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  • December News

    December News Previous Item Next Item KMGN has opened registration for its 2024 course, "Leveraging the value creation of tacit knowledge", which will begin this coming February. Details and registration can be found at Link ROM Global has launched a new service focused on the application of Generative AI in organizations. Our goal is to enhance knowledge work in a smart, straightforward, and responsible manner. Organizations are welcome to get in touch with us to explore whether and how this service can benefit them. KM consultants interested in becoming our business partners for this and other KM services are encouraged to contact us at: .

  • Blog - a balanced and diverse view on KM

    Blog - a balanced and diverse view on KM Previous Item Next Item Although hosted on a technology-focused website, this source offers a balanced and diverse view on KM, presented in a clear and easily digestible manner- Link

  • Prepare Yourself for a KM Role

    Prepare Yourself for a KM Role Previous Item Next Item Recommendations on How to Prepare Yourself for a KM Role: What Are the Most Common Questions? Link

  • International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy

    International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy Previous Item Next Item International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Economy ICKMKE January 25-26, 2024 Paris, France For more details : Link

  • Living in the moment

    Living in the moment 1 March 2016 Previous Article Next Article In our day and age, in which we are connected to our mobile device at all times and places, consumerism is perceived in a new light. According to recent researches, an average consumer consumes 10 hours of media a day, six hours of which are performed via cellular device, tablet of IPad. The affects of this change are manifested in the fact that various marketing companies are increasingly addressing their consumer audience via these devices. So, how does one utilize this change of habits and improve product sales and marketing? To do this, we must 'live in the moment'. Our lives are fast-paced, and our needs change accordingly. Every moment presents a new objective. My needs while sipping on my morning coffee cup are different than my needs while riding the bus or lounging on my couch later that day. Marketing companies need to realize this fact and learn how to route this moment for their benefit. How can we capture the moment in order to maximize our marketing and sales abilities? Mobile devices have changed our understanding and analysis of consumers. Nowadays, using several applications, companies can receive and produce a wide range of information regarding the user such as: current location, weather at said location, interests, age and in some cases, what the user is doing at this moment. It is important to know how to use this data in order to invite the potential consumer to our business, to manage the knowledge and data and use the information correctly. It is also important to consider who we wish to influence and seek a relevant target audience for our solution. It is vital to understand the consumers' motive and consider ways to affect it. A physical and emotional connection between the consumer and the advertised content must be established. Our experience has shown that 70% of shopper purchase decisions are made in store. This statistic crucially affects the marketing process. Reaching out to users via mobile devices must address the customer's data as well as any information regarding her/his current location or context thus allowing us to target him/her with personally customized content. The more our advertisement is synched with the moment the more we can route the customer towards a purchase. Hereby is an example of utilizing information regarding the time and the customer's location: in a scenario which involves an early afternoon and a client located nearby a McDonalds, the consumer should receive an invitation to purchase a hamburger for lunch coupled with a navigation feature offering instructions. The organization can enhance sales by encouraging customers to order via the application before reaching the store or by offering a benefit/discount. Another example can be customizing messages according to the customer's current situation: A customer who has just entered our competition's offices will receive a message offering him/her an enticing (and one-time) discount, a discount which we will not offer a 'loyal' customer. Information regarding a certain user entering tourism-oriented websites in search of a hotel for a vacation can and should be viewed as a platform for encouraging another purchase, one that will enhance the vacation experience. This is the perfect time, for example, to send the customer a text message advertising your restaurant located nearby the hotel. Modifying the content of the message in order to adapt to the customer's current situation can also mean that messages sent in the AM when most people don't have time and therefore lack patience will stick to short updates, while when it appears the customer is riding the bus (or any sort of public transportation) a video will be more effective as most bus-riders consider the ride as 'free time' and are therefore mentally available to pay attention. At night, when most customers are at home, you can send a message offering more details about your product. So, what does all this have to do with Knowledge Management? We as Knowledge Managers in an organization are considered the "marketers" in order to encourage and ensure that our internal consumer "buys into" KM methods such as: utilizing professional knowledge, working according to organizational processes, receiving information regarding upgrades, etc. we must understand and send a message associated with the worker's current context and situation. Information should be targeted at specific individuals, the knowledge should be tailored for each customer's location and timing. We need to create designated information which is relevant to the consumer in order to encourage the use and professional implementation of required tasks. Only so can we ensure the "sales" process. As a result, the organization might attempt to work more efficiently and maximize performance potential. For example: a technician ordered to a customer's house will receive the relevant procedure for fixing such a malfunction, as well as information regarding the customer's history and previous requests in order to conclude the treatment and verify satisfaction. Furthermore, in case a technician is needed in order to fix the malfunction, the technician will able to review which teammate is available and his/her current location. Another example can be customer service receiving information relevant to an optimal shift such as professional updates and a list of tasks to be handled during the shift even prior to entering it. Furthermore, the representative will be able to sign up for rest-breaks during the shift, thus ensuring his/her seat on the bus. Welcome to the age of cellular. Many organizations have already realized that mobile devices are a work utility of many advantages and can be used for professional uses. This realization leads to the development of knowledge sharing applications as well various social networks which invite organizations to think "out of the box" and enable sharing at any place and any time. In conclusion, in today's rapidly changing settings, both businessman man and organizations need to change their approach to consumers. In order to reach the customer's heart, it is important to customize relevant information, whether dealing with an external customer (on a business level) or an internal one. Realize the most appropriate moment for addressing the potential customer. This is true for both internal "consumers" and external consumers. Thus we can maximize options of interest and purchase. The right moment can serve us during sales and knowledge/information transmission processes. Remember, we can nowadays get so much information on any user or potential consumer and can therefore improve our sales approach: address the customer, adapt to his/her needs and altering will. References: vimeo inmobi

