We’d like to plead for some attention to a serious issue very much related to discussions of the management of information and knowledge. We see a direct relationship between the increasing preference for the personal customization of information that the web allows and the balkanization of opinions that continues to appear throughout communities once characterized by common commitment.
An unanticipated consequence of customized information streams is that balanced perspective can be purposely or inadvertently subordinated to insulated affirmation of preconceived notions. We think one of the ways associations can distinguish the value of their “knowledge management” function is to commit to providing balanced perspective. This strategy involves presenting all viewpoints on an issue, even if the issue is one on which the association has taken a position.
Decisions to parse and segment information distribution and access to increase satisfaction, under the guise of increasing usefulness, has a downside that needs to be considered. We find that the promise of providing diverse perspectives, when combined with the delivery of well vetted information, is a distinguishing value proposition associations are especially well suited to offer.