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Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations Paperback – February 24, 2009
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What does Shirky add to this cacaphony? He adds one important special case of all of the above: the Internet lets us form groups effortlessly. Now we can work together on projects that we wouldn't have known about otherwise. We can find other people for fun in the real (non-Internet) world. We can find people with remarkably obscure interests matching our own. Previously these would have taken far too much time and effort. And the payoff is far too low for any company to be interested in connecting, say, lovers of ancient Chinese art. What the Internet has given us is a set of tools that allow us to create and find these groups.
This comes with its downsides. For instance, at the same time that it becomes easier for me to find blogs devoted to 18th-century ship-in-a-bottle designs, it becomes easier for you to find backwoods militias. The example Shirky gives here is a web bulletin board devoted to encouraging anorexia among its teen members. (This was the only part of the book that actually horrified me.) In the real world, these sorts of groups succumb to social pressure and go into hiding. The web makes it possible for them to find one another; they are no longer alone.Read more ›
Certainly the book reads well, and for someone like me who reads a great deal, I found myself recognizing thoughts explored by others, but also impressed by the synthesis and the clarity.
A few of my fly-leaf notes:
+ New technologies enable new kinds of groups to form.
+ "Message" is key, what Eric Raymond calls "plausible promise."
+ Can now harness "free and ready participation in a large distributed group with a variety of skills."
+ Cost-benefit of large "unsupervised" endeavors is off the charts.
+ From sharing to cooperation to collective action
+ Collective action requires shared vision
+ Literacy led to mass amatuerism, and I have note to myself, the cell phone can lead to mass on demand education "one cell call at a time"
+ Transactions costs dramatically lowered.
+ Revolution happens when it cannot be contained by status quo institutions
+ Good account of Wikipedia
+ Light discussion of social capital, Yochai Bnekler does it much better
+ Value of mass diversity
+ Implications of Linux for capitalism
+ Excellent account of how Perl beat out C++
Bottom line in this book: "Open Source teaches us that the communal can be at least as durable as the commercial.Read more ›
1. Sharing with others, using del.icio.us, Flickr, Slideshare and other social tools. After September 11th, a professor of Middle Eastern history starts writing a blog that became a resource for reporters covering the battles in Afghanistan and Iraq.
2. Collaboration, perhaps using Linux or Wikipedia. Kite makers find each other online and collaborate on the most radical improvement in kite design in decades. So are architects.
3. Collective action, where groups form to pursue a larger purpose and use social tools, ranging from google or Yahoo! groups to free online social networks such as Ning to share news and tips, recruit others, support each other and remain unified.
Writes Shirky, "... one of the things I most hope readers get out of it, is an excitement about how much experimentation is still possible, and how many new uses of our social tools are waiting to be invented." Similarly the Internet changed how outraged Catholics could rally for changes when pedophile priests went on trial. The organizing clout of the Internet did not come in time for one of my heroes, Gary Webb.
In a controversial move, Shirky describes why he thinks MoveOn has not succeeded in three ways that Obama has, using social media, beginning with his "wide pockets versus deep pockets" approach to securing many little donations rather than a few big donations. Another example, fighting against the airline industry's resistence setting standards for passengers stuck on the tarmac, some angry passengers recruited, "tens of thousands of people in a few weeks" to join the Coalition for an Airline Passengers' Bill of Rights.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book has a few minor frayed edges on the cover, something I wouldn't expect from a "new" book. Not a major issue, however.Published 11 days ago by Amazon Customer
maybe better if you are not into digital stuff. for buying today I'd consider other options. This one may be a bit outdated already. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Natalia R
Big picture view of the transition from individual contributor to crowd contribution across various aspects of one's daily life. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Greg Silas
This book is one of many recent books that shows how the internet and digital technology has changed the psychology and sociology of cultures around the world. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Newton Ooi