  • Social Media

    The Art of Social Media - Book review "The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users" by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick is a guide with 100+ tips for mastering social media. It covers profile optimization, content creation, link sharing, follower management, event promotion, effective responses, and upgrading your online presence. It emphasizes quality content and engagement. > Social Media for Government - Book review "Social Media for Government" by Gohar F. Khan (2017) offers a practical guide for government entities to implement social media effectively. Khan defines social media, discusses its role in governance, and emphasizes the need for a supportive organizational culture. The book covers various stages, from strategy development to execution, monitoring, and risk management. It also explores different social media tools and provides real-world examples. Recommended for government professionals and anyone interested in digital communication strategies. > Digital Media Ethics - Book review "Digital Media Ethics" by Charles Ess, originally published in 2009 and reissued in 2014, offers a comprehensive exploration of ethics in the digital realm. It covers theoretical approaches, privacy considerations, copyright dilemmas, dynamics of online membership, ethics in online sexual content, and ethical dimensions in gaming. While this summary focuses on methodology, the book provides in-depth insights for those interested in digital ethics. > Interview with Naama Halevi- Peer, Manager of the organizational portal in Hapoalim bank The bank's organizational portal has become a central hub for organizational intelligence, communication, and knowledge management. It has won awards and serves thousands of employees, offering various solutions and tools for enhanced productivity and collaboration. The portal's success factors include innovation, technological integration, management support, and active employee engagement. Future plans include expanding the range of business solutions and implementing Web 2.0 principles for fostering a sharing culture. Starting knowledge management from a broad common ground and targeting communities with a high potential for knowledge consumption are recommended approaches for organizations. > Collaborative Decision Making Business intelligence (BI) is crucial for organizations, but its success varies. Social and Collaborative BI combines BI with Web 2.0 technologies, enhancing decision-making by linking BI systems with collaborative input through social technologies. The "Wisdom of the Crowds" concept contributes to collaboration, and Collaborative BI provides capabilities for discussing, sharing, and collectively deciding the best course of action. Web 2.0 technologies enable intuitive sharing, enhancing the value of BI. > Why Digital Transformations Fail - Book review Tony Saldanha's book, 'Why Digital Transformations Fail,' offers practical guidance for successful digital transformations. Drawing from his experience at P&G, he emphasizes discipline, methodology, and cultural change. The book provides valuable insights and strategies to navigate the challenges of digital transformation. > Using Social Media for Recruiting Employees Social media has become a powerful tool for job recruitment. Companies leveraging social networks for hiring gain access to a large pool of potential employees. Knowledge management also plays a role in successful recruiting through social media. > A Conversation with Chris Collison Chris Collision, an internationally recognized knowledge management consultant, shares insights on the adoption of social media platforms for knowledge management. WIKIs, micro-blogs, and knowledge communities are among the popular tools utilized in organizations for effective knowledge sharing and collaboration. > Social BI Social Business Intelligence, an emerging trend in the era of Web 2.0, leverages social media platforms for business insights. It enables understanding customer preferences, tracking trends, and enhancing inter-departmental collaboration for better decision-making and work processes. > organizational blog An organizational blog serves as a knowledge source, promotes business processes, positions bloggers as experts, fosters learning and conversation, retains organizational knowledge, and supports marketing and change management processes. > Knowledge Management in our lives: part II Approximately a month ago, I published an article that discussed defining Knowledge Management differently than the definition commonly found in various sources. In this article I wish to continue my journey, titled "Knowledge Management in our lives". I will discuss additional components of the field and how they manifest in our day-to-day lives, namely: sharing, development of new know > Wiki as a tool of knowledge sharing in organizations The wiki as a tool of information sharing in an organization has many advantages; its easy learning and operating features make it quite the intuitive tool for the worker. Nevertheless, we must take into consideration the organizational needs and the importance of Data Security and data wandering throughout the organization. We must also prepare the organization before implementing the Wiki in the > Social Media Previous Item Next Item Load more

