I've mentioned Scott's Planning to share, versus just sharing post in passing, but here is a slightly more considered response.
Scott sets out his frustration with top down, planned approaches to sharing:
start once a bunch of departments, institutions or organizations notice
that they have a lot in common with others and decide that it would be
a good idea to collaborate, to share “best practices” or “data” or
But inevitably, with a very few exceptions, these projects spend an
enormous amount of time defining what is to be shared, figuring out how
to share it, setting up the mechanisms to share it, and then…not really
Compared with the bottom-up social sharing that happens every day in the blogosphere, via Twitter, YouTube, Slideshare, etc
which every single day I share my learning and have knowledge and
learning shared back with me. I know it works."
He then sets out a series of good reasons why this is so, including "We develop multiple (informal) channels while they focus on a single official mechanism".
For me, the key difference is this: The 'cost' of sharing has collapsed, but institutions don't know this. This means they behave in perfectly logical ways if sharing was still a costly activity. I am using the term cost here to refer to both a financial price and also the effort required by individuals.
Clay Shirky argues that the cost of organisation has disappeared, and I believe this is because sharing is easy, frictionless. If I come across something I share it via Google shared items, Twitter, my blog, etc. If I want to share I stick it up on Slideshare, my blog, YouTube. There is a small cost in terms of effort to me to do the sharing, and zero cost in anyone wanting to know what I share. Sharing is just an RSS feed away.
But institutions don't believe this, or know it. It used to take consortium agreements to share, conferences, best practice guides, incentives, metrics. How can all that be replaced by an RSS icon? Obviously it must be something different they reason, so for our needs we have to invent a system. Except it isn't.
Just as the record industry thought this online stuff was something different, it couldn't possibly relate to their chain of record shops, their carefully maintained back catalog, their army or A & R professional, their logistically beautiful distribution chain, the sophisticated marketing campaigns. All of this had to be different to this online stuff, it just didn't make sense for all of these carefully constructed elements to be replaced by the same, messy uncontrolled online world. Except that, oh yes it did.
The moral here is that just because something used to be expensive, time consuming and complex doesn't mean it will always be.