I just read an blog post by Kate Starbird, regarding the Alternative Media Ecosystem. It makes me think of parallels with the challenges of Knowledge Management. Dr Starbird’s research looks specifically at crisis events and the networks used to distribute information regarding the events.
Downplaying the nefarious players in the disinformation world, I do see a couple of parallels. First, the purpose of the entire news industry is the distribution of information, as is the purpose of knowledge management systems.
Second, both systems have old school elements. For news media, it is the so-called mainstream media outlets. For corporate organizations, this is typically the training department. As well, both have alternative outlets for information. News media has blogs and e-zines, that operate with minimal costs. Corporate organizations have tribal knowledge – information held by those with practical experience.
Right now, we are in an environment where the mainstream and alternative outlets are in many cases at odds with each other. This seems to be a cautionary tale to guard against the formal training organizations not acting as the Goliath to David’s informal networks. Neither wants to be accused of spreading disknowledge.