How K-Logs (knowledge management Weblogs) will evolve: Here is the result of some thinking I have been doing on how K-Logs have evolved and will eventually emerge as a core part of the desktop productivity suite:
1st Generation. K-Logs as a server-based Internet service. These basic Weblogs used a centralized services model to enable people to publish to the Web. There are a variety of vendors that provide this capability. However, most companies don't want to store vital corporate data outside the firewall. Also, there is a growing fear, given the current economic environment, that these services will suddenly stop working and vital data will be lost.
2nd Generation. Packed K-Log server software. This solution solved some of the problems with the services model by providing corporations with packaged Weblog software that they could install on their Intranet. However, this solution has the same problems with scalability, cost, and flexibility that plague centralized solutions we see in the Web world. Also, centralized software cannot easily take advantage of data stored in desktop applications or provide individuals with a fast loading mobile copy of their critical data.
3rd Generation. Desktop K-Log software. This is the point we are at today. Desktop K-Log software solves the scalability and personal storage issues by decentralizing K-Log development and publishing. Core functionality on this generation of software includes: Weblog publishing, categories, RSS headline aggregation, community data aggregation (recent updates for example), bookmark lists, directories, and file uploads. This decentralized approach provides people with a desktop archive of all information (aggregated or posted) as well as an ability to use the tool in a P2P framework.
4th Generation. Fully integrated desktop K-Log software. This is the generation where K-Logs challenge the current 1980's desktop productivity suite for dominance. This software includes the core functionality included in the 3rd generation but also: outlines, structured instant messaging, full e-mail integration, and P2P file/data transfer. Also, this software will fully integrate with corporate Webservices to allow employees to gather important information that can be then posted to his/her K-Log (for example: a SOAP service the provides sales figures at the end of each day — more on this later). This tool is the end-point that can be fully customized by corporations to fit their needs. It allows an employee to aggregate dozens of data sources, analyze that data, and post it with an annotation to a K-Log (or multiple K-Logs based on categories). It breaks down data silos and puts otherwise random data into context that has meaning and structure. That posted knowledge can be searched, sorted and used by all employees with the appropriate access to improve their ability to do their job. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]