More Social Information

August 18, 2006 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

More notes from The Social Life of Information, John Seely Brown, Paul Duguid.

p.30 Mentions Zuboff “In the Age of the Smart Machine” …but the paradise of shared knowledge and a more egalitarian working environment just isn’t happening.  Knowledge really isn’t shared because management doesn’t want to share authority and power.  It’s a problem of management not technology.  [Reminds me of a quote I read in eWeek: “There are no technological solutions to social problems.”  Merril’s law?]

[Throughout the book, the authors discount and critique the “Dreams” of Info-enthusiasts, futurists, technologists.  It gets really old.]

p.80 Apparent “Ease” offered by these technologies hides much of the extra work they involve.  Teachers are encouraged to “put their materials on the web” as if that task was merely a click away.  Anyone who tries will quickly find how demanding making and maintaining a worthwhile web page can be….  [But we’re all publishers, now.  I suppose that’s what web 2.0 is all about right, the read/write web?  Enabling the everyman and all that.  Sure it’s not always easy.  Neither is learning to read.  Information Literacy again.]

p.87 Too often IT design is poor because problems have been redefined in ways that ignore the social resources….by contrast, successful design usually draws on these social resources even while helping them change.  One way to engage such resources is to help build them, engendering a sufficient number of competent users that they can start to help each other.

p.124 Learning, the acquisition of knowledge, presents knowledge management with its central challenge, oft defined core problem.  In terms of information with solutions in province of information technology, retrieval looks as easy as search.  But all of these are subordinate to learning.  This makes intellectual property available, etc.

p.126 Learning, sharing, and using knowledge appear indivisible.  Conversely, talk without the work, communication without the practice is, if not unintelligible, at least unusable.  Become a member of a community, engage in its practices, and you can use its knowledge and information, remain an outisder and they remain indigestible.

p.141 Networks of practice vs. communities of practice.  Networks  – They may have occupations in common, but people may not know each other.  Communities are typically face-to-face groups.


Entry filed under: The Social Life of Information.

The Social Life of Information Even more social information

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