In a timely parallel post D’Arcy Norman reflects on why many learning object repositories are bereft of content (other than mandated content from large projects). If you’ve been following the comments on my last post about JISC repositories you see a raw nerve has been touched about a similar lack of activity in institutional ePrints repositories. D’Arcy (and James in a follow-up post) come up with some valid arguments why this may be the case. My tuppence also includes the fact that formal [institutional] repositories were created as a solution to a problem the target audience (academics, teachers, even students) did know they had.
It’s no longer necessary to point out the staggering amounts of content created and submitted every minute to informal so-called social repositories. So why the difference? Who knows, but give an easy to use tool to a person with a desire and motivation to create content that interests them and share it with like-minded individuals, is probably part of it.