Well, I’m back from a lightning visit to New Zealand where I gave an international address at the 7th Annual Information Management Summit in Wellington (not sure I can be classed as an international speaker when I’m an NZ’er).
I spoke about Google and privacy and Google and trusted information resources. I used a series of images rather than “death by powerpoint”, so they wouldn’t really make much sense if I showed you (especially given a photo of a rough collie was a prominent slide). But here’s the gist of what I ranted and raved about:
- a quick history of Google – original logos and original name of Google (which was BackRub. We are so used to saying “Google it” that “BackRub it” doesn’t sound quite right does it!)
- a quick look at Google apps like StreetView, Google Maps, Google Latitude. And even Google Electricity. What next? Google Water – don’t laugh, it’s possible. So it’s the world according to Google.
- which implies points of tension/danger – I talked about the privacy implications of Google Health. And a case study example of what can happen when we rely on Google and news aggregators for accurate information and US $1 billion gets wiped off a company’s share value in minutes. I took a quick swipe at the profession of journalism (the journalist should have checked the facts).
- along the way, I couldn’t resist carrying on about the Facebook debacle and how a company – which let’s face it is a money making venture – could conceivably turn around and say “we own your information”. And for those who’ve emailed me, nope I still don’t have enough trust in Facebook to reinstate my content.
- but…it’s not all doom and prophecies of darkness. We don’t have to see the world according to Google.
- I talked about the amazing power of social networks. When you have trusted relationships, you learn to rely on the credibility and accuracy of a given source or person. And with RSS feeds, you can toss out sources if you find them to be inaccurate or biased – you can alter the knowledge flow to suit your needs.
- I ranted a bit about the loss of critical thinking in a world dominated by Google, where we find it easier to Google it than research it. I questioned whether, in an information world that is saturated and noisy, natural curiosity has been stifled.
- I then did a quick rant about how Facebook and social networks are seductive and we perhaps give away more information about ourselves than we should. And what can happen to you if you share too much about yourself. So better to be prudent than sorry.
- I realised along the way that Michael Sampson was live-blogging me. You can check out what he said here. Good to catch up with Michael – don’t know how he keeps up his pace given he and his wife are about to have their ninth child!
It was also good to finally meet Keith Delarue and also catch up with someone who used to work with me, Kevin O’Donnell, who has made the move from Ireland to take up a KM role at Kiwibank.
I did have a chuckle over something though. One of the speakers was talking about “the temporary knowledge organisation”. And made the comment that the concept was probably dreamed up by some pointy-headed academics. Well, one of those pointy-headed types was in the room – me!
Rui Martins, a Lecturer at University of Newcastle, and I wrote a paper in 2003 called “The Temporary Knowledge Organisation as viewed from a complexity perspective. An enrichment of the traditional organisational project management paradigm“. It was published in a book and you can also read it here.