Aside

Capability v/s Attributes

Today I was talking to one of my classmates after aeons. Sagar was my classmate from engineering, both of us got selected as Software developers in IRIS. From then onwards, our career paths took different turns. I went on to do a PGDM from IIM-I, he went on to pick up technical expertise as an Application Developer in Oracle. Over the years, he worked on transaction life-cycle management, real time data, ETL and more importantly in the financial domain.

7 years after graduation, Sagar wants to go into Product Management field. He has the capabilities at one level, he knows the financial domain, he knows how to handle releases, he can plan a roadmap. Now although he knows he can function as a Product Manager, most of the companies insist upon a BE + MBA combination before the interview stage itself.

Why is the industry oriented around attributes instead of capabilities?

Wiki as a KM Tool

In my past 3 months at Illumine (which is a Knowledge Lab), one of the first thing that struck me was their emphasis on models. More importantly knowledge models … instead of focusing on how the knowledge flowing in the system (which what most of the KM tools focus on), the company focused on the model in which that knowledge was generated, distributed and improved. Interestingly, the organization themselves have a very loose KM in place. Right now it is basically a samba share of different folders. It’s that simple.

In an attempt to make sense out of the zillions of files on my current project, I decided to explore some interesting ways to ingest this content into a system. Immediately, Mediawiki came to mind. This is what Wikipedia is made out of.

The How

Installation was easy, you download the tarball from here. You extract it into your hosting space, and follow the simple and easy-to-use instructions in the setup wizard. Voila!! You will have a working wiki!

But that is the easy part,

The Cons

  1. Structuring the Wiki becomes ARPITA (A-Real-Pain-In-The-Ass) ps – on a side note, I feel sad for all the Arpitas in the world
  2. Writing and creating the wiki content is also difficult since you have to stick to the wiki syntax
  3. It is not as free fall a structure as you can think it to be
  4. n00bs do not want to contribute to the Wiki, they only want information, which means that you are writing wiki content all the time

Despite these issues, I still liked the idea of a wiki and am currently having my own personal wiki, because of

The Pros

  1. A personal wiki becomes a KM meme, where you just ingest content and the sense and navigation emerges after a period of time
  2. The final product looks smashing, helps me sort through the content
  3. This becomes a documentation and KT process for me as well (not that I am looking for replacements!!)
  4. The wiki can be scaled to my team members using the Discussion spaces, and it will also then clarify my knowledge meme

What do you think?

Aside

Updates

Do not want to rant and rave about what has been keeping me away from the blog, but this is the gist of it

  1. My sister Arati got married ps – Ashish, have mailed you the link. Her saasar is in Dombivali … quite far from where we stay. She is moving into a new house, new locality and building things up from scratch, god bless her soul
  2. Kida 2.0 is on the way :-), in 3 more months I would be a proud father!!
  3. The new job at Illumine is turning out to be quite an interesting assignment (and that is why you have seen more gyaan posts around here). More on this later. ps – Biggie, keep a watch out for this
  4. Most of my free time is spent in Multiplayer Rise of Nations over VPN :-)

Today was an opportunity where I got some free time from everything and am unleashing a slew of posts … Bwa ha ha haha!!

WordPress and Blogging

image Last year, I was vacillating between WP and Blogger as my blogging platform. You can see some of that here. With WP 2.7 coming out, I was tempted to try WordPress, finally this year I made the shift completely. As promised, here are my experiences with WP on my own hosting solution + domain.

You can also try this out on your <name>.wordpress.com blogs as well, but the real awesomeness comes out only with your own domain and hosting combination. Try it … it costs around Rs. 3000 odd, but definitely worth it!!

How to do it

Transferring from one platform to another was pretty simply. WP comes in with a very nifty import facility, wherein I could import all my Blogger posts with their comments (whew!). Then it was just a matter of changing the domain settings (this took more than a day to figure out!!).

Pros

The pros are the obvious ones –

  1. Completely customizable look and feel of the blog
  2. Readymade and re-usable themes and cool widgets that simply fit into your blog
  3. Hassle-free
  4. All plug-ins, widgets, themes and the platform itself auto-updates!! I don’t have to do any tinkering around :-)
  5. Huge, and I mean one mother of a huge community to contribute to this WP ecosystem

I could go on, but lets leave these for now. I like the platform but it does have its peeves.

Cons

  1. Categories and Tags … Tags and Categories … yeah, now I have to decide on one and do both … even if just one morphology works for me :-( … anyone have a hack for this?
  2. Now I have noticed that I keep on playing around with the platform more instead of writing more!!

Any help from you guys would be appreciated :)