Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky
The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

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Synopsis

Read Clay Shirky's posts on the Penguin Blog.



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.
 

About Clay Shirky

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CLAY SHIRKY teaches for the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University and has consulted with a variety of groups working on network design, including Nokia, the U.S. Navy, and Lego. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published February 28, 2008 by Penguin Books. 348 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Computers & Technology, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Here Comes Everybody

The Guardian

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Both revel in the fact that new web-based social tools help single mothers looking online for social networks or pro-democracy campaigners in Belarus.

Mar 21 2008 | Read Full Review of Here Comes Everybody: The Pow...

Columbia Journalism Review

Most digital files can be hacked, and they belong to the new age, just like memories.DS: The interesting thing about the theory is that, projecting out, we’re not looking at just new ways of communications, but new ways of being, new ways of organizing society, right?Pettitt: History shows the ch...

Jun 07 2013 | Read Full Review of Here Comes Everybody: The Pow...

Ars Technica

The power of boring technology Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (buy ) Clay Shirky 304 pages Penguin "Communications tools don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring," says Clay Shirky in his new book, Here Comes Eve...

Apr 03 2008 | Read Full Review of Here Comes Everybody: The Pow...

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