Ad Hoc Knowledge Systems

I caught an episode of NPR’s Day to Day regarding the creation of expertise-sharing websites at the company commander level. At companycommand.com, military commanders at the company level (a company being from 100-200 troops) exchange practical tips on how to get the job done. Say you’ve got to lead a convoy out of Falujah…ask your fellow commanders on this password-protected site for their advice. Listen to the Day To Day audio segment.

While the companycommand.com website is not open to the general public, there’s a link to Tomoye, the company that apparently makes the knowledge system behind it. It seems to be a social network package designed to facilitate the creation and management of what they call a Community of Practice. The powerpoint demo provides a good general overview of what the product is supposed to do, though I wonder how many people really get it.

You’d need motivated leaders and contributing experts to make any community happen, but it’s interesting to see how social networking is developing from beyond simple roll-ups like LinkedIn to make it easier to happen. A few months ago, Meetup added something similar, but that site seems pretty dead these days.