PKM40 – what have I learned so far?

I’m currently following Harold Jarche‘s “Personal Knowledge Management in 40 days” course. We’re just over half way through, and Harold recently challenged us to reflect on what we have learned so far, and what we would like to achieve.

At the start of the course I thought that I was fairly familiar with the material, and that this was really just a refresher. Much of what has been presented is familiar, but looking at it again, with specific exercises, has made me look closer. I’m recognising (perhaps not for the first time) that my particular challenge is that professionally I tend to need to know “quite a lot about quite a lot”, and this seems to fit my learning preferences. (aka “butterfly brain”!)

In practice this means that I tend to have fairly broad nets for the “Seek” part of PKM, but my sense-making tends to be fairly limited in the public arena – usually limited to annotations in Diigo. Certainly in professional terms sense-making seems to be something that takes place in the production of specific work products, and then discarded as we move on. Although I have had a blog since 2002, little sharing happens here at the moment – in fact the bulk of my sharing is implicit (via Diigo), combined with some rather “noise like” retweeting from time to time.

So what do I want to do differently?

In common with at least one other person on the course, I’ve started to see that my knowledge-seeking has become a bit too unfocused, a bit too broad. I’m starting to refine Twitter lists, and hone the collection structure in my feed.ly. I’ve experimented a bit with converting Twitter searches to RSS feeds (using this technique), although at the moment I don’t think I’ve found the right combination of search terms to give me usable filtered streams.

In terms of overt sense-making and sharing, I’ve started being more attentive to “working out loud“, especially the combination of “Narrating your work + Observable work”, although that takes different forms depending on the work. I’m paying more attention to blogging inside the firewall, and I’m looking for more opportunities to write about what I am doing for work in a non-compromising way on my public blog. The main challenge is the amount of time a blog post can take, so again trying to make that part of my process rather than an addition.

I’m very interested in the concept of roles in PKM, not just in terms of seeking out those people for my network, but in terms of identifying and filling the gaps, and the overlap with roles in action-based networks.