  • Applying the AIDA principles to an intranet portal homepage

    Applying the AIDA principles to an intranet portal homepage 1 February 2011 Shlomit Amichi Previous Article Next Article In this article, we'll discuss how we can design a portal homepage that implements the principles laid out by the AIDA model. AIDA stands for -Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, four stages defining the process of consumers buying behavior according to E. St. Elmo Lewis. The AIDA model is an established marketing model which dates back to 1898. AIDA can be applied to different situations which involve selling products or services, but in this article, we'll focus on how we can achieve each stage through portal homepage design. A - Attention (Awareness): attract the attention of the customer. I - Interest : Raise customer interest by demonstrating the features, advantages, and benefits. D - Desire : convince customers that they want and desire the product or service and that it will satisfy their needs. A - Action : lead customers towards taking action and/or purchasing. Nowadays some have added another letter extending the form to AIDAS- S - Satisfaction - satisfy customers, so they become repeating customers. An intranet portal site is designed to allow information to be quickly distributed to employees, to make internal business processes more efficient and to provide a sense of community within an organization. The homepage is different from all other Web site pages, is the starting place which has several roles: Promote the organization’s goals - make content relevant and easily accessible to all employees. Encourage the employees - improve relevance use homepage to pull out newsworthy items from across the organization and highlight them in one area, to keep all employees in the know. Keep employees engaged - offer a variety of news about what is happening within the organization: holiday schedules, newsletter stories, and promotions, significant changes to policies and procedures; organizational communities with collaborative features like blogs and forums. Employees tend to use intranets to get corporate information and tools as needed. Information, therefore, needs to relate to employees work and must be easily accessible. We don’t necessarily want them spending a lot of time on the intranet, but we want them to be familiar with it and to return to it. Intranet users want useful information that is reliable, relevant, and organized in a logical, intuitive manner. Focus on everyday work that employees need to complete by providing an organized arrangement of information to accomplish the task quickly and not only. Therefore, it would be interesting to examine an organization’s portal homepage with AIDA principles: Attention - It is critical to ensure that the homepage has all of the features expected of a homepage and looks like a website homepage for a user. A organization's website should communicate the site's purpose, and show all primary options available on the website. The page layout should help users find and use the most important information and should appear higher on the page so that users can locate it quickly. Information should be presented in the order that is most useful to users. Well-written and visually highlight headings are an essential tool for helping users scan and find information quickly. Interest - The representation of information in varying formats enables users to understand the nature of the site’s organizational relationships. A bright, logical structure will reduce the chances of users becoming bored, disinterested, or frustrated. Desire & Action - If the employee sees the benefits of engaging with the intranet, they will be willing to come back and see what else the intranet has in store for them.A “Call to Action” elements, usually in the form of buttons or hyperlink, invite the user to take some specified action. A call to action is typically written as a command, such as “Read more articles,” “Sign-up for our newsletter.” Employee Satisfaction is not only important but also beneficial. One of the secrets of an effective intranet is having an understanding of the information needs of your employees. What sort of information do they need to carry out their roles and key tasks? How do they currently use your intranet? What do they think of it? Knowing the answers to these questions will help to align the intranet to user needs and make relevant improvements. Knowing the theory behind AIDA principles and how to execute each step through information design can be valuable knowledge for creating useful and goal-orientated homepage.

