Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky


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  • Hi my name is Lauren Parr, and I chose to read Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organization by Clay Shirky.
  • Clay Shirky is very knowledgeable when it comes to anything new and innovative changing the way we communicate through the Internet and other forms of technology. He writes for several online blogs and columns as well as teaching, and writing books as well. He is sort of the go-to-guy when it comes to the way new technologies are shaping our society and economy. He published “Here Comes Everybody” in 2008 and the book has become a popular source for how to utilize your social networking experience with others.
  • In the beginning of the book, Shirky gives an example of how a girl in New York City left her Sidekick in a taxi, which is a daily occurrence. Because her phone had so much information on it, the girl was obviously extremely upset and thought finding her phone would be virtually impossible. One of her friends who was a programmer designed a website specific to finding her lost Sidekick, and within a short amount of time, information about the girl who stole the phone, her address and MySpace page, as well as her boyfriend, were all discovered. A police officer even posted on the website how to file a claim for the phone. It is innovations like the Internet that have made it so easy and instant to deliver messages to a large number of people for free and without replicating it over and over again. Decades ago, it would have taken forever for anyone to receive information on a missing phone, but thanks to the technology advancements over the past years, the right tools have made it possible for people to connect on such a powerful level, i.e. the internet in this case.
  • Shirky explains in one chapter about how social networking or media sites help unite a large group of people that would otherwise be impossible to organize. People by nature are already complex, and when you get them together and they create experiences and relationships unique to them, the relationship with obviously become more in-depth as well. He gives the example of using Flickr to unite people. If hundreds or thousands of people attend a certain event, say a college graduation, it would be hard to individually reach every one of them on the Internet to try to find pictures of the event they attended. But if you put a picture of the graduating class on Flickr, the people who want to see it would potentially know where to look for it and be able to search for it online. Shirky describes this “group undertaking” as a 3-step ladder consisting of sharing, cooperation, and collective action, which represent the fundamentals of what creates a group or organization.
  • There is such a growth and expansion of everyone utilizing the Internet for everything in their daily lives that it is changing the way our society and economy function. So many companies are realizing that they can do so many tasks online quick and free, which is causing many jobs to become unnecessary and is replacing traditional professions people have held. There is a “loss of professional control” by making production and distribution easier. Everyone can use the Internet to bring whatever information they desire, so this creates a strong power to the people; it is almost limitless what kind of communication we can have with others online. Everyone is essentially an outlet of media where years ago the media used to deliver information to us. Now we are giving back to media and controlling it in our own ways through blogs and personal websites. I added a link on this page that was from a conference Shirky spoke at discussing his book and his thoughts on Social Networking, the first couple minutes are pretty insightful.
  • In the end of the book, Shirky talks about how people feel overwhelmed with the idea of learning how to use new technologies. Older people have enough trouble figuring out how to turn on a computer (I know my grandma wouldn’t know how to even turn one on and she’s an intelligent lady), and many adults would have trouble using Twitter, Facebook, or creating a blog because there are many applications that go along with them that are complicated. I don’t consider myself extremely tech-savvy and wouldn’t know what to do with the new Ipad. People feel they need to sort of forget everything they have been taught in order to adapt to the new technologies in society. But Shirky insists this is not the case at all. If anything, people need to learn much more and in order to grow and change with the times if they wish to make society a better place. He says it is crucial that people teach kids to take risks because failure is inevitable and normal, and without people taking chances, nothing new will ever evolve.
  • I was surprised to find out how much Shirky points out about the obvious aspects of Internet and social media. He puts a lot of generalizations and everyday thoughts into an intelligent idea. I am jealous of people who can do that! This book was actually interesting and definitely makes me aware of the impact that social media has on everyone in the world, whether they are aware of it or not. I was surprised about the examples he gave pertaining to just simple things that we all do or experience and how we sometimes take them for granted, such as posting pictures online and blogging our thoughts, when not everyone in the world has this freedom. I am interested in learning more about how to properly utilize my own personal media experience and how I can use it in a positive way that will further my relationships with others and benefit my upcoming career. I am not that big of a fan of being online all the time; I am very outdoorsy and being a college athlete, I don’t always have the time I wish I did to play around. I like to pretend I can just ignore my emails and checking things online and they will just disappear, but especially in the case of my 2 online classes with you, that is not possible. As much as I don’t want to admit it, the Internet is here to stay and social netowkring is only going to grow over the next years and shape public relations and whatever job I want to pursue. The book is appropriately titled, “Here Comes Everybody” because it is describing the way the Internet allows everyone to be themselves for the world to see.
  • I wanted to end my presentation with a quote from the book that I feel is an excellent summary of what is happening right now in using the Internet and the way we communicate as humans.
  • Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky

    1. 1. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations By Clay Shirky Presentation by Lauren Parr
    2. 2. Who is Clay Shirky? <ul><li>A graduate of Yale University, Shirky currently teaches a course on New Media at NYU and has written columns for publications such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times on the topic of social networks and how they are shaping our society. He has published a total of 6 books and writes extensively on Internet issues. </li></ul>
    3. 3. “ The power of group action, given the right tools” <ul><li>Online institutions are flexible, convenient, and deliver information to mass audiences at lightning speed. </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment source </li></ul><ul><li>Political purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Self-expression </li></ul><ul><li>Social gratifications </li></ul>
    4. 4. “ The larger the group, the greater the complexity” <ul><li>Group Undertaking </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing (ex. Flickr </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperation (ex. Conversation) </li></ul><ul><li>Collective Action </li></ul><ul><li>The Internet makes it possible for people to interact with others based on specific interests and needs </li></ul>
    5. 5. “ Everyone is a media outlet” <ul><li>“ Media is not just a source of information, but a site of corporation.” –Clay Shirky </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    6. 6. “ We don’t need to ‘unlearn’ information, but rather learn more.” <ul><li>Technology is constantly changing and updating </li></ul><ul><li>Important to stay current with media so you can use it for your advantage </li></ul>
    7. 7. How Did I Like It?
    8. 8. <ul><li>“ These changes will transform the world everywhere groups of people come together to accomplish something, which is to say everywhere.” – Clay Shirky </li></ul>
    9. 9. Contact Info <ul><li>Presentation by Lauren Parr </li></ul><ul><li>Senior public relations major </li></ul><ul><li>Email- [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter- Peacelove7 </li></ul><ul><li>Blog- </li></ul>