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March 17, 2006 » 10:30 am

Blogging as Knowledge Work

The process of writing my entry on community engagement and Dynamic Knowledge Repositories reminded me of Chris Dent‘s recent post on “Effective Reading.” He writes:    (KE4)

I proceed from the assumption that as knowledge workers our primary job is to communicate. Communication is not overhead, it’s the work. Things like writing code are reifications of previous communication. The quality of the code mirrors the quality of the communication and comprehension that precedes the generation of the code.    (KE5)

We often think of the act of summarizing as additional work. On one level, that’s true. But, if we reframed it as a critical part of the knowledge synthesis process, then it no longer becomes additional work, it becomes the work. Not only does it result in a useful artifact — what Doug Engelbart calls the “knowledge product” — but it helps us synthesize what’s already in our head. The synthesis is even more important than the artifact, because it’s what makes knowledge meaningful and actionable.    (KE6)

The payoff for writing this blog has been enormous on a number of levels. It offers a lens into my values, thinking, and activities, which has helped establish my credibility and reputation. It’s allowed me to have valuable conversations with others that would not otherwise have happened. It’s strengthened my professional social network. And because it’s public, it’s enabled some serendipitous connections (Leave A Trail).    (KE7)

All of these things are great for business, and so on that level, writing this blog has obviously paid off. But its biggest impact has been directly on me. The act of writing this blog has made me smarter. I know a lot more about collaboration, and I can articulate what I know much better. This alone has made writing this blog more than worthwhile.    (KE8)

As a Knowledge Worker, when I blog, I’m not doing additional work. I’m simply working.    (KE9)

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