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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management
Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management viewpoints and curations by a world-wide recognized Knowledge Management Expert and Consultant: President/CEO of Knowledge Management Professional Society (KMPro) - the world's largest KM professional society; Creator of the first KM certification program and remains today after 21 years as the world's longest serving provider of Knowledge Management training and certification with more than 6,500 individuals certified and more than 3,000 in other KM training.
Curated by Dr. Dan Kirsch
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Is Social Networking Good for Learning? asks Chief Learning Officer....

Is Social Networking Good for Learning? asks Chief Learning Officer.... | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Is Social Networking Good for Learning?
Chief Learning Officer
Enterprise social networks are private internal software platforms designed to engage employees while fostering collaboration, communication, knowledge sharing and informal learning.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

I'm almost not sure where to start with this one....but what starts out as a potentially interesting read that discusses the important connection between social networking (sharing knowledge) and learning and knowledge management, fairly quickly is reduced to a discussion of the technological side of things.


Consider this sound bite: "Technology is considered a strategic asset for many organizations and is recognized as an integral part of business strategy because organizations can use it to maximize employees’ contributions and performance."


I have to give that one a good ole grade of "F" because it is flat out wrong.  Not that many organizations don't consider technology to be a strategic asset, but rather that technology isn't a strategic asset.  Well, generally speaking.  Unless of course you have single-handedly just created a unique bit of social networking technology that is unknown to any other organization on the planet that allows for unique knowledge capture and sharing.  And even then I give it a very short innovation head start period before others are following that lead. 


Technology, and choosing to have it and to use it isn't really ground breaking.  And it's not a strategy.  That's akin to suggesting that utilizing cell phones is a strategy.  IT is a tool.  Having a tool isn't a strategy.  It is a tool.  And having a technology that everyone else has does not maintain the organization's capacity to determine its future well-being (which is pretty much the definition of a "strategic asset").


The reality of it is that if you intend to use social networking to support your organizational learning (and I'm suggesting that you should do that) and you recognize the importance of that social networking to knowledge sharing (which is clearly linked to organizational learning)....then it's probably time to start considering what your social networking goals are.  What that strategy is.  And how exactly (and I mean exactly) social networking fits within the organization's Knowledge Management and Learning strategies.  And how those stategies are tied to the overarching organizational strategy.


My point is that if you breeze through this article you will see that the only discussion of strategy though is the above quote, which suggested that technology is an integral part of strategy and that it is a strategic asset.  No other discussion of strategy.


And that speaks to exactly why so many organizations aren't truly reaping the benefits from social networking.  They simply have no strategy.  It is ad hoc.  It happens on its own terms, without regard for determining how what knowledge that is being transferred and captured might improve the organizational learning and then contribute to the big picture goals. 


A lot of those organizations who tout their "success" at social networking....are simply lucky.  Not consistent.  Not making cultural reforms.  And therein wasting organizational learning opportunities.

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Knowledge Sharing Tools and Methods Toolkit - Social Network Analysis

Knowledge Sharing Tools and Methods Toolkit - Social Network Analysis | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

"Social network analysis is the mapping and measuring of relationships and flows between people, groups, organisations, computers or other information/knowledge processing entities." (Valdis Krebs, 2002). Social Network Analysis (SNA) is a method for visualizing our people and connection power, leading us to identify how we can best interact to share knowledge. ...


Via João Greno Brogueira
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Dr. Dan's KM Tips

Dr. Dan's KM Tips | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Quick tips for improving your Knowledge Management implementation.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Elevator Speech Swap Meets:  These are regular get together opportunities for those who are working within the KM efforts or for those who are KM proponents.  Sharing of KM elevator speeches provides an opportunity to learn from the exchanges, and to allow for you to perfect your own delivery.  (Also see:  KM Elevator Speeches - 6 Fatal Errors)


Supports:  Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Transfer, Knowledge Capture, Collaboration, Socialization, Networking, Organizational Culture, KM Professional Development.

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4 Tips for Employee Collaboration & Creativity - Work Design: Interiors, Architecture, and Employee Engagement

4 Tips for Employee Collaboration & Creativity - Work Design: Interiors, Architecture, and Employee Engagement | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan: More on ways to increase socialization that leads to collaboration!


"It’s no secret that a visually stunning workplace design is a huge asset for winning business, wooing talent, and fostering the impression of success."

