July 13, 2011
"Data is to Information as Information is to Knowledge:" On Categorial Mistakes and Implementing Modern KM
"Last week someone tweeted a link to an article called “Who owns knowledge?” Fascinating title, right up my alley, couldn’t wait to read it. So I clicked away to the page hoping to find the answer to this esoteric question. Of course, the article was actually about copyright on legal documents, and it’s a great article, raising a very interesting question in this time of Super Lateral Musical Chairs. However, I was so disappointed to get to the end without a single mention of knowledge ownership. The author made a categorical mistake that is quite common, even amongst KMers. Knowledge and Information are not equivalent."
So wrote Ryan McClead in a June 28th 3 Geeks blog post titled Confusing Information and Knowledge. 30-plus years ago we debated this matter in library school during the "Information Age." The issue still remains alive today. The article, Who owns knowledge?, fails to make the distinction. McClead's post revisits this "categorical mistake" and ends with the following statement:
Knowledge Management is, I think, about helping your company take advantage of these new technologies to tell stories better and maybe a little bit about managing information.
KN in the Public Sector. Damn good point. I would add that KM is no longer important just in law firms and corporations. At least in the public sector, it is time for those law librarians who haven't done so, to engage their public sector agencies and courts. My hunch is many in the federal agency and courts sector already have, perhaps also true at the state-wide level. But it is time for county agency and court systems to move beyond in-house, one-off, reinvent-the-wheel KN systems (where they even exist).
I think it is up to local public sector law librarians to make this push -- even if it doesn't stay within their job responsibilities -- so that their user populations don't remain behind the curve. Certainly there will be resistance to change but KN is not a bleeding edge productivity solution. [JH]