I think knowledge management’s prominence has deeper roots in an individual’s need to learn at this point in history. People are finding they need to become more reliant and old ways don’t serve them any more. We are no longer content to take what the boss gives us and seek greater choice. We are starting to see the need to learn again and that is best done in a community. Knowledge sharing/management is a community based activity.
This illustrates the great opportunity that professional societies and associations have right now: to reengage their memberships by facilitating learning and knowledge sharing among the members.
As the rest of the post above goes on to say, this is nothing new. See the quote below from Principles of Association Management, by Henry Ernstthal:
Professional societies can trace their roots back to the late Renaissance, when scientific societies were formed to collect and disseminate knowledge. The earliest of these societies, the Academia Secretorum Naturai of Naples, was organized in 1560. (page 5)
Associations are a manifestation of the desire to share knowledge among individuals within a profession or discipline.