Google Reader – KM killer app

I’ve mentioned before my delight at the new search facility within Google Reader, while regretting that del.icio.us didn’t offer the same facility. Now I find, through Google Reader Search, I already have something more useful, a personalised search engine that searches not just my blog subscriptions’ contents but my also my del.icio.us bookmarks’ meta data.

While reading Nick Carr’s post on the CapGemini’s partnership with Google to push Google Apps I recalled that another sign of Web2.0 adoption within the enterprise was Siemens use of Facebook as an intranet. To obtain a reference link I opened Google Reader and searched on “Facebook Siemens” as I figured I must have read it on a blog post. Up comes an entry in my del.icio.us account with a link to a Robert Scoble comment on a Techcrunch post. Google Reader Search included my del.icio.us account in the search because I’ve subscribed to its feed. (Before you ask, I subscribe to my own feed as a “second chance” reminder to re-read the stuff I’ve tagged as sometimes I only glance at articles to see if they are of interest, tag them if they appear to be and return when I have more time to fully digest them).

I now can search both my “knowledge stores” using the same interface. Admittedly my del.icio.us searches are restricted to meta data i.e. the tags/descriptions I’ve assigned to the link (and the link’s own heading text), but as I tend to over-egg the pudding when it comes to tags I can live with that restriction.

This opens up all sorts of easy to implement knowledge management (KM) scenarios for both individuals and organisations (previous attempts at corporate KM have been, to say the least, a disaster), possible examples:

  • Students and teachers recording notes and lectures using Google Docs , which can then be subscribed to via RSS and subsequently searched using Google Reader Search.
  • Same as above but using blog posts as the recording mechanism.
  • Short notes and records (time sheets?) could be recorded using Twitter, again subscribed to via feeds and thus enabled for inclusion in a searchable knowledge store.

This type of knowledge sharing is not suitable for highly sensitive data but is ideal for community data and for non-sensitive/semi-private data (such as my del.icio.us bookmarks). Search enabled Google Reader may prove to be the killer app that RSS and KM have been waiting for.

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One response to “Google Reader – KM killer app

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