Many dot.com ventures failed to understand the implications
of the Internet culture for e-business among many other factors.
It comes as no surprise that some of the most promising initiatives
regarding learning object exchanges and e-knowledge marketplaces
are following the values of Internet culture that Castells describes.
There are three primary vectors of technological development that
are enabling the development of an interoperable global infrastructure:
- Infrastructure Development of the Semantic Web, the Grid,
and Internet2. These technologies deal with emerging infrastructure
capabilities, or capacities, of the World Wide Web and Internet.
They are relevant to all organizational infrastructures and users
of Internet technology, even if they are connected to local area
networks rather than the Internet. This future will not be mainstreamed
without technical standards and protocols.
- Integration through Web services-related Technologies (e.g.,
XML, SOAP, UDDI, WSDL) that will enable disparate applications
and platforms to communicate and exchange data easily and seamlessly.
These developments will enable seamless integration of enterprise
and Web-based applications.
- Standards. e-Knowledge-related standards (metadata, learning
management, content modularization, knowledge management, workflow,
and performance support) enable e-knowledge to be captured, understood,
shared, and re-applied in new contexts.
This chapter describes the nature of these technological
developments; how to understand key emerging standards and the Internet
culture that pervades their development; the emergence of enterprise
repositories and e-knowledge marketplaces, building on these technologies
and standards, and some of the policy implications for organizations
Internet Culture Trumps Enterprise Prerogatives
Many enterprise leaders are accustomed to treating
knowledge resources like a centralized computing resource in the
early days of computing. Setting local rules for allocating access
to knowledge resources and restricting who has access to what is
treated as a local prerogative. But in the world of the Semantic
Web, grid computing, Web services, peer-to-peer sharing, and interoperability,
the rules are set by the Internet culture. As Richard Hunter points
out in World Without Secrets, even information that organizations
want to keep secret gets shared (e.g. in communities of practice
and other channels of secondary access). One implication is that
the competitive advantage gained from any single innovatory product
or service (e.g., a new course) is now short-lived, because the
know-how that was used to create that product or service will leak
Enterprises must play as part of a global knowledge
structure if they are to compete in the e-Knowledge Industry. Enterprise
leadership, infrastructures, processes, and cultures must reflect
Applying the Lenses of Knowing
The technologies, standards, and marketplaces for
e-knowledge are best viewed through the primary lenses of
knowing. The lenses of what, who,
when, where, how, why,
and if are deployed through the remainder of this book.