29 February 2008

Have you ever Wiki'd a Google?

Taken from the Redmond Report. A very interesting move by Google after buying Job-spot.

Perhaps as a move to upstage Microsoft's first SharePoint conference next week (http://tinyurl.com/yo2b6r), Google today took the wraps off Google Sites, a set of tools that can be used to create collaborative Web sites.

The new offering, which is built on a wiki technology the company acquired last year, will be the latest member to the company's Google Apps suite of software. Supposedly, Google Sites helps users with just a smidge of technical ability to piece together Web sites in a matter of minutes. They can use these sites to house different functions such as calendars, spreadsheets and videos.

While the technology appears to be aimed at non-technical consumers, the timing of the announcement relative to Redmond's SharePoint conference might be sending a signal about where Google ultimately wants to target the product. Some feel that Google is hoping business users will hold Google Sites and SharePoint side-by-side and, consequently, steal some of those users looking primarily for hosted solutions. The company is betting some users don't want to invest any more infrastructure solutions based inside their IT shops.

Google has been pretty adept at wedging its way into corporate environments under the IT radar (something Microsoft itself was pretty adept at doing 20 years ago), but it figures to have its hands full competing against Redmond's SharePoint franchise, which is becoming fairly well-entrenched in larger IT shops.
Watch this space. With wiki's being an online tool anyway and many of them starting from bottom up initiatives with little to no budget, Google is a natural pick for this sort of offering. The question is whether they will customise it too much, and in doing so take away some of the simplicity that makes wikis work so well.

23 February 2008

Research Laws and Methodologies

Today David Snowdon posted a great review of KM research methodologies and their ability to overcome cognitive bias on the part of the researcher. Read it on his blog here.

Dave offered a definition of bias in the context of research as something like:

Bias is the inevitable filtering process by which the human brain processes stimulation. It can be created by past experience, cultural or other determinants and expectations.

In another post on ActKM he mentioned Goodhart's Law:

"When a measure becomes a target it ceases to be a measure"

Thought provoking stuff at this juncture of my research!

David and the Cynefin team have done some exciting work on the use of narrative in organisational research and I am interested in doing a Cynefin course once my degree is finished. However at this point I need to take care that I don't try to apply too many quantitative objectives to what is definitely qualitative research, which in many ways actually embraces the involvement of the researcher and the components of the study become clearer as the subjects are explored.

Another site mentioned by Joe Firestone. The Web Center for Social Research Methods has a very nice knowledge-base for research methods. A nice adendum to the two books that are guiding me at the moment:
  • Social Research Methods - Neuman
  • Qualitative communication research methods - Lindloff