Networked relationships collaborative expert
networks, communities of practice, teams, working groups
also demonstrate value added and the creation of unique experiences
particularly suited to the issues that are the subject of the collaboration.
The power of the network grows in relation to the number of engaged
participants who have insights to contribute. A network with global
reach and rich connections has the potential for high latent value.
In the networking game, answers to questions such as Whom
do you know who . . . ? are often easier to find within
an online community of practice.
Adding Value in an Atmosphere of Less
is More. The economics of abundance also is at play
in the Knowledge Economy: abundance of connections, information,
and choices. Time and the attention of busy consumers has become
the one scarce resource; timeliness and ease of use are recognized
as keys to economic advantage. Unlike the economics of scarcity
of the Industrial Age, where physical resources are in short supply,
the Knowledge Age operates in a context of abundant information
supply. But in this new scenario the processes of value added are
even more critical, adding new choices and criteria for selecting
among choices. Consumers of e-knowledge desire seamless expedited
processes of search and acquisition. Consider the following current
examples of new value-add mechanisms.
- Crafting metadata to describe information resources adds
value to those information resources. But the value doesnt
stop there. In the Knowledge Economy, one persons data is
anothers information is anothers knowledge. In other
words, one persons metadata is anothers data. Metadata
repositories will be developed and managed as services.
- Search capabilities and strategies must be developed.
Web technologies now make it very easy to store search strings
or strategies for later use. The search queries may
be used across multiple,
distributed repositories of content. These search strategies can
be viewed as codified knowledge acquisition methodologies. When
well crafted, they have high value.
- Content syndication is a useful, value-add service.
Through aggregating digital copies of journal articles within
a primary portal (e.g., Emerald Full Text), researchers can easily
locate and compile collections of specific articles. Another example
is MeansBusiness where the content used is more granular than
an article; this company successfully aggregates composite texts
based on key search concepts, aggregating summaries, and abstracts
that deal with these concepts. It is an adaptation of an earlier
publishing approach used by Executive Book Summaries.
Syndication of e-knowledge promises to be
an integral tool in making knowledge content available to new and
- Portals provide efficient access, interactivity and delivery.
Educational portals are a multi-directional value web
involving an institution, the learner, and a multitude of information
services. Institutional portals integrate institutional information
services and processes and provide personalization. Sophisticated
portals are more than mega-directories. They utilize client usage
to inform and enhance future services. They provide for personalized
access to a select range of information services (directories,
news, courses, communities of practice).
- Aggregators facilitate search & access. As
use of the Web develops, repositories and registries of aggregated
information in targeted areas have also developed. Examples include:
Achieve Inc. (a US-based repository of state competency standards
- Engaging communities of practice in feedback loops adds
value. Amazon has been doing this successfully with its
system of book reviews. MERLOT does this with its approach to
collecting metadata on course materials in the academic community,
giving emphasis and easy expression to the age-old academic tradition
of peer review.