Re: [unrev-II] Listening to Doug, Proposal

From: Henry van Eyken (
Date: Sun Nov 26 2000 - 19:39:42 PST

  • Next message: Grant Bowman: "[unrev-II] Links not quotes of messages & subject lines"

    Looks like a fistfull of excellent advice, Eugene, but still, I can't help but
    think that a visit to Rod to see what he actually has to show might be quite
    enlightening. Never mind rhe jargon, just look at the results.

    Why not try to arrange for a gang of half a dozen or so to visit Rod for a
    demonstration? All it costs is a couple of hours and some gas for a trip to
    S.F. There are worse ways of burning up time...


    Eugene Eric Kim wrote:

    > The essence of Rod's proposal is great: Let's learn about KM by doing KM,
    > starting with the tools we currently have available. I'd be very
    > interested to see the reported results of a team doing KM using SDS.
    > Here's my proposal: How about studying and doing KM using the tools
    > already at our disposal, specifically this mailing list?
    > We already have one component of a DKR: the automatic archiving of this
    > list into a rudimentary, hierarchical structure. The question now is,
    > are there human methods that we can practice to further improve the
    > building and maintenance of this DKR?
    > I'll propose several, in no particular order. The first is a simple
    > one: format your messages intelligently and readably. Poor mail clients
    > seem to be the biggest culprit here, but a little human awareness goes a
    > long way in fixing this problem. In my opinion, e-mail should be
    > formatted for at most 70 character lines with hard-returns at the end of
    > each line. MIME messages should be avoided for standard, 7-bit ASCII
    > messages. This provides maximum readability for the majority of mail
    > clients, and also makes it easier to write translation tools that
    > automatically infer structure from unstructured text messages.
    > Second, someone should do a periodic summary of this mailing list, with
    > links to the appropriate threads and messages. As I mentioned earlier,
    > this is already practiced to good effect by several open source
    > development communities.
    > (As a brief aside, I'd like to dispute Rod's earlier comment that
    > engineers don't seem to be anxious to practice KM. On the contrary, I
    > think that engineers are among the best practitioners of KM, and that many
    > of the more interesting innovations in KM have sprung specifically from
    > the open source community.)
    > Third, link to messages rather than quote them. This is one that Doug is
    > constantly promoting, and one that is nontrivial to do with the tools we
    > have at our disposal. It's one of those areas that immediately arises as
    > a necessary tool feature. Not surprisingly, the only two people who seem
    > to practice this -- Doug and Rod -- are people who have tools that support
    > this feature by providing granular addressability and some linking
    > capability.
    > Fourth, change the subject lines of e-mail to reflect the content of the
    > message, not the title of the thread. Lack of foresight has rendered the
    > subject header irrelevant. Most subject lines tell me nothing except the
    > subject of the first message in the thread and the fact that a message is
    > part of a thread. This latter feature is mostly unnecessary today, as
    > decent mail clients will use the In-Reply-To header.
    > Fifth, develop a charter for this mailing list. This is tremendously
    > challenging, especially for a list that has traditionally been broad in
    > scope, but I think it is vital for bringing focus to a forum.
    > Sixth, highlight significant points in messages by resending them
    > (preferably with a link to the original message) in new messages. Eric
    > has already been practicing this, where he will take a particularly
    > interesting paragraph in a long message, and resend it with a different
    > subject and some brief commentary.
    > These are just a few suggestions off the top of my head. I would
    > definitely like to see those interested in practicing good KM attempt to
    > incorporate some of these suggestions. I'd also love to see comments on
    > the above as well as new suggestions for practicing KM using existing
    > tools.
    > -Eugene
    > --
    > +=== Eugene Eric Kim ===== ===== ===+
    > | "Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they |
    > +===== can have an excuse to drink alcohol." --Steve Martin ===========+
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