Dispelling the Myths

The news about Knowledge Network has been out for two weeks, and it’s been fascinating to see the reactions and perspectives from so many different people. It sounds like many of you are just as excited as we are about the promise of sharing tacit knowledge in organizations. As is always the case, there are bound to be misunderstandings and misconceptions. What we’d like to do with this blog entry is to try and dispel some of the myths that we’ve heard thus far.


Myth #1 – My organization is mining my emails without my consent


KN is an opt-in system. Each individual with the KN client installed decides whether to become a member and what information to share. The analysis of your emails is not initiated until you have gone through what we call the “Information Sources” wizard. This tool enables you to configure exactly which Outlook folders you want the local KN analysis to run against. This tool also allows you to configure whether you want to include Outlook contacts that you've personally added as part of your profile. You choose whether to include IM contact lists from Office Communicator, Windows Messenger, and/or MSN Messenger. Only when you finish this wizard and select “Start” will the keywords and contacts analysis actually begin. At this point, no information has been sent from your computer to the server.


When the analysis process has completed, the KN client presents profile recommendations to you. Specifically, a Windows “balloon” will pop up and ask you to review your profile. Again, nothing has left your computer at this point. You have the opportunity to review and modify your profile to your heart’s content using the “Profile” wizard. The Profile wizard allows you to step through each profile item and make changes, which may include deleting items, adding items, or changing privacy settings on each item individually (we call this privacy setting the “Show To” setting).


Once you are satisfied with your profile, the last page of the wizard has a “Publish” button, and when you click this button – you guessed it – that’s when your profile keywords and contacts are finally published to the server and displayed on your SharePoint My Site. It’s important to note that you can make changes to your profile keywords and contacts at any time. Even just seconds after you publish your profile.


You may also decide whether or not you are willing to appear as an “anonymous helper” in search results. If you receive an “anonymous helper” request from another user, you can decide on a case-by-case basis whether you will help by responding or rather anonymously decline the request.


We architected KN with a separate client component so that you control how much (or little) personal information to reveal to your coworkers based on their organizational and social distance from you. The KN client runs locally on your machine and finds keywords and contacts that are relevant only to you, and only you can choose which of your keywords and contacts you want to publish and share with others. KN is most definitely not a tool for IT to automatically mine your emails.


Myth #2– Microsoft is mining my emails


KN brings the power of social networks safely to the enterprise by running as a “behind the firewall” solution, so organizations have complete control over the profile information that users of the KN client have published to the KN server(s) in your organization. Absolutely no profile information is sent to Microsoft’s servers.


Myth #3– Knowledge Network affects document search


KN is an extension of the People Search functionality in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. It is separate from the SharePoint content search functionality. As described above, the scanning and analysis of your email for keywords and contacts take place on your local computer. You decide how much of your profile information will be published to the server. After your profile information is published, it is indexed and made available as part of the People search functionality in the SharePoint Search Center. When you use SharePoint to search for documents or content, the keywords and contacts in your profile (what you know and who you know) do not impact document/content search performance or results. KN is about people search, not document search.

Comments (13)

  1. Sridhar Bommana says:

    I’m getting an error while configuring KN (Analysis step), and I cant proceed further.

    It comes after I select my Outlook folders to be included in KN. Here is the exact error message -"Attempted to read or write protected memory. This is often an indication that other memory is corrupt.

    Analysis is rescheduled to run at 6/19/2006 10:39:45 AM"

    Please let me know if there is any firewall issue or any other setting which can set this right.

  2. MSDN Archive says:

    Thank you for your feedback.  The KN team has corrected this error.  We will be posting an updated build as soon as testing is completed.  We will keep you posted.

  3. MSDN Archive says:

    This error is now fixed in the updated KN application zip on Betaplace posted on June 30th and updated on July 1st, 2006.

  4. Sridhar Bommana says:

    Thank you so much

    The new build does the analysis perfectly


    Sridhar B

  5. suresh kumar says:

    how does the Knowledge Network Search compare to the Desktop search?

    are we using the same components and background services?  

    – or another example of independent products here?

    both desktop and KN seem processor intensive, that is why i ask..

  6. Glen Anderson says:

    Hi Suresh, we decided that your question was so great, we dedicated an entire blog entry to it. See http://blogs.msdn.com/kn/archive/2006/08/10/KN_and_Desktop_Search.aspx. Thanks for the question!

  7. Here is an assortment of various 2007 Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Documentation / Reference Materials…

  8. Glen Anderson, the Group Program Manager for the KN team, describes the sources of information that KN client analysis looks at in order to create the best possible profile recommendations for you including the fields in the headers of your actual email

  9. Neha says:

    I was  trying to install Client and server KN program. Can u tell me from where i will get the setup for it. I tried to get it from http://beta.microsoft.com/ . but it is asking for GuestID.

    I dont have Guest ID so i cant proceed further.

  10. 2007 MOSS Resource Links (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) Here is an assortment of various 2007 Microsoft

  11. Gracias a Mark Kruger (SharePoint MVP) por esta lista de recursos de SharePoint donde podréis encontrar

  12. Gracias a Mark Kruger (SharePoint MVP) por esta lista de recursos de SharePoint donde podréis encontrar

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