  • The Unfolding of Language - Book review

    The Unfolding of Language - Book review 1 April 2016 Dr. Moria Levy Previous Article Next Article "The Unfolding of Language: A Quest for Man's Greatest Invention" is a captivating book, and I want to underscore its significance in the context of the knowledge management field. As knowledge management professionals, we inherently understand the crucial role that language infrastructure plays in promoting collaboration. Those engaged in content creation or editing are particularly attuned to language, yet its fundamental importance is often taken for granted. Authored in 2005, this book provides a fascinating insight into the evolution of language. Without a profound understanding of this process, our capacity to preserve, share, make accessible, and even advance knowledge would be severely restricted. It's important to note that the book doesn't focus on a specific language but instead delves into the broader family of languages, offering comprehensive insights into their The book explores several key topics, including: 1.The Enigma of Language Invention 2.Factors Driving Linguistic Change: Preservation Expression Impulse The Pursuit of Order Language Development In a book dedicated to language study, the richness and relevance of examples in the book's original language are paramount. In this case, many examples are adapted to Hebrew, resulting in a truly fascinating exploration. This linguistic journey is not solely reserved for academics or language enthusiasts; it has broader appeal and relevance. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in delving into the intricate world of language and its evolution. The Enigma of Language Invention Our everyday language, the medium through which we communicate and engage in reflective thought, may appear self-evident. However, upon closer examination, regardless of the language under study, it becomes apparent that language is a construct of thought. It's not merely a collection of words representing objects and actions, but rather, it is, in essence, a finely crafted structure designed with meticulous intricacy. One might liken it to a meticulously constructed building, a masterpiece of linguistic architecture that serves as a framework enabling us to employ words that share similarities but can convey a myriad of variations, spanning different tenses, actions, affiliations, and more. This fundamental understanding is imparted to every child and language student in school. So, where does the enigma lie? The puzzle resides in the complexity of these linguistic structures and the question of their origin—whether they are the result of gradual development, crafted over the years through incremental steps, or whether they represent a creation or invention—something initially designed with its splendid framework, tense variations, structures, and other components. On one hand, it remains a mystery how humans could have conceived such intricate patterns. On the other hand, if such a structure were created from the outset, how do we account for its numerous exceptions (present in every language) that deviate from our expectations? This book attempts to solve this linguistic riddle by asserting that languages are, in fact, evolutionary. Deutscher explains how languages have evolved and developed into their present forms. This perspective is grounded in the understanding that languages are constantly in flux and continuously transforming. Languages are not static entities but are marked by change in every era. These changes encompass several vital aspects: Addition of New Words: New words are incorporated into the language over time. For instance, in Hebrew, we have modern additions like "Ice Cream" (M.L.). Words Falling into Disuse: Some words eventually cease to be used. Shifts in Word Meanings: Words can undergo shifts in meaning. Introduction of Vowels: Adding auxiliary vowels. The central premise is that no linguistic element is immune to change; everything—sounds, meanings, and linguistic structures—can and does change. The assumption is that initially, the world shared "one language and several things" (as seen in the story of the Tower of Babel), but as nations dispersed in different directions, their languages evolved, each taking a unique path while adhering to inherent linguistic laws. Factors Driving Linguistic Change: Preservation People naturally seek ways to economize whenever possible. Various forms of linguistic savings manifest within languages, adding to the diversity of linguistic expression. These types of “savings” include: Sound Transcription: This involves substituting sounds that are easier to pronounce, considering the strain on vocal cords. Assimilation: When different sounds closely follow one another, it's often more convenient to make them sound the same. For example, "no" becomes "sonno" in Italian, "simulation" remains "simulation," or "will fall" becomes "fall" in Hebrew. Word Initial Erosion. Word Ending Erosion: This is quite common, where endings of words are eroded, such as "nichleadership" in German instead of "nicht." Reduction of Relativity: Relativity refers to additions to words that indicate their syntactic role within a sentence, such as subject, direct, or indirect object. Originally, Indo-European languages had extensive relativity systems, but most modern languages have significantly reduced the use of relativity if they use it at all. Use of Phrases for Common Words: This form of savings is particularly