Summarizing Is Necessary

A big challenge for Knowledge Management systems has always been actually getting some content into them.

This frustration has led many to build pipelines to include communication archives like EMail and Instant Messaging (and Group Discussion and Instant Outlining) in their KM environments.

I think this is generally a mistake.

Why don't people publish "meeting minutes" as just a direct Transcript of what was said? To save paper? No, they write summarizing minutes because forcing people to keep reading through detail to draw their own summarized conclusions is inefficient, and will lead to inaccurate results (people's interpretations will vary) (esp as Context shifts).

One reason Techno Graphy is so useful a technology is that it generates summary minutes in Real Time and in public, so they become more accurate (representing more accurately any consensus), precise (ambiguity often becomes more obvious, and can be resolved immediately), and timely.

In the same way, electronic communications require summarization.

So any benefits that seem to come from "integrating" communication tools into repositories are illusory.

2003/12/11 21:56 GMT
I don't think you've quite described the proof you say you have. You've demonstrated that summary is useful, but you have have not even addressed whether in addition keeping a complete transcript or record is useful. PikiePikie for example archives everything, and i can easily imagine trimming many of the old versions of some pages just out of sheer aesthetics i guess, it's certainly not out of disk space, and i don't browse the old versions much. On the other hand, i'd like to be able to search through such an archive if i want to. Hunh. SearchEngines and Summary, pure gold on the Internet. --JohnAbbe

  • reply: my point is that raw history mass without summary is not very useful... to try and suck raw history into a repository and then think you've reduced the need for summarizing is wrong. I think having both is a good thing, as long as they're in separate search repositories. --BillSeitz

2003/12/12 23:47 GMT
Gotcha. I guess i heard 'any benefits that seem to come from "integrating" communication tools into repositories are illusory' as meaning you wouldn't bother putting a search engine on the complete archives (or would throw away the archives).

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