Knowledge Management vs. Social Media – a war that does not, and need not, exist

[Deutscher Titel: Wissensmanagement vs. Soziale Medien – ein Krieg, der nicht existiert und nicht existieren muss]

Jeff Kelly
KM vs. Social Media: Beware the Warmongers
Social Computing Magazine, November 17, 2008

Abstract: In what struck me as a bit of ageist tirade, Venkatesh Rao is trying to instigate. He believes that knowledge management (KM) advocates and social media (SM) advocates are at odds with each other. His often divisive tract imagines a war between KM and SM. Evidently, after encountering resistance to his polarized view of SM, he authored the dense tirade as a call to a war that does not exist.
His post brings to mind William Randolph Hearst’s quote, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war.” (Although that is history and Rao dismisses the importance of such institutional knowledge. He’s doomed to repeat a great deal of history, I suppose.)
I see no reason why we should respond to Rao’s call to war. His evidence in support of war are little more than petulant responses to people’s inevitable resistance to change. He supports his opinions with fallacy in an attempt to create generational conflict. My personal favorite: “…RSS and Mash-ups are culturally Gen X ideas…” I wonder how Dave Winer, the primary inventor/advocate of RSS, would feel about that statement since he falls solidly in the Boomer generation that Rao seems to disdain. Statements like “The Boomers don’t really get or like engineering and organizational complexity,” beg a cultural flame-war. But I will resist. Instead, let me make a case for KM and SM peace.

This article is a response to Venkatesh Rao’s Social Media vs. Knowledge Management: A Generational War.

Read the full article online

All Materials Creative Commons (CC)2007-2008 Social Computing Magazine.

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