Stephen's Web

By Stephen Downes
August 29, 2002

The Seven Myths of Knowledge Management Good practical advice about knowledge management. The best bit: "'Knowledge' is one of those words that sound great... But the real question is: knowledge to what end? ... The systems must start and end as all business initiatives should, with a focus on delivering top-line growth, improving operations, and increasing profit margins." In other words, knowledge management systems should be designed from the point of view of what will be used (and how it will be used), not of what will be captured and stored. That comes later. By Marc Rosenberg, Context Magazine, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Integrated Library System Reports This useful page contains guides on how to write a Request for Proposals (RFP), an overview of the RFP process, and many sample RFPs. If you are planning any sort of technology investment of any significant size, you should use an RFP... don't go with golf-course-ware. By Various Authors, Integrated Library System, August, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

America's Might: A Comic Tale I don't know whether this is sad or funny: "The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Lais allege, used an image from their comic, Radix, in a grant proposal without their permission. That image helped the college gain a five-year, $50 million grant to develop the next generation of soldiers' battlefield armor." By Noah Shachtman, Wired News, August 29, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Schools, Tech: Still Struggling The gist of this story is summarized in the following quote: "Technology is a tool. It's not an answer for every problem, and it's not the answer for every kid," said Crystal Priest, a technology coordinator for School Administrative District No. 4 in rural Maine, which provides a laptop for every student in seventh and eighth grades. "But just like any other tool, if you use it well, you're going to see a good return." By Katie Dean, Wired News, August 29, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Getting Rid of Spam ...and Other E-mail Pests I am listing this item not because it is new but because the information in it is solid. Among its most salient points: "never, never, ever reply to spam, or use the suggested 'remove' method that is often shown at the end of the mail." Also, "never, never, ever buy anything from someone who sends you unsolicited advertising by e-mail, even if the product is something you want!" And finally, "It's getting worse. Much worse. Why? Because spamming is profitable. Just a small portion of the millions of victims find the ads interesting, or the product touted potentially useful, so they buy... so, again, don't buy from them! Don't multiply your own victimization!" By Randy Cassingham, This is True, July, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Results of the Spring 2002 Survey of Ebook Readers This outline article is a little bit whitewashed and it hopes, of course, to sell you the report. But I think I like Steve Outing's summary from E-Media Tidbits: "I was enthused by the idea of e-books a while back. The technology holds promise, but the industry hasn't captured the public's interest. But the technology isn't the problem its the paranoia about piracy of book content by the publishing industry that's killing e-books before they get off the ground. A new survey of e-book device users helps to explain the sorry state of affairs with e-books." By Unknown, Knowbetter.Com, August 14, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

School Makes Offer Sopranos Can't Refuse Just another b-grade story about a university offering a course in popular culture. "The trials and tribulations of television's favorite dysfunctional crime family, The Sopranos, are set to be yanked from New Jersey's mean streets and dissected alongside Shakespeare at a Canadian university," says the article. I include it here so I can pass on the best chuckle I've gotten today, from Dave Pell: "Course's official soliloquy: To Be or What?" By Reuters, Yahoo News, August 28, 2002 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Know a friend who might enjoy this newsletter?

Feel free to forward OLDaily to your colleagues. If you received this issue from a friend and would like a free subscription of your own, you can join our mailing list at

[ About This NewsLetter] [ OLDaily Archives] [ Send me your comments]

Copyright 2002 Stephen Downes