Enterprise Software

Brint.com: All you want to know about knowledge management

If you're looking for information on this current trend, look no further than Brint.com. A large part of this portal site covers knowledge management in great detail, from scholarly articles to threaded discussions.

Knowledge management—everyone's talking about it. It's the latest fad. Your manager thinks that as a trainer you should know something about anything related to knowledge and has asked you to research the topic and learn as much as you can about it.

This week’s site is the place to start if you’re faced with such a task. Although there are many resources online about knowledge management, none is as extensive or exhaustive as Brint.com, which describes itself as “a virtual library on knowledge management.” The site includes forums, articles, magazines, events, resources, analyses, and news.

Part of a larger site
Brint.com is a portal, and the home page proclaims itself as, “The Premier Business and Technology Portal and Global Community Network for E-Business, Information, Technology, and Knowledge Management.” While the site does have a lot of information on a lot of topics, our focus is on the knowledge management section. This section of the site is almost daunting in its size and scope.

The layout
The knowledge management page on the Brint.com site has several sections, including:
  • What Is Knowledge Management?
  • Articles, White Papers, Interviews
  • Business & Technology Library
  • Multi-Discussion Forums
  • K-Management Executive Positions
  • Announcements & Press Releases
  • Online Publications Showcase
  • Analysis: 'Out-Of-Box Thinking'
  • Knowledge Executives Network
  • Online Forums: 'K-M Think Tank'
  • Discussion Knowledgebase
  • Knowledge Management Advisor
  • Online Calendar of Events
  • Knowledge Management Bibliography

As you can see from this list alone, the site is extensive and quite a complete resource.

Knowledge management—A trainer’s needs
Depending on your specific situation and background, different parts of this site may be of the most interest to you. The sections I recommend include:
  • What Is Knowledge Management?
  • Articles, White Papers, Interviews
  • Business & Technology Library
  • Discussion Knowledgebase
  • Knowledge Management Bibliography

These sections are rich in resources, links, and information to make you better versed in the topic of knowledge management. Additionally, I found a link in the Themes in Knowledge Management section that is particularly helpful for trainers. One collection of articles focuses on the human side of knowledge management and discusses how to select the best training for workers and the increasing importance of people skills in the technical world. Other themes in this section are: Measurement and Evaluation of Knowledge Assets, Information Processing vs. Sense Making, and Of Humans and Their Machines.

The K-M analysis section contains the Out-of-the-Box Thinking feature that includes links to 199 articles. The K-M Think Tank offers threaded discussions and bulletin boards. Anyone can read the posts, but you must have a username and password to create and reply to posts. There is also a fun quotes section called Thinker Toys.

Final impressions
It is hard to review any true portal in a short article. The site lacks visual appeal, feels crowded at times, and some of the information is duplicated in various spots.

But, the site certainly reaches its goals. Brint.com is recognized as the leading knowledge management portal for a reason: It offers great value for the knowledgebase professional.

For trainers however, its value may be more limited. This is not a comment on the site but instead a reflection of our needs as trainers and consultants for this type of information.

If you want to learn more about knowledge management and related topics, I doubt you'll find a better place on the Web to start and probably to finish. If you do, let me know, and I will review that site in the future!

Kevin Eikenberry is president of the Discian Group, a learning consulting company in Indianapolis.

To comment on this article or suggest other Web sites to review, please write to Kevin with your ideas.

Here is Kevin’s review of Brint.com

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