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Accessing, Applying and Amplifying Knowledge

by Sid Probstein 05/26/2020


In my last article, I wrote about the value of sharing knowledge through documents, articles, blog posts, images, etc., and how it is a great alternative to traditional approaches like spending months and millions moving, remodeling, indexing and reindexing (and reindexing!) important data into an expensive enterprise search engine.

In the cloud era, this approach just doesn’t make sense. The file system has a search engine already. Why not use that?

For starters, as I wrote previously, “Knowledge is not the same as files or messages. It is frequently smaller and messier. It’s harder to capture. It doesn’t necessarily paste into a Word document correctly.”

Another barrier is the state of file search. Most are designed to help you find things you just touched. Witness OneDrive’s focus on attachments and lack of relevant sorting options, let alone the ability to find a single slide in a massive PowerPoint.

Access can be a big problem.

Finally, there is a simple reality: Sharing a webpage, a bit of an article or an image with text on it is really just exchanging data. If you can’t attach your thoughts and views on the document, it never rises to the level of being insight. It likely lacks provenance, too. Where did it come from? Can I trust it? Can I quote an excerpt pasted into an email message from a colleague?

It can be very hard to apply found data without context and lineage.

The reality is that data is another thing to keep track of — and probably lose track of — since if captured "raw" it won’t have any useful context. You’ll forget why you found it and where you saved it, and will inevitably begin looking for it at the source all over again, wasting time and energy.

Knowledge is much easier to use. Once you have found it, the next step is to apply it to work. This brings me to the keys to sharing, from the technology and tool perspective.

There are so many options. But high-quality knowledge solutions are.... 

Read the rest of Sid's article on Forbes