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:
On the heels of my just posted scoop of "The Science of Serendipity in the Workplace" I thought that it would be nice to pull this article from a few months ago on a similar topic, out for discussion.
Four great tips for improving collaboration & creativity in the workplace:
  1. Writable walls
  2. Communal spaces
  3. Multi-function furniture
  4. The "Five C's" (comfortable spaces; communal spots; connectivity; cup of coffee; connections)
And all of this is important for the same reasons that I discussed in the other scoop -- increasing socialization, which leads to spontaneous collaboration opportunities and the sharing of knowledge, and that increased collaboration and knowledge sharing then feeds the innovation engine!
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Driving Business Performance through Knowledge Sharing

Driving Business Performance through Knowledge Sharing | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Learn how to boost creativity by tapping into the richest resource in your organisation – the workforce.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Another reminder of the value of socialization:  "You also need a sharing mechanism – weekly huddles over coffee/pastries, intranets, newsletters, departmental story-sessions – to capture these nuggets, learn from them, and develop a collective knowledge vault."

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Why Machines That Can Do Human Things Won't Replace Us Anytime Soon

Why Machines That Can Do Human Things Won't Replace Us Anytime Soon | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

As technology advances at an unprecedented rate, now performing tasks typically reserved for human creativity, one realizes just how special human beings are and how inadequate technology can be.


Via Peter Verschuere
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

This might not appear to be directly "pointed" at the challenges of knowledge management but consider the fact that people actually prefer "browsing" over "searching" and you should begin to understand some of the fundamental challenges of successful Knowledge Management implementation.  

 

There is no software which allows for a person to learn, find, experience, and so on in the same way that we do naturally using our senses.  Clearly a "search" capability is fairly worthless when an organization lacks a taxonomy, doesn't understand the basic concepts of meta tagging and so on.  

 

However, it is probably a bigger "neglect" to lack those KM necessities that feed to and on our abilities as people -- for example, expertise locators (to find people), socialization opportunities (to draw people), mentoring programs (to nuture & develop people).  Each of these types of activities feed "browsing" as in developing people and their relationships we allow for mutual exploration -- for me to learn what you know, what you think AND what you feel about a subject or issue (which can help me to understand why something is important and no search engine will ever be able to fully make that connection).

 

This article does hit the KM problem nail squarely on its head.  All too often organizations approach KM implementation as if they are trying to, in that sense, "replace" us.  Simply throw it all into a repository.  Marvel at "big data." Job then "done." And in doing so organizations then ignore the people side of things and fail to grasp that the purpose of any KM tool should be to make better people.  To find ways to bring us together, to find each other, to learn more about what you already know.  

 

The key to a better KM implementation is to remember that the person sitting next to me knows by far more than "big data" will ever ever account for and in ways that big data will never be able to capture or understand.  And accessing that knowledge "interface" is as easy as starting a conversation.

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Social interaction and the role of empathy in information and knowledge management: A literature review

Social interaction and the role of empathy in information and knowledge management: A literature review | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

This article provides a general review of the literature on the nature and role of empathyin social interaction for information professionals working in a variety of informationand knowledge environments. Relational agency theory (Edwards, 2005) is used asa framework to re-conceptualize education for empathic social interaction betweeninformation professionals and their clients. Past, present and future issues relevant toempathic interaction in information and knowledge management are discussed inthe context of three shifts identified from the literature:

(a) the continued increase incommunication channels, both physical and virtual, for reference, information and re-search services,

(b) the transition from the information age to the conceptual age and

(c) the growing need for understanding of the affective paradigm in the informationand knowledge professions. 

 

Faye Miller and Jake Wallis


Via Edwin Rutsch
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Studies identified "empathy as the main trustenabler to facilitate communication within the knowledge network."


Social empathy as a means to build collaborative relationships, promote social inclusion, stimulate creativity, and manage tacit knowledge to build social capital.

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Mindy M Walker's curator insight, July 18, 2013 1:00 PM

Empathy - can't be stressed enough. Key to leadership, understanding others, finding appropriate solutions...

