On the Web, think like a publisher, not an author

Last year's favorite statement we loved to hate was, 'Did you get my email?' This year we've already learned to cringe when we hear, 'It's on the Web page.' These have become the latest dirty words in our Information Age. Not because 'It's on the Web page' might not be a true statement but becaus

Last year's favorite statement we loved to hate was, "Did you get my e-mail?" This year we've already learned to cringe when we hear, "It's on the Web page."

These have become the latest dirty words in our Information Age. Not because "It's on the Web page" might not be a true statement but because this statement does not solve our problem. Sure it's on the World Wide Web page, but so is everything else. Imagine if a librarian replied with something like, "It's on the shelf," when asked where a particular book might be located. How many more times would you visit that library?

A Web page is similar to other forms of published communication. The difference is that the Web offers a unique opportunity for all users to look at the same "book" without regard to distance or time. The challenge is presenting the information in such a way that users can not only find your book but also the exact page that contains the information they need.

This requires a change in the way we use our information technology and the way we think of information flow. For example, when producing an information product, we not only must consider how we might personally benefit from this source, or how me might mail it to another member of our unit, we also must consider how to design and post the information on the network for use by the whole organization. This is more a function of publishing than it is authoring. This function of organizing and promoting data for and to the organization is a part of knowledge management.

Effective knowledge management requires us to look outward to those we can influence by our information rather than inward at how we might personally use the data.

A way to describe this change in the cultural landscape goes back to "Did you get my e-mail?" The problem is that yes, it probably was received, but it's probably still sitting unanswered near the bottom of the inbox in a long list of other e-mail messages.

We should not just mail information to a few people; instead, we should publish and post the information for use by the entire organization.

At Pacific Fleet Headquarters, we developed an information portal on our intranet called the Knowledge Homeport. The purpose of the site is to provide our staff and others outside the command with the information they need in a timely and logical manner. Pacific Fleet's former home page was divided into directorate sites (for example, N1, N2, N3, N4, etc.). This worked fine as long as users knew that travel forms were the responsibility of N1 or that ship schedules belonged to N3.

Today's Knowledge Homeport offers a better way to organize and display information. It is partitioned into functional areas such as schedules, operational issues, command intentions, news and staff support. It contains common forms and templates, allows for entering data only once and gathers into one spot links to all our organizational data structures.

Cultural change does not come easily, but some lessons we have learned include:

* Market the "grand opening" of your new information product through the medium your audience is most likely to visit. You could use internal publications, message boards, staff meetings or even the Web or e-mail, but remember, some people already get too much electronic information. A multifaceted approach is probably best.

* Remind your audiences about improvements to your product.

* Advertise and "point to" your information, via channels or links, in the places where the customer is most likely to look.

* Feedback from your audience is crucial. You have to understand the group to which you are relating. Our Knowledge Homeport includes owners for every page, and we allow a means for the viewer to provide feedback to that owner.

* Nothing can replace a good reputation for supplying credible information that is up to date and easy to find. You must take responsibility for ensuring that your information is timely and accurate.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Knowledge is power only when it is shared." This philosophy of sharing, publishing and advertising is helping us change the way we relate; it's changing the way we work.Convincing those in an organization to make this cultural change is absolutely essential to meeting the challenges that we face in the Network Age. n

-- Munns is the chief financial officer and chief information officer for the commander in chief of the Navy's Pacific Fleet.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.