significant and serves as the foundation for grammatical structures, leading to the development of additional word forms, such as insertions, coverings, and more. Similarly, word prefixes may result from this linguistic evolution, as analyzed by Deutscher. These various linguistic economies contribute to language richness and illustrate their adaptive nature as they evolve to become more efficient and user-friendly. Expression Impulse In stark contrast to the inclination to economize language, which some might perceive as laziness or, in certain circles, as a negligent and imprecise use of language, a counterbalancing linguistic movement is characterized by augmentation. This augmentation primarily manifests in the following categories of expressive changes: Accents and Amplification: People often wish to emphasize specific words within a sentence, thus incorporating additional terms to enrich their expression. Occasionally, this phenomenon arises from the frequent usage of certain words, resulting in their diminished impact. To restore their potency, additional terms are introduced. A simple example is the overuse of the word "disaster" (even, as the book's author notes, to describe an unsuccessful haircut), leading to the widespread use of emphatic expressions like "extra," "super," "hyper," and so on, embedding redundancy to serve emphasis. Metaphorical Expressions: Metaphors are the primary mechanism for expanding language from concrete objects to abstract concepts. In nearly every sentence, we employ abstract terms like "cuts" (in the context of budgetary reductions, not just vegetable slicing) and "plummeting" (pertaining to price drops, not objects falling from the sky). All these linguistic innovations have evolved due to the expressive impulse via metaphors. At times, the original meaning of a word may become obscured, leaving only the abstract term in use. Likewise, place-related terms have been transposed into temporal and causal contexts (using "from," "to," "on," "since," etc.), and pronouns have evolved into complex grammatical structures. Conversion of Nouns to Verbs and Vice Versa: It has become commonplace to convert nouns into verbs and vice versa. For instance, "milking" milk? Here, a noun has assumed the role of a verb. This linguistic fluidity enables the language to adapt and evolve continually. This augmentation of language, while seemingly in contrast to the instinct to conserve, reflects the dynamic nature of language, constantly expanding to convey nuanced meanings and facilitate communication. The Pursuit of Order The drive for order, or analogy, represents any language's primary creative force. The ability to construct consistent patterns and frameworks through which language can function facilitates its expansion. It provides control and the means to employ it effectively, all without placing an infinite demand on our human memory. As proposed by Deutscher, these patterns underwent development in five distinct stages, a process detailed in the book. These stages gave rise to consonant roots (as observed in Hebrew), the integration of vowels, the introduction of tenses, the systematic transition between verbs and nouns, and the reverse transformation from nouns to verbs. Initially, hollow verbs predominated, but as the language evolved through these stages, it produced patterns that ultimately favored three-consonant roots as the foundational structure. Language Development We have observed a continuous oscillation in the evolution of words and their accompanying grammatical structures—a perpetual cycle encompassing both economizing and expansion. This process unfolds as a sequence of savings and erosion, followed by periods of enrichment and repetition. The series of events within this cycle does not adhere to rigid precedence; instead, the cyclical nature prevails. The development of languages encompasses not only the evolution of words and structures but also the integration of other linguistic elements, including: The construction of sentences, where word order and proximity play crucial roles. The addition of adjectives (such as "big" and "beautiful"), as well as the attachment of adjectives to verbs (e.g., "quickly"). The introduction of syntax governs the relationships between subjects, objects, and other participants. Establishing a layered hierarchical structure gives rise to embedded sentences (small sentences subservient to larger ones). In conclusion, the insights gleaned from the preceding discussion (as well as those left unexplored due to constraints of brevity) underscore several key points: Language is an evolutionary process rather than a deliberate invention. What may appear as exceptions in hindsight are often traced back to a series of incremental changes, each with its internal logic. Language did not arise from a master plan but resulted from an amalgamation of order and complexity. On a contemplative note, it's worth acknowledging that complex languages tend to simplify over time due to interactions with speakers of different languages and the influence of written communication. This interaction leads to language simplification. Sadly, many languages face a precarious future, with estimates suggesting that up to half to three-quarters of the world's remaining 6,000 languages may vanish by the end of the 21st century. Consequently, it is prudent to engage in the study of these languages both to gain insights into their unique characteristics and to preserve valuable linguistic diversity.

