Knowledge work as craft work

I just got around to reading Jim McGee's article "Knowledge work as craft work" which is an excellent discussion of visibility in the knowledge management process. McGee gives a great example of how visibility of knowledge has gone away since the arrival of desktop computing. In the pre-PC age, paper documents and deliverables (and the knowledge embedded within them) were passed between many people within an organization in the iterative process of knowledge conception/production. With computers, often the traces of this process are lost -- note taking and modification, for example. Because KM is concerned with the dynamic processes of knowledge creation, communication/transfer, and storage, this visibility is essential. He argues that the use of blogs/klogs in this process helps bring back some of that visibility, but the focus he says has to remain with this dynamic process.

I don't doubt that this fundamental aspect of visibility is really lost in most enterprises. Version control and sophisticated KM solutions that capture annotations and recording of other ephemera support the capture of aspects of the knowledge management process, but I'll bet that technology becomes a barrier for most people when it comes to capturing ephemera. The issue of visibility is very interesting to me as an information professional and must have some implications in doing IA, although I haven't quite made the right connections yet. [Damn you, synapses. Fire already!] I'm going to have to read The Social Life of Paper again.