Welcome to Library Apps

Welcome to LIBRARY APPS! THE NEW FRONT DOOR! (Baker, 2007) An "app" is an application software designed to help the user perform singular or multiple related specific tasks. Wikipedia (2010) We hope this blog will be a useful tool for a snapshot look at library blogs, reviews, and web tool developments within Library 2.0.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Web 2.0 Implications on Knowledge Management

By Moira Levy


Levy’s article questions the participatory success of Web 2.0; “so many people are sharing knowledge so actively” in comparison to the “struggling knowledge management community” in getting people to share.   She identifies that there is an opportunity to use Web 2.0 tools such as Wikis and blogs, because of their recreational popularity with users and its participation rates. Levy offers a detailed collection of feedback from a number of knowledge management scholars confirming mostly the attributes of Web 2.0 to organisations.  Levy structures the paper into three segments highlighting the effects of Web 2.0 being intertwined through both enterprise and knowledge management organisations, which provides a clear understanding to readers new to web 2.0 and the knowledge management community.

The purpose

Levy, an experienced knowledge management solutions provider, seems disenchanted by the current status and direction of her profession and asks whether the participatory popularity of Web 2.0 be included within knowledge management organisations.  The purpose for her research questions; why is it difficult for people in organisations to share and extract knowledge within its enterprise domain, when they use Web 2.0 tools such as blogs and wikis and other social networking tools more freely? 

Due to their success on an individual user level, Levy promotes the controlled use of wikis and blogs, which could be a way to capture and store content in knowledge management enterprises.  We will further analyse the two Web 2.0 tools that Levy suggests and comment on their popularity due to the rise of the net generation now in the workforce.

Importantly, let us summarise what knowledge management is within a community. Reilly & Mcbrearty (2010) explain that it is “a way to capture and share existing individual knowledge and to collect it in order to create distributed knowledge” (p.237). Davenport & Prusak (1998) as cited in Galloway Seiling (2010), state “if opportunities arise, people must be motivated to share and combine knowledge with others” (p. 99).

Wikis within knowledge management systems

The opportunity of a wiki used in an organisation is that “they allow anyone to contribute information or edit others’ contributions” (Valacich & Schneider, 2010, p. 273).  In a knowledge management environment both a public wiki (anyone can contribute), and a private wiki, (only authorised staff contribute) can be a tool for an organisation to openly collaborate.  A number of organisations are currently using the wiki technology to “create internal knowledge repositories” (Valacich & Schneider, 2010, p. 274).  This idea also links with Stacey (2010) who states “it is usually individuals who learn and create knowledge, and the principal concern from an organisation perspective is how that individual learning and knowledge might be shared across an organisation, and how it may be captured, stored, and retained” (p.42).

Levy in her summary of wikis promotes the “most successful one”, Wikipedia, and its usefulness in being constantly updated, although some argue that “in allowing anyone to edit and create, a systematic bias in the content can occur” (Valacich & Schneider, 2010, p. 273).  This author agrees with Levy in that wikis are an important assistive technology tool that can encourage an enterprise with fresh information, however in knowledge management, “inter-communicative sharing of knowledge in digital environments raises issues of legitimacy, credibility and authority” (Widen-Wulff, G., & Ginman, M. 2004, p.454).

Blogs within knowledge management Systems

                    Photo.   Saskia Ruijs
 Levy also encourages the use of blogs as a Web 2.0 tool, however she does not confirm how or with any authority in mind, only that it should be “enlarged”. This author likes to think of a blog as a moving intranet web service replacing the often stagnant website that has not shared fresh data to its community for a time. As Keenan (2011) explains, “in the business world, where information is constantly changing, use of an extranet to keep all parties updated can be invaluable”.

                                     Photo. Saskia Ruijs
However in an enterprise or a knowledge management environment who should conduct the blog?  Tapscott (2009), states that the Net Generation and learned Web users are “moving beyond e-mail; they use wikis, blogs, social networks, and digital brainstorms to engage their employees or customers” (p. 261).  However Richardson & Tait (2010) question whether our “contemporary notions of ‘experience,’ ‘knowledge,’ ‘authority,’ and therefore ‘expertise’ and ‘expert’ are out-dated and inappropriate for these globalised and connected times” (p.24). Newstex, a website that offers real-time authoritative content from new sources such as blogs, Twitter, and podcasts to the end-user professional believe, “authoritative content is useful, meaningful and continual, and readers can depend on it and trust it.” http://www.newstex.com/about/what-we-do/   By using blogs in the knowledge management environment, only editorially selected authoritative content should be maintained.


Levy provides a plethora of justifiable quotes and statements by her knowledge management peers who promote the use of Web 2.0 with a softly but surely approach.  Levy does tread quietly in promoting Web 2.0 within knowledge management by concluding that adopting ‘it’ (Web 2.0) on a conceptual level will be slow, whilst confirming that the use of applications such as wikis and blogs are to be enlarged.  Hart (2010) confirms this and suggests “trying small incremental implementations, which improve on existing services in new and more proactive ways, as a potential way forward” (p.182).


Galloway Seiling, J. (2010). Knowledge Generation as a Complex Relational Process. In

A.Tait & K.A.Richardson (Eds.), Complexity and Knowledge Management, Understanding the Role of Knowledge in the Management of Social Networks (pp.93-108). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Hart, L. (2010). Meeting the Challenge. In D.Parkes & G. Walton (Eds.), Web 2.0 and
Libraries: Impacts, technologies and trends (pp171-182). Oxford, UK: Chandos.

Keenan, M.A. (2011). Digital Collections [INF405 Module 3.2]. Retrieved April 2, 2011,

Newstex. (2009). Newstex – What we do. Retrieved from  

Reilly, C., & Mcbrearty, M. (2010). Getting there is not a very neat circle or process. In
Tait & K.A Richardson (Eds.), Complexity and Knowledge Management, Understanding the Role of Knowledge in the Management of Social Networks (pp.237-265). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
Richardson, K.A., & Tait, A. (2010). The Death of the Expert? In A.Tait &
K.A.Richardson (Eds.), Complexity and Knowledge Management, Understanding the Role of Knowledge in the Management of Social Networks (pp.23-39). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Stacey, R. (2010). The Emergence of Knowledge in Organisations. In A.Tait &
K.A.Richardson (Eds.), Complexity and Knowledge Management, Understanding the Role of Knowledge in the Management of Social Networks, (pp.93-108). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
Tapscott, D. (2009). Grown Up Digital. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill

Valacich, J., & Schneider, C. (2010). Information Systems Today (4th ed.). New Jersey,
Widen-Wulff,G., & Ginman, M., (2004). Explaining knowledge sharing in organisations
through the dimensions of social capital. Journal of Information Science, 30(5), 448-458. doi: 10.1177/0165551504046997

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