Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Personal in Personal Knowledge Management

Great dialog between Harold Jarche and Stephen Downes around Harold's PKM process


Stephen Downes wrote in response:

… what does the concept of a ‘method’ here imply? That there is a ‘best’ way to manage knowledge an information? Isn’t that what we’ve learned there isn’t? It’s a pick-and-choose sort of thing: the way we manage information has a lot to do with the information, and a lot to do with who we are and what we want the information for …

Harold responded with Other PKM processes where he shows some other models and states:

To be clear, my intention is to show what works for me and perhaps some part of this may work others. All of my articles on PKM are descriptive, not prescriptive. Take what you need, as there are no “best practices” for complex and personal learning processes.

Harold and I have discussed this exact issue before and we are both on the same page that Personal is really important word in Personal Knowledge Management.  Studies of Personal Information Management say that what works is often highly personal.  However, a lot can be gained from sharing approaches and practices.

Anyone who has seen me present know that I give a big caveat with the word Personal on the slide.  While I use the words, "you should" … what I mean is that "you should consider and maybe try" … not necessarily "you should adopt" …  What works for me, may or may not work for you.

However, there are some people who take that to mean that they can be successful continuing to use the same approaches without being aware of, considering or trying alternatives.  That's a real mistake.  And Harold and Stephen are great at trying to provide ways to think about and think through these alternatives.

So, while I push a lot around tools and methods for work and learning:

and the list goes on. ( In fact, Work Literacy is pretty much this topic. )

This is a good opportunity to add the same caveat:

The real intent is to provide context, alternatives and suggestions of where things might apply.  Your mileage will vary.

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