Here comes everybody. The power of organization without organizations. We are living in times of one of the greatest shifts in communication. The printing press was the first. The invention of moveable type made text widely available. It was possible for many people to have access to the same material. Never before were so many copies of a single text be printed since it was dependent upon scribes. Now scribes became obsolete. Not because writing was no longer necessary, but because Literacy became widespread. Everybody could do it. So for centuries the power was in the hands of the publishers. The scarcity all existed because publishing was difficult. The power was removed from the scribes and placed into this small group of people. Publishers, later broadcasters and producers. With the internet and social functions of the media, it was possible for everyone to publish. It didn’t mean that publishing went away, but that everyone could publish so it was no longer scarce.
The greater number of people in a group the more difficult it is to connect with all of them. It’s like choosing a movie at Blockbuster when you have more than three people, it becomes impossible as more and more people try to make the decisions. For each added person, there is a ‘cost’ to the transaction. These same costs exist in a bureacracy.
Socrates. Placed an ad saying that that. Technology has begun to decrease the transactional costs associated with business. For example, like Socrates, we could advertise for a group of students. I could teach Algebra to a group of kids and charge them each month of classes. They’d have to pay another teacher for English and find someone else if they wanted to learn a foreign language. I would then need to collect money, pay taxes on my earnings, but I could contract a bookkeeper. I would need to choose a textbook. I would need to make sure they learned everything necessary for Algebra. Each of these transactions has an increased cost. Organizations were created because they are more efficient in handling these transactions.
Ronald Coase in the seminal article “The Nature of the Firm” explains how an organization’s efficiency in the market is why firms exist. They can be more efficient. By using hierarchies, decreasing transactional costs, goods and services also are produced more efficiently. However, the layers of the hierarchy become larger as the organization grows. At a certain point the hierarchy cannot support increased production and it becomes more efficient for others to enter the market. Technology has disrupted and often caused a collapse of these associated costs by making it ridiculously easy to connect with individuals in ways that was not possible before.
Sharing is the most basic level of organizing.
Sharing used to be something which groups did after they were formed. Now, people share and then a group is formed. Flickr allows people to post pictures using hashtags. These can then be searched. This picture of the Occupy Oakland movement is one of many people who came together and posted their pictures on Flickr.
Airbnb allows people to turn their home into a bed and breakfast temporarily. It allows sharing of resources.
Conversation is the next level of organization.
Blogspot & livejournal Meetup.com Skillshare.com
Collaboration can take place in ways which require little formal organization.
Wikipedia is the best example of collaboration. Compared with Encarta, a product backed by one of the largest, richest companies in the world, the open access and willingness of people to donate their time in a collaborative project could not have been possible twenty years ago. There is very little central staff, but thousands, or even millions of people have edited articles.
Collective action is the highest level of organization that can take place easily with these reduced transactional costs.
No pants day on the New York Subway. Improv Everywhere group. Uses a type of flash mob through text messaging, email and social media to organize a no pants day. It began with just a few people getting on the subway and has grown to hundreds of people every year and has spawned other groups in other cities all over the world.
5 people ten connections total 10 people 45 connections total There are disabilities of groups beyond a certain scale. The typical answer is a hierarchy Ridiculous easy group froming Part of the internet’s feature from the easiest days. First social feature of the email “Reply all” Nobody wants to shut out some members of the group. They want all members to be able to participate. The How much does the individual have to align/coordinate their actions with others in the group? Sharing – Low coordination. Flickr. Tagging. Conversation – Community of Practice. High Dynamic Range Photography on Flickr. The group gets better together. The community produced it for themselves. Every URL is a latent community. Collaboration Collective Action Tagging systems reverse the order of sharing. Before you had to congregate and then share. Now, you can share, and then congregate around that shared interest. Groups can come together and achieve a shared goal Flash mobs. Critique of hipster culture. Bielorus. Eating ice cream. Arrested for eating ice cream in October Square. Created a group. “ Nothing says dictatorship like arresting people for eating ice cream.” In May 2006, flash mob in Minsk Belarus was planned. These tools are very different in high or low freedom environment.
Police in Belarus cracking down on ice cream eaters.
i. What guidance does the author suggest for changing/ reforming an organization? ii. Is this guidance based on empirical or conceptual foundation? iii. What type of organization does the author use as the basis of her/his guidance? iv. How does the type of organization compare to an educational organization with which you are familiar? Plan to use appropriate organizational terminology to compare the types of organizations. v. What pithy knowledge did you take away from the book that you want to share with your peers?
v. What pithy knowledge did you take away from the book that you want to share with your peers? Syria. Douma – city that has seen protests and was retaken by the government. Shared on flickr. Pithy.
1. Here Comes EverybodyThe power of organization without organizations By Clay Shirky, 2008
2. Connections &Transactional Costs • Five people • 10 Connections • Eight people • 28 Connections
5. • “Thinspiration” Pro-anorexia blog• Meet-ups of pet owners of Italian Greyhounds in South Bay• Class in “How to Prepare for Your First Burning Man Experience”
6. Collaborative Production
7. Collective Action
8. Nothing says ‘police state’ like arrestingpeople for eating ice cream.
9. Summary• Sharing, Conversation, Collaboration, Collective Action• Conceptual foundation• Business & news, spontaneous events are used to illustrate thesis• Transactional costs are high in ed organizations & hierarchical• Participatory culture should be part of curriculum & way we work• How might new models of education emerge?
10. مصقل “Revolution doesn’t happen when societyadopts new technologies – it happens when society adopts new behaviors.”