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... more
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’être 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. less
Reviews and Recommendations
We've comprehensively compiled reviews of Here Comes Everybody from the world's leading experts.
Anne-Marie Slaughter This is another must-read. It’s a really great book for anyone who wants to understand the social media revolution. Benkler talks about the cooperative system. Shirky talks about self-organisation, about how the digital revolution and the social media revolution completely changed the economics of organisation. It used to be much harder for people to organise. There was a lot of cost to it. But with social media you can organise a group of your friends instantly. So all sorts of phenomena that once would have been too costly to create suddenly emerged. It’s suddenly simple for human beings to... (Source)
Bogdana Butnar I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written. (Source)
Zhang Ruimin Ruimin cites Shirky's book as another example of contemporary thought leadership influencing Haier's direction. In the book, Shirky offers examples of companies which have thrived in the absence of traditional organizational structures. The ideas have clearly influenced Ruimin. He tells strategy business: We used to have a pyramid-style structure for our sales in China. The people in charge of sales had to manage business at the national, provincial, and city levels. After the arrival of the internet age, we realized that under this triangular hierarchical structure, people had a difficult... (Source)