1 January 2010
A Worker's professional network is an array of work documents which serves as the worker's professional toolbox. Since these work documents are linked, they can be referred to as a network. Till recently, worker's mainly/exclusively used traditional Knowledge Management tools: portals, websites and knowledge communities for managing knowledge in organizations. While the perception which dictates that professional knowledge should be concentrated in one location is still fairly common in many organizations, recent years have seen the development of WEB2 tools which have become widely used both in organizations and the web. These tools are today utilized as professional sources of information as much as traditional tools.
This phenomenon can be explained by the manner information flows. While traditional KM tools are mainly used in order to "flow" information "downwards", WEB2 tools are sharing tools which enable users to insert information or change existing information (Wiki), to contribute their knowledge and experience and receive feedback (Blogging) and choose the information to which users will be exposed according to their fields of interest (RSS). Most cases deal with tools added to the portal and/or those linked to it yet are not an integral part of the portal.
Furthermore, WEB2 tools are used throughout the network, which create an opportunity for professional for professional enhancement based on external sources and the development of professional relationships. Is this good or bad? The answer depends on your perception of the situation, yet one thing is certain: the field of KM is a dynamic one. It constantly evolves and is refreshed. The tools described are actually complementary and create the toolbox which serves the worker in his/her professional life.