The discussion in the article has to do with citations and the current Wikipedia policy to regard only published material of official source material. The central story revolves around people who are trying to re-imagine how to create citations in cultures that don't have a practice (or capability) to write things down.
Some critics of Wikipedia believe that the whole Western tradition of footnotes and sourced articles needs to be rethought if Wikipedia is going to continue to gather converts beyond its current borders. And that, in turn, invites an entirely new debate about what constitutes knowledge in different parts of the world and how a Western institution like Wikipedia can capitalize on it.
In the context of this article, the definition of knowledge is very limited.
Of course, we all know that knowledge resides all over the place. Sure, books and journals record knowledge, but that isn't the only place where knowledge lives. We exchange knowledge and information in our regular conversations. It flows through our networks, based on tidbits, embedded in other conversations, based on clues we pick up from the environment and mood of people, etc. etc. etc.
From a knowledge management perspective, this is something that we need to keep in mind. It is a small fraction of "knowledge" that can be captured and recorded in a "knowledge base." Much more of it ebbs and flows through the organization. As KM practitioners and as people interested in KM, we need to find ways to enable people to tap into all forms of knowledge to help them solve their problems and get things done.
[Photo: "Citation N56PB" by Michael Bludworth]