Of course this has been a theme for a number of years on a number of televisions shows and movies. From Ghostbusters its my favorite line “Cats and dogs living together.” We never know what this merging of opposites will create.
Except, in the space of knowledge management (or really IP/IC management – as knowledge management is a much bigger nut). In that world you have people who need IP/IC (searching) and people who are building IP/IC (content creators). But if they are speaking even a slightly different language we are in trouble.
For example, think of all the directory standards that exist today. Kerberos, LDAP etc…the list goes on for awhile. If you build a product that speaks directory you have to speak all of these languages, but not all of the nomenclature is the same. What do you mean by synchronization?
Which is actually the neat freaks and the slobs coming together. They don’t speak the same language and so it impacts search. Personally i like to shorten directory services to Directories, but i have friends who only use DS and LDAP. If I search for directory in a KM system, I won’t find it because the neat freaks or slobs (not telling which one I am) have placed the document in with their nomenclature.
You want communication in your IP/IC system? Build a common taxonomy that allows people the freedom to express their solution while making sure the next person along can leverage that.
Freedom means knowing what comes next.