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Innovation Process - 5 Components of Innovation Preparedness by Woody Bendle

Innovation Process - 5 Components of Innovation Preparedness by Woody Bendle | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Woody Bendle is back today with an innovation process lesson all about how innovation success depends on finding things that won't work. Here's Woody!  Innovation Process - Prepare to Find Ways tha...
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

And a strong connection to Knowledge Management best practice can be found in #4: "Memorialize and socialize what you’ve learned"

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Proximity: A key social knowledge management principle • Ibridazioni

Proximity: A key social knowledge management principle • Ibridazioni | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Highly Transdisciplinarity Thoughts for the Challenge of Complexity

Via Alessandro Donadio
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Cultural proximity - physical and emotional proximity that encourages socialization leading to effective knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer.

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Alessandro Donadio's curator insight, June 10, 2013 2:02 PM

The social proximity code.

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Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) Tips

Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management (KM) Tips | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it


Quick tips for improving your Knowledge Management implementation.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Social Recognition:  Create a social recognition program based upon peer-to-peer recognition that places value on knowledge sharing and collaboration. There are numerous solutions available, ranging from very low cost to high end (Google: Social Recognition Programs and Social Recognition Software ). 


One approach growing in popularity is to create an organizational "Wall of Fame" using a social sharing tool that allows for real-time posting by employees and the ability for anyone in the organization to be able to "like" or comment on individual or group contributions and successes.  Another approach utilized is to create a system which allows for employees to directly send congrats to another employee (cards, fun videos, animations, etc.) or even to directly award points to another employee based on their contributions or successes, points that could be utilized within a larger employee reward system.  The key to the program's success though is to ensure that it is driven by employees, but supported by management.


Supports: Socialization, Collaboration, Networking, Organizational Culture, KM Awareness, Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Transfer, and Knowledge Capture.

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The Brain Drain: Using Technology to Capture Retiring Boomer Knowledge

The Brain Drain: Using Technology to Capture Retiring Boomer Knowledge | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Gee, had high hopes and thought that IBM had invented some sort of new fangled de-vicey kind of thang that would yank knowledge right out of our heads.  Turns out that this is a different kind of article, but one that falls into the "look who just caught up" category!


Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Okay, the problem is real -- baby boomers will be retiring by the dozens (or more!) very soon.  And you'll get no argument from me that organizations need to be working hard to capture that knowledge before said baby boomers are off climbing mountains or sailing the seven (or so) seas.


Having said that, this article is more about how use of technology can supposedly "capture retiring boomer knowledge."  Well, that's the claim.  But it pretty much falls down the stairs after that.


Okay, here's the jist of it of the problem as I see it -- and this is a two part problem. 


Part #1:  You see, employees have this thing called "knowledge" and apparently HR now needs to "find ways to hold onto and share historical industry and company knowledge."  From a "what's wrong with this picture" perspective, I'm very lost at exactly HOW the HR department became the knowledge capture band leaders.  Or for that matter, WHEN.  And who in HR developed what Knowledge Management strategy?  Yeah, thought so.


Part #2:  The entire problem apparently can be "solved" by adapting "social technologies" by "creating profiles, sharing information and collaborating on social networks."  Sold by guess who? (And you get one guess, and yes, you are allowed to look at who wrote the article and what company said author works for.)


Yes, organizations do need to capture knowledge before it walks out the door.  And yes, socialization is critical within an organization.  However, simply tossing out "social technologies" with the mistaken belief that they will be magically utilized, and in doing so will somehow by sheer HR manager desire alone then result in the capture of critical organizational knowledge...is...well, it's pretty outright silly.


You see, it takes a bit more than tossing out technology into the workplace to capture knowledge.  There is the whole issue of determining what knowledge needs to be captured -- which speaks to having a Knowledge Management strategy that addresses the organizational knowledge gaps (of today and in the future).  That's because not all knowledge is "created equal."  In fact some of it is darn important....and other, not so much.


Then there is the cultural issue -- the necessity to inculcate within the workforce a desire to share knowledge, to capture it, to transfer it.  And then to actually utilize it.  And so as in many organizations where the employees are treated badly over years and years, simply tossing out the social networking tools and expecting good things to happen is like making offerings to the "knowledge capture fairy" and will be about as successful.


Yes, there are some valid points in the article about knowledge soon heading out the door.  But that's nothing new, and this seems more like a scare tactic (as in, "buy my software says the large company or doom on you, doom on you!).  Unfortunately they lost me when it became clear that this was simply yet another attempt by an IT vendor to hawk their wares, without any thought put into how to actually successfully implement a Knowledge Management program.


Fail.

