Saturday, April 19, 2008

Day 5+6 : Sharing vs. Information hiding

On my way back from Zurich yesterday, I had some thoughts about sharing and the importance of sharing knowledge and information in the Web 2.0 and therefore also with CRM 2.0.
First thing that I recognized is that I still wasn't able to get a copy of a finished masters' thesis from somebody else and was unsuccessful to find one in the internet (will probably try again later today...). This shows the current mindset in our society and the fact that nobody is keen on sharing anything - especially not knowledge - with others if there is no good reason for it.
I added this under the "Problems" branch in the mind map as I see this as a crucial factor to be successful with CRM 2.0 and reach the critical mass necessary to keep it running:
"How can we change this mindset and get users to contribute in social networks by sharing their knowledge? What incentives are there for them?"

Thinking about this, I started looking for an easy way to start sharing stuff for this thesis and came across Google's "Shared Stuff" page. Basically this is an easy way to share Links to websites that you are surfing on. You just have to add a link to the Links-toolbar and click this to share the website your are currently visiting.
Find my shared links at

I will also add this on the Blog's links (on the right).

As soon as I find an easy way to make the mind map and other documents available, I will upload them and post the link here as well. The thesis document could be shared as a Google Docs file, but I think this requires a Google account to read and edit and I am not sure if Google Docs offer all necessary formatting options for a thesis document... need to check on that.


  1. Hi Guido,

    I found your blogger site through signing up for your google.groups and via XING. I am now in the 2nd semester of my MBA at the FOM here in Munich.
    As you I am quite excited about the topics Charles is teaching us, especially web 2.0 and enterprise 2.0. For my breakthrough project, I am trying to implement wikis and blogs in my business unit to encourage collaboration.
    Your thought about people not willing to share their knowledge if there is no good reason for it is quite interesting. Just 2 days ago I had a discussion with our IT department on which tools are supported by IT and we came to similar topics. We discussed that IT can provide all tools for collaboration in a snap, but that is not the solution. It is a change of mind and attitude that has to be achieved... Even inside my company there exist executives that do not want to share the expertise of their direct employees, as they are afraid they might change positions or work on questions of other departments and so have less time to work for his. Isn't that short sighted? Shouldn't they have the whole benefit of the company in mind? But there not only executives like that. Our CEO for example is pushing collaboration on information very hard.
    On the other hand the guy from IT told me that within my company there exist over 20 Wikis evolving seperate from each other in different departments. Isn't that a sign that there DO exist people that WANT to share knowledge and take efforts to do so? And look in the internet how many private people use blogs or take part in discussions / blogs. The willingness to share information and knowledge is rising.
    You are right with asking how can we change the mindset of the still major part of the people... Some really need first to see their own benefit. Which is quite difficult. For example look at a Wiki. At the beginning there is no benefit for the participating people entering information, as they will not gain more knowledge when searching in the Wiki. But with more people filling articles after several years this will become a powerful database of tacit knowledge and help to prevent failures in product development that happened before. But this takes time. But there DO exist companies where collaboration and information sharing is working. The IT guy told me that e.g. at Microsoft there exist so called "evangelists". They are incentivized by how many posts and articles they write and how many reply posts they get. So there exist ways to give "reason" to people to share knowledge.

    Anyhow, I would like to discuss a little bit with you on this topic and share some knowledge, if you want to. You can send me a message via XING and perhaps we can meet at FOM.

    All the best for your Master thesis!


  2. Hi Andre,

    thanks for your comment on this! As you said, the mindchange seems to be underway somehow.
    I think the upcoming generation will grow up using blogs, micro-blogs and social networks and will probably have a different attitude towards knowledge (and data-) sharing.

    Exciting times towards the "Knowledge Era" :)

    I do not have classes anymore, so I'm not frequently at the campus, but stay tuned on the mailing list or XING group. We will probably meet again, soon.