Cooking up a Story

A couple of people have asked what my last blog post had to do with collaboration. Well, to be honest, not a lot. But it illustrates something I often discuss. The difference between knowledge and information.

To me, knowledge is something that exists in someone’s head. Its about knowing something. The term “knowledge management” irritates me, because it is usually applied to techniques for managing information that happens to be sitting in a computer somewhere.

The difference between information and knowledge is the difference between having a recipe for a dish and knowing how to cook things.

Now, one could argue that they both lead to the same thing – a hopefully delicious meal.

But the Accidental Recipe post was all about cooking when you do not have a recipe. Using the knowledge that comes from the practical application of many recipes to create a delicious meal from ingredients that don’t make up a recipe possess. Innovation, not the application of a known process.

Knowledge workers could go and read all the information in all the information repositories, then practice applying them a lot and, hey presto, they can solve the business problems they face each day.

Where social software platforms differ is that they strive to provide access to knowledge, not to information. One way they do that is by letting you discover information in the context of the people who are sharing it. So you not only have access to the information, but also the people who can answer your questions, advise you and help you to apply the knowledge. “Knowledge on Demand.”

The second difference with social platforms is that they actively encourage users to share, not just information, but also experiences.

I am not sure that this blog post contains much useful information, but hopefully it imparts some useful knowledge to those who read it.