Knowledge Collection

Knowledge and information collection, and knowledge and information storage and delivery systems, exist in a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. This is not in the sense that you cannot collect information without a storage or delivery system, far from it, but because collection is part of the process. Remember, collection happens before, during and after knowledge activities.

Fully implemented and institutionalised information systems gather information during the process of the wheels turning within an organisation. They are used to plan, budget and progress activities, collate activity-contact relationships and manage institutional documents. Information analysis helps to report performance against targets and is a tool for strategic thinking.

Conferences and seminars and training courses, study tours and workshops all follow the process of collection of knowledge through: collaborative processes prior to an event, framing knowledge and preparation of delivery materials, participatory input during an event intended to encourage challenging of the mind, and evaluations and proceedings after the event.

Discussion forums, blogging and thematic social networking assume a platform before comments and knowledge can be gathered. Ideally analysis, collaborative brainstorming and open source thinking, evolve content as it develops through the sharing of knowledge and as conclusions are derived.

Knowledge and information exist in old fragmented systems and in legacy media; photos and slides, audio cassettes, VHS video and paper. Digitizing and verifying printed material is very time-consuming and costly, as is categorising and key-wording images, audio and video, but to a lesser extent.

Prior to system design, detailed analysis based on the knowledge or information to be stored determines field definition and data types and relationships.