  • Portals and Intranets

    Portals and Intranets Previous Service Next Serice Organizing websites and portals to enable knowledge usage by customer and the general public as well as by employees. ROM leads solutions for characterization, planning (including UX and user experience), and setting up portals adapted to desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Our experts define business processes and determine organizational governance for the management of these websites and portals. In some organizations, we take responsibility for the actual operations of those sites. ROM can lead the change management process (assimilation) to ensure that the investment in these rich environments will indeed result in business improvement.

  • Change management

    Change management Previous Course Next Course Objectives Duration Description Prerequisites Syllabus highlights Project management in organizations. Upon completion of the course, the students will be able to: Design their own toolbox for effective change management for their organization Define an effective work plan for implementation change, differentiating the tools used for various stakeholders at each implementation stage. 6 academic hours The course offers a structured understanding of methodologies and methods that can help organizations succeed in managing their changes, enabling students to build their specific toolbox of methods, practices, and tools for initiating, running, and ending change management initiatives. The course offers a method for developing an effective work plan based on the main stakeholders, objectives, barriers, possible success factors, and available channels in a specific organization. The challenge Tools for change management initiation (Kotter, Lewin, and more) Tools for managing the change management journey (Nudge, ADKAR, Switch, and more) Moments: Celebrating success Designing a practical smart workplan Peer Learning: Analyzing student cases

  • We are all Knowledge Managers

    We are all Knowledge Managers 1 September 2017 Maskit Robinshtein Previous Article Next Article Workers in the field of Knowledge and Data Management usually deal with sharing information among colleagues, making organizational content accessible, retaining professional knowledge, setting up business databases, etc. Yet there is another side to this field, namely personal KM, in which we all play the role of knowledge manager. Furthermore, we all manage several channels: our home computer, the work computer, our "pocket computer" i.e. our Smartphone and for some a tablet/smart watch as well. Personal data is the type I own and possess. It includes documents, messages (email, text messaging, etc.) media documents, 'favorites' list, etc. While it wasn't necessarily who generated this data, it was I who chose to collect, keep and organize it for future retrieval. These precise activities (collecting, retaining, organizing and retrieving) are those studied in the field of "personal Knowledge Management", a field developed in the 1980s when the PC was realized as a KM tool. The field of "personal Knowledge Management" integrates psychology and technology, theory and practice. It is an attempt to comprehend the users' experience when managing their personal data; more specifically its motives and how to improve its execution. The field raises questions such as: in what ways are digital and physical document management similar? Is it more comfortable for a user to stack documents in 'piles' similarly to files on a desk? Perhaps it digital folders are preferable? How does one construct a document management system that optimally suits personal data organization? How can search engines be adapted to better retrieve personal data? Most importantly, how do we apply personal KM tools when remembering, organizing and retrieving data in our minds? A prominent dilemma in this field is which retrieval method is better, searching or navigating. This dilemma is not merely theoretical since it bears practical implications regarding the manner in which document management systems as well as search engines are set up. Well. Which method is indeed more worthwhile? Although navigation seems more complex and therefore requires preparing in advance and despite the fact that we are used to running searches via Google and other systems on a daily basis, various studies have shown that most users choose to navigate their way to their personal data. The reasons for this unexpected preference include a consistent use of the same steps in a familiar environment, relying on visual rather than verbal memory and the fact that we end to locate physical data based on its location. Furthermore, navigation has been shown to require fewer cognitive resources such as attention and concentration and as such allows us to flow between folders without losing our train of thought. The array of data items we keep on our personal computer is similar to a maze. In order to navigate through this maze we must know where to take a turn and we might still run into a wall or obstacle which forces us to turn back on our heels and start from square one. Search engines indeed diagonally cross the maze, yet if we don't precisely discern their direction we just might reach the wrong end. Retrieving data from our PC is not unlike navigating through our own neighborhood; unlike retrieving data from a website, we know how to find our way through its allies in ease. A spectator might ignorantly believe we are lost or simply taking an unnecessarily longer route; nevertheless, we as locals know best. For more on the subject I highly recommend 'The science of managing our digital stuff' by Dr. Ofer Bergman and Prof. Steve Whittaker. Full disclosure: this article is based on my thesis on "the use of attention resources in personal data retrieval- navigating versus searching", submitted to Bar Ilan University in 2011 (directed by Dr. Ofer Bergman).

