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What Is Personal Knowledge Management?

Marilyn Fontenot
Marilyn Fontenot

Personal knowledge management (PKM) is a system of organizing portions of personal information that can be rationally applied and retrieved from a computer. Its formula is meant to create, gather, distribute and use personal knowledge to design an organizational chart or map, and the information from the chart can be stored and retrieved from a computer. Personal knowledge management uses the computer to gather, classify, store, search, retrieve and share the user’s personal knowledge. The purpose is to organize a person’s everyday knowledge base into a succinct site that will expand a person’s information through the use of a computer.

The traditional pen and paper methods of documenting and retrieving personal information are replaced with personal knowledge management tools. PKM is meant to be an updated version of something called a commonplace book, which was used as long ago as the 15th century to log personal information. Commonplace books were usually notebooks filled with things such as recipes, letters, prayers and poems. They were used as aids to help their owners remember information. Personal knowledge management utilizes a computer to help the user manage much of the same information in one place and in a more organized manner.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

Knowledge management has been described as an orderly effort to generate, assemble, dispense and use knowledge through the use of technology with networking capabilities. User modeling plays a big part in the success of personal knowledge management. It uses the human-to-computer model of interaction, in which designers create cognitive models using the computer user’s personal information. Data management companies are often used to design programs that would use a person’s information to create a domain manager, from there creating a domain model, which would then create a domain management module (DMM). The DMM incorporates the user’s information to form a data analysis model.

The results of user modeling from data analysis are filed in computer systems and stored in user profiles. Adaptive hypermedia plays an integral part in a successful personal knowledge management program. Computer users have many links available to them, and often it’s difficult to choose which one would suit the users’ purpose. Adaptive hypermedia is meant to drive the user to the links that closely fit the user’s profile and shows the user the place from which the information is coming. In other words, it personalizes the website’s search engines to the user’s personal needs.

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