Here is a great video discussing the shift from the institutional control of ideas to opening them up to the world. Clay Shirky mentions examples of Flickr and Linux and how the users or community freely contribute to large projects without any material rewards. A particularly cogent example, is how mobile phone ubiquity has greatly reduced the need to pre-plan and organize in favor of real time communication. We don’t have to plan exactly where and we meet up with people. We can rely on our collaboration tools, the cell phone, and just say, “I’ll call you when I get there.” Planning can largely be eliminated in a world of constant communication.
The sheer quantity of the contribution can not be matched in any corporation or institution. It is impossible to create plans, structures or incentives to deliver what open source or freely collaborative environments can.
Clay Shirky: Institutions vs. Collaboration