Thursday, November 17, 2005

Blogs vs. Knowledgebases


Blogs are like a stream of consciousness. The choice of topic for any given day's posting can be affected by any number of different factors. Sometimes a topic reflects reactions to some external world or business event. Other times topics deal with specific issues or particular themes.

When I'm actually going through the process of writing a blog, I repeatedly switch back and forth between a text-based HTML editor window and a Preview window. After multiple iterations, I publish. After a post has been published, I check how well it's been physically rendered by the blogging software. Occasionally I'll go through another round or two of iterations before the final last publishing.

Sometimes, only on rare occasions, when I'm re-reading some old posting, I'll spot some spelling error, or poorly expressed language. I then go back and modify the content and republish the posting. Otherwise, I almost never go back and re-edit or re-write past postings. BTW, that's exactly the opposite of my knowledgebase behavior where I'm constantly revising content by adding, editing, removing, and refactoring.

Some bloggers include on their blog site categories. I don't know how popular this navigational feature is with people who read blogs. I'd guess bloggers spend considerably more time assigning "categories" and/or "keywords" than readers ever spend navigating via "categories" and/or "keywords".

Another group of bloggers like to assign "tags" for navigating the web using social bookmarks. I have no firsthand knowledge on the effectiveness of expanded web navigational aids like these.


Knowledgebases are built on models that hierarchically organize content in terms of context. While blogs reflect ongoing diary-like writings to a journal, knowledgebases are more like an always on PowerPoint presentation. PowerPoint presentations evolve over time, continually improving, synthesizing new ideas, adapting based on past experiences.

The underlying recursive structure of knowledgebase models is a category tree. Categories can contain sub-categories that can contain sub-categories that can contain sub-categories, and so on, and so forth.

Category trees expand and contract over time. Sometimes major pruning is required, especially when complexity can be transformed into simplicity. Category descriptions are regularly revised and reviewed, and vice versa.

Knowledgebases are designed to guide, teach, and facilitate knowledge transfer. Knowledgebases help leverage intangible assets by sharing know-how. Knowledgebases can help show how all the pieces fit together. Knowledgebases can help show how the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Knowledgebases provide simple ways of organizing and sharing information. Occasional untrained visitors can view and explore navigable content hased on multi-dimensional context.


Blogs are like rivers flowing endlessly forward. Knowledgebases are like mountains with ever rising peaks required to attain and sustain mastery through comprehension and understanding. Sometimes new mountains arise while old ones fall. Meanwhile technology marches forever onward.


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