A Theory Object is a concept that's accreting attention, and generating visible, searchable, rankable, trackable trails of attention. The term THEORY OBJECT is itself a kind of a theory object. Any real theory object has probably got trackback. Links. Pictures. Maybe a PowerPoint. A website. An FAQ. Maybe some Flash animation. Maybe it's got a database layer and user-centric graphic web apps.
It's a great word, and it's fun to track the trail: Anne tracks the word from Bruce, who traces it to Julian, who credits it to Tara.