2009/01/23

growing a knowledge tree

Although far away, feel very near. That's what knowledge sharing makes possible. And if you like to see the growing of a Knowledge Tree, see each leave Nancy is capturing in Rome:


2009/01/15

Studying technology at work

by Wanda Orlikowski (2007), Sociomateriality: A Practice Lens on Technology at Work, video and slide presentation on ICTs in the Contemporary World seminar. Main ideas from the lecture:
  • Agency is an ongoin reconfiguration of the world
  • reconfiguration of expectations and norms of work
  • unanticipated consequences
  • contradictory dynamics
  • multiple realities

2009/01/14

aggregating information in a timeline

Some time ago (can't seem to remember when), I've created an account in swurl. I was forgotten of that trial until I've received a warning by Google about a citation of B2OB. Went back to revisited that digital space and got surprised by my timeline containing different feeds, from different spaces I have out there. Unfortunately, having my research place (infotransitions)(*)  restricted means the feed can not be incorporated in swurl. Another thing that bugs me is that I can not incorporate feeds from my digital libraries (LibraryThing and CiteUlike). Nothing is perfect, even free stuff ;-)

It's amazing how the same bits of information gain such a different perspective through time, when seen in terms of aggregation from different places. «Seeing» is something we have to craft also. In research as I guess with many other activities, is very important, because what we develop can not be seen most of the time.

Sure there are formal places and events where we have to prove our accomplishments (milestones), and to produce products (papers, dissertations, thesis, presentations, communications, reports, etc), but sometimes it can be very frustrating to understand what one as been doing the rest (or the majority) of the time.

I wonder if my advisor as the perception of this information flow? Does he have that perception on the rest of his students? Would he benefit to implement such a timeline to follow students progress? Do others students also use digital spaces to make progress available to advisers? Do advisers feel the need to follow students progresses? What else do they use or need?... 

Anyway, for me this kind of integration is very useful for research (and reminding myself) cause it allows me to context information in time from different sources:
  • data collection (situating dispositions for detecting data collection biases, weighting context of collection, leave trails for information ties to other studies/ readings/ reflections/ etc.)
  • reflections (information environment, questions that remain to answer or that where forgotten, writing reflections unveil trails and relate to other reflections,....)
  • readings (how readings in time affect and are affected by research phase)
  • milestones (It's amazing the number of activities that underline these moments, specially regarding information behaviours... and so easily detected in the timeline)
  • wish lists - books, gadgets, tools, events... and all the things we wish we could have to accomplish our goals/ task/ work/ etc.
  • opinions (things that make us trigger and add other possible views on subjects, coming from different people, with so different world views that help me to think differently about my research subject)
  • life (since we can not separate our research from our lives)
  • Other uses: this can include Department where students are developing the research, detection of students phases, networking, ...
What else could I be using that would give better results?

(*) «transição de espaços informacionais» was the starting point of my PhD research as it emerged during my master's research work. Like a personal notebook, this space is restricted so I can mess around with my thoughts without the fear of misleading passing by strangers or concerns about my (lousy) writing skills.

2009/01/13

Keep in mind before the change occurs

An interview following the research by HBS professor Boris Groysberg, Lex Sant, and Robin Abrahams, based on their case study "When Stars Migrate, Do They Still Perform Like Stars?" looks at the "portability" of performance and the likelihood that some positions may improve or diminish one's prospects for career advancement:
"What our research suggests is that portability isn't only determined by what industry you are in, or what particular company you work for, but it's also a result of how collaborative your job is. This suggests that workers who have already developed extensive firm-specific human capital (in the form of relationships or mastery of the firm's system and processes) should weigh the decision to change jobs carefully, because their major value is in the company they currently work for and the teammates they work with. If they do change jobs, they should make sure that the new employer is invested in their success and will give them the resources, and the time, to build the relationships that they need. (...) make sure your collaborative efforts take you outside your own team, and get you working across departments and with people outside the firm. These boundary-spanning relationships can help protect your portability—and your value in your current job."
It's never to much to say it again: don't believe in «stars» but I believe in the time it takes to build a productive «star team» because performance is so dependent on the relations we build through working (making things happen) together and learning our way around with that precise team of unique persons and experiences of life.