More and more people are transcending the role of consumers to becoming creators and curators of information (check out Steven Rosenbaum’s Curation Nation for a convincing argument). JP Rangaswami used an interesting analogy in his light-hearted TED talk @SXSWi (earlier this year), metaphorically comparing the cultivation, preparation and consumption of information to that of food to make a point. Rangaswami, who is Chief Scientist at Salesforce.com (and former global CIO of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein) writes an entertaining and insightful blog, Confused of Calcutta (something I only stumbled on recently).
As knowledge workers, we manage our day to day professional knowledge either as creators or curators or consumers (or a little bit of each) and traditionally the Knowledge Management function in enterprises has revolved around managing and improving a finite loop of processes and building-maintaining knowledgebases through structured warehouses of data. That corporate function will predictably go through an overhaul in the coming years largely given the blurring of lines between knowledge ecosystems that exist within enterprises and outside of them. Already, what is available to many knowledge workers outside the enterprise in the form of search engines, hyperconnectivity and indexed databases dictates the kinds of knowledge systems and user experiences they expect inside the enterprise as well - social capabilities, integrated platforms, mobile access, easy filters and the mechanisms to fluidly explore new and inter-connected ideas that encourage open and easy collaboration (these needs become even more pronounced in large, complex and geographically spread organizations).