Facebook-like Space for US Intelligence Community


Nancy Dixon just blogged about A-Space, a Facebook-like space for the US intelligence community. She mentioned this to me a few months ago when we were finalizing her participation in KMWorld 2009 and I’m really pleased to see the executive summary in this post and the full 30 page study here. It talks about how A-Space is shaping the analysts’ work bringing in cogintive diversity. It emphasizes:

A-Space is an environment in which analysts collaboratively create new meaning out of the diverse ideas and perspectives they collectively bring to an issue. Through this collaboration, analysts have the potential to break through long held assumptions to provide new ways of thinking about complex problems.

Networked relationships on A-Space provide a stream of cognitively diverse information without the costly time investment that maintaining strong ties requires.

A-Space is reinforcing the value of asking questions of colleagues, providing analysts the means to uncover flaws in their own data and reasoning.

A-Space is providing analysts a set of new practices to: 1) build cross agency networks, 2) gain situational awareness, and 3) hold discussions of interpretation, that operate in parallel with the normal production process. These new practices constitute an emerging model that provides a level of cognitive diversity not previously available.

The non-hierarchal nature of A-Space, results in analysts feeling that it is okay to offer their thinking even if it is not completely formed or thought through, increasing the speed of product development by eliminating faulty hypotheses early

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Visualization Chart


Thanks to Steve Barth for pointing out this definitely, as he says on Twitter/FB, “way cool” Periodic Table of Visualization methods. I love the way you can hover over one element and get a look at each method more closely!

Public Printer of the US


Bruce James, former Public Printer of the US, was a keynote speaker a few years ago at Computers in Libraries and I was interested to read a blog post from Liz Lawley, also frequent keynote speaker for Information Today conferences. She is endorsing Carl Malamud for the position of Public Printer for the US and encourages more of us to do so. Check out her post.



I was very excited last year when Information Today started a blog for the KMWorld 2008 conference last September. Lots of different people blogged live from the conference. And now, we have started the converssation early this year in preparation for KMWorld 2009, November 17-19 in San Jose CA. AND, we’re using gravatars — small pics beside the contributors to the blog. Have you got one? You can see my mine (and Dave Snowden‘s) at the KMWorldBlog. I think they are so cool and can’t wait for all the interesting uses. Watch for new voices and thoughts on this blog and please join the conversation.

If you are interested in participating in the KMWorld 2009 conference, which also encompassaes Enterprise Search West and Taxonomy Boot Camp, please check out our call for speakers.

Engaging the User


Here’s an article I wrote for EContent on the FASTForward ’09 conference. And there’s lots more at the FASTForward Blog and the conference Twitter feed.

Inventing isn’t Innovation


I was so fortunate to participate in the Military Libraries Workshop in December in CA. Fortunate to be in California in December (!) and to be among some incredible speakers. Dr. Marc Ventresca was one of these speakers; now Associate Professor, Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School as well as University Lecturer, SAID Business School, University of Oxford,he’s also a Research Affiliate. Research Affiliate, Center for Security and Cooperation, Stanford University,Research Lead, Innovation Journalism Initiative, Stanford University, and Associate Fellow, Martin Institute for Science and Civilization, University of Oxford — phew! Plus he’s just a great speaker and a really nice guy.

Marc spoke about innovation & change, specifically lesson learned regarding innovation — that innovation is not about inventing new ways or new products. One of the lessons is that what matters is NOT how great something is, but rather how efficient an organization is at killing projects that aren’t working. Innovations stem from changes in the current organization infrastructure, culture, technology and systems to the current contexts — in “recombining existing elements and re-purposing existing solutions” to address new situations. Consider this: IDEO, whose mantra is “nothing invented here” talks about the innovative Reebok Pump shoes which “combined” and “re-purposed” the bike tire, medical products and shoes to create these shoes. And consider this: technologies or products that we look at as ‘incredible’ and ‘game changing’ are initially seen as ‘inferior’ and usually just a bit strange.

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Succession Management – OLA presentation


I’ve just posted both the presentation I’ll be giving tomorrow at OLA Superconference on Succession Management: Strategic & Practical as well as the worksheets for libraries (or any public-sector organization for that matter) to use in applying the concepts. So, no handouts this year. We all know what happens with the handouts; we are very serious about taking the handouts, and have the best of intentions to use them as soon as we get back to work. But the truth is 95% of the time they end up in a pile, unused. I’m really hoping people will download the worksheets and at least consider some of the questions regarding identifying key roles required within their libraries in the future — and identifying individuals for those key roles. I’m also hoping people will explore options for identifying individuals beyond their own library system. Many libraries are just too small to be able to do succession planning within their own ranks — and we are all in this together. We need to take steps that ensure all libraries are successful, not just “our own.” And succession management on a broader basis is just one way — secondments, “trades”, cross-library special projects (as opposed to internal cross-organizational special projects), are all possibilities.

So if you are planning to join in the discussion on January 29th at 10:40 a.m., print out those worksheets and bring them with you.


Impressive site that, according to Internet watcher Gary Price, actually went live prior to the installment of the new president. A site to keep an eye on!

Imagination Joined to Common Purpose


I love that phrase from the 44th President of the United States of America, Barak Obama. It reflects what I try to do in the creation and development of conference programs. May 2009 be filled with lots of imagination, ideas and innovation to move us forward to a future we all envision.

Yahoo! Research on Search


Opening keynote speaker at Gilbane‘s conference (Where Content Management Meets Social Media), Prabhakar Raghavan, Head of Research for Yahoo! was the former CTO of Verity (now part of Autonomy), and a scientist at IBM’s Almaden Labs. He now runs the labs for Yahoo! with 300 scientists around the world, and also heads the search strategy (web search) for the organization. He describes Yahoo!’s industry as search and advertising online. I loved how he started with his conclusions —

Web search is no longer about document retrieval but a means for web-mediated goals. Search is a means to a goal, translated into 2.3 keyword searches.

And this leads to

A new breed of search experiences which demands a search ecosystem combining content with intent.

He illustrated short cuts, deep links and enhanced result summaries of Yahoo! searches and since we’re in Boston used Legal Seafoods as an example.

Search: content vs. intent

Premise – people don’t want to search, people want to get tasks done. His premise certainly fits with the information industry premise of librarians (who by the way love to search) that people want answers.

Raghavan talked about how the Net is moving from a web of pages to a web of objects –

Continue reading Yahoo! Research on Search