  • Mind maps: an especially effective method for managing knowledge through an overall perspective

    Mind maps: an especially effective method for managing knowledge through an overall perspective 1 August 2016 Previous Article Next Article Mind maps are charts which summarize, organize and present a large amount of information in visual form while integrating keywords, symbols and pictures on a single page. The form of representation is hierarchical, with the central visual component being a star which branches out to other levels of the hierarchy of information items declining from center outwards. These branches place the keywords together with suitable symbols. The map allows us to summarize long texts into a small number of keywords supported by enticing graphics. Mind maps are constructed accordance to neurological principles. The human brain reviews the world from principle to detail; while shipping, we will first notice the vegetable isle, only then will we notice the tomatoes or cucumbers. Likewise, when driving we will first notice the car on our left and only then will become aware that said car is a Hyundai. This is a trait developed through evolution: our ability to recognize a threat or food in first glance, only later paying attention to details. Another important neurological trait: our brain remembers new things only if they are somehow connected to previous knowledge. This relation enables the brain to understand new things, thus remembering them. Our brain also aspires to work as less as possible, which is why organizing information/knowledge in a manner which fits our neurological structures will always be more efficient: the data will be understood by the brain faster, will be learned better as well as remembered better. Furthermore, the individual attaining this new knowledge will be able to more easily manipulate the knowledge process it into new knowledge, integrate it into other material, and prepare a presentation/summary/report etc. A concise history of mind maps During the second half of the twentieth century Novak, an American professor, developed the "term map"- a simple way to organize knowledge by visually charting central terms and connecting one term to another using lines that represent the type of relationship they share: this "belongs" to this, the other is a result of another term etc. Thus, instead of dealing with an abundant text one can focus on the central terms and their relation. Term maps have become a useful tool for many organizations: schools, universities, business organizations etc. During the 70s, British professor Tony Boson takes the whole paradigm one meaningful step further and develops the "mind map" which is essentially a term map with some added features which make it a highly more effective tool for both learning and knowledge management. A mind map is a term map which as one includes only the text's keywords yet also makes substantial use of colors, symbols and pictures and uses the connecting lines freely. A mind map is less formal and strict regarding its rules, which is why it is considered more user-friendly and is popular among students beginning from elementary school. How does one write a mind map? First of all, it is important to understand that anyone can do this. A mind map is constructed according to rules which define the way in which writing and icons are placed on the page and the relation between the two. The process combines creativity and logical thinking and is easier and more fun than a regular document's writing process. The first step is to specify the subject using a central picture or symbol, meant to centre attention. We then build the hierarchical lines and above them write the main terms and some of the less-central terms (to a desirable extent). The next stage involves coloring in order to highlight and differentiate (color is a powerful memory anchor) and adding icons/pictures in order to animate the terms (thus leading to even better chances of remembering them). That's it. Your mind map is now complete. Remember, there is no point to write the entire text on the map; only the main terms are required (when we learn something new, we don't remember details anyway, only the main concepts and terms). Note: there is no need to "know how to draw". These are very simple and basic drawings, meant only to animate terms. Anyone can draw a "house" or "face" or "tree". A mind map is read from the central picture outwards, descending through the branches clockwise. We thus review both the main terms and the text's overall structure. Hereby is a computerized mind map explaining how to construct a mind map. Source: The central picture represents memory. The map uses pictures, beginning with the central picture, as well as symbols and codes. The map also requires using colors and the lines must flow (no sharp angles). It is customary to draw mind maps on a blank page spread horizontally. The map should be aesthetically appealing. Keywords are associative (which is another feature which assists the reader in remembering the map). The lines branch out with their titles spread out across the entire line. Keywords should be written in an easily readable font. Applications of mind maps A mind map is a friendly and efficient way to summarize a learned subject, prepare a presentation/class/lecture and chart its main points, present an index or simply present the entire body of knowledge on a certain subject (e.g. a budget) effectively, efficiently and comfortably using an easily operated method which is accessible, concise and way clearer and friendlier than 'heavy' text documents. Sometimes, the mind map remains the document presented to the target audience: students, business associates, etc. Organizing the knowledge and understanding it will be done using the map. After constructing the map and organizing the knowledge, we can move it to a regular text document or Excel chart (when, for example, building a budget) or a Powerpoint presentation. There are several free programs that allow constructing computerized mind maps, yet many still prefer to construct their mind maps manually.

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