Content-as-Quagmire…

07Feb08

Moving around and back to the information-as-thing-as-knowledge idea I have bouncing around in my head, I received an email today with a reminder why this is an issue and of interest to me. I’m on a mailing list with KMWorld, and they sent me something. I scan this website every couple of days, read the trade pub, and until the last few weeks I kept this compartmentalized part of my work life separate from just about everything else I do – except for the bits and pieces of appropriate information I glean from this portal. That’s when I had the proverbial “aha!” moment. It’s not separate; it’s part of my cognitive map (and that’s getting to be a pretty crowded place) and part of my project in this adventure in to Knowledge Management. I’ll spare you the systems theory connections for now, although I suspect this will come up again.

 

“Covering the latest in Content, Document and Knowledge Management” – tagline from their website

 

What really got me going today was this logo from the website’s homepage – and it shows up on most of their printed publications as well. SEEING these words in this arrangement, and in this location, set off a new train of ideas or possibilities. In this simple tagline (see my previous entry on making the simple more complex), this organization is conflating content with document with knowledge management. Does this translate to: content + document = knowledge management? Or would some kind of Boolean-Venn arrangement be more appropriate?

 

 

As I read this simple tagline (and perhaps I am reading too much into this catchy corporate slogan, or perhaps not), content is composed of documents and together in some fashion they create knowledge – which needs to be managed. Where does information (or data in this case –this is a very tech-heavy organization) fit in to all this? The underlying assumption I get out of this is that content = information (or data). Wouldn’t this support the idea that information is a thing or a parsed and packaged commodity? Well, I’ll have to work on this some more, but maybe someone out there gets where I’m heading.

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