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Evolution 'punishes mean people'

Evolution 'punishes mean people' | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research that challenges a previous theory that suggests it is preferable to put yourself first. (Selfishness is a loser's strategy. Collaboration give you an evolutionary advantage.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Seems to be all about collaboration today!


Discussion on how "evolution does not favour selfish people, according to new research" and how it pays to be co-operative, and increases your odds for survival.  Not really a new concept as that's been discussed since man first banded together for hunting, etc.  But this new research puts a fine point on the now recognized belief that selfish doesn't positively impact individual survival in the long-run.


So our connection to the need for collaboration within the workplace is clear.  And it should put to rest the need for individuals to "hoard" their knowledge under a belief that it benefits them in the long run.  It doesn't.

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The Science of Serendipity in the Workplace

The Science of Serendipity in the Workplace | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

Dr. Dan:  Socialization which leads to collaboration in fact does produce big things for an organization!


"Firms are thinking up new ways to encourage interactions among employees, going so far as to squeeze workers into smaller spaces and install trivia games on elevators."

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

It's all about increasing the frequency of socialization as a genesis to collaboration.


"Studies have found that having colleagues work in close proximity to each other does correlate with increased collaboration."


Which is very much the point of this article, which discusses some of the concepts that can be employed to increase employee interactions.  One of particular interest is a discussion of Google's under construction new headquarters, where one concept employed in the design was to find a way to ensure that all employees were physically located no more than 2.5 minutes away from each other.  Google credits this sort of close physical proximity with the kind of collaboration which produced Gmail and Street View...so clearly, the concept and resulting collaboration truly does produce big things.


Another discussed concept is Zappos "employee collisions" where they intentionally under-allocate worker space by about 1/3rd for offices areas and ensure that break rooms are "really small, so people literally collide."


An additional concept which is being utilized within Salesforce.com are "lunch button" kiosks -- which are used to match "up employees with common interests to have lunch together that day" as a way to produce spontaneous interactions.  This would well support a fairly well known in the Knowledge Management community concept called "brown bag lunches" -- I've long advocated ensuring that those are based on personal interests rather than on office issues, and for the same reason.  I think that the "lunch button" concept would be faily easy to employ (of course, that's assuming that your organization recognized the value of having a lunch room to begin with!).


Clearly socialization amongst employees, especially the kind driven by personal interests and that are spontaneous can help foster an organizational environment that supports collaboration and feeds the innovation engine.  These issues should be addressed within any organization's KM strategy -- collaboration, collaborative opportunities, etc.

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The Implications of a Collaboration Economy | Do Nothing!

The Implications of a Collaboration Economy | Do Nothing! | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
A leadership blog by J. Keith Murnighan focusing on Research & Current Events.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

Great quote that hits the point: "This desire for super-efficient interconnectedness has additional implications, one of which is that coordination and trust are incredibly important within a team."


And so it is with Knowledge Management -- the need for both coordination and trust to enable effective knowledge sharing.

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Think Carefully About Where You Put the Office Bathroom

Think Carefully About Where You Put the Office Bathroom | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it

"Why the placement of your office bathroom matters."

Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

SBP:  Strategic Bathroom Placement.  But it's not truly about where a bathroom is located so much as it is about creating a physical environment that provides ample opportunity for people to interact, and then encouraging and allowing that interaction.  Apple, Google, 3M and others have all turned this concept into an organizational "way of life" but you don't always have to go to that extent to take advantage of the knowledge sharing brought about by socialization.  Little things can help to shape the environment, to nuture the roots of collaboration.  

 

Take for example, "Beer Cart Friday" at Advance Medical (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/03/08/beer-cart-friday/1973789/) where CEO Jennifer Fuicelli uses -- yes, beer as a catalyst for creating a high performing corporate culture.  She's also incorporated costumes on Halloween, cookouts and what she calls a "get out of jail free" card used by employees to receive a paid day off on their birthday.

 

Organizational cultures that support socialization and collaboration create something extremely important -- trust amongst those who you spend a significant chunk of your life with.  Trust and sharing knowledge go hand in hand.  Sharing knowledge and collaboration are what fuel organizations such as Apple, Google and 3M, and it's clearly one critical part of their innovation generating machines.

