Clay Shirky CH 1-3

Chapter one Clay Shirky uses the story of a stolen cellphone to display how information through Internet can go local to global very quickly. The Author emphasizes that social network has the power to gather people, creating a strong movement. The fact that a silly story but with the power of millions viewers could change big organization (NYPD), shows how strong Internet can be.

Chapter two Shirky explains the reasons for social network success. The Author states that humans have a gift for mutually beneficial cooperation, however the difficulties of management prevent society to assemble as needed it. Before social media Era, certain activities may have some value but not enough to make them worth pursuing due to complexity and high cost in management. The Internet was an alternative to organizations to get the job done at lower cost. Shirky mention the web page Flickr as an example. Flickr is a web page where people can share photos, but Flickr don’t coordinate or even identify groups of photographers, they just provide a platform for the users to share the photos themselves.

Chapter three Shirky emphasizes how social network can affect professionals. According with Shirky, since Internet was available to everyone, the result is the “mass amateurization of efforts previously reserved for media professionals”(55).  Tasks that before were relying on professionals are now in the hands of everyone who owns a computer. For instance, Evan was able to make the stolen sidekick story to the public without being a journalist. He found Sasha information without being a detective. Capabilities previously reserved for professionals.

I agreed with Shirky that forming groups has gotten a lot easier, however I don’t think the social network brought people together. People don’t talk anymore, they text. People don’t call they send an email. For example, if you come to class 30min earlier you will see people with their cellphones, tablets and laptops, but you will not see them talking to each another.  Is this the closeness that the Internet brought us?


One thought on “Clay Shirky CH 1-3

  1. Being the internet is available to everyone and not just media professionals, and every one who owns a computer. The media professionals will have to invent a whole new approach to obtaining the public’s attention. I personally don’t put much stock in commercial advertisements. I agree with you, and I feel that the internet has not brought people together but only changed the way we communicate. I strongly feel that this is only the beginning and that online communities will eventually evolve into some thing I can’t begin to imagine.

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