PKM and the digital humanities

Crystal, Mary and I had the opportunity to attend a THATCamp, a digital humanities camp, at the Atlanta University Center last week.  All three of us work more with  science, engineering and the social sciences than with the humanities; though I now support graduate work in the humanities at Kennesaw State, my career up till now has been with social and economic development and entrepreneurship, so I am just learning how people in humanities work.

I presented a typology of tools for PKM with examples of each type, and Crystal and Mary presented Evernote and OneNote in more depth.  From the discussions, we found that people in the humanities face the same kinds of issues as the folks we have been dealing with, that morass of mostly unstructured qualitative information which were not handled well by old-style personal information managers, with their largely structured and field-based approaches.

Someone raised the question, what is the difference between information and knowledge, and what is the difference between information management and knowledge management?  I answered by introducing the data-to-wisdom hierarchy (summarized by Bellinger, Castro and Mills here). However, I think what we refer to as PKM is a mixture of information and knowledge management, characterized by the need to simplify our systems by using containers that can hold both, and by the need to transform information into new knowledge.  I don’t want to enter into definitional discussions here.  I also think that  PIM brings to mind contact managers and similar software, which is far more limited than the kinds of tools that interest me.  Hence, for convenience, I have always used the term personal knowledge management, and hope that it  is fairly self explanatory.

I’d be interested in hearing from others whether you’ve found differences in PKM practices or needs across disciplines.  And of course – any reactions to the information/knowledge management terms.

Wanted: PKM Adventurers to join Us

Mary, Elisabeth and I all discovered our joint areas of interest in the field of Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) over the lunch table. We soon realized the value of sharing our individual experiences and discussing PKM concepts and tools together.   Extrapolating that idea, we began to talk about ways to engage other librarians and academic professionals ; we shared the desire to take part in a larger group discussion, yet we were not easily finding the platforms where other librarians were talking about PKM.  So we have created this blog to continue our discussions and to provide a place where others can join us in our exploration and adventures.  We plan to talk about PKM and its related concepts both in terms of theory and practical applications.  I’m sure there will be software reviews and “here’s a problem I’ve solved” posts.  There will also be “here’s something I’m still struggling with” entries and we will probably head down some dead ends on our adventure too.  Our hope is that others will become equally intrigued.  Wouldn’t a PKM for Librarians blog circle be a cool goal for our community?