We had a wiki at my last company. We also had a rule that people had to post or update their posts every week. We had to have a rule or noone would do it.
At one of my previous employers, one of the world’s largest consulting companies, there was a Knowledge Management initiative. It resulted in a shelf full of process and best-practice manuals. Noone ever looked at them, that I knew of.
So how is knowledge transmitted in learn-as-you-work industries? Through apprenticeships, cooperation with coworkers, mentor/mentee relationships and the like. Through face-to-face trust relationships.
But the internet has changed the nature of relationships. Face-to-face relationships are now augmented by virtual ones and, in some case, replaced by them. Regardless, knowledge transfer requires two things that are usually neglected in favor of tools and schemas: motivation and trust.
Motivation has been created in many ways online. From monetary payment to peer recognition. But, as Yogi Berra said in the quote that titles this post, relationships require a quid pro quo also.
How are trust networks built and maintained in the absence of personal contact?