Knowledge forms a key component of a company’s customer service provision. It is imperative that the knowledge a company provides for its customers and customer service agents is trusted, accurate, uptodate and verified.

And what we are seeing through the advent of social media is the rise of so called ‘knowledge experts’, and the creation of collective knowledge banks for the people by the people. The most well know being Wikipedia.

In parallel with this, we are seeing the increasing commoditisation and mobilisation of knowledge.

Knowledge is being bundled up into discrete highly portable packages. Any one who tweets, in a way is packaging up knowledge into these highly mobile 140 character parcels, placing that knowledge in the clouds on the understanding that we must simply let it go, for it then to take on another journey, perhaps as a retweet, at the hands of friends and followers.

Knowledge is more participatory, collaborative, convenient, transitory than ever before.

And although it has the potential to take on a life of its own, the fact that we participate in its generation, is good enough for it to be trusted. We are part of its creation, therefore we are part of its trust creation as well.

For a company, what are the implications of this. Not only is knowledge decentralising, but a company is increasingly no longer even the keeper of its own knowledge. Is it that Twitter or YouTube are becoming de facto knowledge bases? Think about all those companies with YouTube channels. Is this not simply the beginnings of a video knowledge base?

A search on YouTube for ‘change iPhone SIM card’ returns ‘about 914’ videos, a similar search on eHow returns 1,430 possible solutions. On one YouTube video it has been viewed 675,000 times. Proof that knowledge has the capacity to be viral.

What will it mean to the definition of trusted knowledge when companies run competitions to produce the best ‘how to…’ videos on YouTube?

Is this the ultimate outsourcing of knowledge, the ultimate sense of trust in our customers, in people?

AudioBoo: On the transformation of knowledge…