Knowledge Management (Zoe and Six Degrees)

A couple of weeks ago, I read a post on Joel’s weblog from January about Knowledge Management and a software product called Six Degrees, that was coming out from Creo (made up of the guys that were the real brains behind Quark back in the day).

I was intrigued. Here promised to be a product that could really help me get my job done faster, and more efficiently, and it ran on Windows and Macintosh. I downloaded the eval version, and fired it up on my Windows 2K box at work. It took about 30 minutes to crawl all of the data on that machine, and index it. So far, so good. Then I started using it. Or trying to, I should say. First of all, the software requires a J2EE runtime environment installed, and it’ll do it for you, if you need it, but it doesn’t check the version number of one that’s already installed on your Windows box. It also doesn’t uninstall the older version, if it installs a newer version for you. Also, it doesn’t handle large amounts of information very well. Lastly, I hate my PC, so I tried troubleshooting it for about a week (the demo version mind you) but I never got it to work properly. Don’t get me wrong, it looks promisiong, but I’m not interested in helping them test it right now at work (just too damned busy) — but they were superb in offering me help, support, and requesting feedback on my progress. Angie, the customer service person that was helping me probably deserves a lot more than they’re paying her.

Then just this week, I was reading on Andy’s blog about ZOE. I was again intrigued. I downloaded it on my Mac at home, doubleclicked it, and whammo! it just worked (typical experience for Mac users, but you PC users might have a hard time believing that. really, it just works). I’m super impressed by its abilities, and need to spend more time with it to get more comfortable with it, but if it continues to work well after I start putting massive amounts of data into it, I’m freaking sold! (oh, but wait, it’s free). Andy loves it thus far, and I’m liking it, so you might want to check it out. (yes, it should work on a PC, check the FAQ)

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