I haven't linked to Lilia Efimova in a while, but she continues to write about her PhD process and say things that I think have to do with the larger questions of how people work together (one element being knowledge management). In her recent blog post, Bloggers as public intellectuals and writing about them in a research report, she talks about the situation of doing research with people who are vested in the research topic themselves.
But what I take from this is the larger picture of how people work together to develop new and interesting ideas. Academics, the focus of Lilia's discussion, naturally talk to one another and hammer out ideas. It's hard enough to see where an idea truly originates even amongst a few people.
But when the conversation crosses tens or hundreds of people AND locations AND sources AND time, then the genesis of ideas is up in the clouds. We know this - at least this seems like something I learned through my education. But we still insist in our society on finding THE person who came up with some invention and pouring the credit upon her.
In knowledge management, my interest has shifted into helping people share those ideas - collaboration. In this light, tools like Twitter or blogs or discussion forums or other means of interactive communication allow for ideas to shift and grow and fade and re-ignite.
It seems like there should be more to this thought, but I haven't been paying as close attention. Time to re-ignite my own brain.