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Dr. Dan Kirsch's curator insight, July 14, 2013 8:08 AM

SBP:  Strategic Bathroom Placement.  But it's not truly about where a bathroom is located so much as it is about creating a physical environment that provides ample opportunity for people to interact, and then encouraging and allowing that interaction.  Apple, Google, 3M and others have all turned this concept into an organizational "way of life" but you don't always have to go to that extent to take advantage of the knowledge sharing brought about by socialization.  Little things can help to shape the environment, to nuture the roots of collaboration.  

 

Take for example, "Beer Cart Friday" at Advance Medical (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/03/08/beer-cart-friday/1973789/) where CEO Jennifer Fuicelli uses -- yes, beer as a catalyst for creating a high performing corporate culture.  She's also incorporated costumes on Halloween, cookouts and what she calls a "get out of jail free" card used by employees to receive a paid day off on their birthday.

 

Organizational cultures that support socialization and collaboration create something extremely important -- trust amongst those who you spend a significant chunk of your life with.  Trust and sharing knowledge go hand in hand.  Sharing knowledge and collaboration are what fuel organizations such as Apple, Google and 3M, and it's clearly one critical part of their innovation generating machines.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's curator insight, July 14, 2013 8:08 AM

SBP:  Strategic Bathroom Placement.  But it's not truly about where a bathroom is located so much as it is about creating a physical environment that provides ample opportunity for people to interact, and then encouraging and allowing that interaction.  Apple, Google, 3M and others have all turned this concept into an organizational "way of life" but you don't always have to go to that extent to take advantage of the knowledge sharing brought about by socialization.  Little things can help to shape the environment, to nuture the roots of collaboration.  

 

Take for example, "Beer Cart Friday" at Advance Medical (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/03/08/beer-cart-friday/1973789/) where CEO Jennifer Fuicelli uses -- yes, beer as a catalyst for creating a high performing corporate culture.  She's also incorporated costumes on Halloween, cookouts and what she calls a "get out of jail free" card used by employees to receive a paid day off on their birthday.

 

Organizational cultures that support socialization and collaboration create something extremely important -- trust amongst those who you spend a significant chunk of your life with.  Trust and sharing knowledge go hand in hand.  Sharing knowledge and collaboration are what fuel organizations such as Apple, Google and 3M, and it's clearly one critical part of their innovation generating machines.

Dr. Dan Kirsch's curator insight, July 14, 2013 8:08 AM

SBP:  Strategic Bathroom Placement.  But it's not truly about where a bathroom is located so much as it is about creating a physical environment that provides ample opportunity for people to interact, and then encouraging and allowing that interaction.  Apple, Google, 3M and others have all turned this concept into an organizational "way of life" but you don't always have to go to that extent to take advantage of the knowledge sharing brought about by socialization.  Little things can help to shape the environment, to nuture the roots of collaboration.  

 

Take for example, "Beer Cart Friday" at Advance Medical (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/03/08/beer-cart-friday/1973789/) where CEO Jennifer Fuicelli uses -- yes, beer as a catalyst for creating a high performing corporate culture.  She's also incorporated costumes on Halloween, cookouts and what she calls a "get out of jail free" card used by employees to receive a paid day off on their birthday.

 

Organizational cultures that support socialization and collaboration create something extremely important -- trust amongst those who you spend a significant chunk of your life with.  Trust and sharing knowledge go hand in hand.  Sharing knowledge and collaboration are what fuel organizations such as Apple, Google and 3M, and it's clearly one critical part of their innovation generating machines.

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The knowledge sharing paradox | Harold Jarche

The knowledge sharing paradox | Harold Jarche | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

A great discussion that touches upon two of my favorite points:  KM is not the same as Information Technology; socialization and collaboration supported by human networks will provide a better return than some enterprise-wide social tool that isn't "owned" by anyone.

 

My favorite quote from the post is:

"The knowledge sharing paradox is that enterprise social tools constrain what they are supposed to enhance. Why would someone share everything they know on an enterprise network, knowing that on the inevitable day that they leave, their knowledge artifacts will remain behind?"


Organizations that onboard this concept will clearly be able to close those organizational knowledge gaps in such a way so as to grow real competitive advantage.

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Social Networking in the 1600s

Social Networking in the 1600s | Dr. Dan's Knowledge Management | Scoop.it
Coffeehouses were once the distracting new spaces for sharing information and ideas.
Dr. Dan Kirsch's insight:

"Scientists often conducted experiments and gave lectures in coffeehouses, and because admission cost just a penny (the price of a single cup), coffeehouses were sometimes referred to as 'penny universities.'”

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