KM experts dispute age gap

Does a generation gap affect federal employees’ adoption of knowledge management and Web 2.0?  
The answer may be counterintuitive, according to Chris Rasmussen, social software knowledge manager at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He’s also a top contributor to Intellipedia, the online wiki for federal intelligence information sharing.

Intellipedia is a freewheeling format that produces often unexpected flows of information, Rasmussen said last week at a conference. The patterns do not always fit standard expectations.

For example, people assume Intellipedia users in their 20s would be the most prolific, but that is not necessarily the case, he said. One of the most active editors is in his 60s. Of the two-dozen most active editors, most are in their 30s and 40s, he said.

“It is not an age, it is a mind-set,” said Rasmussen, who is 33.

Robert Neilson, knowledge management adviser to the Army’s chief information officer, pointed to his own graying tresses in disputing the notion of an age gap.

All managers, regardless of age, should be open-minded about innovation, Neilson said.  “Knowledge management and Web 2.0 are complementary, not competitive,” Neilson said. “You either get on board, or you get left behind.”

The notion of a generation gap in computer skills continues to be discussed, said Neil Olonoff, knowledge management team leader under contract with the Army.

“People say that the younger people come in with the skills. That may be true, but younger people don’t always have an inclination,” Olonoff said. “I’m 58, and I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn, but many other [younger] people cannot be bothered.”

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Telecommunications
    Stock photo ID: 658810513 By asharkyu

    GSA extends EIS deadline to 2023

    Agencies are getting up to three more years on existing telecom contracts before having to shift to the $50 billion Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions vehicle.

  • Workforce
    Shutterstock image ID: 569172169 By Zenzen

    OMB looks to retrain feds to fill cyber needs

    The federal government is taking steps to fill high-demand, skills-gap positions in tech by retraining employees already working within agencies without a cyber or IT background.

  • Acquisition
    GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

    GSA to consolidate multiple award schedules

    The General Services Administration plans to consolidate dozens of its buying schedules across product areas including IT and services to reduce duplication.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.