Change This: Why PDF?

I must admit, I’m intrigued by Seth Godin’s latest noncommercial venture, Change This. It’s not a business, but a forum and distribution system for ideas that seek to change or challenge the way people view or do important things. It’s not just technology, business, and communication, but politics, science – you name it.

Very cool. I like what they’re trying to do. I just have some questions about how they’re doing it…
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No Webfeed? No Excuse for These Sites!

Over time I’ve stumbled across several sites for which I can see no possible excuse for their lack of any kind of webfeed (RSS, Atom, whatever). That truly annoys me.

So here is my official Feedless Hall of Shame: Sites that cover (or organizations that focus on) enough technology-related topics and tools that there is no conceivable possibility that they wouldn’t know about webfeeds and how to implement them.

I’m excluding government Web sites from this list. Even though most government agencies (such as GAO) should offer a wide variety of webfeeds, I know government IT is generally slow-paced and resistant to innovation.

Read the list (which I’ll be expanding and updating over time)…
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Various and Sundry Knowledge Management Stuff

Here’s a slightly focused grab bag of interesting articles that have caught my attention as I explore the field of knowledge management.

Top of the list: June 25, Das E-Business Weblog, Knowledge Management does not exist. Personal Knowledge Management does, by Martin Roell. He writes, “‘Knowledge’ is something personal and only something personal. Once you make it explicit, it’s no longer knowledge: It’s information. We can manage information well, we can build fancy databases and label them ‘Knowledge Management Systems’ but they remain Information Management Systems. And information by itself is completely meaningless.”

Read the rest of the list…
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What Do We Know? The Great Info-Knowledge Debate

Despite the popularity of the buzzword knowledge management, there’s actually a fair amount of debate in the KM community over whether it’s actually possible to manage “knowledge.” In a way, this debate reminds me of Terry Jones‘ brilliant observation about the War on Terror, “How do you wage war on an abstract noun?”

In order to decide whether knowledge can be managed, you must understand what knowledge is…
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Reader Survey: Preliminary Results

A couple of weeks ago I invited CONTENTIOUS readers to tell me their opinions on this weblog through my 2004 reader survey. So far, 132 people have filled it out. (Thanks so much!) I haven’t yet done a thorough analysis of results, but here are some interesting tidbits I’ve gleaned so far…

(By the way, my survey is still open. If you haven’t yet filled it out, you can still do so. It’s a fast 10-question Web-based form, completely anonymous.)
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How to Think Like a Publisher, Part 3

(NOTE: This article is part 3 in a series. See Part 1, Part 2, and .)

In many ways, content quality is what drives online competition.

For most businesses or organizations, “the competition” is whoever offers the same products or services as you, or is pursuing the same target market or resource base.

Dealing with such traditional competitors can be daunting. In fact, for many organizations, “outdoing the competition” is one of the main forces driving them to establish a Web presence in the first place.

However, once your organization has become a Web publisher, it enters an entirely different realm of competition: the battle for attention….
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Blogging: No Point in Catching Up

Earlier, I wrote about the three secrets of no-pressure blogging. On a similar note, Nancy White of Full Circle Associates recently explained yet another way to take the pressure off from reading and writing blogs.

See: Too Darn Hot to Blog – Helps one be Less Blog-Obsessed!

My favorite excerpt: “I think “catching up” is not productive in blog reading unless I have a ton of free time. I am going to mark all my subscriptions “read” and go from there. Let go. Ahhh…”

(And yes, I realize I am blogging this item at four minutes to midnight, as I try to catch up on my blogging backlog. Everyone’s a hypocrite.)

For My Fellow Bookaholics

Just ask my husband – I am an incurable, notorious, unrepentant bookaholic. I always have been. I rarely go anwhere without a bag of my current reading material in tow. I can’t fall asleep without reading.

Much to my husband’s chagrin, my friend Steve Loyola has intensified my bibliaddiction with his online comparison-shopping site for books, Best Book Buys. If you’re looking for a great deal on a book, check there first. It will compare prices (including shipping costs) for your chosen title from dozens of online booksellers, both new and used. Hands down, this is the easiest way to find the best deal on any kind of book.

Best Book Buys is actually part of a larger comparison-shopping site, Best Web Buys.

Even better, Best Book Buys has now implemented a wish list service – just register (free, and not onerous) and you can create up to 20 wish lists on this site. (Hint to my family and friends: my birthday is coming up soon…)

What Wendy Shaffer Says About WikidPad, So Far

Awhile back, I mentioned a potentially cool tool for creating personal wikis (that live on your computer, not on the Web) called WikidPad. I’ll be honest, I haven’t had a chance to play with it much yet, so I can’t offer a measured opinion on it at this time.

However, Wendy Shaffer has toyed with WikidPad a fair amount. She’s still making up her mind about this tool, but here’s her review so far.

Context: How Arranging Ideas Spawns New Ideas

Given the staggering number and diversity of human minds that have been at work throughout the history of this planet, at this point there may be no such thing as a truly original thought. It’s all been “thunk” before, as someone recently said to me. The ideas already exist – we’re just moving them around, pretending they’re new and occasionally exciting.

That’s one way to view the potential output of the human mind – but I think it’s a pretty “narrow minded” approach (yes, pun intended).

It seems to me that there may be infinite possibilities for creative thinking (not mere cleverness, but truly creating new ideas) because, in my opinion, context creates meaning.

This is why I wish content management and knowledge management tools could be used like a tarot deck. Let me explain, I know that sounds weird…

(NOTE: My earlier article on Arranging Ideas was far more popular than I expected. Even better, the weblogs eLearningPost, Knowledge-at-Work, Knowledge Jolt with Jack, elearnspace, Small Business Blogging, and Brewed Fresh Daily have expanded upon it with their own thoughts and context. So forgive me for waxing philosophical once again, but I suspect I may be onto something…)
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