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Here Comes Everybody [Hardcover]

Clay Shirky
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 4 2008
A revelatory examination of how the wildfirelike spread of new forms of social interaction enabled by technology is changing the way humans form groups and exist within them, with profound long-term economic and social effects-for good and for ill

A handful of kite hobbyists scattered around the world find each other online and collaborate on the most radical improvement in kite design in decades. A midwestern professor of Middle Eastern history starts a blog after 9/11 that becomes essential reading for journalists covering the Iraq war. Activists use the Internet and e-mail to bring offensive comments made by Trent Lott and Don Imus to a wide public and hound them from their positions. A few people find that a world-class online encyclopedia created entirely by volunteers and open for editing by anyone, a wiki, is not an impractical idea. Jihadi groups trade inspiration and instruction and showcase terrorist atrocities to the world, entirely online. A wide group of unrelated people swarms to a Web site about the theft of a cell phone and ultimately goads the New York City police to take action, leading to the culprit's arrest.

With accelerating velocity, our age's new technologies of social networking are evolving, and evolving us, into new groups doing new things in new ways, and old and new groups alike doing the old things better and more easily. You don't have to have a MySpace page to know that the times they are a changin'. Hierarchical structures that exist to manage the work of groups are seeing their raisons d'tre swiftly eroded by the rising technological tide. Business models are being destroyed, transformed, born at dizzying speeds, and the larger social impact is profound.

One of the culture's wisest observers of the transformational power of the new forms of tech-enabled social interaction is Clay Shirky, and Here Comes Everybody is his marvelous reckoning with the ramifications of all this on what we do and who we are. Like Lawrence Lessig on the effect of new technology on regimes of cultural creation, Shirky's assessment of the impact of new technology on the nature and use of groups is marvelously broad minded, lucid, and penetrating; it integrates the views of a number of other thinkers across a broad range of disciplines with his own pioneering work to provide a holistic framework for understanding the opportunities and the threats to the existing order that these new, spontaneous networks of social interaction represent. Wikinomics, yes, but also wikigovernment, wikiculture, wikievery imaginable interest group, including the far from savory. A revolution in social organization has commenced, and Clay Shirky is its brilliant chronicler.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Blogs, wikis and other Web 2.0 accoutrements are revolutionizing the social order, a development that's cause for more excitement than alarm, argues interactive telecommunications professor Shirky. He contextualizes the digital networking age with philosophical, sociological, economic and statistical theories and points to its major successes and failures. Grassroots activism stands among the winners—Belarus's flash mobs, for example, blog their way to unprecedented antiauthoritarian demonstrations. Likewise, user/contributor-managed Wikipedia raises the bar for production efficiency by throwing traditional corporate hierarchy out the window. Print journalism falters as publishing methods are transformed through the Web. Shirky is at his best deconstructing Web failures like Wikitorial, the Los Angeles Times's attempt to facilitate group op-ed writing. Readers will appreciate the Gladwellesque lucidity of his assessments on what makes or breaks group efforts online: Every story in this book relies on the successful fusion of a plausible promise, an effective tool, and an acceptable bargain with the users. The sum of Shirky's incisive exploration, like the Web itself, is greater than its parts. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

'Clay has long been one of my favorite thinkers on all things Internet -- not only is he smart and articulate, but he's one of those people who is able to crystallize the half-formed ideas that I've been trying to piece together into glittering, brilliant insights that make me think, yes, of course, that's how it all works' - Cory Doctorow, co-editor of Boing Boing and author of, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present " 'In story after story, Clay masterfully makes the connections as to why business, society and our lives continue to be transformed by a world of net-enabled social tools. His pattern-matching skills are second to none' Ray Ozzie, Microsoft Chief Software Architect --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I expected Aug. 29 2009
Format:Paperback
Honestly, I had heard a good things about this book, I heard an interview with him, and was looking forward to reading this book.

I was pretty disappointed, it was more a collection of anecdotes and stories than a strongly argued book.

It was a collection of "Wow, look what someone did with social networking!" anecdotes. These kind of stories don't take a lot of effort and the end result is a muddy and unclear book, with few real lessons about the power of social networking.

Given that, it also will become dated quickly because things are moving fast in this area, so unless you read it really soon, it'll probably be out date.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How online communities create social capital June 18 2008
Format:Hardcover
This is a book I could hardly put down. Shirky's style is easy to read ' you feel like you are listening more than reading. The content is fascinating to those of us interested in how technology transforms our behaviour and our society ' and if you are not already interested in such topics, you especially need to read it. Your world is changing and a lot of it is for the better and Shirky makes it very understandable. The book is full of well researched and relevant examples.

I found especially useful his discussion of the formation of networks and online communities. His description of the actual social capital thus created is compelling.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everybody should read it April 9 2011
By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Unless you've been living under a rock over the past few years, you would have noticed an explosion in ways that people interact, collaborate and exchange information online. We are probably undergoing the greatest technological shift since the advent of e-mail, and it'd probably hard to grasp all the ramifications that profound new change is heralding. Every year now, or sometimes every month, several new information terms and products enter our collective consciousness, terms like blog, Twitter, Digg, Facebook, MySpace, collaborative filtering, crowdsourcing, online social networking, and many, many others. It becomes harder and harder to keep track of what each one of them means, little less of how to use it or whether to use it at all. Many of them may just be passing fads, but it is hard to deny that put together they are part of some larger trend. However, it may not be so obvious what this trend is all about and one often can't see the forest from all the trees. From that point, Clay Shirky's book "Here Comes Everybody" can be best understood as a field guide that will take you on a guided tour of this new forest and explain its immediate implications for how we live our lives, work or play. It is a very well written book, written in an easy-going journalistic style. It brings forth many real-life stories and case analyses that help with explaining these recent trends. The book is informative without being bogged down in technical jargon. It is also a very gripping read, and once one starts reading it is hard to put down. I would recommend it to everyone who is interested in getting a big picture of where we are headed in terms of collaborative technologies.
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Format:Paperback
Clay Shirky is one of, if not the smartest mind on what has happened since the birth of the internet. It's not the easiest book to get through, many of the examples are long winded and very thorough. Clay ensures you really understand why the internet will change how we communicate and organize as a civilization from this point forward.

The major message he has is that we can form groups much, much easier now. Because of instant communication, it really has displaced much of the power that was kept by hoarding information and/or technology. When everyone has access to the same knowledge as everyone else peculiar things begin to happen in society. Weird groups form, collective action becomes easier because the cost to form the group to perform the collective action is next to nothing.

Here Comes Everybody is an intelligent read and it will give you a different insight into the social media fan fare everyone talks about.

Jeph
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5.0 out of 5 stars Here Comes Everybody Oct. 3 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellent service and would order from here again..!!Rapid delivery and product was in excellent condition. Thank you for great service
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