Questions about the current state of knowledge management systems

Next week is the second iteration of BarCamp NewsInnovation Philadelphia. One of the ideas for a session is discussing the current state of knowledge management systems. Daniel Bachhuber describes this as:

how news organizations manage all of the data they’re privy to that is either stored in structured format or could be stored in a structured format if they had the tools to do so.

In preparation for the session there’s a thread going on Hacks/Hackers about what could be covered in such a session. Since I can’t make it out to Philly I wanted to outline my thoughts here.

I’m interested in three broad ideas about the way a knowledge management system could be effectively deployed in a news organization.

Cross-platform tracking of information

  • Can knowledge be tracked in standard formats so that a news organization’s KMS is valuable to non-news organizations as well?
  • What would it look like for various newsrooms to aggregate and integrate what is contained in their KMS? More importantly what would it look like if we had a system of standards-based KMSes from various fields that could be plugged into each other? What would the role of a news organization be here?

Role of a KMS in mobile

  • How can we present all of this data in a way that not only works for the desktop environment but is also discoverable enough for mobile users?
  • What forms could a KMS take that makes information even more relevant to mobile users?

Role of a KMS in ongoing coverage

  • What are the ways that this structured knowledge repository can be used to analyze and make adjustments to a news organization’s coverage?
  • Can tracking user interaction with the products of a KMS help us to create more (in both a quantitative and qualitative sense) journalism?
  • Do the views of a news organization’s topics of importance mesh with a community’s?

For those interested in this session I would also recommend this discussion with David Siegel about the semantic web and the notion of a pull economy of information. This post from “the human network” is also worth reading as a background for the discussion.

Those are just some brief thoughts for now. Wish I could be there in Philly but I look forward to tracking the conversations on Twitter.


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