Knowledge Management is all about collaboration, making the 3 + 3 equal > 6, but the challenge has always been how do you codify the knowledge for dissemination and re-use, implying the existence of both strategy, and a management mechanism for the knowledge.

    By comparison, social networking is largely uncontrolled, and lacks a strategy beyond “to connect”, but it nevertheless has become a source of knowledge management.

    Social networking brings to the table two factors not usually prominent in KM systems:

  1. Humanity, people connecting and interacting for the personal value, not monetary value, it reminds of the notion of “commons”  where groups assemble because they can leverage off the social, intellectual and commercial base of the “common”
  2. Social networking offers the opportunity not just to form horizontal connections as happens in managed KM systems, but for the vertical, and oblique connections that offer the opportunity for insights and capabilities in an organic manner, rather like the organic metaphor for innovation. 
  3. It appears to me that an application for social networking techniques  that will evolve quite rapidly will be as a new and powerful tool that will enable the rich and varied collaboration so crucial for the innovation process.