440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700

Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 15:35:18 -0800

04 00067 61 01013001

Mr. Cliff Joslyn
Computer Research Group (CIC-3)
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Distributed Knowledge Research Team; MS B265
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Subject:   KM Needs Foundational Definitions

Dear Cliff,

Responding to your letter today, noting my SDS record on January 26, 2001 fails to comment on specific ideas in your paper on KM, I know how frustrating it is to get feedback that does not deal with the substance of the work, and can only apologize that, due to experience doing, what seems sensible to call, "KM work" for about 15 years, it is difficult not to comment based on that experience.

As you recall, Charles Peirce, who did early work in semiotics and existential graphs, which may relate to the conceptual graphs you propose, placed great stock in "experience" as the foundation of knowledge.

Explaining how implementation of the ideas in your paper will improve daily work, will help your readers. Just give a few examples of how you are working now, and how it will be improved by applying your vision of the future. This defines the "problem at hand," which you want to solve.

A short explanation in the beginning that distinguishes KM from IT will further orient your audience. Why bring up KM, if it is just another word for IT?

You mentioned in our meeting on July 23, 2000 that KM is becoming pass.

This reflects failure to distinguish KM from what people are already doing. Unless there is a meaningful difference, then KM is just a another marketing buzz word, a fad. Therefore state a theory of "knowledge" that is different from "information."

PDF material can be copied, but it doesn't work very well and takes a long time. The fact that a lot of people use PDF, shows the challenge ahead to foster a culture of knowledge. A lot of people used horses for a long time, but this method was eventually improved. Similarly, a lot of people will continue to use documents for a long time; but, we can strive to work efficiently by transitioning from documents to Knowledge Space, particularly among KM practitioners.



Rod Welch