I've been meaning to write about Patrick Lambe's pair of posts on knowledge sharing and now have motivation from recent posts by Sharon Richardson and Euan Semple.
Patrick has What is knowledge sharing (and this from February) and Why do we share knowledge, based on a recent discussion at a Information and Knowledge Management Society (iKMS) meeting in Singapore. I like Patrick's efforts at making some of the why behind knowledge sharing. His list of basic explanations of how knowledge sharing happens is: accidental, habitual, copying others, experimental, reflexive, and whimsical. As to what it is, Patrick suggests that sharing is not just the opposite of hoarding, it can be many other things as well (at least 49 things in fact).
This leads to Euan and Sharon's discussion of one element of knowledge sharing: humor and personality. Euan wants to make A serious point about levity. Sharon writes that We're only human. In both, they make the case for the importance of letting personality show through in our human endeavors. They also talk about the other side of this: the corporate life is geared around eliminating personality, which is rather frustrating to those who see the value in "just being me."
As related in these posts, I was also subject to a "don't laugh so loud" admonition in my early days of work - from my father, at whose company i was working for the summer. It wasn't proper to be heard down the hallway.
What does humor and personality have to do with knowledge sharing? If you subscribe to the belief that knowledge sharing is all about getting people together, then it seems we would want people to share themselves and those things in which they get engaged. And isn't it this common connection that is being exploited by the vast interest in social networking?