Friday, October 19, 2007

Radar Networks, Twine, and Knowledge Networking

In one of my recent posts on knowledge networking, I mentioned that I have been consulting to a start-up that could become a player in that space. That start-up is Radar Networks, known as one of the leaders in the Semantic Web movement (also referred to as Web 3.0). Today, at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, the CEO of Radar Networks, Nova Spivack, is previewing the company's first offering, Twine. Twine is a knowledge networking service for sharing, organizing, and finding information with people you trust. Think of it as an organic form of knowledge management that leverages social networking concepts.

Earlier this week, Nova conducted pre-briefings with many of the industry's influencers and the blogosphere is being filled with their perspectives. Some of the early perspectives are very consistent with many of my beliefs on knowledge networking and the role of Facebook within businesses.

One of my beliefs is that classic knowledge management systems have had limited success because they take a top-down approach to leveraging information among people and that there is a need for a bottoms-up approach to the problem, what I call "knowledge networking".

From John Markoff of the NY Times...
In the past such “knowledge management” services have been restricted to large corporations and to world of government intelligence organizations. Now the falling cost of computing and networking will make it available to everyday consumers and in theory support it with advertising.
And Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Radar...
Knowledge management is certainly a thorny problem. We all have vast collections of data, usually in various silos: our email, our bookmarks, our flickr photos, our address book. Navigating among related items is hard. And when you have a group of people working on a shared project, it becomes even harder. Who knows what? Where is it? This is the knot that Radar Networks hopes to untangle.
I also believe that Facebook is not the solution for this type of problem.

From Nicholas Carr of Rough Type...
Spivack says that Twine is not intended to compete with Facebook and other social networks. But while it’s true that Twine is a different sort of thing, it’s also true that it promises some compelling information-management benefits for business users that Facebook can’t match. If one of the assumptions behind Facebook’s rich current valuation is that it will become a popular business platform for sharing ideas and information, then Twine poses a clear and imminent threat.
Twine is a promising first step for knowledge networking. I encourage all of you to keep an eye on its progress.

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