Patrick Lambe turned up an article on the nature of the information architecture community that seems to have a lot of parallels in the knowledge management community. KM is Shallow, Insular and "History":
Grant Campbell over at Boxes and Arrows has written what has to be my current top contender for Blog Post of the Year. He’s writing about three common flame-war starters in the information architecture (IA) community, the accusation that information architects are shallow dilettantes, exclusive, and already passe. But his reflections can just as easily be applied to KM. Here are three hard-hitting snips (just replace his “IAs” with “knowledge managers” and see how it feels)
As I read through the overviews on the shallowness, insularity and IA-is-history notion, I could see a lot of the parallels Patrick saw. All of the points made by Grant Campbell are those fun counter-intuitive ideas. Shallowness sounds like an insult, but Campbell turns it around. The same in KM sometimes. I've seen KM'ers wander from the very shallow to the depths of the Mariana Trench. It is far too easy to get bogged down in the meaning of knowledge and forget that we're being asked to help with specific problems. Maybe shallowness, rightly placed, is not such a bad thing.
There are enough parallels between the fields that I had to wonder what the information architecture entry on Wikipedia looked like. It feels oddly similar to the KM entry. There is a notation at the top that the article lacks references. This is something that's just happened to the entry on knowledge management. However, the biggest difference is that there hasn't been a lot of activity on the IA page, while the KM page has been updated, spammed, cleanup up, modified, adjusted. There's even some decent discussion behind the KM article on Wikipedia.