c we can extend each others apps/collaborate. 

      So a project collaboration tool in exchange for harvesting the knowledge of its users to a central location and a scenario where everyone wins b/c this helps with project documentation and breaks down silos... is that perhaps the thinking?